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LOS ANGELES METRO JANUARY 2017

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RESOLUTIONS Versus Commitments A NEW PERSPECTIVE

FOR THE NEW YEAR

Classic Television

MEMORIES THE SHOWS AND STARS

WE GREW UP WITH

REMEMBERING

STEVE ALLEN

GEORGE

HAMILTON Living Life Without Rules

lifeafter50.com


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Contents

January 2017

10

18

20

Cover Profile

Departments

10 George Hamilton   

6 50-Plus: What You Need to Know

Living life without rules.

Features 18 Resolutions Versus Commitments A new perspective for the New Year.

20 The Hallowed Hall Of Must-Knowtables – Steve Allen

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

22 The Look Of Life After 50 – Herbie J Pilato

The host of the Decades Network’s “Then Again,” on television’s social impact.

22

A quick look at things 50-plusers should be aware of.

    26 Let’s Get Out

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

    28 Rick Steves’ Travels Wintering in Europe.

    34 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.lifeafter50.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 professionals 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...

And So We Begin Again…

A

nd so we awaken to the light of a new year. Like a bright, sunny morning after a cleansing rain, there are few other times in life in which we feel as we do in January of each year. It is an annual reboot – a time in which the slate can be wiped clean and we give ourselves permission to begin again. Will we all manage to get everything right in 2017? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be a bit healthier, happier, and kinder to others as well as to ourselves. It seems that everyone has their own personal way in which to achieve those things and begin a new year. They are ways that usually reflect a person’s core beliefs and character. In this issue of Life After 50, you will get to spend a little time with three people – actor George Hamilton, television personality Herbie J Pilato, and personal trainer Betsy Mendel – who have each adopted a philosophy that has helped them achieve success in doing what we all want to do in a new year: make ourselves the best we can be. In her feature, “Resolutions Versus Commitments,” Mendel shares her roadmap for helping you disregard New Year’s resolutions and, instead, embrace commitment as a way of achieving your 2017 goals.  In her insightful look at the life and times of Hamilton, celebrity writer D.B. Galliano exposes the way the actor has achieved success in both his life and career – by shunning conventional rules.  And in our profile on Pilato, you will learn why he feels that when it rises to its best potential, the medium of television has been, and can still be, one of our most powerful tools in giving us direction and understanding of how to better interact with others and live life to the fullest. Is the way to a happier and more fulfilled life to be found by embracing commitment, disregarding rules and using the tools of technology to inspire and educate ourselves? The answer to that question is way beyond my paygrade, but I do know two things for sure: One, that those things have been successfully embraced as gospel by Mendel, Hamilton and Pilato, and two, what could it hurt to give any of those things a try?   The new year is under way and, as always, those of us who toil in the trenches to bring you Life After 50 each month will once again commit ourselves to bringing you another year’s worth of interesting, entertaining and educational stories on and by people who employ commitment, rulebreaking, technology and any other means possible to live – and I mean really live – a happy, healthy and successful life after 50.

David Laurell, Editor-in-Chief

4 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

Publisher Valarie Anderson

Account Executives: San Diego County/Orange County Phil Mendelson Phil@LifeAfter50.com

Editor-in-Chief David Laurell

Travel/Los Angeles James Thomopoulos James@LifeAfter50.com

Associate Editors Steve Stoliar Claire Yezbak Fadden

For advertising/distribution inquiries contact: Valarie Anderson (310) 822-1629 x 121, Valarie@LifeAfter50.com

Art Director Michael Kraxenberger Editorial Assistant Max Andrews

5301 Beethoven St., Suite 183 LA CA 90066 Valarie Anderson Valarie@LifeAfter50.com 310 822-1629 x 121

Controller Kacie Cobian Human Resources Andrea E. Baker Business Manager Linda Lam Billing Supervisor David Garcia VP Of Operations David Comden

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©2017 Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved

A January Thought “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” – Vern McLellan


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50

Choose Your Charity Cautiously

Plus

What You Need To Know

By Claire Yezbak Fadden, Max Andrews and Jan Hunter

Improve Your Health With Virtual Travel

A

New Year has dawned and you have resolved to get in better shape and travel more. Now you can improve your cardio health, lose weight and see the world, all from the comfort of your home with Bike-O-Vision. Indoor cycling is healthy and provides increased muscular endurance, lowered stress levels, and aids in weight control. And it’s safe, unlike street cycling that results in over 50,000 accidents annually in the U.S. alone. Playing DVDs such as Bike-O-Vision on a screen in front of your stationary bike allows you to explore exotic, famous destinations. By clicking on www.Bike-O-Vision.com you can select from a series of 58 different DVDs that feature the amazing natural beauty of America’s national parks, European cities, and even the back roads and beaches of tropical islands. Indoor cycling videos are used with the riders on their exercise machine in front of a screen playing a DVD. Any exercise bike works fine, as do recumbents, ellipticals, and treadmills. So if losing weight, improving your health and your mood while seeing the world’s greatest sights are all things you want to embrace in 2017, traverse the globe with a BikeO-Vision DVD.

Fifty Candles

F

ifty years ago this month, Ronald Regan became the 33rd governor of California. The New York Times reported that the U. S. Army was conducting secret germ warfare experiments. In Super Bowl I, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10. Sonny and Cher released “The Beat Goes On” and the Rolling Stones released “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” The Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo was sentenced to life in prison. Skater Peggy Fleming won her fourth successive title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and “A Fistful of Dollars,” the first significant “spaghetti Western,” starring Clint Eastwood, premiered in the United States. Notable personalities born in January 1967 who are celebrating their 50th birthday this month include singer-songwriter Dave Matthews; actresses Tia Carrere, Trini Alvarado, Emily Watson, Stacey Dash and Christine Tucci; singers Lisa Lisa (Lisa Velez) and R. Kelly; comedian Bryan Callen; author and political strategist Sophia A. Nelson; and golfer David Toms.

6 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

I

s embracing a charitable organization one of your New Year’s resolutions? If so, Paul Downey, the president and CEO of Serving Seniors, recommends you consider these tips to help you choose a legitimate organization: Do research. There are online resources providing free access to comprehensive reports about non-profit organizations. Start with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts (www. oag.ca.gov/charities), the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance (www.give.org), Guidestar (www.guidestar.com) and Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org). Ask for a 990 tax form. If they cannot provide one, don’t give them money. Take a tour. Make sure the organization has an actual street address, where you can visit and take a tour at any time.

Own A Legendary Photo

F

or the first time, the photography of renowned photographer, illustrator, painter and television director Len Steckler, will be on public display and available for sale in an exhibition entitled “Len Steckler: Reflections of the Man Behind the Mirror,” presented by Limited Runs, the premiere online destination for original and vintage posters, print art and photography. Steckler gained fame in the 1960s and ‘70s for his fashion and beauty photography. His work appeared in major ad campaigns for Revlon, Cover Girl, many Proctor and Gamble products, and American Airlines, to name a few. He photographed celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Carl Sandburg, John Wayne, Faye Dunaway, and Joanne Woodward; launched the careers of models such as Jennifer O’Neill, Susan Blakeley, Cybil Shepherd and Maud Adams; and provided photos for Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Expanding his career to television, he produced and directed commercials gaining notoriety for putting Hanes’ Beautymist Pantyhose on Joe Namath, and for coining the phrase: “Take it off, take it all off!” for a Noxzema shaving cream commercial. In his later years, Steckler lost his left eye to cancer, but still continued to create, even following a debilitating series of strokes he suffered between 2011 and his death in 2016. The exhibit of Steckler’s work will take place February 2 to 4 at The Gallery located at 10545 W. Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles and February 17 to 20 at Palm Springs Modernism Show and Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The photos will be offered for sale as limited edition, numbered prints which will contain an estate signature on the verso. For more information about the photos, which will also be available for purchase online, click on www. limitedruns.com.


A Little More You Need To Know

The Most Important Thing To Know This Month

Where You Need To Go

Occupy “The Oval” Photo courtesy of Richard Nixon Library

T

his month, as the country inaugurates the 45th President of the United States in Washington, D.C., Southern Californians don’t have to travel across the nation to visit the most famous workspace in the world – the White House’s Oval Office. An exact reproduction of President Nixon’s Oval Office is now open at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda. This newest permanent exhibit duplicates where Nixon welcomed foreign dignitaries, including USSR General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, King Hussein of Jordan, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Pakistani President Yahya Khan, Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and athletes and entertainers Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Shirley Temple, Bob Hope, James Brown, Gale Sayers, Pelé, Terry Bradshaw and Sammy Davis Jr. From the Oval Office, Nixon made the longest-distance phone call ever placed when he called astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they walked on the moon. In 1969, First Lady Pat Nixon redecorated the Oval Office with the California state colors: yellow-gold for the furniture and drapes and a deep-blue rug with woven in gold with the Presidential Seal. The replica, which includes the historic Wilson Desk, an iconic bust of Abraham Lincoln and a portrait of George Washington, invites visitors to step inside and freely roam the office and even sit behind the desk where the 37th president made many consequential decisions that still shape the world today including the establishment of detente with the Soviet Union, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the end the draft and creation of the all-volunteer military, the signing of Title IX into law that said no person could be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, the lowering of the voting age to 18, and his tape-recorded Watergate-related missteps that led to Nixon being the only U.S. president to resign from office. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard in Yorba Linda. For more information, call (714) 993-5075, or click on www.nixonfoundation.org.

Help and care is available for elderly family members

M

any Life After 50 readers have elderly parents or family members who are in need of professional care. Because of that, it is vitally important to know that Medicaid covers long-term nursing home stays and may include coverage of home- and community-based services that provide opportunities for people with Medicaid to get services in their own home or community. These programs serve a variety of groups, including people with mental illnesses, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and/or physical disabilities. Remember, a nursing home may not always be the best option. A variety of community services may help with your loved one’s personal care and activities, as well as with home modification and equipment to support them staying at home. Some services, such as volunteer groups that help with things like shopping or transportation, may be low-cost or only ask for a voluntary donation. Some services may be available at varied costs depending on where you live and the services needed. The home services and programs that may be available in your community include: • Adult day care • Adult day healthcare, which offers nursing and therapy • Meal programs • Senior centers • Friendly visitor programs • Help with shopping and transportation • Help with legal questions, paying bills and other financial matters How do you find such local services? Try the Eldercare Locator, a guide to help older adults and their caregivers connect to services, including long-term care services and supports. For more information, click on www.eldercare.gov, or call (800) 677-1116.

New Words You might not find all of these words in a dictionary yet, but they’re a part of the everyday American vocabulary. Here’s what they mean.

Echo chamber: The filtering of social media feeds to provide articles and viewpoints consistence with the owner’s ideological preferences. Party mom: a person who agrees to stay sober at a party so he or she can tend to drunk friends.

Snowflake (Snowflake Generation): Young people, typically university or college students, who seek to avoid emotionally charged topics or dissenting ideas and opinions. January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 7


Food Cravings and Lies: The Sordid True Story By Dr. Claude Matar Give us a call at (626) 844-4686 to attend the upcoming free dinner and lecture on eliminating food cravings. Pasadena Weight Loss Center 774 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104, (626) 844-4686

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from medi-cal You must act now while your parent is alive and before new legislation takes effect.

• Medi-Cal Planning • Estate Planning free consultation JosePH c. Girard, attorneY at laW (310) 823-3943 | www.LAElderLaw.com 8 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

It’s the darkest hour of the night. Suddenly you wake. You creep through your darkened home, arriving finally in the kitchen. As the wrappers begin to fly, the ice cream cartons hit the floor, and cookie crumbs fall as if Cookie Monster were there himself, you begin to feel sated—but you also begin to loathe yourself. You have just broken the solemn promise you made to yourself that never again will you eat sugar, carbs, dairy or between meals. Yet you have just done it all. Again. So, with your head hung low, you slink back to bed, your self-esteem in ruins. As you drift off to sleep, you realize you will always be fat, and resolve that you will just have to live with it. Sound familiar? Well before you get too upset, read on. I intend to give you some gems of research here that will lighten your day. Food cravings have been hard to beat. When the body has to have something, it generally makes you miserable until it gets what it wants. And while there have been many stories and learned papers on food cravings, there is just one problem with most of them--they do not work when applied. In the course of my research into health, nutrition and weight loss, I came smack into the problem of food cravings. It is a severe problem for many, many people. They have suffered from it because there has been no understanding of what actually causes food cravings, and because of that, there has been no truly workable solution to totally eliminate them. So, for starters let’s find the cause. What is the most important ingredient without which cellular life and function cannot exist in the body? Energy. When the body does not have sufficient energy, it will do everything it can to get it. The cravings you feel are the desperate attempt of the body to get the nutrition it needs to create this energy. The lack of energy is caused by faulty metabolism—metabolism is action of the body processing the oxygen, water and food it is given and turning it into energy. And what causes the faulty metabolism that is behind low energy and food cravings? The body is deficient in one or more of the following: cellular hydration, nutrients, hormones, quality sleep and oxygen. If any of these key ingredients to optimum health are out of alignment or are not gotten in sufficient amount, the body will react by DEMANDING them—which are food cravings. To eliminate these you need to ensure your body has all of the key ingredients listed above in proper amounts and in a way that your body can easily assimilate them for optimum energy production. How can you tell if this is a correct solution? The answer to that is, “does it work?” And I can say emphatically that it does. We have proven this with thousands of cases. In fact, with our patients, we have been able to totally eliminate cravings once all the above points have been fully handled. We do this with thorough testing to see exactly what is missing from your body. Then we create a customized nutrition and supplementation program that addresses these items and eliminates cravings. Come in to the Pasadena Weight Loss Center now. We will isolate exactly what factors are missing from your life, then get you on a proper nutrition and lifestyle program that will eliminate food cravings, help you achieve your ideal weight and ideal health for the rest of your very long life! I have an upcoming evening dinner and lecture on how we eliminate food cravings on January 24th at 6:30pm at my clinic. It is a free event and all are welcome. Please confirm your attendance ahead of time by calling 626-844-4686. Or register online at https://pa145.infusionsoft.com/app/page/dine--learn-011717


LI FE + STYLE

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Availability, prices, incentives and dates are subject to change, and K. Hovnanian® Homes reserves the right to cancel or change all offers without prior notice; see Sales Consultant for details. If buyer is working with a licensed real estate agent or broker, the agent or broker must accompany and register buyer on first visit to community. At K. Hovnanian’s® Four Seasons communities, at least one resident of each household must be 55 years of age or older. A limited number of residents may be younger than 55. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.©2017 K. Hovnanian® Companies of California, Inc. BRE license number 01183847

WORK FOR YOURSELF@50+ FREE WORKSHOPS Thursday, January 19, 2017; 8:30 AM-10:30 AM Location: El Camino College, Decathlon Room Thursday, March 16, 2017; 6:30 PM-8:30 PM Location: El Camino College, Alondra Room

January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 9


Cover Profile

George Hamilton A

lways ignoring the rules and letting life flow organically, the debonair actor most famous for his perpetual tan shares insights on his early life, career and latest role: grandfather

Story by D.B. Galliano Photos by Keith Munyan www.keithmunyan.com


A

s tan and strikingly handsome as ever, George Hamilton lives in a seemingly constant state of motion, undertaking a varied collection of endeavors at the age of 77. Tapped by KfC (Kentucky fried Chicken) last year to serve as their suave, extra-crispy colonel, Hamilton portrays the latest version of the chicken company’s founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, with a tongue-in-cheek play on his famous perpetual golden tan.

As a producer, he has numerous projects in development; and as an actor he has done two feature films over the past year: “The Congressman,” co-starring Treat Williams, and “Silver Skies,” about an eccentric group of seniors in which Hamilton turns in a poignant performance as a retiree with Alzheimer’s. The tag line of “Silver Skies” could also describe the current phase of Hamilton’s life: “You can never be too old for new beginnings.” As 2017 begins, Hamilton has embraced that phrase by putting both his one-man show and an entrepreneurial anti-aging skin venture, Constant Color, which converts bad UV sunlight into a healthy light that heals damaged skin, on the back burner and has instead chosen to place his energies on a miniseries set in the 1920s and ‘30s; a documentary; and his personal favorite – the long-awaited sequel to the classic 1979 Dracula comedy-horror film “Love at First Bite.” Life After 50 recently visited with the actor, author, restaurateur, and entrepreneur at his Los Angeles home, where the conversation began as he shared memories of his modest beginnings in the south. George Hamilton (GH): I was born the eldest son of bandleader George “Spike” Hamilton and socialite Anne Stevens in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up 60 miles west of there, in Arkansas. I have so many fond memories of my early life. My grandfather was the town’s local doctor and when I was seven, he would take me along with him on his daily patient visits around the rural areas of Mississippi County. Being with him gave me a love of medicine and science and, as his grandson, I would go into the local drugstore to buy a Coca-Cola or go to the movies and was treated with the same respect he was. I started to believe I was special, too. As the town doctor, everything was offered to my grandfather, and to me also, like I was a little king. That gave me great confidence. I felt privileged – in the best sense of the word. My mother was a socialite, and when I was older, we moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where I received various scholastic, athletic and performance arts awards at Palm Beach High School. My mother was determined that my looks and acting acumen could be put to good use to nourish the social life to which she had become accustomed. It was never my intention to become an actor. I didn’t really have any interest in it. My becoming an actor was all pretty much orchestrated by my family – not by me. My mother’s resolve to live among the elite was what essentially formed the roadmap for my life. life After 50 (lA50): How old were you when you came to Hollywood? GH: I was 19, and it was the last of the contract era at MGM – that old Hollywood era. I rapidly realized that the old era of Hollywood glamour was all but gone, although people I encountered just presumed I was of that glamorous bygone time. I was perceived as being Hollywood royalty. I wasn’t, but I had all the trappings of it and drove around Hollywood putting on airs that even Gloria Swanson couldn’t compete with [laughs]. That was never truly me. It was all about my mother, and also my brother, living vicariously through me. My mother was happy, because, as I became successful as an actor, she could live her life as this socialite in grand style, and my brother, Bill, became a top interior designer in Hollywood. I loved being there in those dwindling days of the Golden Age of Hollywood – everything was done with such elegance, style and grace. It was a life that appealed to my sense of adventure and spontaneity, and it also afforded me the ability to travel the world and meet fascinating people who lived like kings and threw these lavish parties. There’s nothing like that anymore. Nobody lives like that today,

and, to be honest, not many really lived like that back then. But that’s what my mother and brother wanted for me. But even though, in a sense, I was forced to live this kind of lifestyle I didn’t really want to live, I’m glad that I did it. It was a wonderful way of life in those days. life After 50: What sort of life did you really want to be living? GH: All I really wanted was to be a part of a little town and then I found myself in Palm Springs, where Robert Wagner and a small group of actors lived and worked. It was a simple and easy lifestyle that I really loved. Then I met Alana, my ex-wife, whose lifestyle ideals mirrored those of my mother and brother. So I had to leave Palm Springs and come back to Los Angeles to continue down a road which never really was me. When I reflect on that time, it’s like I was from another place. I lived as if I came from great wealth. I lived better at 21 than most people do in their entire lives – the big houses and the staff. But that was all my mother, brother and ex-wife. It had nothing to do with me. life After 50: You mentioned you had a fascination with medicine and science. if you hadn’t sailed into this incredible life that had been created for you, what would you have become? GH: I’m intrigued by stem cells, in particular, and the science behind my upcoming anti-aging product. But what would I have become? I don’t know. Throughout my career I’ve created all these characters and such, and now I’m out there looking like some eccentric Civil War character dressed in a white outfit playing the Kentucky Fried crispy colonel [laughs]. That’s what is great January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 11


about being an actor – you’re allowed to play so many different roles. But for me, the hardest character I have had to play in my life has been me. I don’t really think, to this day, that I’ve ever really found myself. I find actions that are me. I do things that are expressions of me. But I don’t really know me. I don’t know who George Hamilton really is. It’s bizarre. I once had a conversation with Cary Grant about this and realized he didn’t really know who he was, although he did a great job of hiding it. life After 50: Talk about those early days in Hollywood when you were under contract with MGM.

Living with

Macular Degeneration? For many patients with Macular Degeneration, the world has literally disappeared before their eyes. They have lost the ability to see and do many of the things they love, like being able to recognize the faces and facial expressions of friends and relatives, watch TV, cook, sightsee and read. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Macular Degeneration. However, if you suffer with the disease, there is hope. Thanks to low vision technology, Dr. Richard Shuldiner and Dr. Harold Ashcraft are helping patients reconnect to the things in life they love to see and do. “The first step toward determining if a person would

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GH: I learned very early on how to play the game. Life, particularly in this town – Hollywood – is all about perception. Before negotiating my first contract with MGM, I rented a Rolls Royce and hired an actor to play a chauffeur to park within sight of the office of the head of the studio. When it came time to close my deal, I took him over to the window and pointed to the Rolls and the driver standing next to it, and told him in a matter-of-fact manner that I’d need to have the car and driver included in my contract. That was my first successful negotiation in Hollywood. I knew I was taking a big risk, but there’s something intriguing about opening yourself up to the unknown and the uneasy kind of excitement of just letting things happen. People always like to set rules. But I didn’t have a rulebook – never have and still don’t. I’m more comfortable sitting back and letting it all just flow. lA50: That brings to mind a great quote by the novelist Basil King: “Be bold. leap and mighty forces will come to your aid.” GH: That’s very true. It’s a kind of a fearlessness that is freeing. I have always been the type who needs to put a challenge in front of me that’s important enough to make me rise to it. I remember once being in the worst card game of my life. I was playing two world champions and as soon as we started, I


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knew I was in trouble. These guys were in the business of reading me, and all the other players – experts at reading people. I remember I went against the natural instinct to quietly panic, took a breath and stayed in the game. And I held my own, knowing my every move was being calculated, and I won. “How the hell did you win?” one of the champion players asked me. I told him that I never looked at my cards. “You couldn’t read me, because I didn’t know what I had and so I couldn’t be read.” All the other longtime players went into their rules mode. But I believe in playing against the rules and just giving in to whatever powers that may be. I know that can be very disquieting, and it shakes people who always play by those precepts. But I don’t have the fear that many others have that stops the natural flow of things. So I have always approached life and my career, like that game, in a different way. When I know I’m up against a tough situation, I get quieter and just sit back knowing it’s all going to work out – and for me, it usually does.

GH: I’ve always lived life organically. For me, it has worked best when I stand as an open vessel and just allow life to happen. Things have always just come to me that way, and it’s been an interesting ride. When I first came to Hollywood, I became known as the type of guy who was great to invite to a dinner or a party. When I went to these parties, I never had an agenda really, except to engage people in conversation, which I enjoy. I primarily went for the experience and the fun of it. I pretty much accept people as they are and go my own way without being told what to do. Because of that, I tend to fit easily into any situation or environment. I’ve had moments, one in particular, in which I was called on and asked if I would intervene in an important business situation. No one could get through to this specific producer, who was a major player, and I got through easily and delivered the message. The only reason he took my call was because he knew I wasn’t after anything. I had no agenda. That’s a rarity in Hollywood. But it has always worked for me, and it has always given me the freedom to live life in a more authentic way. lA50: At this point in your life and career, what do you prefer – acting or producing? GH: I love the business. I love working – to keep my hand in things. I search out roles and projects I can connect to – like Phil, the bittersweet character with Alzheimer’s that I played in “Silver Skies.” It’s a great film that was also meaningful with a message about aging. One minute, Phil is completely lucid, and then there are moments where he is totally lost. Some scenes have incredible depth, and the next moment, you’re laughing. It’s real and organic,

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“I love the creative process of working with a team and ignoring the rules, giving the team the freedom to bring their very best to the project at hand. That’s what makes it fun for me, and everybody wins in the end.”

and I enjoyed making it. The idea of producing is so much more fun, because you’re actually able to steer the boat. You’re not just a passenger. I have a small production company now, and that keeps me busy. I currently have three projects in various stages of development that I’m excited about. lA50: Tell us about them. GH: There’s a miniseries, “Julian,” that is a true story about Hollywood in the 1920s and ‘30s. We’re also in the early stages of doing a documentary about Sean Flynn, the son of Errol Flynn, who was one of my first friends when I came to Los Angeles. He went to Vietnam as a journalist and disappeared in Cambodia in 1970. And then there’s the production that is my main focus, “Love at Second Bite.” I had started to work on a sequel to “Love at First Bite” years ago, but it never manifested. Then out of the blue, Gray Frederickson [film producer whose credits include “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now”] approached me to do the sequel. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and the story is such a fun idea. He [Dracula] is so anachronistic and out of date. He typifies a world that is totally gone. He’s a wonderful old-fashioned gentleman who is faced with a modern world in which he has no understanding of how things work. There is so much rich content about the world today in contrast to his more genteel era of the past. The material has such great versatility and lends itself to a television series and a variety of multi-media opportunities. So I’m working on that now. lA50: You have such an easygoing manner. Tell us about how that translates into the high-stress world of producing films and television programs. GH: As I’ve said, work, for me, means letting go of a lot of things – guiding the process, but allowing things to flow organically. There are all kinds of 14 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

ways to work, and as I mentioned, I’ve never been a “by the rules” person. In business, I don’t like the confines of an office. Today, everything gets done much more efficiently and better with computers and social media. When I make a film – particularly when I’m producing a film – there’s got to be a reason for that movie to be made beyond money. For me, it needs to have a sense of purpose. I want it to be the best it can be, and I work to make sure everything and everyone involved rise to accomplish that goal. The creative process is somewhat different now. Today, so much is done by committee, and I have found that to dumb down the process, as well as the final result. The rules are that it has to be commercial and has to fit into a certain framework. There are so many limits imposed. So I make it a point to encourage the writers I work with to take a leap and think outside the box. Then I lend a critical eye to hone the material. All I ask of my creative team is that they be great [laughs]. I enjoy playing to the best in people and offering up a different perspective through my work. Sometimes, it’s about just showing up with a smile or a kind word that might make a difference in someone’s life – make him or her feel special. People are fascinating creatures, and many don’t live up to their full potential, because they are too confined by all the rules imposed on them – whether from the corporate world, society, their upbringing, their beliefs. I love the creative process of working with a team and ignoring the rules, giving the team the freedom to bring their very best to the project at hand. That’s what makes it fun for me, and everybody wins in the end. lA50: let’s talk about your life beyond work. Tell us about your sons. GH: My boys are the most important part of my life. I’m learning so many lessons from them. My youngest, George Thomas [G.T.] is 16, and my oldest, Ashley, who is an actor and a singer and songwriter is now 42. Ashley loves creating music, and G.T. has a great independent spirit with a willingness to try anything that peaks his curiosity. I’m constantly learning lessons from each of


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them. I’m proud of them and they make me feel hopeful about the next generation. LA50: We also hear that you became a grandfather for the first time late last year.

able to do what I enjoy doing. I feel great. I eat well and exercise, so in general, my life is really good. I still enjoy travelling, though not in the conventional way. I like to go into an airport walk up to the counter and ask: “Where is it sunny?” Then I buy a ticket and go there [laughs]. I also love spending time with my boys and my new granddaughter.

GH: Yes! A little girl named Willow. She’s beautiful. Her father, Ashley, was born at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, just like she was. Seeing him holding his daughter there for the first time gave me a wonderful feeling of life coming full circle.

lA50: While it appears you are defying the passage of years, they are, in fact, going by. Have you adopted any philosophy on aging as you have gotten older?

lA50: What kind of grandfather do you think you’ll be? GH: Of course, as she gets older, I will want to share the things I’ve learned with her. But I believe children look at what you do rather than what you say. For me, it’s more about sharing the journey of life with this new soul. I know I’ll be someone who will be sensitive to her needs and strive to be a good listener. All women want to be heard and adored [smiles]. Kids have a built in B.S. factor, which is really about recognizing love and trust and the sharing of positive energy. With Willow, I’ll do what I’ve done throughout my life with my children and so many people I’ve worked with: shine a light on her strengths and support her in being the best she can be. lA50: Give us a little glimpse into what your life is like today. GH: My life has become much simpler. I’m more relaxed than I have ever been before. I don’t go out as much socially as I used to. It seems that no one in Hollywood wants to go out, and yet they also don’t want to miss anything [laughs]. Life for me now is more about finding a balance. I’m 16 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

GH: I listen to my body more. There are moments of incredible energy, and yet, when I feel tired, I take a short rest to replenish. There’s an old expression: “You finally get your head together, and your ass starts falling apart.” As time has gone by, I have learned the art of selfishness – not in a self-importance way – I’ve never liked that. I laugh at the outrageousness of self-importance – especially in myself – which is why I have never taken myself seriously. I think of selfishness more in terms of taking care of myself. The rewards of being selfish give me more time in this game of life. The body knows what you need, so I make sure to be aware of those needs and provide them. I also believe that keeping a positive attitude is key. Even when I have gone through a serious situation, I have never brought any negative thoughts to the table, and everything worked out. I look at it this way: It’s like you get the standard issue equipment at birth – then, at some point in your life, you realize you really have to take care of this stuff. It requires attention. We’ve got to keep all the parts we’ve been given in good working order and the good news is I’m doing that, and always learning new things, and hopefully, will be for a good while longer.


resolutions versus commitments Taking on a new perspective for a New Year Special to Life After 50 by Betsy Mendel

H

ow many times have you made wellintentioned New Year’s resolutions only to break them within weeks or even days? If you have had a difficult time adhering to your resolutions in past years, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Statistically, 92 percent of people break their resolutions. That means only one in 12 people is successful. Clearly seeing that the odds are against those who make New Year’s resolutions, why not resolve one thing in this New Year that you can be assured of keeping: That you will get off the resolution roller coaster! The concept behind making resolutions is, of course, a noble one. However, we usually enter into these desires in an unrealistic way. This year, instead of making resolutions, look at things with a new perspective and think of the life-changing goals you would like to tackle as commitments – commitments to yourself. Resolutions are simply intentions you make on December 31, sometimes bolstered by the effects of an adult beverage of some sort, whereas a commitment means you must actually act and put into motion an action plan to obtain your goals. Making a commitment and then holding yourself accountable to it is changing your perspective and is critical for obtaining success. As a personal trainer, someone who has made a commitment to help others be their best, feel their best, and look their best, I want my clients to do that all year round, not just through the first few days of

18 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

January. So here are six simple steps I give them that you can use to accomplish that:

• Don’t try to change everything about your life at once. Pick one thing and stick to it. • Seek a habit, not a result. Focus on the behavior not the outcome. • Change your environment. If you want to lose weight and get healthier, stock your pantry with healthy, wholesome foods. • Small achievable changes add up. Make sure you are committing yourself to achievable goals. • When you slip, get back on track quickly. Remember you are human and every misstep and can be corrected in your next step. • Schedule new habits into your life. Write down what you want to accomplish and stick to your list. It is in a step-by-step process that you keep to your commitments. Now let’s take a closer look as to how you can become committed to these six steps to achieve success.

Don’t try to change everything at once

It seems as if, when we want to change some old habits and embrace a lifestyle change, we always

want to do it all at once rather than prioritizing things and working through a list, one thing at a time. That is why New Year’s resolutions don’t work. How can we be successful if, on one winter day, we decide that, from this time forward, we will take on the challenges of our weight, health, relationships, career, family and finances all in one swoop? It is completely unrealistic to think we have the bandwidth and capacity to actually live our lives, handle our day-to-day responsibilities, and still have time to fix all the things we want to change. In fact, sometimes the more we try to do, the less able we are to do anything, which results in everything suffering. Oftentimes, when we want to do too much too fast, we actually go backward rather than forward. To break that unsuccessful way of thinking, you must first prioritize your goals. How do you do this? Start by making a list of everything you want to change. Put the list away for a day and then pull it out and really study it. Take your time and don’t rush through this critical first step. Think about how each thing on your list affects the other, and which of these steps makes the most sense to serve as your starting point. Next, take your list and start looking critically at each thing and what should then be separated into lists of their own. Put each goal as the header on a blank paper and then arrange them in order of importance. Again, take your time to look them over, rearranging your priorities if necessary and taking into consideration how each one affects the


other. Keep doing this until you feel you have the list in the order of priority that makes sense from the most important to the least important, and then number each list: one, two, three, and so on. Now look at the header that has the number one on it: the first and most important thing you what to change. The next step is to set a tangible and achievable goal you know you can attain to begin the process of making that change a reality. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it has to be something you know you can be committed to on a daily basis. For instance, if your first goal is to lose 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day, great! That is a realistic and obtainable goal. Now you just have to figure out the steps that will get you there and be committed to taking them. So take out a new sheet of paper, write down a step-by-step plan and put it in a place where you can see it every day. Congratulations! You have prioritized your first and most important goal and are now on your way to success by committing to your realistic plan one step at a time.

SeeK a haBit, not a reSULt

Let’s continue with our example of losing weight by Valentine’s Day. No matter what any charlatan may promise you, there are only two ways to obtain this goal: through a change in what you eat and by exercising. When it comes to losing weight, it is important to get beyond the desired result of losing those 10 pounds and dwell on what it will take to get you there. What you need to do is look at what behavior you will embrace to change the way you eat and up your physical activity. Again, you want to look at things in a realistic way.

change yoUr environMent

If you want to lose weight and eat healthier, you need to change the way you stock your pantry and refrigerator. This means out with the sugarlaced and high-fat snacks and in with healthy, wholesome foods. To do this, walk over to your refrigerator. Bring a trash can to where you are working and take out each item, one by one, and put them into three groups. The first group will be foods you know are healthy. The second group will be those items you’re not really sure about, and the third will be the ones you know are unhealthy. The first group contains fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat milk or soy or almond milk, water, yogurt, eggs and everything else you know to be healthy. As for those second group items you were questionable about, look at each item and learn something about it by reading the label or going online and then move it into either the first or third group. Now let’s go on to that third group. Are there items that could be given to someone? If yes, put those things in a separate bag and deliver them. If not, (as hard as this may be) put them straight into the trash. Next, repeat this process in your pantry.

SMaLL changeS aDD UP

Let’s continue with the original goal of losing 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day. Remember, we are focusing on changes to our behavior, not the outcome of losing 10 pounds. I promise, if you

make the changes to your behavior you WILL lose that 10 pounds. There are many small steps you can take to do this. Park your car so you have to walk a little farther rather than wasting time hunting for “the perfect spot.” Take the stairs instead of using the elevator. Think of each step as a calorie burned. Ditch the diet drinks and go with water instead. There have been so many studies and reports that show that diet drinks only make us hungrier. Create an exercise plan you can commit to four days a week. Working with a personal trainer can keep you motivated and on track, but many people are able to do this on their own. The choice is yours as long as you commit to exercise and actually follow through and do it.

When yoU SLiP, get BacK on tracK QUicKLy

We are all human and there are times we make choices that we know are not in our best interest. We grab that super-sugary dessert or skip a few days of our workout routine. One of the hardest things to do is to forgive ourselves and move back into our best behaviors. But remember, it is in the change of behavior that the outcome will be achieved. When you slip, look in the mirror, know it’s a new day, and just get right back on track. You don’t need to overcompensate to try to undo yesterday, as that only makes getting back on track harder. Just get back into your healthy routine as quick as possible. Look at your prioritized goals list again. Look in the mirror and smile. Don’t focus on the one day you got off track. Instead, be proud of every day you kept to your commitments.

ScheDULe yoUr neW haBitS into yoUr LiFe

To really ensure a commitment to behavioral changes, those small steps that will make a difference, you have to make sure you follow through. Remember, we are talking about commitments – taking something from being

a desire to an actual plan that we promise ourselves we will do the work to achieve. Commitments are not meant to be taken lightly. They are how we judge ourselves. Are you strong enough to make a commitment and follow through? Of course you are, if you make and use a realistic plan such as we’ve outlined. And remember, each of these behavioral changes is a benefit to you and your own best interest. Once you have fully embraced commitment, the outcome is almost a forgone conclusion. How could it not be? You have been committed to doing all the right things! As a part of your commitment, it is critical that you make changes in your daily routine – your schedule. It’s not going to just happen automatically; you must be committed to changing your schedule. You have to remember you are changing behaviors that have, possibly, been your way of life for years. To help you do this, take your calendar, whether you use an app on your phone, your computer, or a paper calendar, and write your schedule for each day. Write the behaviors you are going to commit to that day and the things you want to accomplish. Set alarms if that helps you. Wake up earlier, make a healthy breakfast before starting your day, grab a bag of carrots and take a mile walk during lunch rather than sitting and eating. If you’re going out to dinner, write a note to yourself to order a light and healthy dinner and skip the wine from time to time. You have to get into the habit of doing this every day. Remember, thoughts become words, and words become actions; actions then become habits, your habits become your character, and your character becomes your destiny. As you step into the new light of 2017, make a commitment to care about yourself and become the best you that you can be. Do that knowing there is no secret sauce, quick fixes or magic bullets to achieve that other than your own commitment to embracing new habits. Do that, one day at a time, step-by-step, and within a short time, your new habits will became second nature, the embodiment of your committed character!

Meet Betsy Mendel Betsy Mendel is a certified personal trainer who has been helping her clients look and feel their best for over two decades. Based in Los Angeles, she offers one-on-one and small group training. The author of the bestseller “Move A Muscle Change A Mood: The transformative power of exercising, eating health and thinking positive” (CreateSpace, 2014), Mendel’s philosophy for fitness is that people must engage their minds and bodies in harmony to feel better, sleep more soundly and be healthier. For more information or to schedule a session with her, click on www.betsysbasictraing.com or e-mail her at betsm1@yahoo.com.

January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 19


T H H  M-K By Steve Stoliar Illustration by Mark Hammermeister

S

A

The name “Steve Allen” conjures up different images to different people. For some, he was the witty and congenial host of “The Steve Allen Show” and the original host of “The Tonight Show.” For others, “Steverino” was a gifted pianist and the composer of such popular songs as “This Could Be the Start of Something Big.” And for others, he was the prolific author of over 50 books ranging from comedy and religion to the educational system and murder mysteries. His versatility was so wide-ranging, no one label could begin to contain his considerable talents.

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tephen Valentine Patrick William Allen was born in New York City on December 26, 1921. He clearly had show business in his blood: His parents – Billy Allen and Belle Montrose – were a husband-and-wife comedy team in vaudeville. The legendry comedian Milton Berle once referred to Steve’s mother as: “the funniest woman in vaudeville,” so clearly, the apple did not fall far from the tree. Though born in New York City, Allen was raised by Belle’s Irish-Catholic family in Chicago. He attended Arizona State Teachers College in Tempe, Arizona, dropping out in his sophomore year to take a job with radio station KOY in Phoenix. In 1943, Allen married his college sweetheart, Dorothy Goodman, with whom he had three sons. When the U.S. joined World War II, Steve joined the army as an infantryman, although he spent his service time at Camp Roberts in California, rather than being deployed to fight the Japanese or the Germans. After the war, Allen and his family moved to California, where he became an announcer for Los Angeles radio station KFAC. In 1946, he switched to the Mutual Broadcasting System where he became the co-host (with Madison Noble) of “Smile Time,” a five-nights-a-week comedy show. From there, Allen moved to KNX, which was CBS radio’s Los Angeles station, where he expanded his half-hour of music and talk into an hour-long show that

centered more on conversation. The show was a hit, eventually replacing the radio version of the popular program “Our Miss Brooks” in 1950. When Doris Day failed to show up as a guest on one show, Allen took the microphone into the audience and started interviewing regular people – which became something of his trademark in later years. Technically, Allen’s television debut was in 1949 – as an announcer for a wrestling match. But his official launching as a television personality occurred on December 25 – Christmas Day – 1950, when CBS hoped he’d transfer his radio magic to the small screen with an 11 a.m. series called “The Steve Allen Show.” This was later moved to an evening slot, which meant the Allen family had to move back to New York, since a coast-to-coast evening program couldn’t originate in Los Angeles at that time. The original version of “The Steve Allen Show” was cancelled in 1952, after which he bounced around on various shows, including guest-hosting “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” and as a frequent panelist on the game show, “What’s My Line?” in 1953 and 1954. It was on the latter show that Allen coined the nowfamous phrase: “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” In June of 1953, Allen created a late night talk-variety show for NBC’s local New York television station. On September 27, 1954, the show was expanded to

This feature is intended for you to clip and give to your children or grandchildren because…they must-know! 20 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017


include NBC’s entire national network and was retitled “The Tonight Show,” which ran from 11:15 pm to 1:00 am on the East Coast. Gene Rayburn, who later hosted “The Match Game,” was Steve’s announcer. “The Tonight Show” saw Allen inventing such now-common features as man on the street interviews and audience participation comedy bits. Also in 1953, Allen began his recording career, initially with Brunswick Records. Over the years, he wrote an estimated 8,500 songs, although only a small percentage were recorded. His best-known compositions were “This Could Be The Start of Something Big,” which became his theme song, and “The Gravy Waltz,” which became a pop hit and won a Grammy for Best Original Jazz Composition in 1964. In 1952, Allen divorced Dorothy and, two years later, he married actress Jayne Meadows, who would become an integral part of his creative endeavors for the rest of his life. They had one child, Bill Allen. In 1955, Allen took a break from his small-screen duties to star in Universal’s feature film, “The Benny Goodman Story,” along with June Allyson and many of the actual members of Goodman’s band. In June of 1956, NBC offered Allen another show, this time as a live, hourlong primetime variety series on Sunday nights, with the intention of beating out “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the Nielsen ratings. That Sunday night show presented established stars of the era, such as Errol Flynn, Kim Novak, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, and Abbott and Costello, as well as up-and-coming musical stars including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino. Equally important to Allen was his cast of regular performers, which included Pat Harrington, Don Knotts, Bill Dana, Louis Nye, Dayton Allen and Gabe Dell. These accomplished comic performers often showed up as various characters in Allen’s man on the street bits. A gifted pianist and musician, Allen often asked audience members to suggest three notes, and would then compose a song based on those notes, right before their very eyes. Another popular feature was The Answer Man, where Allen would give an answer and then reveal the funny question that led to it. This bit was later “borrowed” by Johnny Carson – once a guest on “The Steve Allen Show” – for Carson’s character Carnac the Magnificent. Allen continued as part-time host of “The Tonight Show” – trading off with the equally legendary Ernie Kovacs – until early 1957, when he left the show to devote himself entirely to his Sunday night show. Unfortunately, Allen’s show did not succeeded in defeating “The Ed Sullivan Show” (or “Maverick,” which was ABC’s offering) and so that incarnation of “The Steve Allen Show” ended in September of 1959, at which point NBC gave him “The Steve Allen Plymouth Show” on Monday nights, necessitating his moving back to Los Angeles. In the fall of 1961, “The Steve Allen Plymouth Show” switched from NBC to ABC, with his usual cast of regulars, plus such notable additions as The Smothers Brothers, Tim Conway, and Allen’s wife, Jayne Meadows. Unfortunately, that series lasted only 14 episodes. In 1962, “Steverino” as he was known, introduced “The Steve Allen Show” as a five-nights-a-week syndicated series via Westinghouse Television. The show had the same wild comedy bits and funny characters, as well as being a showcase for Allen’s lightning wit and musical skills, particularly as a jazz musician. The show ran through 1964 and thereafter, various permutations of “The Steve Allen Show” would crop up throughout the latter part of the 1960s and early years of the 1970s. In 1977, Allen debuted an intriguing PBS series that he wrote – “Meeting of Minds” – wherein famous figures from history, such as Marie Antoinette, Socrates, Thomas Jefferson, William Shakespeare and Charles Darwin would sit around a table and converse amongst themselves. This popular and unusual series ran until 1981, winning Allen an Emmy and Peabody Award during its run. In his later years, Allen mostly devoted himself to playing jazz, writing books on a wide range of subjects, and emceeing various events on television and in-person. In 1986, he was inducted into The Television Hall of Fame. On October 30, 2000, Allen was driving to his son Bill’s house in Encino when he had a minor collision with a car that was backing out of a driveway. Their cars sustained minimal damage and neither driver felt he was injured, and so Allen

continued on his way to his son’s house. Once there, however, he felt confused and a little shaky. A short time later, he was discovered non-responsive, slumped over and making a snoring sound, so paramedics were called, but it was too late; they could not revive him. His injuries were greater than he’d realized and he’d suffered a massive heart attack as the result of a ruptured artery. His family didn’t even know he’d been in an auto accident until after his death. Per his wishes, Allen was buried in an unmarked grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills. Meadows followed him in death in 2015 and was buried beside her husband of nearly 45 years. Although Allen is gone, our world is blessed to have so much to remember him by: Books, television shows, films, songs and jazz performances. While the moniker of Renaissance man, like that of genius, may be far-too-loosely used, Allen truly was one of the greatest creative minds of the 20th century.

LEARN MORE • “Hi-Ho Steverino! My Adventures in the Wonderful Wacky World of TV” by Steve Allen (Barricade Books, 1992) • “How to be Funny” by Steve Allen (Prometheus Books, 1998) • “Dumbth: The Lost Art of Thinking” by Steve Allen (Prometheus Books, 1998) • “Inventing Late Night: Steve Allen And The Original Tonight Show” by Ben Alba (Prometheus Books, 2005)

Mark Hammermeister is an award-winning artist. His work is available for purchase at www.markdraws.com January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 21


Herbie J Pilato – The Sprinkler of Stardust The television virtuoso, founder and president of the Classic TV Preservation Society and host of the Decades Network’s new show, “Then Again,” shares his insight on the medium’s past and present

H

erbie J Pilato has just finished taping an episode of his new show, “Then Again with Herbie J Pilato,” which will debut on the Decades Network this month. As his guest, Burt Ward, who played Robin in the 1960’s “Batman” series, is mingling with crew members – signing autographs and posing for photos – Pilato quietly stands in the shadows of the studio’s set. “This is just what I wanted the show to be,” he says. “An opportunity for viewers to get a glimpse into the lives of the men and women who played instrumental roles in the television shows they grew up with.” Pilato is a writer, author, producer, performer, consultant and entertainment executive who has worked on numerous television productions, including Bravo’s five-part series, “The 100 Greatest TV Characters,” “Bewitched: The E! True Hollywood Story,” A&E’s biography of Lee Majors, and TLC’s “Behind the Fame” specials on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Hill Street Blues” and “L.A. Law.” He has served as a consulting producer and onscreen cultural commentator on documentaries for

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Story and photos by David Laurell Sony, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros., including “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Kung Fu” and “CHiPs.” The author of a long list of top-selling, critically acclaimed pop culture and classic television-related books published by Taylor Trade Publishing, Pilato’s best-known tomes include “Dashing, Daring and Debonair: TV’s Top Male Icons from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s” (2016), “Glamour Gidgets and the Girl Next Door” (2014), “The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery: A Guide To Her Magical Performances” (2013), and “Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery” (2012). He has also authored “The Kung Fu Book of Wisdom” (Tuttle Publishing, 1995), which, based on the series, offers readers a set of principles for living a peaceful and fulfilling life, and “NBC & ME: My Life as a Page in a Book” (BearManor Media, 2008),” a memoir of his time as an NBC page where he worked on numerous shows including “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Along with writing for and about television, Pilato the actor has appeared in roles in “Highway

to Heaven,” “The Golden Girls,” “General Hospital” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” to name a few. He has also appeared in numerous feature films and stage productions. In 2010, Pilato founded the Classic TV Preservation Society, a nonprofit organization that offers seminars on a diverse range of topics and is dedicated to the positive influence of classic television programming. The society’s mission is to educate individuals on the social significance of television, with specific regard to family values, diversity in the workplace, and mutual respect for people of every cultural background, heritage, race, creed and sexual orientation. The founder and creative director of Television, Ink. and All-Creative Consultants, Pilato also serves as a contributing editor for www.TVWriter. com, is a frequent contributor to the Television Academy’s www.Emmy.org, and is a consultant for Closer Weekly magazine. This past year, partnering with executive producers Joel Eisenberg, Steve Hillard and Gilbert Adler, Pilato became the creative force behind his new show, “Then Again with Herbie J Pilato.”


A talk show that will primarily feature legendary figures from classic television programs, Adler says Pilato was a perfect choice to serve as the program’s host. “I know of no one in this industry more connected to, or passionate about, the world of classic television than Herbie J Pilato,” says Adler. “We want this program to become a historically important document in the world of both art and culture.” The Decades Network, which offers a unique “time capsule” of programming that focus on news, history, pop culture and entertainment, will air “Then Again” as monthly specials in which Pilato will take viewers back in time and reconnect them with actors and series from decades past. Invited to be in the studio for a recent taping of his show, Life After 50 turned the tables on Pilato as he relinquished the interviewer role for that of the interviewee. Life After 50 (LA50): All it would take is for someone to be around you for a good 10 or 15 seconds before they become well aware you have an extraordinary passion for classic television. Herbie J Pilato (HJP): [laughing] Yes, and that all stems from growing up in the inner city of Rochester, New York back in the 1960s. I was a little kid who got picked on a lot, and because of that, like many people of the era who wanted an escape from Vietnam and race riots and drugs and the assassinations, I escaped into television. Entertainment has always been a great escape from the pressures of life since back in the ancient Roman and Greek times and then on through vaudeville, film, Broadway, radio and television. LA50: Television, more than any other medium, has brought people together by sharing information and a better understanding of the world in which we live. It has brought us together to globally share laughter and tears over the most historical achievements and poignant moments of our lives.

LA50: And even inspired the careers many of us pursued. How many women who are in their 50s and 60s today were inspired to pursue a career because of Ann Marie or Mary Richards or Julia Baker? HJP: Ann Marie, played by Marlo Thomas in “That Girl,” was the first independent, freethinking woman many young girls and teenagers were ever exposed to. Young women went into communications because of Mary Tyler Moore’s portrayal of Mary Richards. They became nurses because of Julia Baker, and who knows how many people became doctors and attorneys because of Marcus Welby and Perry Mason. Families also learned how to communicate better with one another by watching television. No one ever sat around the television and consciously said: “So what can we learn from watching ‘The Brady Bunch?’ ” But we did learn how to work within a family unit by watching shows like that. That show put a seed in parents’ heads, instead of just yelling at their kids or punishing them, to say: “Let’s talk about this or that.” That was a subconscious takeaway from watching those shows. LA50: As time has gone by, we have also seen television characters become role models for anyone who ever felt different because of where they came from or the way they looked or lived their lives – certainly for those from the LGBTQ community. HJP: I always say that started with “Bewitched.” There was a huge minority and gay following for “Bewitched,” because Samantha could never come out and be who she really was. Most people don’t know this, but “Bewitched” had a huge

African-American and gay following who connected with Samantha. LA50: When Butch Patrick, who played Eddie in “The Munsters,” was featured in Life After 50, he said that while the Munsters looked different than other “normal” families, once you got into their home and spent time with them, you found they were just another American family who loved and cared for one another, frustrated one another, and dealt with the same problems and challenges we all deal with. HJP: The Munsters were people who were many things other than “monsters.” Samantha was much more than a witch. They were all people who just happened to be monsters or a witch, along with all the other things they were in life. They were sons and daughters and moms and dads and siblings and friends and everything that everyone else is. LA50: You are an aficionado of classic television, but let’s talk about the present. What, in your opinion, is the state of television today? HJP: There is a lot of very well-written and compelling programs being produced. They say that cable – HBO and Showtime and other cable networks – is giving us the second Golden Era of television. I’m not totally there on that, but there is no doubting that there is a lot of great talent and storytelling out there today. There are gems out there to be sure, but there is also a lot that is not good. Too many shows are just going for a cheap laugh at someone else’s expense and everything seems to have a dark twist. Any sort of happy ending seems to be becoming taboo. God forbid they end a show on an upbeat note today. But the arcs – the extended or continuing

HJP: That is so true. At its best, it is the greatest educational source the world has ever known. LA50: It doesn’t matter where you grew up; if you are over 50 or a baby boomer, you considered Keith and Laurie Partridge and Greg and Marsha Brady to be a part of your family. All those shows we watched as kids brought us together like a family. HJP: You’re right. All of those characters we grew up with became like members of our families. It was something about the love those characters had for one another, and the triumphs and pain and sorrows they all went through, that we related to. It didn’t matter if it was “The Brady Bunch” or “Dark Shadows,” or any of the hundreds of other shows we grew up with. Those characters were real to us and we connected to them. Then, as we got into the 1970s, we began to see characters who no longer skirted the issues of the day. They took on controversial topics and addressed them, which inspired us to do the same.

“Then Again with Herbie J Pilato” will debut on the Decades Network this month.

January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 23


LA50: You are really excited about this new show.

“Then Again with Herbie J Pilato” will feature classic television stars such as Burt Ward who played Robin on “Batman.” storylines in many episodic shows – are very good. Overall, I think the state of television today is good, and in some cases very good, but, perhaps, not great. LA50: In your new show, one of your first guests is Burt Ward who played Robin on “Batman.” When Burt was recently featured in Life After 50, he said that when people have met him over the years, it was like they were sucked back in time and reverted to being kids again. Your show kind of does that. HJP: I felt the time had come for a show like that, and, thankfully, so did the Decades Network. Our show is fun and insightful. My goal is to explore the lives of the men and women who played instrumental roles in classic television shows, before, during and after their most famous roles. When you see the show with Burt Ward, you learn there is so much more to him than just the fact that he played Robin. When I have a guest sitting across from me, I want to learn what playing their famous characters meant to them and how it changed their life, but I also want to know about their life beyond the show. These are human beings with great wit and stories, and we’re excited that we now have a forum to give them a chance to share those stories. We will also be using social media so that viewers can ask questions of our guests. The show will be geared towards people of all ages – not just the ones who grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s. So many kids do know the old shows and, if they don’t, this is a great opportunity for their parents or grandparents to expose them to these great shows of the past. LA50: You are sitting in the host’s chair on this show, but you could just as easily be sitting in the guest’s chair for all you have done in television. If

24 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

you were a guest on your show, what would be a memorable moment you would share? HJP: Every good thing that has ever happened to me can be tied back to my meeting and becoming friends with Elizabeth Montgomery. The books I did on her and on “Bewitched” really launched my career. LA50: How did she come into your life? HJP: I had just finished working at NBC, where I was a page. I had always been a fan of “Bewitched,” because it dealt with love and prejudice. As a writer, I had gotten a script idea for a “Bewitched” reunion show to Bill Asher, who had been the producer of “Bewitched” and had also been married to Elizabeth. He loved my script, but they could never put the financing together to produce it. So it was through Bill that I started thinking about and talking about doing a book on the show. He gave me Elizabeth’s number and, after six months of trying to contact her, she responded. We met and she wanted to know why I wanted to do a book on the show. We talked and within a short period of time, we clicked. She “got me,” and she knew I got what the show had really been about. Then she began calling me, asking various questions about the show that she didn’t know or couldn’t remember. As time went by, we became friends, which was a big deal, because she was very private and selective of who she would let into her life. I believe she accepted me, because I always dealt with her as a human being. I never asked for a photo or an autograph or for her to twitch her nose. I just got to know her and, in my books, present her as a human being, which is the same thing I want to do with my guests on “Then Again.”

HJP: Very much so. I am so grateful to have such a great team around me, and I also can’t enter into a project like this without being so grateful to my parents, who are no longer with us. I had to put my career on hold for a while to care for them. That meant leaving California and stepping away from my work. But during the time I spent caring for them, I also had the time to write my first book. So I always felt that, even though I was taking a chance in stepping away from actively pursuing my career, God didn’t abandon me because I didn’t abandon my parents. I have a lot of people to thank for my having the opportunity to do this show and I want to make sure it is done right. I want to harken back to the way talk shows used to be – where people really talked and the guest was in the spotlight as opposed to the host. I want it to be all about the guest. I want it to be a throwback to what people over 50 remember Johnny Carson or Merv Griffin or Dick Cavett doing – actually engaging in a conversion with their guests. It will be a cozy show, intimate and warm – done in our studio – where my guests will feel very comfortable and at ease. I’m trying to return a little stardust to television. I think we are at a point in time when the world needs to be sprinkled with a little stardust [laughs]. LA50: You are the perfect person to be hosting this show, because it is so evident that you are a pure fan of the classic stars and shows of television. HJP: Absolutely! I am a true fan of classic television. I love it and feel it has brought a lot of joy to this world, a world that, now more than ever, is in desperate need of a reminder that joy does exist. I just think we are in desperate need of a little stardust!

The Decades Network is a joint venture between the CBS Television Stations, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation and Weigel Broadcasting. The network, which is primarily carried on the digital subchannels of television stations, mainly airs classic television sitcoms and drama series from the 1950s through the 2000s. The network also presents feature films from the same period, along with historical news, documentaries and original programming. In Los Angeles Decades can be found on Charter channel 201, Cox channel 820 and Verizon FIOS channel 483. For more information and schedules, click on www.decades.com.


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

LA/Ventura

January/February

eNteRtAINMeNt

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18

SUNDAY, JANUARY 15

GLENDALE NOON CONCERTS Sanctuary of Glendale City Church, 610 E. California Ave., Glendale, Glendale. Free. (818) 242-2113. glendalenoonconcerts.blogspot.com.

TORUK: THE FIRST FLIGHT Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, the Cirque du Soleil performers apply its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and connect two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. Prices vary. cirquedusoleil.com/toruk.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 19 13 THINGS ABOUT ED CARPOLOTTI Penny Fuller plays Virginia Carpolotti, a devoted widow with loving memories of her recently-deceased husband, Ed. Though her love endures, her confidence in Ed flounders as one shady character after another comes calling for debt that Ed, unbeknownst to her, put in her name. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St. Santa Monica. Prices vary. Through Jan. 29. (310) 434-3200. thebroadstage.com. FRIDAY, JANUARY 20

ICE AT SANTA MONICA This 8,000-square foot ice skating rink in downtown Santa Monica hosts a variety of events. 1324 5th St., Santa Monica. Also Jan. 16. $15 skate rental. (805) 701-7248. iceatsantamonica.com.

UNDER THE STREETLAMP The vocal quartet performs classics from the American radio songbook. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. $50-$80. (562) 467-8818. cerritoscenter.com.

LITTLE DRUMMER BOWIE The Troubies reimagine a holiday show favorite, mashing up the journey of Ziggy, “The Little Drummer Boy,” with the sounds of the legendary rock singer/songwriter in a tribute parody that is both touching and hilarious. Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Dr., Burbank. Prices vary. (818) 955-8101. falcontheatre.com.

MORRIS DAY AND THE TIME Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. $38-$78. (888) 645-5006. sabantheatre.org.

WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION SHOWCASE 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. THE BAD PLUS A dynamic and idiosyncratic jazz trio without frontiers, The Bad Plus delves deep into thoughtful exploration with every live performance. Experience the group’s commitment to melody and heart through their signature style. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St. Santa Monica. Prices vary. (310) 4343200. thebroadstage.com.

26 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

BLACK WITH A DROP OF RED

This exhibition features posters about U.S. movies, Cuban cultural events and documentaries, showcasing the striking and influential work of Cuban graphic designers. Carefully chosen by Claudio Sotolongo, a designer and a professor based in Havana, the images reflect on Cuba’s fascination with cinema as well as its internal and external political struggles. Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E. Young Dr. N., Los Angeles. Wed.-Sun.- through Jan. 22. (310) 825-4361. fowler.ucla.edu.

MONDAY, JANUARY 16 HOLIDAY ICE RINK IN PERSHING SQUARE Get your glide on at this holiday season at L.A.’s biggest outdoor community skating rink. Enjoy festive, free events including a holiday concert series, the Snoopy Showcase, deejay nights, a Winter Holiday Festival, championship skating exhibitions and broomball games. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive, Los Angeles. Through Jan. 18. $9/one-hour skate

session. $4 skate rental. (213) 624-4289. pershingsquareicerink.com. THE LAST VIG Burt Young stars as aging mob boss Big Joe — the last of a dying breed. Times are changing. Can Joe stay in the game with the help of his young, hip-hip loving assistant, Bocce, and his old friend, Jimmy “The Fixer” D? Or will the juice on the $100K he owes be his last vig? Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. Sat.-Mon. through Feb. 20. $40. (323) 960-7712. plays411.com/lastvig.

SHARK LAGOON NIGHTS Get up close to the ocean’s ultimate predators and touch bonnethead and bamboo sharks. See large sharks like the sand tiger and zebra sharks. The Aquarium of the Pacific, 100


CALeNDAR Aquarium Way, Long Beach. Select Fridays. Free. (562) 590-3100. aquariumofpacific.org. SATURDAY, JANUARY 21 FAMILY NATURE WALK These guided walks designed for six- to10-year-olds and their families explore and discover nature. Free with admission. No registration required. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. $24-plus. (818) 949-4200. descansogardens.org.

January/February LA/Ventura man, a writer, sits at his desk and prepares to listen to audiotape diaries he made 30 years earlier. Life has dwindled for Krapp into aches, stomach ailments and regrets. The biggest regret involves his parting with a woman who offered a “chance of happiness,” one his ambition as a writer and personal limitations didn’t allow him to seize. With ruthless economy, Beckett captures the weight of what wasn’t to be. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Dates vary through Feb. 26. $30-$35. (310) 477-2055 x2. odysseytheatre.com.

THE FOUND DOG RIBBON DANCE Professional cuddler Norma’s quest to return a lost dog to its rightful owner leads her to encounter a slew of oddballs, and maybe even discover a second chance at love. A bittersweet romantic comedy about loneliness, oxytocin and the healing power of Whitney Houston. The Echo Theater Company @ Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave, Atwater Village. Fri.-Mon. through Feb. 26. $30. (310) 307-3753. echotheatercompany.com.

STYX Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. $72-$139. (888) 645-5006. sabantheatre.org.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 KRAPP’S LAST TAPE Samuel Beckett’s theatrical poem is one of his most personal works, infused with his history, emotion and abiding sense of irony. An elderly

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24

FEBRUARY

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1 GLENDALE NOON CONCERTS Sanctuary of Glendale City Church, 610 E. California Ave., Glendale, Glendale. Free. (818) 242-2113. glendalenoonconcerts.blogspot.com. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2 BERNADETTE PETERS Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. $90-$105. (562) 467-8818. cerritoscenter.com. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3

VENTURA BLUEGRASS JAMS Milano’s Italian Restaurant, Patio, Ventura Harbor Village, 1559 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura. (805) 658-0388. milanositalianrestaurant.com.

KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND The Canyon, 28912 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills. $48-$68. (818) 879-5016. wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5

ZEPPELIN USA Tribute band performs the bands hits including “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Kashmir.” Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. $30$65. (562) 467-8818. cerritoscenter.com.

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.

BAROQUE CONVERSATIONS Rachel Barton Pine, leader, violin, viola d’amore. The program includes Vivaldi’s Concerto in D major for Viola d’amore and Orchestra and Concerto in D minor for Viola d’amore and Orchestra, two of the eight concertos wrote for viola d’amore. Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Zipper Concert Hall, 200 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles. $58-plus. (213) 622-7001. laco.org. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10 JOHNNY RIVERS Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. $38-$78. (888) 645-5006. sabantheatre.org. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11 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 walks and dance performances. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. Also Feb. 12. $24-plus. (818) 949-4200. descansogardens.org. GINO VANNELLI The Rose, @ Paseo Colorado, 245 East Green St., Pasadena. $38-$78. (888) 645-5006. wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27

CLASSIC AUTO SHOW

This tribute to the cars of bygone years will feature wall-to-wall exhibitors showcasing the best and rarest classic, historic and vintage cars in the world. The show includes something for every automotive enthusiast, including celebrity guests, a question/ answer sessions with the stars from Velocity TV’s hottest car shows and a car “catwalk” featuring the finest collectable vehicles. Also at the show are car clubs from across the United States and an auto swap meet. Los Angeles Convention Center: South Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. Also Jan. 28-29. Prices vary. theclassicautoshow.com.

JACKIE EVANCHO This young soprano charmed a nation with her powerful performance on “America’s Got Talent.” Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. $55$95. (562) 467-8818. cerritoscenter.com. SECOND SUNDAY CONCERT Pasadena Central Library, 285 E Walnut, Pasadena. Free. (626) 398-0658.

January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 27


CALeNDAR

January/February LA/Ventura TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14 VENTURA BLUEGRASS JAMS Milano’s Italian Restaurant, Patio, Ventura Harbor Village, 1559 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura. (805) 658-0388. milanositalianrestaurant.com.

eXHIBItIONs NKAME This exhibition is. dedicated to the work of the late Cuban visual artist Belkis Ayón. This landmark retrospective features 43 works by the celebrated artist whose powerful visual iconography was inspired by the founding myth of the Afro-Cuban brotherhood Abakuá. During her short but fertile career, Ayón produced an extraordinary body of work central to the history of contemporary printmaking in Cuba. Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E. Young Dr. N., Los Angeles. Wed.Sun.- through Feb. 12. (310) 825-4361. fowler.ucla.edu. LEGENDS OF MOTOWN: CELEBRATING THE MIRACLES This exhibit uncovers the remarkable career of The Miracles, Motown’s first successful recording act, through artifacts from the personal collection of Claudette Robinson, the first female artist to ink a record deal with Motown, making her the “First Lady of Motown.” This display offers an intimate look into the group’s early career and their later rise as Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, Third Floor Mike Curb Gallery, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. Through Summer 2017. $12-$13. (213) 765-6803. grammymuseum.org. GEOGRAPHIES OF WONDER Evolution of the National Park Idea, 1933– 2016. This exhibition depicts the unceasing public enthusiasm for national park spaces, as well as the steady pace of change in the concept of a national park that grew to include national lakeshores and seashores, wild and scenic rivers, battlefields, industrial sites, parkways and trails. This display illuminates the great paradox established by the National Park Service’s founding legislation: how to make the lands under its management available for public enjoyment, while at the same time ensuring the preservation of those lands for the use of future generations. Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, West Hall, San Marino. Prices vary. Through Feb. 13. (626) 405-2100. huntington.org. CREATURE From slick avatars and popular icons to images rooted in mythology and animal instincts, the installation of more than 50 works features works by some 25 artists. This exhibition offers an array of lenses through which to view the human experience, some scientifically based and others drawing inspiration from cultural representations of how living things change over time. The Broad, First Floor Gallery, 221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Through March 19. Dark Mondays. Free. thebroad.org.

28 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2

DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as the resort’s sexy dance instructor, Johnny Castle’s leading lady, both on-stage and off. Features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Prices vary. Through Feb. 5. (800)745-3000. broadwayinthousandoaks.com.

A SKY IN THE PALM OF A HAND This exhibition pairs Lloyd Hamrol’s site-specific, industrial felt sculptures and Joan Perlman’s abstract paintings and prints, creating an immersive, multimedia environment that provides a platform to consider the related ideas and sharp distinctions between two artists’ investigations of materials, processes, impermanence, and landscape. Though Hamrol and Perlman have an ongoing, collegial dialogue, the two Los Angelesbased artists have never exhibited together. Pasadena Museum of Art, Back Gallery, 490 East Union Street, Pasadena. Through Feb. 19. $5-$7. Wed.-Sun. (626) 568-3665. pmcaonline.org.

HORSES AND DRAGONS While Pegasus is a mythical creature, did you know that winged horses really do exist in the ocean? Or, that male seadragons carry eggs until they hatch, and that seahorses can change color? Explore the mysterious realm of dragons and horses that dwell under the sea through these new exhibits, featuring about a dozen species of seahorses and seadragons and their relatives. See and learn more about the unusual animals in the Syngnathid group, which includes the sea moth (also known as Pegasus), seahorses, seadragons, pipefish and razorfish through exhibit displays. The Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach. Through March 31. (562) 5903100. aquariumofpacific.org.

SHARING CULTURE, CREATING COMMUNITY This exhibition explores the history of the Descanso Japanese Garden and celebrates how Japanese-style gardens energize diverse communities to create, interact and reflect. Descanso Gardens, Sturt Haaga Gallery, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. Through Jan. 29. $6-$9. (818) 949-4200. descansogardens.org.

POP FOR THE PEOPLE Roy Lichtenstein in L.A. This exhibition features prints from Lichtenstein’s Bull Profile and Surrealist series, as well as the iconic Sunrise and Shipboard Girl. Additional works on display range from political subject matter to paper plates, clothing and shopping bags. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Through March 12. Prices vary. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

SHINING LIKE A NATIONAL GUITAR The 1920s were an exciting time for breakthroughs in entertainment technology, with the prominence of radio and talking movies. However, electric amplification of musical instruments was still rare and unreliable. Guitarists struggled to play a melody over the sound of other instruments. This was the challenge that George Beauchamp, a vaudeville Hawaiian guitarist, presented to John Dopyera, a musical instrument designer and repairman in Los Angeles. Following a few failed attempts, Dopyera developed a unique acoustic resonator instrument using a spun aluminum cone instead of a wooden top to amplify the vibrating strings, resulting in a louder, sweeter sounding instrument. The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, Fourth Floor, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. Through Spring 2017. $12-$13. (213) 765-6803. grammymuseum.org.

Get the Word Out. E-mail your announcements to Claire Fadden, cfadden@lifeafter50.com 60 days prior (or even earlier) to your event. Include a brief description, location, date, time, cost, phone and website. Submission does not guarantee publication.


Magic, Love and Laughter at North Coast Rep “…elegant, thoughtful, quietly unsettling drama”  — THE NEW YORK TIMES

JANUARY 11 – FEBRUARY 5, 2017 By Jordan Harrison Directed by Matthew Wiener

A finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, MARJORIE PRIME is set in the near future, a time when artificial intelligence has reached new heights, and lifelike robots provide companionship for the lonely. This smart, thought-provoking play about memory is guaranteed to inspire stimulating conversations long after you leave the theatre.

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Legendary playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) displays his brilliance in this wildly inventive tour de force, which celebrates the magic and illusory nature of theatre. Kushner creates his most joyfully theatrical play: a wildly entertaining tale of passion, regret, love, and magic. A wondrous journey filled with laughter and a few tears along the way.

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Rick Steves’ Travels A European Chill Makes for Warm Memories By Rick Steves

RICK ST EVES’ T RAVELS

E

very summer, Europe is inundated with a stampede of sightseers. Because of that, I highly recommend that people avoid the peak-season pig pile and consider the off-season: November through March. Along with avoiding the crowds, there are many other reasons to consider visiting Europe during the chilly months, first and foremost, because it’s cheaper. Off-season airfares are often hundreds of dollars lower, and with fewer crowds in Europe, you’ll find you can sleep for less, too. Many higher-end hotels drop their prices and budget hotels have plenty of vacancies. Also, while many bed and breakfasts and other budget accommodations may be closed, those still open are almost empty and, therefore, more comfortable. But beware: the opposite can be true of big-city business centers (especially in Berlin and the Scandinavian capitals), which are busiest with corporate travelers and are at their most expensive during the off-season. Because you’ll encounter fewer crowds in the European off-season, adventurers can leisurely loiter all alone through Leonardo da Vinci’s last home in France, ponder in Rome’s Forum undisturbed, kick up sand on lonely Adriatic beaches, and chat with laid-back guards by log fires in a Loire château. In wintertime Venice, you can be all alone atop St. Mark’s bell tower, watching the clouds of your breath roll over the Byzantine domes of the church to a horizon of cut-glass Alps. Off-season visitors can also enjoy

30 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

step-right-up service at shops and tourist offices, and, overall, experience a more European Europe. Although many popular tourist-oriented parks, shows, and tours will be closed, off-season is inseason for high culture. In Vienna, for example, the Boys’ Choir, opera, and Lipizzaner stallions are in all their crowd-pleasing glory. London’s theatre season is also in high gear and music lovers can enjoy winter concerts at the grand red-velvetdraped Royal Albert Hall. One thing you must do for a European winter visit is prepare for the weather, which can be miserable – cold, windy, and drizzly – and then turn worse. Europe and North America share the same latitudes and a similar climate, but you can’t go by latitude alone. Madrid and New York City should have similar weather one may think, but Madrid is 2,000 feet above sea level making it much colder. Inland areas have even colder winters, so Prague can get as chilly as Minneapolis. But don’t write off a European visit just because it’s winter. Remember the smart traveler’s mantra: There’s no bad weather...just inappropriate clothing. Pack for the cold and wet with layers of clothing, a rainproof parka, gloves, wool hat, long johns, waterproof shoes, and an umbrella. And remember, Europe’s wonderful city-walking tours go on regardless of the temperature. Along with the weather, winter European visitors should also be aware that darkness falls early. Because much of Europe is at high latitudes, the winter days are short. It’s dark before 5 p.m. so make a point of getting

your days started early so you have a full stretch of daylight. You should also know that during the winter some sights close down entirely, and most operate on shorter hours, with darkness often determining the closing time. Winter sightseeing is fine in big cities, which bustle year-round, but it’s more frustrating in small towns, which can be boringly quiet, with many sights and restaurants closed. While Europe’s wonderful outdoor evening ambience survives all year in the south, wintertime streets are empty in the north after dark. English-language tours, common in the summer, are rare offseason, when most visitors are natives. Tourist information offices normally stay open yearround, but have shorter hours in the winter. Opening times are less predictable, so call ahead to double-check hours and confirm your plans. With a well-planned itinerary and the proper preparation for weather conditions, a winter trip to Europe can be easier and more relaxed than one during the hectic summer. In fact, some of my warmest European memories have been made during the chilly off-season. Rick Steves 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.


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

by Terri “The Bookworm” Schlichenmeyer

Cradles Of Power By Harold I. Gullan

Y

our parents had such high hopes for you. You were going to make something of yourself. You’d have a better life than they had: greater wealth, better health, bigger home, more opportunities. You were going to be somebody even if, as in his new book “Cradles of Power,” author Harold I. Gullan, writes: “It took everything they had.” Walk through any bookstore or library and you’ll learn that over the last 240 years, a lot has been written about America’s presidents. We know what history says about those men, but very little about the people who raised them. George Washington, for instance, loved his mother very much but, according to Gullan, felt she was a nag. She also embarrassed her son by complaining so much about a lack of money that the Virginia House of Delegates granted her a pension. Thomas Jefferson also loved his mother, but he recorded next to nothing about her in his writings. When her home burned to the ground in 1770, Jefferson’s main concern was not his mom, but the loss of his personal library. When he was just a child, James Madison’s father died. Because there was a plantation to run and his mother couldn’t do it, the nine-year-old future father of our fourth president stepped up to the plate. Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson had three sons. The eldest was killed in battle; the younger two promptly joined the cavalry and were captured by the British. “Betty,” as she was known, rode horseback to the prisoner’s camp, bargained for the release of Robert and Andrew, brought them home, and the following summer rode back to broker the release of her neighbors’ sons. Martin Van Buren’s father was a tavern keeper. John Tyler’s father raised eight children and 21 wards. The only president never to marry grew up “at the center of a circle of adoring females.” Chester Arthur’s parents had “Canadian connections” that caused a stir when he ran for office. And, perhaps significantly, a number of presidents used their mothers’ maiden names as their own. What’s that you say? In the wake of last year’s divisive presidential campaign, you’re sick of politics? That’s fine, “Cradles of Power” is not political but rather biographical. From Washington to Obama, Gullan writes of the parental influences that shaped our presidents, for better or worse. Gullan does the occasional comparison between sets of parents, which is a viewpoint that becomes quite fascinating, and he doesn’t gloss over negative aspects of our presidents’ childhoods. That offers a nice balance and a great peek through the history of our leaders. Perfect for parents or grandparents, this book might also be enjoyed by young people who were energized politically for the first time during this past presidential campaign. “Cradles of Power” by Harold I. Gullan, 2016, Skyhorse Publishing, $27.99, 379 pages The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer who lives on a hill with two dogs and more than 12,000 books. You can read more of her book reviews at www.lifeafter50.com. Just click on “Entertainment” and then “Book Reviews.”

A Look Back

34 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

Photo courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

T

his month marks the passage of 50 years since Ronald Reagan was administered the oath of office to become the 33rd governor of California. A lifelong Democrat, Reagan switched to the Republican Party in 1962, and two years later delivered a speech to bolster Barry Goldwater’s floundering presidential campaign which earned Reagan national attention as a conservative leader. Elected governor in 1966 and sworn in on January 2, 1967, Reagan’s first term saw him freeze government hiring and raise taxes to successfully balance the state’s budget. During his tenure as governor, Reagan caused controversy by challenging protest movements and signing the Therapeutic Abortion Act to prevent back-alley abortions and allow the termination of pregnancies when the well-being of the mother was in jeopardy (a policy he later recanted). He signed the Mulford Act, which repealed a law that allowed Californians to publicly carry a loaded firearm, and the Family Law Act, which became the first no-fault divorce legislation in the U.S. Despite an unsuccessful attempt to recall him in 1968, Reagan was re-elected in 1970, defeating “Big Daddy” Jesse M. Unruh. He chose not to seek a third term and was succeeded by California’s current governor, Jerry Brown. Reagan would go on to unsuccessfully run for president in 1968 and 1976. Four years later, he easily won the GOP nomination, going on to become the 40th U.S. commander-in-chief by defeating President Jimmy Carter.

Just A Thought Before We Go

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Contents

January 2017

10

18

20

Cover Profile

Departments

10 George Hamilton   

6 50-Plus: What You Need to Know

Living life without rules.

Features 18 Resolutions Versus Commitments A new perspective for the New Year.

20 The Hallowed Hall Of Must-Knowtables – Steve Allen

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

22 The Look Of Life After 50 – Herbie J Pilato

The host of the Decades Network’s “Then Again,” on television’s social impact.

22

A quick look at things 50-plusers should be aware of.

    26 Let’s Get Out

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

    28 Rick Steves’ Travels Wintering in Europe.

    34 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.lifeafter50.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 professionals 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...

And So We Begin Again…

A

nd so we awaken to the light of a new year. Like a bright, sunny morning after a cleansing rain, there are few other times in life in which we feel as we do in January of each year. It is an annual reboot – a time in which the slate can be wiped clean and we give ourselves permission to begin again. Will we all manage to get everything right in 2017? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be a bit healthier, happier, and kinder to others as well as to ourselves. It seems that everyone has their own personal way in which to achieve those things and begin a new year. They are ways that usually reflect a person’s core beliefs and character. In this issue of Life After 50, you will get to spend a little time with three people – actor George Hamilton, television personality Herbie J Pilato, and personal trainer Betsy Mendel – who have each adopted a philosophy that has helped them achieve success in doing what we all want to do in a new year: make ourselves the best we can be. In her feature, “Resolutions Versus Commitments,” Mendel shares her roadmap for helping you disregard New Year’s resolutions and, instead, embrace commitment as a way of achieving your 2017 goals.  In her insightful look at the life and times of Hamilton, celebrity writer D.B. Galliano exposes the way the actor has achieved success in both his life and career – by shunning conventional rules.  And in our profile on Pilato, you will learn why he feels that when it rises to its best potential, the medium of television has been, and can still be, one of our most powerful tools in giving us direction and understanding of how to better interact with others and live life to the fullest. Is the way to a happier and more fulfilled life to be found by embracing commitment, disregarding rules and using the tools of technology to inspire and educate ourselves? The answer to that question is way beyond my paygrade, but I do know two things for sure: One, that those things have been successfully embraced as gospel by Mendel, Hamilton and Pilato, and two, what could it hurt to give any of those things a try?   The new year is under way and, as always, those of us who toil in the trenches to bring you Life After 50 each month will once again commit ourselves to bringing you another year’s worth of interesting, entertaining and educational stories on and by people who employ commitment, rulebreaking, technology and any other means possible to live – and I mean really live – a happy, healthy and successful life after 50.

David Laurell, Editor-in-Chief

4 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

Publisher Valarie Anderson

Account Executives: San Diego County/Orange County Phil Mendelson Phil@LifeAfter50.com

Editor-in-Chief David Laurell

Travel/Los Angeles James Thomopoulos James@LifeAfter50.com

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A January Thought “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” – Vern McLellan


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50

Choose Your Charity Cautiously

Plus

What You Need To Know

By Claire Yezbak Fadden, Max Andrews and Jan Hunter

Improve Your Health With Virtual Travel

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New Year has dawned and you have resolved to get in better shape and travel more. Now you can improve your cardio health, lose weight and see the world, all from the comfort of your home with Bike-O-Vision. Indoor cycling is healthy and provides increased muscular endurance, lowered stress levels, and aids in weight control. And it’s safe, unlike street cycling that results in over 50,000 accidents annually in the U.S. alone. Playing DVDs such as Bike-O-Vision on a screen in front of your stationary bike allows you to explore exotic, famous destinations. By clicking on www.Bike-O-Vision.com you can select from a series of 58 different DVDs that feature the amazing natural beauty of America’s national parks, European cities, and even the back roads and beaches of tropical islands. Indoor cycling videos are used with the riders on their exercise machine in front of a screen playing a DVD. Any exercise bike works fine, as do recumbents, ellipticals, and treadmills. So if losing weight, improving your health and your mood while seeing the world’s greatest sights are all things you want to embrace in 2017, traverse the globe with a BikeO-Vision DVD.

Fifty Candles

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ifty years ago this month, Ronald Regan became the 33rd governor of California. The New York Times reported that the U. S. Army was conducting secret germ warfare experiments. In Super Bowl I, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10. Sonny and Cher released “The Beat Goes On” and the Rolling Stones released “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” The Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo was sentenced to life in prison. Skater Peggy Fleming won her fourth successive title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and “A Fistful of Dollars,” the first significant “spaghetti Western,” starring Clint Eastwood, premiered in the United States. Notable personalities born in January 1967 who are celebrating their 50th birthday this month include singer-songwriter Dave Matthews; actresses Tia Carrere, Trini Alvarado, Emily Watson, Stacey Dash and Christine Tucci; singers Lisa Lisa (Lisa Velez) and R. Kelly; comedian Bryan Callen; author and political strategist Sophia A. Nelson; and golfer David Toms.

6 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

I

s embracing a charitable organization one of your New Year’s resolutions? If so, Paul Downey, the president and CEO of Serving Seniors, recommends you consider these tips to help you choose a legitimate organization: Do research. There are online resources providing free access to comprehensive reports about non-profit organizations. Start with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts (www. oag.ca.gov/charities), the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance (www.give.org), Guidestar (www.guidestar.com) and Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org). Ask for a 990 tax form. If they cannot provide one, don’t give them money. Take a tour. Make sure the organization has an actual street address, where you can visit and take a tour at any time.

Own A Legendary Photo

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or the first time, the photography of renowned photographer, illustrator, painter and television director Len Steckler, will be on public display and available for sale in an exhibition entitled “Len Steckler: Reflections of the Man Behind the Mirror,” presented by Limited Runs, the premiere online destination for original and vintage posters, print art and photography. Steckler gained fame in the 1960s and ‘70s for his fashion and beauty photography. His work appeared in major ad campaigns for Revlon, Cover Girl, many Proctor and Gamble products, and American Airlines, to name a few. He photographed celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Carl Sandburg, John Wayne, Faye Dunaway, and Joanne Woodward; launched the careers of models such as Jennifer O’Neill, Susan Blakeley, Cybil Shepherd and Maud Adams; and provided photos for Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Expanding his career to television, he produced and directed commercials gaining notoriety for putting Hanes’ Beautymist Pantyhose on Joe Namath, and for coining the phrase: “Take it off, take it all off!” for a Noxzema shaving cream commercial. In his later years, Steckler lost his left eye to cancer, but still continued to create, even following a debilitating series of strokes he suffered between 2011 and his death in 2016. The exhibit of Steckler’s work will take place February 2 to 4 at The Gallery located at 10545 W. Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles and February 17 to 20 at Palm Springs Modernism Show and Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The photos will be offered for sale as limited edition, numbered prints which will contain an estate signature on the verso. For more information about the photos, which will also be available for purchase online, click on www. limitedruns.com.


A Little More You Need To Know

The Most Important Thing To Know This Month

Where You Need To Go

Occupy “The Oval” Photo courtesy of Richard Nixon Library

T

his month, as the country inaugurates the 45th President of the United States in Washington, D.C., Southern Californians don’t have to travel across the nation to visit the most famous workspace in the world – the White House’s Oval Office. An exact reproduction of President Nixon’s Oval Office is now open at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda. This newest permanent exhibit duplicates where Nixon welcomed foreign dignitaries, including USSR General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, King Hussein of Jordan, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Pakistani President Yahya Khan, Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and athletes and entertainers Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Shirley Temple, Bob Hope, James Brown, Gale Sayers, Pelé, Terry Bradshaw and Sammy Davis Jr. From the Oval Office, Nixon made the longest-distance phone call ever placed when he called astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they walked on the moon. In 1969, First Lady Pat Nixon redecorated the Oval Office with the California state colors: yellow-gold for the furniture and drapes and a deep-blue rug with woven in gold with the Presidential Seal. The replica, which includes the historic Wilson Desk, an iconic bust of Abraham Lincoln and a portrait of George Washington, invites visitors to step inside and freely roam the office and even sit behind the desk where the 37th president made many consequential decisions that still shape the world today including the establishment of detente with the Soviet Union, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the end the draft and creation of the all-volunteer military, the signing of Title IX into law that said no person could be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, the lowering of the voting age to 18, and his tape-recorded Watergate-related missteps that led to Nixon being the only U.S. president to resign from office. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard in Yorba Linda. For more information, call (714) 993-5075, or click on www.nixonfoundation.org.

Help and care is available for elderly family members

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any Life After 50 readers have elderly parents or family members who are in need of professional care. Because of that, it is vitally important to know that Medicaid covers long-term nursing home stays and may include coverage of home- and community-based services that provide opportunities for people with Medicaid to get services in their own home or community. These programs serve a variety of groups, including people with mental illnesses, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and/or physical disabilities. Remember, a nursing home may not always be the best option. A variety of community services may help with your loved one’s personal care and activities, as well as with home modification and equipment to support them staying at home. Some services, such as volunteer groups that help with things like shopping or transportation, may be low-cost or only ask for a voluntary donation. Some services may be available at varied costs depending on where you live and the services needed. The home services and programs that may be available in your community include: • Adult day care • Adult day healthcare, which offers nursing and therapy • Meal programs • Senior centers • Friendly visitor programs • Help with shopping and transportation • Help with legal questions, paying bills and other financial matters How do you find such local services? Try the Eldercare Locator, a guide to help older adults and their caregivers connect to services, including long-term care services and supports. For more information, click on www.eldercare.gov, or call (800) 677-1116.

New Words You might not find all of these words in a dictionary yet, but they’re a part of the everyday American vocabulary. Here’s what they mean.

Echo chamber: The filtering of social media feeds to provide articles and viewpoints consistence with the owner’s ideological preferences. Party mom: a person who agrees to stay sober at a party so he or she can tend to drunk friends.

Snowflake (Snowflake Generation): Young people, typically university or college students, who seek to avoid emotionally charged topics or dissenting ideas and opinions. January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 7


Food Cravings and Lies: The Sordid True Story By Dr. Claude Matar Give us a call at (626) 844-4686 to attend the upcoming free dinner and lecture on eliminating food cravings. Pasadena Weight Loss Center 774 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104, (626) 844-4686

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It’s the darkest hour of the night. Suddenly you wake. You creep through your darkened home, arriving finally in the kitchen. As the wrappers begin to fly, the ice cream cartons hit the floor, and cookie crumbs fall as if Cookie Monster were there himself, you begin to feel sated—but you also begin to loathe yourself. You have just broken the solemn promise you made to yourself that never again will you eat sugar, carbs, dairy or between meals. Yet you have just done it all. Again. So, with your head hung low, you slink back to bed, your self-esteem in ruins. As you drift off to sleep, you realize you will always be fat, and resolve that you will just have to live with it. Sound familiar? Well before you get too upset, read on. I intend to give you some gems of research here that will lighten your day. Food cravings have been hard to beat. When the body has to have something, it generally makes you miserable until it gets what it wants. And while there have been many stories and learned papers on food cravings, there is just one problem with most of them--they do not work when applied. In the course of my research into health, nutrition and weight loss, I came smack into the problem of food cravings. It is a severe problem for many, many people. They have suffered from it because there has been no understanding of what actually causes food cravings, and because of that, there has been no truly workable solution to totally eliminate them. So, for starters let’s find the cause. What is the most important ingredient without which cellular life and function cannot exist in the body? Energy. When the body does not have sufficient energy, it will do everything it can to get it. The cravings you feel are the desperate attempt of the body to get the nutrition it needs to create this energy. The lack of energy is caused by faulty metabolism—metabolism is action of the body processing the oxygen, water and food it is given and turning it into energy. And what causes the faulty metabolism that is behind low energy and food cravings? The body is deficient in one or more of the following: cellular hydration, nutrients, hormones, quality sleep and oxygen. If any of these key ingredients to optimum health are out of alignment or are not gotten in sufficient amount, the body will react by DEMANDING them—which are food cravings. To eliminate these you need to ensure your body has all of the key ingredients listed above in proper amounts and in a way that your body can easily assimilate them for optimum energy production. How can you tell if this is a correct solution? The answer to that is, “does it work?” And I can say emphatically that it does. We have proven this with thousands of cases. In fact, with our patients, we have been able to totally eliminate cravings once all the above points have been fully handled. We do this with thorough testing to see exactly what is missing from your body. Then we create a customized nutrition and supplementation program that addresses these items and eliminates cravings. Come in to the Pasadena Weight Loss Center now. We will isolate exactly what factors are missing from your life, then get you on a proper nutrition and lifestyle program that will eliminate food cravings, help you achieve your ideal weight and ideal health for the rest of your very long life! I have an upcoming evening dinner and lecture on how we eliminate food cravings on January 24th at 6:30pm at my clinic. It is a free event and all are welcome. Please confirm your attendance ahead of time by calling 626-844-4686. Or register online at https://pa145.infusionsoft.com/app/page/dine--learn-011717


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Availability, prices, incentives and dates are subject to change, and K. Hovnanian® Homes reserves the right to cancel or change all offers without prior notice; see Sales Consultant for details. If buyer is working with a licensed real estate agent or broker, the agent or broker must accompany and register buyer on first visit to community. At K. Hovnanian’s® Four Seasons communities, at least one resident of each household must be 55 years of age or older. A limited number of residents may be younger than 55. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.©2017 K. Hovnanian® Companies of California, Inc. BRE license number 01183847

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January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 9


Cover Profile

George Hamilton A

lways ignoring the rules and letting life flow organically, the debonair actor most famous for his perpetual tan shares insights on his early life, career and latest role: grandfather

Story by D.B. Galliano Photos by Keith Munyan www.keithmunyan.com


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s tan and strikingly handsome as ever, George Hamilton lives in a seemingly constant state of motion, undertaking a varied collection of endeavors at the age of 77. Tapped by KfC (Kentucky fried Chicken) last year to serve as their suave, extra-crispy colonel, Hamilton portrays the latest version of the chicken company’s founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, with a tongue-in-cheek play on his famous perpetual golden tan.

As a producer, he has numerous projects in development; and as an actor he has done two feature films over the past year: “The Congressman,” co-starring Treat Williams, and “Silver Skies,” about an eccentric group of seniors in which Hamilton turns in a poignant performance as a retiree with Alzheimer’s. The tag line of “Silver Skies” could also describe the current phase of Hamilton’s life: “You can never be too old for new beginnings.” As 2017 begins, Hamilton has embraced that phrase by putting both his one-man show and an entrepreneurial anti-aging skin venture, Constant Color, which converts bad UV sunlight into a healthy light that heals damaged skin, on the back burner and has instead chosen to place his energies on a miniseries set in the 1920s and ‘30s; a documentary; and his personal favorite – the long-awaited sequel to the classic 1979 Dracula comedy-horror film “Love at First Bite.” Life After 50 recently visited with the actor, author, restaurateur, and entrepreneur at his Los Angeles home, where the conversation began as he shared memories of his modest beginnings in the south. George Hamilton (GH): I was born the eldest son of bandleader George “Spike” Hamilton and socialite Anne Stevens in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up 60 miles west of there, in Arkansas. I have so many fond memories of my early life. My grandfather was the town’s local doctor and when I was seven, he would take me along with him on his daily patient visits around the rural areas of Mississippi County. Being with him gave me a love of medicine and science and, as his grandson, I would go into the local drugstore to buy a Coca-Cola or go to the movies and was treated with the same respect he was. I started to believe I was special, too. As the town doctor, everything was offered to my grandfather, and to me also, like I was a little king. That gave me great confidence. I felt privileged – in the best sense of the word. My mother was a socialite, and when I was older, we moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where I received various scholastic, athletic and performance arts awards at Palm Beach High School. My mother was determined that my looks and acting acumen could be put to good use to nourish the social life to which she had become accustomed. It was never my intention to become an actor. I didn’t really have any interest in it. My becoming an actor was all pretty much orchestrated by my family – not by me. My mother’s resolve to live among the elite was what essentially formed the roadmap for my life. life After 50 (lA50): How old were you when you came to Hollywood? GH: I was 19, and it was the last of the contract era at MGM – that old Hollywood era. I rapidly realized that the old era of Hollywood glamour was all but gone, although people I encountered just presumed I was of that glamorous bygone time. I was perceived as being Hollywood royalty. I wasn’t, but I had all the trappings of it and drove around Hollywood putting on airs that even Gloria Swanson couldn’t compete with [laughs]. That was never truly me. It was all about my mother, and also my brother, living vicariously through me. My mother was happy, because, as I became successful as an actor, she could live her life as this socialite in grand style, and my brother, Bill, became a top interior designer in Hollywood. I loved being there in those dwindling days of the Golden Age of Hollywood – everything was done with such elegance, style and grace. It was a life that appealed to my sense of adventure and spontaneity, and it also afforded me the ability to travel the world and meet fascinating people who lived like kings and threw these lavish parties. There’s nothing like that anymore. Nobody lives like that today,

and, to be honest, not many really lived like that back then. But that’s what my mother and brother wanted for me. But even though, in a sense, I was forced to live this kind of lifestyle I didn’t really want to live, I’m glad that I did it. It was a wonderful way of life in those days. life After 50: What sort of life did you really want to be living? GH: All I really wanted was to be a part of a little town and then I found myself in Palm Springs, where Robert Wagner and a small group of actors lived and worked. It was a simple and easy lifestyle that I really loved. Then I met Alana, my ex-wife, whose lifestyle ideals mirrored those of my mother and brother. So I had to leave Palm Springs and come back to Los Angeles to continue down a road which never really was me. When I reflect on that time, it’s like I was from another place. I lived as if I came from great wealth. I lived better at 21 than most people do in their entire lives – the big houses and the staff. But that was all my mother, brother and ex-wife. It had nothing to do with me. life After 50: You mentioned you had a fascination with medicine and science. if you hadn’t sailed into this incredible life that had been created for you, what would you have become? GH: I’m intrigued by stem cells, in particular, and the science behind my upcoming anti-aging product. But what would I have become? I don’t know. Throughout my career I’ve created all these characters and such, and now I’m out there looking like some eccentric Civil War character dressed in a white outfit playing the Kentucky Fried crispy colonel [laughs]. That’s what is great January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 11


about being an actor – you’re allowed to play so many different roles. But for me, the hardest character I have had to play in my life has been me. I don’t really think, to this day, that I’ve ever really found myself. I find actions that are me. I do things that are expressions of me. But I don’t really know me. I don’t know who George Hamilton really is. It’s bizarre. I once had a conversation with Cary Grant about this and realized he didn’t really know who he was, although he did a great job of hiding it. life After 50: Talk about those early days in Hollywood when you were under contract with MGM.

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GH: I learned very early on how to play the game. Life, particularly in this town – Hollywood – is all about perception. Before negotiating my first contract with MGM, I rented a Rolls Royce and hired an actor to play a chauffeur to park within sight of the office of the head of the studio. When it came time to close my deal, I took him over to the window and pointed to the Rolls and the driver standing next to it, and told him in a matter-of-fact manner that I’d need to have the car and driver included in my contract. That was my first successful negotiation in Hollywood. I knew I was taking a big risk, but there’s something intriguing about opening yourself up to the unknown and the uneasy kind of excitement of just letting things happen. People always like to set rules. But I didn’t have a rulebook – never have and still don’t. I’m more comfortable sitting back and letting it all just flow. lA50: That brings to mind a great quote by the novelist Basil King: “Be bold. leap and mighty forces will come to your aid.” GH: That’s very true. It’s a kind of a fearlessness that is freeing. I have always been the type who needs to put a challenge in front of me that’s important enough to make me rise to it. I remember once being in the worst card game of my life. I was playing two world champions and as soon as we started, I


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knew I was in trouble. These guys were in the business of reading me, and all the other players – experts at reading people. I remember I went against the natural instinct to quietly panic, took a breath and stayed in the game. And I held my own, knowing my every move was being calculated, and I won. “How the hell did you win?” one of the champion players asked me. I told him that I never looked at my cards. “You couldn’t read me, because I didn’t know what I had and so I couldn’t be read.” All the other longtime players went into their rules mode. But I believe in playing against the rules and just giving in to whatever powers that may be. I know that can be very disquieting, and it shakes people who always play by those precepts. But I don’t have the fear that many others have that stops the natural flow of things. So I have always approached life and my career, like that game, in a different way. When I know I’m up against a tough situation, I get quieter and just sit back knowing it’s all going to work out – and for me, it usually does.

GH: I’ve always lived life organically. For me, it has worked best when I stand as an open vessel and just allow life to happen. Things have always just come to me that way, and it’s been an interesting ride. When I first came to Hollywood, I became known as the type of guy who was great to invite to a dinner or a party. When I went to these parties, I never had an agenda really, except to engage people in conversation, which I enjoy. I primarily went for the experience and the fun of it. I pretty much accept people as they are and go my own way without being told what to do. Because of that, I tend to fit easily into any situation or environment. I’ve had moments, one in particular, in which I was called on and asked if I would intervene in an important business situation. No one could get through to this specific producer, who was a major player, and I got through easily and delivered the message. The only reason he took my call was because he knew I wasn’t after anything. I had no agenda. That’s a rarity in Hollywood. But it has always worked for me, and it has always given me the freedom to live life in a more authentic way. lA50: At this point in your life and career, what do you prefer – acting or producing? GH: I love the business. I love working – to keep my hand in things. I search out roles and projects I can connect to – like Phil, the bittersweet character with Alzheimer’s that I played in “Silver Skies.” It’s a great film that was also meaningful with a message about aging. One minute, Phil is completely lucid, and then there are moments where he is totally lost. Some scenes have incredible depth, and the next moment, you’re laughing. It’s real and organic,

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“I love the creative process of working with a team and ignoring the rules, giving the team the freedom to bring their very best to the project at hand. That’s what makes it fun for me, and everybody wins in the end.”

and I enjoyed making it. The idea of producing is so much more fun, because you’re actually able to steer the boat. You’re not just a passenger. I have a small production company now, and that keeps me busy. I currently have three projects in various stages of development that I’m excited about. lA50: Tell us about them. GH: There’s a miniseries, “Julian,” that is a true story about Hollywood in the 1920s and ‘30s. We’re also in the early stages of doing a documentary about Sean Flynn, the son of Errol Flynn, who was one of my first friends when I came to Los Angeles. He went to Vietnam as a journalist and disappeared in Cambodia in 1970. And then there’s the production that is my main focus, “Love at Second Bite.” I had started to work on a sequel to “Love at First Bite” years ago, but it never manifested. Then out of the blue, Gray Frederickson [film producer whose credits include “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now”] approached me to do the sequel. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and the story is such a fun idea. He [Dracula] is so anachronistic and out of date. He typifies a world that is totally gone. He’s a wonderful old-fashioned gentleman who is faced with a modern world in which he has no understanding of how things work. There is so much rich content about the world today in contrast to his more genteel era of the past. The material has such great versatility and lends itself to a television series and a variety of multi-media opportunities. So I’m working on that now. lA50: You have such an easygoing manner. Tell us about how that translates into the high-stress world of producing films and television programs. GH: As I’ve said, work, for me, means letting go of a lot of things – guiding the process, but allowing things to flow organically. There are all kinds of 14 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

ways to work, and as I mentioned, I’ve never been a “by the rules” person. In business, I don’t like the confines of an office. Today, everything gets done much more efficiently and better with computers and social media. When I make a film – particularly when I’m producing a film – there’s got to be a reason for that movie to be made beyond money. For me, it needs to have a sense of purpose. I want it to be the best it can be, and I work to make sure everything and everyone involved rise to accomplish that goal. The creative process is somewhat different now. Today, so much is done by committee, and I have found that to dumb down the process, as well as the final result. The rules are that it has to be commercial and has to fit into a certain framework. There are so many limits imposed. So I make it a point to encourage the writers I work with to take a leap and think outside the box. Then I lend a critical eye to hone the material. All I ask of my creative team is that they be great [laughs]. I enjoy playing to the best in people and offering up a different perspective through my work. Sometimes, it’s about just showing up with a smile or a kind word that might make a difference in someone’s life – make him or her feel special. People are fascinating creatures, and many don’t live up to their full potential, because they are too confined by all the rules imposed on them – whether from the corporate world, society, their upbringing, their beliefs. I love the creative process of working with a team and ignoring the rules, giving the team the freedom to bring their very best to the project at hand. That’s what makes it fun for me, and everybody wins in the end. lA50: let’s talk about your life beyond work. Tell us about your sons. GH: My boys are the most important part of my life. I’m learning so many lessons from them. My youngest, George Thomas [G.T.] is 16, and my oldest, Ashley, who is an actor and a singer and songwriter is now 42. Ashley loves creating music, and G.T. has a great independent spirit with a willingness to try anything that peaks his curiosity. I’m constantly learning lessons from each of


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them. I’m proud of them and they make me feel hopeful about the next generation. LA50: We also hear that you became a grandfather for the first time late last year.

able to do what I enjoy doing. I feel great. I eat well and exercise, so in general, my life is really good. I still enjoy travelling, though not in the conventional way. I like to go into an airport walk up to the counter and ask: “Where is it sunny?” Then I buy a ticket and go there [laughs]. I also love spending time with my boys and my new granddaughter.

GH: Yes! A little girl named Willow. She’s beautiful. Her father, Ashley, was born at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, just like she was. Seeing him holding his daughter there for the first time gave me a wonderful feeling of life coming full circle.

lA50: While it appears you are defying the passage of years, they are, in fact, going by. Have you adopted any philosophy on aging as you have gotten older?

lA50: What kind of grandfather do you think you’ll be? GH: Of course, as she gets older, I will want to share the things I’ve learned with her. But I believe children look at what you do rather than what you say. For me, it’s more about sharing the journey of life with this new soul. I know I’ll be someone who will be sensitive to her needs and strive to be a good listener. All women want to be heard and adored [smiles]. Kids have a built in B.S. factor, which is really about recognizing love and trust and the sharing of positive energy. With Willow, I’ll do what I’ve done throughout my life with my children and so many people I’ve worked with: shine a light on her strengths and support her in being the best she can be. lA50: Give us a little glimpse into what your life is like today. GH: My life has become much simpler. I’m more relaxed than I have ever been before. I don’t go out as much socially as I used to. It seems that no one in Hollywood wants to go out, and yet they also don’t want to miss anything [laughs]. Life for me now is more about finding a balance. I’m 16 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

GH: I listen to my body more. There are moments of incredible energy, and yet, when I feel tired, I take a short rest to replenish. There’s an old expression: “You finally get your head together, and your ass starts falling apart.” As time has gone by, I have learned the art of selfishness – not in a self-importance way – I’ve never liked that. I laugh at the outrageousness of self-importance – especially in myself – which is why I have never taken myself seriously. I think of selfishness more in terms of taking care of myself. The rewards of being selfish give me more time in this game of life. The body knows what you need, so I make sure to be aware of those needs and provide them. I also believe that keeping a positive attitude is key. Even when I have gone through a serious situation, I have never brought any negative thoughts to the table, and everything worked out. I look at it this way: It’s like you get the standard issue equipment at birth – then, at some point in your life, you realize you really have to take care of this stuff. It requires attention. We’ve got to keep all the parts we’ve been given in good working order and the good news is I’m doing that, and always learning new things, and hopefully, will be for a good while longer.


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resolutions versus commitments Taking on a new perspective for a New Year Special to Life After 50 by Betsy Mendel

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ow many times have you made wellintentioned New Year’s resolutions only to break them within weeks or even days? If you have had a difficult time adhering to your resolutions in past years, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Statistically, 92 percent of people break their resolutions. That means only one in 12 people is successful. Clearly seeing that the odds are against those who make New Year’s resolutions, why not resolve one thing in this New Year that you can be assured of keeping: That you will get off the resolution roller coaster! The concept behind making resolutions is, of course, a noble one. However, we usually enter into these desires in an unrealistic way. This year, instead of making resolutions, look at things with a new perspective and think of the life-changing goals you would like to tackle as commitments – commitments to yourself. Resolutions are simply intentions you make on December 31, sometimes bolstered by the effects of an adult beverage of some sort, whereas a commitment means you must actually act and put into motion an action plan to obtain your goals. Making a commitment and then holding yourself accountable to it is changing your perspective and is critical for obtaining success. As a personal trainer, someone who has made a commitment to help others be their best, feel their best, and look their best, I want my clients to do that all year round, not just through the first few days of

18 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

January. So here are six simple steps I give them that you can use to accomplish that:

• Don’t try to change everything about your life at once. Pick one thing and stick to it. • Seek a habit, not a result. Focus on the behavior not the outcome. • Change your environment. If you want to lose weight and get healthier, stock your pantry with healthy, wholesome foods. • Small achievable changes add up. Make sure you are committing yourself to achievable goals. • When you slip, get back on track quickly. Remember you are human and every misstep and can be corrected in your next step. • Schedule new habits into your life. Write down what you want to accomplish and stick to your list. It is in a step-by-step process that you keep to your commitments. Now let’s take a closer look as to how you can become committed to these six steps to achieve success.

Don’t try to change everything at once

It seems as if, when we want to change some old habits and embrace a lifestyle change, we always

want to do it all at once rather than prioritizing things and working through a list, one thing at a time. That is why New Year’s resolutions don’t work. How can we be successful if, on one winter day, we decide that, from this time forward, we will take on the challenges of our weight, health, relationships, career, family and finances all in one swoop? It is completely unrealistic to think we have the bandwidth and capacity to actually live our lives, handle our day-to-day responsibilities, and still have time to fix all the things we want to change. In fact, sometimes the more we try to do, the less able we are to do anything, which results in everything suffering. Oftentimes, when we want to do too much too fast, we actually go backward rather than forward. To break that unsuccessful way of thinking, you must first prioritize your goals. How do you do this? Start by making a list of everything you want to change. Put the list away for a day and then pull it out and really study it. Take your time and don’t rush through this critical first step. Think about how each thing on your list affects the other, and which of these steps makes the most sense to serve as your starting point. Next, take your list and start looking critically at each thing and what should then be separated into lists of their own. Put each goal as the header on a blank paper and then arrange them in order of importance. Again, take your time to look them over, rearranging your priorities if necessary and taking into consideration how each one affects the


other. Keep doing this until you feel you have the list in the order of priority that makes sense from the most important to the least important, and then number each list: one, two, three, and so on. Now look at the header that has the number one on it: the first and most important thing you what to change. The next step is to set a tangible and achievable goal you know you can attain to begin the process of making that change a reality. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it has to be something you know you can be committed to on a daily basis. For instance, if your first goal is to lose 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day, great! That is a realistic and obtainable goal. Now you just have to figure out the steps that will get you there and be committed to taking them. So take out a new sheet of paper, write down a step-by-step plan and put it in a place where you can see it every day. Congratulations! You have prioritized your first and most important goal and are now on your way to success by committing to your realistic plan one step at a time.

SeeK a haBit, not a reSULt

Let’s continue with our example of losing weight by Valentine’s Day. No matter what any charlatan may promise you, there are only two ways to obtain this goal: through a change in what you eat and by exercising. When it comes to losing weight, it is important to get beyond the desired result of losing those 10 pounds and dwell on what it will take to get you there. What you need to do is look at what behavior you will embrace to change the way you eat and up your physical activity. Again, you want to look at things in a realistic way.

change yoUr environMent

If you want to lose weight and eat healthier, you need to change the way you stock your pantry and refrigerator. This means out with the sugarlaced and high-fat snacks and in with healthy, wholesome foods. To do this, walk over to your refrigerator. Bring a trash can to where you are working and take out each item, one by one, and put them into three groups. The first group will be foods you know are healthy. The second group will be those items you’re not really sure about, and the third will be the ones you know are unhealthy. The first group contains fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat milk or soy or almond milk, water, yogurt, eggs and everything else you know to be healthy. As for those second group items you were questionable about, look at each item and learn something about it by reading the label or going online and then move it into either the first or third group. Now let’s go on to that third group. Are there items that could be given to someone? If yes, put those things in a separate bag and deliver them. If not, (as hard as this may be) put them straight into the trash. Next, repeat this process in your pantry.

SMaLL changeS aDD UP

Let’s continue with the original goal of losing 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day. Remember, we are focusing on changes to our behavior, not the outcome of losing 10 pounds. I promise, if you

make the changes to your behavior you WILL lose that 10 pounds. There are many small steps you can take to do this. Park your car so you have to walk a little farther rather than wasting time hunting for “the perfect spot.” Take the stairs instead of using the elevator. Think of each step as a calorie burned. Ditch the diet drinks and go with water instead. There have been so many studies and reports that show that diet drinks only make us hungrier. Create an exercise plan you can commit to four days a week. Working with a personal trainer can keep you motivated and on track, but many people are able to do this on their own. The choice is yours as long as you commit to exercise and actually follow through and do it.

When yoU SLiP, get BacK on tracK QUicKLy

We are all human and there are times we make choices that we know are not in our best interest. We grab that super-sugary dessert or skip a few days of our workout routine. One of the hardest things to do is to forgive ourselves and move back into our best behaviors. But remember, it is in the change of behavior that the outcome will be achieved. When you slip, look in the mirror, know it’s a new day, and just get right back on track. You don’t need to overcompensate to try to undo yesterday, as that only makes getting back on track harder. Just get back into your healthy routine as quick as possible. Look at your prioritized goals list again. Look in the mirror and smile. Don’t focus on the one day you got off track. Instead, be proud of every day you kept to your commitments.

ScheDULe yoUr neW haBitS into yoUr LiFe

To really ensure a commitment to behavioral changes, those small steps that will make a difference, you have to make sure you follow through. Remember, we are talking about commitments – taking something from being

a desire to an actual plan that we promise ourselves we will do the work to achieve. Commitments are not meant to be taken lightly. They are how we judge ourselves. Are you strong enough to make a commitment and follow through? Of course you are, if you make and use a realistic plan such as we’ve outlined. And remember, each of these behavioral changes is a benefit to you and your own best interest. Once you have fully embraced commitment, the outcome is almost a forgone conclusion. How could it not be? You have been committed to doing all the right things! As a part of your commitment, it is critical that you make changes in your daily routine – your schedule. It’s not going to just happen automatically; you must be committed to changing your schedule. You have to remember you are changing behaviors that have, possibly, been your way of life for years. To help you do this, take your calendar, whether you use an app on your phone, your computer, or a paper calendar, and write your schedule for each day. Write the behaviors you are going to commit to that day and the things you want to accomplish. Set alarms if that helps you. Wake up earlier, make a healthy breakfast before starting your day, grab a bag of carrots and take a mile walk during lunch rather than sitting and eating. If you’re going out to dinner, write a note to yourself to order a light and healthy dinner and skip the wine from time to time. You have to get into the habit of doing this every day. Remember, thoughts become words, and words become actions; actions then become habits, your habits become your character, and your character becomes your destiny. As you step into the new light of 2017, make a commitment to care about yourself and become the best you that you can be. Do that knowing there is no secret sauce, quick fixes or magic bullets to achieve that other than your own commitment to embracing new habits. Do that, one day at a time, step-by-step, and within a short time, your new habits will became second nature, the embodiment of your committed character!

Meet Betsy Mendel Betsy Mendel is a certified personal trainer who has been helping her clients look and feel their best for over two decades. Based in Los Angeles, she offers one-on-one and small group training. The author of the bestseller “Move A Muscle Change A Mood: The transformative power of exercising, eating health and thinking positive” (CreateSpace, 2014), Mendel’s philosophy for fitness is that people must engage their minds and bodies in harmony to feel better, sleep more soundly and be healthier. For more information or to schedule a session with her, click on www.betsysbasictraing.com or e-mail her at betsm1@yahoo.com.

January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 19


T H H  M-K By Steve Stoliar Illustration by Mark Hammermeister

S

A

The name “Steve Allen” conjures up different images to different people. For some, he was the witty and congenial host of “The Steve Allen Show” and the original host of “The Tonight Show.” For others, “Steverino” was a gifted pianist and the composer of such popular songs as “This Could Be the Start of Something Big.” And for others, he was the prolific author of over 50 books ranging from comedy and religion to the educational system and murder mysteries. His versatility was so wide-ranging, no one label could begin to contain his considerable talents.

S

tephen Valentine Patrick William Allen was born in New York City on December 26, 1921. He clearly had show business in his blood: His parents – Billy Allen and Belle Montrose – were a husband-and-wife comedy team in vaudeville. The legendry comedian Milton Berle once referred to Steve’s mother as: “the funniest woman in vaudeville,” so clearly, the apple did not fall far from the tree. Though born in New York City, Allen was raised by Belle’s Irish-Catholic family in Chicago. He attended Arizona State Teachers College in Tempe, Arizona, dropping out in his sophomore year to take a job with radio station KOY in Phoenix. In 1943, Allen married his college sweetheart, Dorothy Goodman, with whom he had three sons. When the U.S. joined World War II, Steve joined the army as an infantryman, although he spent his service time at Camp Roberts in California, rather than being deployed to fight the Japanese or the Germans. After the war, Allen and his family moved to California, where he became an announcer for Los Angeles radio station KFAC. In 1946, he switched to the Mutual Broadcasting System where he became the co-host (with Madison Noble) of “Smile Time,” a five-nights-a-week comedy show. From there, Allen moved to KNX, which was CBS radio’s Los Angeles station, where he expanded his half-hour of music and talk into an hour-long show that

centered more on conversation. The show was a hit, eventually replacing the radio version of the popular program “Our Miss Brooks” in 1950. When Doris Day failed to show up as a guest on one show, Allen took the microphone into the audience and started interviewing regular people – which became something of his trademark in later years. Technically, Allen’s television debut was in 1949 – as an announcer for a wrestling match. But his official launching as a television personality occurred on December 25 – Christmas Day – 1950, when CBS hoped he’d transfer his radio magic to the small screen with an 11 a.m. series called “The Steve Allen Show.” This was later moved to an evening slot, which meant the Allen family had to move back to New York, since a coast-to-coast evening program couldn’t originate in Los Angeles at that time. The original version of “The Steve Allen Show” was cancelled in 1952, after which he bounced around on various shows, including guest-hosting “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” and as a frequent panelist on the game show, “What’s My Line?” in 1953 and 1954. It was on the latter show that Allen coined the nowfamous phrase: “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” In June of 1953, Allen created a late night talk-variety show for NBC’s local New York television station. On September 27, 1954, the show was expanded to

This feature is intended for you to clip and give to your children or grandchildren because…they must-know! 20 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017


include NBC’s entire national network and was retitled “The Tonight Show,” which ran from 11:15 pm to 1:00 am on the East Coast. Gene Rayburn, who later hosted “The Match Game,” was Steve’s announcer. “The Tonight Show” saw Allen inventing such now-common features as man on the street interviews and audience participation comedy bits. Also in 1953, Allen began his recording career, initially with Brunswick Records. Over the years, he wrote an estimated 8,500 songs, although only a small percentage were recorded. His best-known compositions were “This Could Be The Start of Something Big,” which became his theme song, and “The Gravy Waltz,” which became a pop hit and won a Grammy for Best Original Jazz Composition in 1964. In 1952, Allen divorced Dorothy and, two years later, he married actress Jayne Meadows, who would become an integral part of his creative endeavors for the rest of his life. They had one child, Bill Allen. In 1955, Allen took a break from his small-screen duties to star in Universal’s feature film, “The Benny Goodman Story,” along with June Allyson and many of the actual members of Goodman’s band. In June of 1956, NBC offered Allen another show, this time as a live, hourlong primetime variety series on Sunday nights, with the intention of beating out “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the Nielsen ratings. That Sunday night show presented established stars of the era, such as Errol Flynn, Kim Novak, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, and Abbott and Costello, as well as up-and-coming musical stars including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino. Equally important to Allen was his cast of regular performers, which included Pat Harrington, Don Knotts, Bill Dana, Louis Nye, Dayton Allen and Gabe Dell. These accomplished comic performers often showed up as various characters in Allen’s man on the street bits. A gifted pianist and musician, Allen often asked audience members to suggest three notes, and would then compose a song based on those notes, right before their very eyes. Another popular feature was The Answer Man, where Allen would give an answer and then reveal the funny question that led to it. This bit was later “borrowed” by Johnny Carson – once a guest on “The Steve Allen Show” – for Carson’s character Carnac the Magnificent. Allen continued as part-time host of “The Tonight Show” – trading off with the equally legendary Ernie Kovacs – until early 1957, when he left the show to devote himself entirely to his Sunday night show. Unfortunately, Allen’s show did not succeeded in defeating “The Ed Sullivan Show” (or “Maverick,” which was ABC’s offering) and so that incarnation of “The Steve Allen Show” ended in September of 1959, at which point NBC gave him “The Steve Allen Plymouth Show” on Monday nights, necessitating his moving back to Los Angeles. In the fall of 1961, “The Steve Allen Plymouth Show” switched from NBC to ABC, with his usual cast of regulars, plus such notable additions as The Smothers Brothers, Tim Conway, and Allen’s wife, Jayne Meadows. Unfortunately, that series lasted only 14 episodes. In 1962, “Steverino” as he was known, introduced “The Steve Allen Show” as a five-nights-a-week syndicated series via Westinghouse Television. The show had the same wild comedy bits and funny characters, as well as being a showcase for Allen’s lightning wit and musical skills, particularly as a jazz musician. The show ran through 1964 and thereafter, various permutations of “The Steve Allen Show” would crop up throughout the latter part of the 1960s and early years of the 1970s. In 1977, Allen debuted an intriguing PBS series that he wrote – “Meeting of Minds” – wherein famous figures from history, such as Marie Antoinette, Socrates, Thomas Jefferson, William Shakespeare and Charles Darwin would sit around a table and converse amongst themselves. This popular and unusual series ran until 1981, winning Allen an Emmy and Peabody Award during its run. In his later years, Allen mostly devoted himself to playing jazz, writing books on a wide range of subjects, and emceeing various events on television and in-person. In 1986, he was inducted into The Television Hall of Fame. On October 30, 2000, Allen was driving to his son Bill’s house in Encino when he had a minor collision with a car that was backing out of a driveway. Their cars sustained minimal damage and neither driver felt he was injured, and so Allen

continued on his way to his son’s house. Once there, however, he felt confused and a little shaky. A short time later, he was discovered non-responsive, slumped over and making a snoring sound, so paramedics were called, but it was too late; they could not revive him. His injuries were greater than he’d realized and he’d suffered a massive heart attack as the result of a ruptured artery. His family didn’t even know he’d been in an auto accident until after his death. Per his wishes, Allen was buried in an unmarked grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills. Meadows followed him in death in 2015 and was buried beside her husband of nearly 45 years. Although Allen is gone, our world is blessed to have so much to remember him by: Books, television shows, films, songs and jazz performances. While the moniker of Renaissance man, like that of genius, may be far-too-loosely used, Allen truly was one of the greatest creative minds of the 20th century.

LEARN MORE • “Hi-Ho Steverino! My Adventures in the Wonderful Wacky World of TV” by Steve Allen (Barricade Books, 1992) • “How to be Funny” by Steve Allen (Prometheus Books, 1998) • “Dumbth: The Lost Art of Thinking” by Steve Allen (Prometheus Books, 1998) • “Inventing Late Night: Steve Allen And The Original Tonight Show” by Ben Alba (Prometheus Books, 2005)

Mark Hammermeister is an award-winning artist. His work is available for purchase at www.markdraws.com January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 21


Herbie J Pilato – The Sprinkler of Stardust The television virtuoso, founder and president of the Classic TV Preservation Society and host of the Decades Network’s new show, “Then Again,” shares his insight on the medium’s past and present

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erbie J Pilato has just finished taping an episode of his new show, “Then Again with Herbie J Pilato,” which will debut on the Decades Network this month. As his guest, Burt Ward, who played Robin in the 1960’s “Batman” series, is mingling with crew members – signing autographs and posing for photos – Pilato quietly stands in the shadows of the studio’s set. “This is just what I wanted the show to be,” he says. “An opportunity for viewers to get a glimpse into the lives of the men and women who played instrumental roles in the television shows they grew up with.” Pilato is a writer, author, producer, performer, consultant and entertainment executive who has worked on numerous television productions, including Bravo’s five-part series, “The 100 Greatest TV Characters,” “Bewitched: The E! True Hollywood Story,” A&E’s biography of Lee Majors, and TLC’s “Behind the Fame” specials on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Hill Street Blues” and “L.A. Law.” He has served as a consulting producer and onscreen cultural commentator on documentaries for

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Story and photos by David Laurell Sony, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros., including “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Kung Fu” and “CHiPs.” The author of a long list of top-selling, critically acclaimed pop culture and classic television-related books published by Taylor Trade Publishing, Pilato’s best-known tomes include “Dashing, Daring and Debonair: TV’s Top Male Icons from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s” (2016), “Glamour Gidgets and the Girl Next Door” (2014), “The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery: A Guide To Her Magical Performances” (2013), and “Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery” (2012). He has also authored “The Kung Fu Book of Wisdom” (Tuttle Publishing, 1995), which, based on the series, offers readers a set of principles for living a peaceful and fulfilling life, and “NBC & ME: My Life as a Page in a Book” (BearManor Media, 2008),” a memoir of his time as an NBC page where he worked on numerous shows including “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Along with writing for and about television, Pilato the actor has appeared in roles in “Highway

to Heaven,” “The Golden Girls,” “General Hospital” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” to name a few. He has also appeared in numerous feature films and stage productions. In 2010, Pilato founded the Classic TV Preservation Society, a nonprofit organization that offers seminars on a diverse range of topics and is dedicated to the positive influence of classic television programming. The society’s mission is to educate individuals on the social significance of television, with specific regard to family values, diversity in the workplace, and mutual respect for people of every cultural background, heritage, race, creed and sexual orientation. The founder and creative director of Television, Ink. and All-Creative Consultants, Pilato also serves as a contributing editor for www.TVWriter. com, is a frequent contributor to the Television Academy’s www.Emmy.org, and is a consultant for Closer Weekly magazine. This past year, partnering with executive producers Joel Eisenberg, Steve Hillard and Gilbert Adler, Pilato became the creative force behind his new show, “Then Again with Herbie J Pilato.”


A talk show that will primarily feature legendary figures from classic television programs, Adler says Pilato was a perfect choice to serve as the program’s host. “I know of no one in this industry more connected to, or passionate about, the world of classic television than Herbie J Pilato,” says Adler. “We want this program to become a historically important document in the world of both art and culture.” The Decades Network, which offers a unique “time capsule” of programming that focus on news, history, pop culture and entertainment, will air “Then Again” as monthly specials in which Pilato will take viewers back in time and reconnect them with actors and series from decades past. Invited to be in the studio for a recent taping of his show, Life After 50 turned the tables on Pilato as he relinquished the interviewer role for that of the interviewee. Life After 50 (LA50): All it would take is for someone to be around you for a good 10 or 15 seconds before they become well aware you have an extraordinary passion for classic television. Herbie J Pilato (HJP): [laughing] Yes, and that all stems from growing up in the inner city of Rochester, New York back in the 1960s. I was a little kid who got picked on a lot, and because of that, like many people of the era who wanted an escape from Vietnam and race riots and drugs and the assassinations, I escaped into television. Entertainment has always been a great escape from the pressures of life since back in the ancient Roman and Greek times and then on through vaudeville, film, Broadway, radio and television. LA50: Television, more than any other medium, has brought people together by sharing information and a better understanding of the world in which we live. It has brought us together to globally share laughter and tears over the most historical achievements and poignant moments of our lives.

LA50: And even inspired the careers many of us pursued. How many women who are in their 50s and 60s today were inspired to pursue a career because of Ann Marie or Mary Richards or Julia Baker? HJP: Ann Marie, played by Marlo Thomas in “That Girl,” was the first independent, freethinking woman many young girls and teenagers were ever exposed to. Young women went into communications because of Mary Tyler Moore’s portrayal of Mary Richards. They became nurses because of Julia Baker, and who knows how many people became doctors and attorneys because of Marcus Welby and Perry Mason. Families also learned how to communicate better with one another by watching television. No one ever sat around the television and consciously said: “So what can we learn from watching ‘The Brady Bunch?’ ” But we did learn how to work within a family unit by watching shows like that. That show put a seed in parents’ heads, instead of just yelling at their kids or punishing them, to say: “Let’s talk about this or that.” That was a subconscious takeaway from watching those shows. LA50: As time has gone by, we have also seen television characters become role models for anyone who ever felt different because of where they came from or the way they looked or lived their lives – certainly for those from the LGBTQ community. HJP: I always say that started with “Bewitched.” There was a huge minority and gay following for “Bewitched,” because Samantha could never come out and be who she really was. Most people don’t know this, but “Bewitched” had a huge

African-American and gay following who connected with Samantha. LA50: When Butch Patrick, who played Eddie in “The Munsters,” was featured in Life After 50, he said that while the Munsters looked different than other “normal” families, once you got into their home and spent time with them, you found they were just another American family who loved and cared for one another, frustrated one another, and dealt with the same problems and challenges we all deal with. HJP: The Munsters were people who were many things other than “monsters.” Samantha was much more than a witch. They were all people who just happened to be monsters or a witch, along with all the other things they were in life. They were sons and daughters and moms and dads and siblings and friends and everything that everyone else is. LA50: You are an aficionado of classic television, but let’s talk about the present. What, in your opinion, is the state of television today? HJP: There is a lot of very well-written and compelling programs being produced. They say that cable – HBO and Showtime and other cable networks – is giving us the second Golden Era of television. I’m not totally there on that, but there is no doubting that there is a lot of great talent and storytelling out there today. There are gems out there to be sure, but there is also a lot that is not good. Too many shows are just going for a cheap laugh at someone else’s expense and everything seems to have a dark twist. Any sort of happy ending seems to be becoming taboo. God forbid they end a show on an upbeat note today. But the arcs – the extended or continuing

HJP: That is so true. At its best, it is the greatest educational source the world has ever known. LA50: It doesn’t matter where you grew up; if you are over 50 or a baby boomer, you considered Keith and Laurie Partridge and Greg and Marsha Brady to be a part of your family. All those shows we watched as kids brought us together like a family. HJP: You’re right. All of those characters we grew up with became like members of our families. It was something about the love those characters had for one another, and the triumphs and pain and sorrows they all went through, that we related to. It didn’t matter if it was “The Brady Bunch” or “Dark Shadows,” or any of the hundreds of other shows we grew up with. Those characters were real to us and we connected to them. Then, as we got into the 1970s, we began to see characters who no longer skirted the issues of the day. They took on controversial topics and addressed them, which inspired us to do the same.

“Then Again with Herbie J Pilato” will debut on the Decades Network this month.

January 2017 LIFEAFTER50.COM 23


LA50: You are really excited about this new show.

“Then Again with Herbie J Pilato” will feature classic television stars such as Burt Ward who played Robin on “Batman.” storylines in many episodic shows – are very good. Overall, I think the state of television today is good, and in some cases very good, but, perhaps, not great. LA50: In your new show, one of your first guests is Burt Ward who played Robin on “Batman.” When Burt was recently featured in Life After 50, he said that when people have met him over the years, it was like they were sucked back in time and reverted to being kids again. Your show kind of does that. HJP: I felt the time had come for a show like that, and, thankfully, so did the Decades Network. Our show is fun and insightful. My goal is to explore the lives of the men and women who played instrumental roles in classic television shows, before, during and after their most famous roles. When you see the show with Burt Ward, you learn there is so much more to him than just the fact that he played Robin. When I have a guest sitting across from me, I want to learn what playing their famous characters meant to them and how it changed their life, but I also want to know about their life beyond the show. These are human beings with great wit and stories, and we’re excited that we now have a forum to give them a chance to share those stories. We will also be using social media so that viewers can ask questions of our guests. The show will be geared towards people of all ages – not just the ones who grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s. So many kids do know the old shows and, if they don’t, this is a great opportunity for their parents or grandparents to expose them to these great shows of the past. LA50: You are sitting in the host’s chair on this show, but you could just as easily be sitting in the guest’s chair for all you have done in television. If

24 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

you were a guest on your show, what would be a memorable moment you would share? HJP: Every good thing that has ever happened to me can be tied back to my meeting and becoming friends with Elizabeth Montgomery. The books I did on her and on “Bewitched” really launched my career. LA50: How did she come into your life? HJP: I had just finished working at NBC, where I was a page. I had always been a fan of “Bewitched,” because it dealt with love and prejudice. As a writer, I had gotten a script idea for a “Bewitched” reunion show to Bill Asher, who had been the producer of “Bewitched” and had also been married to Elizabeth. He loved my script, but they could never put the financing together to produce it. So it was through Bill that I started thinking about and talking about doing a book on the show. He gave me Elizabeth’s number and, after six months of trying to contact her, she responded. We met and she wanted to know why I wanted to do a book on the show. We talked and within a short period of time, we clicked. She “got me,” and she knew I got what the show had really been about. Then she began calling me, asking various questions about the show that she didn’t know or couldn’t remember. As time went by, we became friends, which was a big deal, because she was very private and selective of who she would let into her life. I believe she accepted me, because I always dealt with her as a human being. I never asked for a photo or an autograph or for her to twitch her nose. I just got to know her and, in my books, present her as a human being, which is the same thing I want to do with my guests on “Then Again.”

HJP: Very much so. I am so grateful to have such a great team around me, and I also can’t enter into a project like this without being so grateful to my parents, who are no longer with us. I had to put my career on hold for a while to care for them. That meant leaving California and stepping away from my work. But during the time I spent caring for them, I also had the time to write my first book. So I always felt that, even though I was taking a chance in stepping away from actively pursuing my career, God didn’t abandon me because I didn’t abandon my parents. I have a lot of people to thank for my having the opportunity to do this show and I want to make sure it is done right. I want to harken back to the way talk shows used to be – where people really talked and the guest was in the spotlight as opposed to the host. I want it to be all about the guest. I want it to be a throwback to what people over 50 remember Johnny Carson or Merv Griffin or Dick Cavett doing – actually engaging in a conversion with their guests. It will be a cozy show, intimate and warm – done in our studio – where my guests will feel very comfortable and at ease. I’m trying to return a little stardust to television. I think we are at a point in time when the world needs to be sprinkled with a little stardust [laughs]. LA50: You are the perfect person to be hosting this show, because it is so evident that you are a pure fan of the classic stars and shows of television. HJP: Absolutely! I am a true fan of classic television. I love it and feel it has brought a lot of joy to this world, a world that, now more than ever, is in desperate need of a reminder that joy does exist. I just think we are in desperate need of a little stardust!

The Decades Network is a joint venture between the CBS Television Stations, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation and Weigel Broadcasting. The network, which is primarily carried on the digital subchannels of television stations, mainly airs classic television sitcoms and drama series from the 1950s through the 2000s. The network also presents feature films from the same period, along with historical news, documentaries and original programming. In Los Angeles Decades can be found on Charter channel 201, Cox channel 820 and Verizon FIOS channel 483. For more information and schedules, click on www.decades.com.


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Let’s Get OUt

San Diego/Orange County/Inland Empire

January/February

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

eNteRtAINMeNt SUNDAY, JANUARY 15 RENT In 1996, an original rock musical by a littleknown composer opened on Broadway… and changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, the musical continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. San Diego Civic Theatre, Third Ave. and B St., 1100 Third Ave., downtown San Diego. Prices vary. (619) 570-1100. broadwaysd.com. MARJORIE PRIME This story is set in the near future, at a time when artificial intelligence has reached new heights, and lifelike robots provide companionship for the lonely. This thoughtprovoking play about memory will inspire stimulating conversations long after you leave the theater. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Suite D, Solana

Beach. Dates vary through Feb. 5. Prices vary. (858) 481-1055. northcoastrep.org. MONDAY, JANUARY 16 MY FAIR LADY Based on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” this musical tells the story of Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, who takes speech lessons from Professor Henry Higgins so that she may pass as a lady. Welk Resorts Theatre, 8860 Lawrence Welk Dr., Escondido. Dates vary through April 2. $49-plus. (888) 802-7469. welktheatre.com. TUESDAY, JANUARY 17 MATILDA THE MUSICAL This musical, based on the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald Dahl, tells the story of an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life. Armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, Matilda dares to take a stand and change her destiny.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Through Jan. 29. $29-plus. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org.

Prices vary. (949) 480-4278. performingarts. soka.edu. THURSDAY, JANUARY 19

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18 BAD JEWS The night after their grandfather’s funeral, three cousins engage in a verbal battle over a family heirloom. In one corner is the unstoppable and self-assured force of “Super Jew” Daphna. In the other, the immovable and entitled object of her secular cousin Liam. And in the middle is Liam’s brother Jonah, trying to stay out of the fray. Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., San Diego. Wed.-Sun. through Feb. 12. Prices vary. (619) 337-1525. cygnettheatre.com. ERIC TINGSTAD AND NANCY RUMBEL American fingerstyle guitar, double reeds and ocarina. 1 University Dr., Aliso Viejo.

JERRY HERMAN THE BROADWAY LEGACY CONCERT Six talented singers take to the stage performing many of Jerry Herman’s beloved musical numbers from “Mame,” “Mack and Mabel,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “La Cage Aux Folles.” The performers include Karen Morrow, Debbie Gravitte, Scott Coulter, John Boswell, Jason Graae and Ron Raines. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Through Jan. 21. $79plus. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org. FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 BEAU JEST Sarah’s parents are delighted she is engaged to a charming doctor. Only thing is, she’s not. When they arrive in town for a dinner party, she hires an actor to keep the fiction alive. Hilarity and romance ensue! Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado. Wed.-Sun. through Feb. 12. $24-plus. (619) 437-6000. lambsplayers.org. MOBY DICK The power—and the poetry—of Melville’s colossal novel is transformed into a masterwork for the stage. Driven on by a self-destructive madman, larger-than-life characters search for the white whale, pitting themselves against the Seven Seas with a fiery passion. South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Through Feb. 19. Dark Mondays. Prices vary. (714) 708-5555. scr.org.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 31

MATILDA THE MUSICAL

This musical, based on the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald Dahl, tells the story of an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life. Armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, Matilda dares to take a stand and change her destiny. San Diego Civic Theatre, Third Ave. and B St., 1100 Third Ave., downtown San Diego. Through Feb. 5. Prices vary. (619) 570-1100. broadwaysd.com.

26 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

SATURDAY, JANUARY 21 KRONOS QUARTET The quartet performs a program of works by composers from its “Fifty for the Future” project. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University, One University Drive, Orange. Prices vary. (844) 626-8726. muscocenter.org.


CALeNDAR

January/February San Diego/Orange County/Inland Empire Escondido, Center Theater, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Prices vary. (800) 9884253. artcenter.org. LIVE JAZZ ON THE PATIO Jimmy and Enrique. Bernardo Winery, Tasting Room Patio, 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego. Free. bernardowinery.com. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25 GARRISON KEILLOR Humorist and author Garrison Keillor delivers hilarious anecdotes with his signature “down comforter voice,” dry sense of humor, charisma and wisdom. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, Center Theater, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Prices vary. (800) 988-4253. artcenter.org. THURSDAY, JANUARY 26 JAZZ AT THE MERC Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Thursdays. Prices vary. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org.

Paris, 1904: The Lapin Agile, beloved watering hole to struggling artists and would-be geniuses, welcomes two soon-to-be legends for one extraordinary night. Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, whose egos are as big as their intellects, spar with the regulars and each other about art, science, inspiration, love, and the promise of the 20th century. Steve Martin stars. 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 12. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org.

FIN DE FIESTA Celebrate flamenco’s most treasured traditions of improvisation and spontaneity. Traditionally occurring at the end a flamenco show, the Fin de Fiesta is intended to create a festive mood. It also embodies the true spirit of flamenco – artistry that is passionate, inspiring and unrestrained.

Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine. Prices vary. (949) 854-4646. thebarclay.org. SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT The Portland Cello Project has captivated audiences all over the country with extravagant performances in venues ranging from symphony halls to punk rock clubs. The genre-bending group infuses the classical cello with an unforgettable modern twist, covering Radiohead, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and more. California Center for the Arts,

COUNTRY LIVE! AT THE MERC Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Saturdays. Prices vary. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org. MARC COHN The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. Also Feb. 4. Prices vary. (949) 496-8930. thecoachhouse.

BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. Prices vary. (949) 496-8930. thecoachhouse.

LOUIS SCHWIZGEBEL Born in Geneva in 1987, Swiss-Chinese pianist Louis Schwizgebel will include Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas No. 13 and 14, Chopin’s Ballades No. 2 and 3, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University, One University Drive, Orange. Prices vary. (844) 626-8726. muscocenter.org.

COUNTRY LIVE! AT THE MERC Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Saturdays. Prices vary. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org. SUNDAY, JANUARY 29 LIVE JAZZ ON THE PATIO Mojo Sessions. Bernardo Winery, Tasting Room Patio, 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego. Free. bernardowinery.com.

FEBRUARY COUNTRY LIVE! AT THE MERC Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Saturdays. Prices vary. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org.

PABLO VILLEGAS The soul of the Spanish guitar runs in Pablo Villegas’ blood. A native of La Roja, Spain, Villegas is distinguished by his passionate performances, charismatic stage presence, and stunning technical abilities that embody the playfulness and drama of his homeland’s rich musical heritage. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, Center Theater, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Prices vary. (800) 988-4253. artcenter.org.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5

FREAKY FRIDAY An overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, and they now have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. La Jolla Playhouse, UCSD Campus, Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, Mandell Weiss Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla. Through March 5. Prices vary. (858) 5501010. lajollaplayhouse.org.

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4

Prices vary. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2

COMPOSTING WORKSHOP Learn how to use your yard clippings as a resource, naturally achieve a beautiful, health yard and garden and reduce your use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Living Coast Discovery Center, 100, Gunpowder Point Dr., Chula Vista. Shuttle to entrance from parking lot. $9-$14. Sundays. (619) 409-5900. thelivingcoast.org. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9 COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET Combining technical precision, power, and passion, this ballet company delivers an exciting performance that transcends tradition in a groundbreaking mix of styles ranging from ballet to hip hop. The group will perform Innervisions, an upbeat, contemporary dance tribute to the music of Stevie Wonder, along with other selections. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, Center Theater, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Prices vary. (800) 988-4253. artcenter.org.

MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN AND PACIFICA QUARTET Program: Mozart: String Quartet in D Minor, K.42; Hamelin: Piano Quintet; Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. $29-plus. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org. JAZZ AT THE MERC Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Thursdays.

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CALeNDAR

January/February San Diego/Orange County/Inland Empire SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11

VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE: IMAGES IN COLONIAL MEXICO This exhibition explores the extraordinary impact of the appearance of the Virgin in 1531, through various themes of religious, political and social importance during Mexico’s colonial period. This display is comprised of several important collections from Mexico, including the Museum of the Basilica of Guadalupe, the most visited religious pilgrimage site in the Americas. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. Through Jan. 29. $10-$15. (714) 567-3679. bowers.org.

SYMPHONIC SURPRISE San Bernardino Symphony. California Theatre of the Performing Arts, 562 West Fourth St., San Bernardino. Prices vary. (909) 381-5388. sanbernardinosymphony.org. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12 LIVE JAZZ ON THE PATIO Chini and Camberos. Bernardo Winery, Tasting Room Patio, 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego. Free. bernardowinery.com. CLASSICS AT THE MERC Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Second and fourth Sundays. Prices vary. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org.

eXHIBItIONs POP ART DESIGN This exhibition features some 50 works of art and 80 design objects from international museums that explore the inspirations and cross-references between art and design that continue to shape our society today. Featuring works by artists including Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha and Richard Hamilton, juxtaposed against works by designers such as Charles Eames, George Nelson, Achille Castiglioni and Ettore

Sottsass. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach. Wed.-Sun. through April 2. $10. (949) 75911122. ocma.net.

MASTERPIECES OF CALIFORNIA ART This exhibition features two works by the most prominent painter of Northern California,

STITCHES IN TIME This exhibit features quilts and coverlets selected from the museum’s history collections including a selection of pieced quilts and woven coverlets dating from the 1840s to the 1930s. Walk through this display to get peek into the history of the time that these objects were made and a glimpse into the family history of the people who made them. Different stories have been woven into the fabric of these quilts and coverlets, and it is our pleasure to share them with you. San Bernardino County Museum, 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands. Tues.-Sun. through Jan. 31. $10. sbcountymuseum.org.

Arthur F. Mathews (1860-1945). The Irvine Museum, 18881 Von Karman Ave., Irvine. Tues-Sat. through Jan. 19. Free. (949) 4762565. irvinemuseum.org. DREAMS OF THE WEST This exhibition looks to the complex relationships between landscape and the body in the art of the American West and Mexico. With landscape as an active figure, the works on view communicate distinct stories about the desert, spirituality, Hollywood and cinema, and touch upon our own dreams about Western icons. Palm Springs Art Museum, Denney Western American Art Wing, 72-567 Highway 111, Palm Desert. Tues.-Sun. through Sept. 2017 Free. (760) 346-5600. psmuseum.org. THE ERIK GRONBORG EXPERIENCE Presents a full picture of this Danish-born American artist’s creative life over a span of 55 years. This exhibition brings together examples of Gronborg’s entire oeuvre, including sculpture in cast metal, carved wood, studio furniture, printmaking, and drawing, along with a comprehensive survey of his ceramics Mingei International Museum, Balboa Park, 1439 El Prado, San Diego. Through March 12. Prices vary. (619) 239-0003. mingei.org. THE LORE BEHIND THE ROAR 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo. Celebrating the centennial of the world-famous San Diego Zoo, this extraordinary family-friendly exhibition tells the story of its humble 1915 beginnings to its evolution as a major tourist attraction and cultural touchstone. Full of interactive features, visitors can ride on a vintage zoo tour bus, hear stories from long-time zoo employees, live the life of a zookeeper, explore the extensive animal and plant collection and learn things they didn’t know about the world’s most popular zoo. San Diego History Center, Casa De Balboa, Balboa Park, 1649 El Prado, San Diego. Through Jan. 31. $6-$8. (619) 232- 6203. sandiegohistory.org. MISS HILLS OF LAGUNA BEACH The landscape painter Anna Althea Hills (1882–1930) was one of the highly talented artists whose presence in the community helped put Laguna Beach on the map as a premier art colony during the first decades of the 20th century. The exhibition showcases some 40 of Hills’s paintings along with documentary materials relating to her life and work in Laguna Beach. Laguna Art Museum, Upper Galleries, 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach. Through Jan. 15. Closed Wednesdays. Prices vary. (949) 494-8971. lagunaartmuseum.org.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8

BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY

In this one-night-only engagement, the company performs Decadance 2017, featuring selected excerpts from the works by Ohad Naharin: Mabul (1992), Anaphase (1993), Z/na (1995), Zachacha (1998) Naharin’s Virus (2001), Three (2005), Telophaza (2006), Max (2007) and Sadeh 21 (2011). Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. $29-plus. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org.

28 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

Get the Word Out. E-mail your announcements to Claire Fadden, cfadden@lifeafter50.com 60 days prior (or even earlier) to your event. Include a brief description, location, date, time, cost, phone and website. Submission does not guarantee publication.


Magic, Love and Laughter at North Coast Rep “…elegant, thoughtful, quietly unsettling drama”  — THE NEW YORK TIMES

JANUARY 11 – FEBRUARY 5, 2017 By Jordan Harrison Directed by Matthew Wiener

A finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, MARJORIE PRIME is set in the near future, a time when artificial intelligence has reached new heights, and lifelike robots provide companionship for the lonely. This smart, thought-provoking play about memory is guaranteed to inspire stimulating conversations long after you leave the theatre.

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Legendary playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) displays his brilliance in this wildly inventive tour de force, which celebrates the magic and illusory nature of theatre. Kushner creates his most joyfully theatrical play: a wildly entertaining tale of passion, regret, love, and magic. A wondrous journey filled with laughter and a few tears along the way.

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Rick Steves’ Travels A European Chill Makes for Warm Memories By Rick Steves

RICK ST EVES’ T RAVELS

E

very summer, Europe is inundated with a stampede of sightseers. Because of that, I highly recommend that people avoid the peak-season pig pile and consider the off-season: November through March. Along with avoiding the crowds, there are many other reasons to consider visiting Europe during the chilly months, first and foremost, because it’s cheaper. Off-season airfares are often hundreds of dollars lower, and with fewer crowds in Europe, you’ll find you can sleep for less, too. Many higher-end hotels drop their prices and budget hotels have plenty of vacancies. Also, while many bed and breakfasts and other budget accommodations may be closed, those still open are almost empty and, therefore, more comfortable. But beware: the opposite can be true of big-city business centers (especially in Berlin and the Scandinavian capitals), which are busiest with corporate travelers and are at their most expensive during the off-season. Because you’ll encounter fewer crowds in the European off-season, adventurers can leisurely loiter all alone through Leonardo da Vinci’s last home in France, ponder in Rome’s Forum undisturbed, kick up sand on lonely Adriatic beaches, and chat with laid-back guards by log fires in a Loire château. In wintertime Venice, you can be all alone atop St. Mark’s bell tower, watching the clouds of your breath roll over the Byzantine domes of the church to a horizon of cut-glass Alps. Off-season visitors can also enjoy

30 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

step-right-up service at shops and tourist offices, and, overall, experience a more European Europe. Although many popular tourist-oriented parks, shows, and tours will be closed, off-season is inseason for high culture. In Vienna, for example, the Boys’ Choir, opera, and Lipizzaner stallions are in all their crowd-pleasing glory. London’s theatre season is also in high gear and music lovers can enjoy winter concerts at the grand red-velvetdraped Royal Albert Hall. One thing you must do for a European winter visit is prepare for the weather, which can be miserable – cold, windy, and drizzly – and then turn worse. Europe and North America share the same latitudes and a similar climate, but you can’t go by latitude alone. Madrid and New York City should have similar weather one may think, but Madrid is 2,000 feet above sea level making it much colder. Inland areas have even colder winters, so Prague can get as chilly as Minneapolis. But don’t write off a European visit just because it’s winter. Remember the smart traveler’s mantra: There’s no bad weather...just inappropriate clothing. Pack for the cold and wet with layers of clothing, a rainproof parka, gloves, wool hat, long johns, waterproof shoes, and an umbrella. And remember, Europe’s wonderful city-walking tours go on regardless of the temperature. Along with the weather, winter European visitors should also be aware that darkness falls early. Because much of Europe is at high latitudes, the winter days are short. It’s dark before 5 p.m. so make a point of getting

your days started early so you have a full stretch of daylight. You should also know that during the winter some sights close down entirely, and most operate on shorter hours, with darkness often determining the closing time. Winter sightseeing is fine in big cities, which bustle year-round, but it’s more frustrating in small towns, which can be boringly quiet, with many sights and restaurants closed. While Europe’s wonderful outdoor evening ambience survives all year in the south, wintertime streets are empty in the north after dark. English-language tours, common in the summer, are rare offseason, when most visitors are natives. Tourist information offices normally stay open yearround, but have shorter hours in the winter. Opening times are less predictable, so call ahead to double-check hours and confirm your plans. With a well-planned itinerary and the proper preparation for weather conditions, a winter trip to Europe can be easier and more relaxed than one during the hectic summer. In fact, some of my warmest European memories have been made during the chilly off-season. Rick Steves 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.


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

by Terri “The Bookworm” Schlichenmeyer

Cradles Of Power By Harold I. Gullan

Y

our parents had such high hopes for you. You were going to make something of yourself. You’d have a better life than they had: greater wealth, better health, bigger home, more opportunities. You were going to be somebody even if, as in his new book “Cradles of Power,” author Harold I. Gullan, writes: “It took everything they had.” Walk through any bookstore or library and you’ll learn that over the last 240 years, a lot has been written about America’s presidents. We know what history says about those men, but very little about the people who raised them. George Washington, for instance, loved his mother very much but, according to Gullan, felt she was a nag. She also embarrassed her son by complaining so much about a lack of money that the Virginia House of Delegates granted her a pension. Thomas Jefferson also loved his mother, but he recorded next to nothing about her in his writings. When her home burned to the ground in 1770, Jefferson’s main concern was not his mom, but the loss of his personal library. When he was just a child, James Madison’s father died. Because there was a plantation to run and his mother couldn’t do it, the nine-year-old future father of our fourth president stepped up to the plate. Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson had three sons. The eldest was killed in battle; the younger two promptly joined the cavalry and were captured by the British. “Betty,” as she was known, rode horseback to the prisoner’s camp, bargained for the release of Robert and Andrew, brought them home, and the following summer rode back to broker the release of her neighbors’ sons. Martin Van Buren’s father was a tavern keeper. John Tyler’s father raised eight children and 21 wards. The only president never to marry grew up “at the center of a circle of adoring females.” Chester Arthur’s parents had “Canadian connections” that caused a stir when he ran for office. And, perhaps significantly, a number of presidents used their mothers’ maiden names as their own. What’s that you say? In the wake of last year’s divisive presidential campaign, you’re sick of politics? That’s fine, “Cradles of Power” is not political but rather biographical. From Washington to Obama, Gullan writes of the parental influences that shaped our presidents, for better or worse. Gullan does the occasional comparison between sets of parents, which is a viewpoint that becomes quite fascinating, and he doesn’t gloss over negative aspects of our presidents’ childhoods. That offers a nice balance and a great peek through the history of our leaders. Perfect for parents or grandparents, this book might also be enjoyed by young people who were energized politically for the first time during this past presidential campaign. “Cradles of Power” by Harold I. Gullan, 2016, Skyhorse Publishing, $27.99, 379 pages The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer who lives on a hill with two dogs and more than 12,000 books. You can read more of her book reviews at www.lifeafter50.com. Just click on “Entertainment” and then “Book Reviews.”

A Look Back

34 LIFEAFTER50.COM January 2017

Photo courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

T

his month marks the passage of 50 years since Ronald Reagan was administered the oath of office to become the 33rd governor of California. A lifelong Democrat, Reagan switched to the Republican Party in 1962, and two years later delivered a speech to bolster Barry Goldwater’s floundering presidential campaign which earned Reagan national attention as a conservative leader. Elected governor in 1966 and sworn in on January 2, 1967, Reagan’s first term saw him freeze government hiring and raise taxes to successfully balance the state’s budget. During his tenure as governor, Reagan caused controversy by challenging protest movements and signing the Therapeutic Abortion Act to prevent back-alley abortions and allow the termination of pregnancies when the well-being of the mother was in jeopardy (a policy he later recanted). He signed the Mulford Act, which repealed a law that allowed Californians to publicly carry a loaded firearm, and the Family Law Act, which became the first no-fault divorce legislation in the U.S. Despite an unsuccessful attempt to recall him in 1968, Reagan was re-elected in 1970, defeating “Big Daddy” Jesse M. Unruh. He chose not to seek a third term and was succeeded by California’s current governor, Jerry Brown. Reagan would go on to unsuccessfully run for president in 1968 and 1976. Four years later, he easily won the GOP nomination, going on to become the 40th U.S. commander-in-chief by defeating President Jimmy Carter.

Just A Thought Before We Go

“New Year’s most glorious light is sweet hope!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan


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