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southern california



For Sale: A Home of Holidays, History… and Hope Looking for a new home? Bob Hope’s storied estate can be yours!

Resolve to Rock Anew in 2014

Stuck in a musical rut? In the new year, singer Diane Birch just may change that

C r i st i n a e r r a r e F The Merry Soul of the Kings’ Cole

Singer and actress Tina Cole on her life and families – on screen and off

The host of Hallmark’s “Home and Family Show” shares insight on her own home, family and holiday memories

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Cover Profile 12

Cristina Ferrare The host of Hallmark’s “Home and Family Show” shares insight on her co-host, own home, family and holiday memories.

Features 16

Resolve to Rock Anew in 2014 Stuck in a musical rut? In the new year, singer Diane Birch just might change that.



Defeating Denial Following a Cancer Diagnosis Strategies for breaking the grip of denial.


For Sale: A Home of Holidays, History…and Hope Looking for a new home? One of Southern California’s most storied estates can be yours!


The Look of Life After 50 The Merry Soul of the Kings’ Cole – Tina Cole on her life and families – on screen and off.

Departments 06


50-Plus: What You Need to Know A quick look at things 50-plusers should be aware of.


It’s The Law Attorney Mitchell A. Karasov on the new caregiver laws of 2014.


Financial Fitness William Jordan says the holidays are a perfect time for family finance discussions.



Calendar of Events for December/January Looking for something to do? Our December/January calendar has suggestions.


Lights, Camera, Aloha! Exploring the film locations of Hawaii’s Hollywood.


The Bookworm’s Best, A Look Back and Just A Thought Before We Go Our December book suggestion, memory, and a little something to leave you with.

Cover photo by Mark Steines, hair and make-up by Inger Ostrom, lighting by Jeremy Lee, production assistance by Arianna and Alexandra Thomopoulos All material published within this issue of “Life After 50” and on is strictly for informational and educational purposes only. No individual, advice, product or service is in any way endorsed by “Life After 50” or Southland Publishing, Inc. or provided as a substitute for the reader’s seeking of individualized professional advice or instruction. Readers should seek the advice of qualified professional on any matter regarding an individual, advice, recommendations, services or products covered within this issue. All information and material is provided to readers with the understanding that it comes from various sources from which there is no warranty or responsibility by “Life after 50” or Southland Publishing, Inc. as to its or their legality, completeness or technical accuracy.

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Sharing is really the best part!

Having made a living in every aspect of the fourth estate, I can emphatically tell you one of the best things about toiling in journalism is getting the opportunity to meet 7I7BKJ;JE7F7II?ED7J;C7H9>;H O797DÊJ@K:=;78EEA?D= some fascinating people. That was certainly the case as we put this month’s issue together and I had the chance to spend time with Cristina Ferrare, Mark Steines, Diane 7I7BKJ;JE7F7II?ED7J;C7H9>;H 8O?JI9EL;H=?HB Birch and Tina Cole.e all know that February is the month we pay attention to the weather prognostications of a Pennsylvania rodent, our hats a cherubic e all know that February is the month paytip attention toto the weather As with almost every interview I’ve ever done, thewe things Iwith personally come away hroughout my career, I’ve overseen photo shoots models, celebrities, archer who inspires romance, honor the 44 men who have served as our prognostications of a Pennsylvania rodent, tip our hats to a cherubic with – thatnation’s leavechildren, the most indelible memories – are rarely the ones that make it politicians, athletes, animals, products of all sorts and events ranging highest elected official and pay homage to whoasinto have archer inspires romance, honor the 44African-Americans men whoa have our the stories.made Theyafrom are usually little, insignificant things that, forworld. just moment, remove thewho Academy Awards toour a tour of the charred remains ofserved neighborhoods significant contribution to nation and our highest elected official and pay homage toyears, African-Americans whothe have in the wake of the Rodney King verdict. For two I traveled all over western us from nation’s being an interviewer and an interviewee, and transform us into people just While Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day and Black History made a significant contribution to ourusnation and our world. hemisphere shoots that took from mysterious on ocean floors experiencing a real moment. Month are alldoing well-known observances, there are alsoDay areefs few that aren’t quite to as While Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ and Black History dangling out of helicopters over mountainous rain forests. Having done more of SuchMonth ahigh moment occurred while doing the photo shoot with Ferrare. Steines, an inprofile. During this observances, second month of the year, we also celebrate American are all well-known there are also a few that aren’t quite as these shoots than I could possibly remember, I and haveFamily learnedShow” one thing: Youin never Heart Month and Relationship Wellness Month. credible photographer, offered to photograph his “Home co-host his high profile. During this month of the year, we also celebrate American know how it’sissue. going to second go. As our way giving duemake-up toWellness those artist observances, this month’s issuedirector includes beautifulHeart home for this While Inger Ostrom, lighting JerMonth andofRelationship Month. That knowledge was thequarterly reason IHealth had aAs feature on maintaining good heart health along with our emy Lee, Cristina’s daughter Arianna and I assisted Steines in capturing Ferrare’s image, our way of giving due to those observances, this month’s issue includes trepidations about doing the photo shoot we had and Wellness Guide. You willus also find David Silva’s personal and insightful feature onAlexandra, maintaining good heart health along with our Health her othera daughter, made abooked beautiful lunch. AsBlakely we quarterly satfor in Steines’ dining with Susan this issue. I know contribution on just how well single people over 50 are dating and – once and Wellness Guide. You will also find David Silva’s personal and insightful room, he turned to me. “I’ve been on national television for be, twolet’s decades, so you mayinvolved not some models can say, “challenging” to work in relationship – relating to one another. contribution ondeal,” just how well single people overto50 areconcern, datingabout and –planned once involved think it would be will a big hea story revealed. “But I’m really passionate photography with. Adding that our location You also find that took a very different turn than the one we in relationship – relating another. and you have no idea how excited to I’llone to see my monthly picture of“Livin’ Cristina on the cover.” It was fell through at the last minute. As we rushed planned on presenting. As abepart of our & Lovin’” feature, You will also find a story that took a whenever veryout different than the one we we one of those little moments I’ll always think I see him on television. to of scope and tryturn to get permits to shoot at had planned on doing a story about legendary entertainer Carol Channing and planned on presenting. As a part ofanother our monthly Lovin’” feature, location, was& on thethe phone withwe The day I spent withHarry Tina Cole justPassionate happened to be “Livin’ theI for day after passing ofBlakely’s her her husband crusaders returning the arts to public had planned on doingKullijian. a story abouthusband, legendary entertainer Carol Channing and Steve, who was questioning iflate weCole’s should aunt, Marilyn King, the last member of The King Sisters quartet that included schools, the couple, who were childhood sweethearts, married in their 80s her husband Harry Kullijian. Passionate for returning the arts to public just docrusaders itbecame another time. When their finally mother. As she aand Icouple, sat chatting, shechildhood suddenly emotional hercar eyes filled after seven-decade separation. Sadly, between the time we and interviewed the couple schools, the who were sweethearts, married in their late 80s pulled up, at a location for which we had secured no permits, I was sure this woman, and our publication date, Harry passed away. While our initial feeling was to cut with tears. “It just kind of hit me,” she said apologetically. “I’ve been fine, but I guess the after a seven-decade separation. Sadly,with between the time wephotographers, interviewed thewould couple who had It done of shoots world-renowned the story, Carol herself persuaded us to run it asfew a our tribute to her late husband and reality just hitour me.” wasthousands a sweet moment, a flickering seconds that I’ll was remember and publication date, Harry passed away. While initial feeling to cut simply roll her eyes and storm off. work he so deeply cared about. whenevertheIthe catch an old episode of “My Three Sons.” story, herself persuaded us towhat run it as a tribute to her late husband and ThatCarol was the furthest thing from happened. During ourdeeply late-2011 interview with and Harry, he mentioned the song As for Birch, our time together cameCarol justsimply hours before her debut perfortheDiane work he so cared about.unfazed, Charming, sweet, and totally she invited us back to their home “Before the Parade Passes By,” that Carol sang as Dolly Levi in the musical she will During our late-2011 interview with Carol and Harry, he mentioned the song mance at The the West Hollywood club thatdone hasinserved as aotherwise launching to doTroubadour, the shoot. There, we somehow gotDolly.” our work what was a always be most associated with, “Hello “Before the Parade Passes By,” that Carol sang as Dolly Levi in the musical she will pad for some of music’s most legendary performers. After doing a photo shoot, as most-enjoyable afternoon of sharing stories and pictures, laughing, “The message of that song is to stay involved,” said Harry. “(To) playing stay an with activethe always be most associated with, “Hello Dolly.” Birch and Icouple’s made our way down Santa Monica Boulevard to The Troub, she looked dog, Sophie, drinking Champagne (I hope our publisher is not reading this) part of the human race – don’t step away from living life. Just because we are “The message of that song is tomagnitude stay involved,” said Harry. “(To) stay an clicked active up and sawolder, herbeing name on the storied club’s marquee. She took outBlakely’s herlife phone, and overwhelmed bywalk the and contents of clothes closet. that is no reason to away from living and enjoying – from creating partand, ofThe the human race – don’t away from living life. Just because are nonsun wasbeing setting aseyes, thestep Life After 50 crew said our towe Blakely and, off a photo with those Bambi glanced over at me with acare look that, with something and involved in the things you loveenjoying andgoodbyes about.” older, that is my no reason to walk away from living and life – from creating as I got in car, I called my wife, who had been aware of our earlier problems. verbalized pride, said: “That’s me!” It was another touching moment that has been Harry’s sentiment, which is the focus of every issue of this magazine, was something beingasked. involved incould the things you been love and care about.” I replied. “I’ll “How’dinto itand go?” notand have wonderful,” indelibly pressed theshe scrapbook ofthe myfocus mind will bemore refreshed whenever I hear expressed perfectly and, as“She turned out, Onthis behalf of all the staff Harry’s sentiment, which isit of poignantly. every issue of magazine, was tell ya all about it when I get home.” at “Life after 50,” we express our condolences to Carol on the loss of Harry, her beautiful voice. expressed perfectly and, as it turned out, poignantly. On behalf all the back staff and I headed east on Sunset of Beverly Hills, Iofthought on the her for giving us theour opportunity toout salute her on late husband –Harry, a man who Yes, one ofAsthe best things about myBoulevard job is getting toCarol cross paths with some incredat thank “Life after 50,” we express condolences to the loss of and nerve-wracking the day started and theactively delightful way ininwhich it ended. “Ya didn’t just let theway parade pass himisby, but marched it ––to passionately ible people. Buther there’s another thing that really even better – getting sharewho their thank for giving us the opportunity to salute her late husband a man just never as know how these things are going tobelieved go,” I thought to myself with a laugh. marching a solider for the noble cause he in till his final day.✦ stories with you. didn’t just never let theknow.”✦ parade pass him by, but actively marched in it – passionately “Ya just


marching as a solider for the noble cause he believed in till his final day.✦

David Laurell, Editor-In-Chief


David Laurell, Editor-In-Chief

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A True Health Nut


What You Need to Know

Walnuts are great dairy-free snacks that are also gluten-free and contain fiber and high-quality protein that can substitute for meat, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. According to U.S. researchers, antioxidants in walnuts are two to 15 times as potent as vitamin E, which is renowned for its powerful antioxidant effects that protect the body against damaging natural chemicals involved in causing disease. University of Scranton chemistry professor, Dr. Joe Vinson, Ph.D., says everyone over 50 should eat a handful of walnuts (about seven) each day to get the potential health benefits from the nuts.

By Claire Yezbak Fadden

The Booming Sound of Christmas Every year, as we enter the holiday season, we see the release of a sleigh-load of new Yuletide albums. While hundreds of recording artists have provided us with an ample supply of musical seasonal greetings over the years, it is the songs that were recorded from the late 1940s through the late 1960s that have become the standards in the holiday music cannon. Today, it is unimaginable to think of Christmas without the playing of those holiday hits we are bombarded with at every turn. But the fact is, baby boomers are the first generation to have grown up with these classics. The Christmas music of post-World War II America and the baby boomer generation has come to define the season. These songs by artists such as Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole, Burl Ives and Johnny Mathis, many of which came from Broadway or Hollywood productions, were recorded and ushered into America’s popular culture along with the boomers. Not to be confused with religious carols, it is the pop standards, known for their crooning vocals and over-the-top orchestrations that have proven to have incredible cross-generational staying power. Consider this: In 2012, seven out of the top 10 songs that appeared on Billboard’s holiday chart were recorded between 1946 and 1970. These songs have remained hugely popular and radio stations see such tremendous ratings bumps when they play Christmas music, many completely abandon their usual formats and exclusively churn out the holiday hits from Thanksgiving to the end of Christmas Day. Not only do the stations that do this see their ratings swell, they also attract audiences of every age.

Fifty Candles

A Longer Road To Retirement

Fifty years ago this month, the Berlin Wall opened for the first time to allow West Berliners to cross into East Berlin to visit relatives and, in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination, Congress authorized the production of the Kennedy half-dollar. In the world of sports and entertainment, Donny Osmond made his singing debut on the “Andy Williams Show” at the age of six, NBC debuted a new game show, “Let’s Make A Deal,” hosted by Monty Hall, and the Chicago Bears beat the New York Giants to become the champions of the National Football League. Among the notables born in December 1963 who will be celebrating their 50th birthday this month are novelists Ann Patchett and Donna Tartt, actor Benjamin Bratt, actress Jennifer Beals, NFL head coaches Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers and Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, and – as hard as it may be to imagine – this month will also see Brad Pitt hit the big five-oh!

The average American now expects to retire at age 67, up from age 63 a decade ago, and 60 in the mid-1990s, according to a 2013 Gallup survey. Gallup’s annual “Economy and Personal Finance” survey also found a steady increase in the average age at which retirees actually retired, from age 57 in 1991, to age 60 today. The average retirement age first reached 60 in 2004 and has generally held there since. That average should increase in future years if Americans actually do delay their retirement as they expect to. The same poll also found a new low of 38 percent of workers saying they believe they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, down slightly from 42 percent last year. When Gallup first asked the question in 2002, 59 percent thought they would have enough. The percentage dipped below 50 percent in 2008 and has remained below since. For more information on this study, click on,


A Little More You Need To Know Getting to Know the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka PPACA or Obamacare, is the congressional and senate-passed law, signed by the president and deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court. Like it or not, simply put, it is the law of the land and it is here to stay. This new law will have a tremendous impact on how American healthcare is offered, purchased and delivered. It may be controversial, but no matter what one’s feeling are, it is paramount that everyone, of every age, educate themselves on what it is, as well as what it isn’t. If there is one thing everyone agrees on, it is that the PPACA is complicated. So, as a service to our readers, Life After 50 will do its best to break it down into the most simplified terms. Each month, without any agenda other than to educate, we will offer the answers to questions as to what the PPACA does and doesn’t do.

New Words The Oxford English Dictionary may not have recognized them as of yet, but they’re a part of the everyday American vocabulary, so you need to know what they mean. Emoticon: A group of computer keyboard characters that are used in texts, e-mail and social media to produce an icon that represents a facial expression or expresses an idea, opinion or feeling. Omnishambles: A situation that has been completely mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders, mistakes and miscalculations. Hashtag: A word or a phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#). Hashtags provide an easy way to group messages about specific topics on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram.

Although the president said people would be able to keep insurance plans they were happy with, that has not proven to be true in all cases. Why is it that some Americans are now having their insurance canceled? Because their plans don’t qualify under the new law that mandates insurance companies must offer more comprehensive coverage and better benefits. This affects about five percent of Americans who buy health insurance directly, rather than the 80 percent who get it from their jobs, are on a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, or the 15 percent who have no health insurance. By the way, being canceled by an insurance company is nothing new. Till the passage of the new law, insurance companies never needed a reason to discontinue unprofitable plans, cancel people, change benefits or raise prices – those things happened all the time. In the individual health insurance market, plans are typically sold with one-year contracts. After that, the insurance companies used to be able to cancel policy holders at any time, although they had to offer an alternative, like they’re doing now. It is important to note that as of press time, the White House and Congress are working to “grandfather” some plans through 2014 or offer subsidies for new ones. But aren’t the alternative plans more expensive?

The Most Important Thing to Know This Month Will you, or someone you know, be turning 70½ before December 31? If so, be sure to take the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your traditional 401(k) or IRA. You are generally allowed to take penalty-free distributions starting at age 59½. However, by April 1 of the year after you reach age 70½, you are mandated to begin withdrawing RMDs from your IRAs. Depending upon the terms of your 401(k) or other employer plan, you may be able to delay taking RMDs until April 1 of the year following the year you turn 70½ or the year you retire. The RMD applies every year after turning 70½. Check with your plan administrator for details.

Many of them are. That is because the law has forced companies to offer more generous benefits and stronger financial protections. Before the passage of the law, people who bought their own insurance used to get extremely low premiums because the companies could exclude sick people (or charge them sky-high rates) and would routinely cancel people if they became seriously ill or injured. Because of that, companies could keep their pay-outs low, which meant they could offer healthy customers very inexpensive insurance that was fine until needed. Remember, the only people being canceled are those with sub-par plans. This insurance, known as “junk plans” was very inexpensive and fine, as long as they were never needed for anything serious. Healthy people opted for this coverage, because it was cheap and they never used it. However, if people with these plans had an accident or became seriously ill, they found their insurance to be worthless. Coverage for care was refused, most were canceled, and folks went bankrupt while their medical bills continued to pile up. The new law made it impossible for insurance companies to offer these sub-par junk plans. That is why companies canceled people and why new plans may be more expensive. Does this mean prices will continue to go up? No one knows as of yet, but, if the law works as intended, they should go down. And if you have a pre-existing condition, are older, or a woman, you will no longer have to pay more for your insurance. The law standardizes health insurance plans. It mandates that they cover a basic set of benefits, including hospitalizations, prescription drugs and maternity care that junk plans did not. The new law also limits total annual out-of-pocket expenses to $6,350 for a single person, in order to protect people against going broke when they have an accident or get seriously sick. The regulations also guarantee that even if one particular health plan disappears, there will be others and, as time goes by, probably more choices than ever before, which could mean premium costs would drop across the board because (since everyone is being forced to get insured or pay a penalty) more people will be purchasing insurance than ever before.


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WHERE DO I INVEST MY MONEY NOW? Many investors are trying to make sense from the stock market’s continued highs and the US economy’s lack luster performance. With debt and unemployment still at all time highs, GDP continuing to drop, and inflation beginning to knock on our door, where do you turn to invest your retirement. . You definitely have to own property as it is the best hedge against inflation and currency devaluation, but you also need liquidity as well. One must find a liquid investment that pays better than a 0.25% bank money market so your portfolio does not lose value based on time value of money and the constant devaluation of our currency. One solution for a safe and guaranteed investment is PMF Investment Notes which pays 7.39% interest per year. These notes are short term notes of 13-months in duration, and are very safe because they are invested in “corporate accounts receivables” from major companies like CostCo, Walmart and many other credit worthy companies. PMF Investment Notes have been paying investors for over 20 years without ever losing a penny for our note holders. Best of all, the interest is paid monthly. To learn more about this secure investment that pays 7.4%, please visit By: Stephen Perl, MS, MBA and President of PMF Investment Corp. (stephen@

It’s the Law Mitchell A. Karasov

Mitchell A. Karasov, Esq. has offices in Los Angeles, Ventura County and the Coachella Valley. He specializes in elder law with emphasis in long-term-care estate planning, Long Term Care Medi-Cal eligibility, trust administration, probate, conservatorships of person or estate, estate and trust litigation and financial abuse litigation. At the Law Offices of Mitchell A. Karasov they take a holistic approach to each case they handle. It is the firm “where elder law and elder care meet.” For more information click on or call (818) 508-7192.

New Year, New Caregiver Laws


Our mom has home caregivers on a 24/7 basis. My sister and I split up the 24-hour shifts with one caregiver working three days and the other four days. From what I hear the compensation laws will be changing for caregivers in 2014, but I’m not sure if that applies to private caregivers. If it does, my sister wants me to replace the private caregivers with those from an agency, because she doesn’t want the hassle. My concern is that it would be an unnecessary disruption to replace the caregivers my mom is attached to and who take very good care of her. If these new laws apply to our mom’s situation, I will have the responsibility to handle it. Please let me know what the changes are and what I have to do. There are significant changes in the wage, overtime, and scheduling laws for in-home caregivers commencing in 2014. These changes will impact caregivers who are working privately for families as well as those who are working through agencies. The changes will make the task of managing and paying a private caregiver more complicated than in the past. However, in situations where the family wants to hold on to a quality caregiver, it makes sense to explore the options to keep the caregiver and comply with the laws. In assessing whether these rules apply to a caregiver, there is a certain set of criteria. The in-home caregivers must spend at least 80 percent of their time supervising, feeding, and dressing their elderly or disabled adult client. The scope of housekeeping tasks must be consistent with the performance of caregiving responsibilities. The caregivers should not be performing any medical duties. Caregivers who fall into this category must be paid overtime for work over nine hours in a day and 45-hours in a week starting January 1, 2014. In addition, the minimum wage will increase from $8 to $9 per hour starting July 1, 2014. Technically, caregivers who are working a 24-hour shift must be paid minimum wage for the first eight hours and 16-hours of overtime, with the exception of allowable deductions for sleep time. In order to deduct sleep time to avoid paying the overtime while a caregiver is sleeping, you must provide appropriate sleeping arrangements, five hours of uninterrupted sleep, and a maximum of eight hours of sleep. If the shift qualifies, then the caregiver would be paid his or her regular hourly rate for nine hours and seven hours of overtime. Any work beyond five days would result in all hours at the overtime rate. However, since you have your mom’s caregivers alternating three- and four-day shifts, that shouldn’t be a problem. Families cannot get around these rules by putting the caregiver on salary, making them independent contractors, or entering into an agreement to waive overtime. Since the family is the employer, they must also comply with all labor laws, employee tax withholding requirements and must provide worker’s compensation insurance, which may be a rider to their homeowner’s policy. I understand your sister wanting to hire an agency because the added responsibility of complying with these new laws does make it tempting to hire a home health agency. The perception is that the agency will act as the caregiver’s employer – assuming all the responsibility for complying with the new laws and handling all of the paperwork. The fact is that not all agencies act as the employer. Some act merely as registries or direct referral agencies and the family is the employer. This can apply even if the family is paying the agency and the agency in turn is paying the caregiver. Families must verify whether the agency is the employer or the family is the caregiver’s employer. If you decide to retain the caregiver, as your mom’s fiduciary under a power of attorney or trust, you should seek legal advice to be sure you are in compliance with the new laws. Failure to do so could negatively impact your mom’s estate and also put you and your role as your mom’s fiduciary at risk. I wish you and your family all the best.✦ DECEMBER 2013 LIFEAFTER50.COM 9

Financial Fitness

William Jordan, Financial Advisor William Jordan is a nationally recognized wealth manager and a well-known speaker on financial and investment topics. To request a meeting to discuss William’s “Seven Percent Solution,” contact his office at (949) 380-8600 or click on

The Holidays – A Time for Family and Financial Discussions


s families gather for the traditional holiday celebrations, the timing is ideal to have intergenerational financial discussions. Here is some food for thought as you gather with family for a holiday feast.

Estate Planning Should Not Include Surprises Possibly the most important, but least held, discussion families have is to share estate planning decisions. Too often these discussions are never held, because it can be uncomfortable, and yet, when family members are surprised by discovering their parents’ or grandparents’ estate plans after they have passed away, it often leads to conflicts, family feuds and emotional trauma. One client of mine lost her mother, and within a week was sued by her brother. It was only after their mother’s passing that they learned her will left a particular property to my client. After discovering this was his mother’s intention, the brother contested the will. Imagine losing your mother and then being attacked by your brother through a lawsuit, all in the same week. This could have been avoided. If the mother had shared her intentions with both of her children while still alive, and had them sign as witnesses on the will, there would be no room for disagreement. Instead, the brother feels he has been wronged, but since his mother is gone, he has no one to pin the blame on, so it ended up being directed toward his sister. This sort of scenario is far more often the rule than it is the exception. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we suggest an elderly person never name one of their children as executor of their will or trust if they have more than one child. It almost always leads to conflict, even among families with great relationships and a history of trust. A better option is to utilize a corporate trustee to settle the estate, which is why we began offering such services to our clients. Better for the siblings to unite in frustration with our firm, which clearly and concisely implements their parents’ instructions, than for them to fight one another. The Benefits of Family Sharing On a lighter note, holiday gatherings can be a great time to share everyone’s best and worst investments of the year. Each person’s experiences – good or bad – can offer the entire family insight through the wisdom gleaned by each member. What if, during a discussion, you learned one of your family members had the majority of their safe money in CDs at one percent (or less) while someone else was taking advantage of a safe but higher-yielding option? This is the sort of valuable information that has to be shared. The Best Investment Another important topic to discuss is one that reminds everyone that life is about far more than money. While our financial situations are extremely important, as we reflect on our lives, we seldom meditate on financial matters or their effects. Ask your family what has been the greatest blessing they’ve had this year, or what were the moments and memories they will most cherish. You will find the conversation quickly turns from money, property and possessions to family, friends and the joys of life. Yes, money is important. But never forget how important it is to appreciate the simple pleasures of spending time with those you love – sharing past memories and making new ones. I don’t think you would ever find a finical advisor who would not agree – that is the best investment of all.✦

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Cristina Ferrare The host of Hallmark’s “Home and Family Show” shares insight on her co-host, own home, family and holiday memories


n the Universal Studio’s backlot, in an actual house built for the Hallmark “Home and Family Show,” the program’s regular contributors, festively donning apparel designed for fa-la-la-ing, have gathered on the front lawn to tape the program’s holiday kick-off special. Surrounded by a gaggle of cameras and crew members, the din and activity of the set settle as the director’s voice booms: “Okay folks, we’re ready to go.” As last-second directions are given and the countdown begins, the show’s co-hosts, Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines, standing by a huge switch that, in moments, will illuminate the structure with holiday cheer, touch foreheads. As the countdown continues, Steines puts his arm around Ferrare and they hug. They briefly whisper to one another, give a high five and Ferrare closes her eyes and makes the sign of the cross. Seconds later, they are given the signal to commence action, the switch is thrown, the lights light, and the show is under way. That pre-air action – a hug, a high five, a wish of luck with a reminder of love, and a little prayer, have become a ritual for Ferrare and Steines – it’s the way they have begun each show since teaming up in late 2012. “I first met Mark when I came on the show,” says Ferrare. “Before that, I only knew him as the host of ‘Entertainment Tonight.’ I think when we did our first show, he wasn’t too sure about me – this crazy woman who came in and was changing everything,” she adds with a laugh. While Ferrare thought Steines may have needed a little time to figure her out, she says she liked him from the first moment. “There was just something about him that made me feel he was a very good person right from the start,” she says. “Then, as I’ve gotten to know him and watched how he interacts with people and how he treats people, we have grown very close. Our families have grown close. We are involved in one another’s lives. He and my husband adore one another. He loves my daughters, and they love him. He is gracious and supportive and I just adore him. I feel very blessed to be working with someone who is kind and nurturing. He’s just an all-around great person.” Saying that they make one another laugh, Ferrare goes on to say that she and Steines connect on various levels. “We have connections on a family level,” she explains. “He’s a devoted and loving father. We also connect on a creative level. He is extremely creative. He loves to build things and is passionate about photography. He’s a real artist when it comes to photography. Those

are just some of the things I love about him. I think that is what has made our show work – viewers pick up on the fact that we really care about each other.” It’s a good thing that the co-hosts do get along so well, because when she’s not at home with her husband, entertainment industry executive Tony Thomopoulos, Ferrare practically maintains a complete second household with Steines. “We do the show in a real house, and Mark and I are the heads of that household,” says Ferrare. “When viewers tune in, I feel they are coming into our home and I want it to reflect what you would find if you came into my real home. Mark and I are very involved in the way the house looks. We’ve been doing a bathroom remodel and we’re involved in the way things are being done. We argue over some things, just like real couples would do in a real home, and he has to deal with that fact that I’m a control freak. I come in and do all the flower arrangements every morning and I’m always moving furniture around and changing out throw pillows. We have a fabulous designer on our show, but we all work together to achieve the vision we have for things.” Queried on if he perceives her to be a control freak, Steines laughs and says it’s just the opposite. “When I first met Cristina, she was in make-up and I walked over and introduced myself and gave her a hug,” he recalls. “We then walked on the set and she seemed a little nervous and vulnerable. I got the sense that it really meant a lot to her to be doing the show and I found her to be wonderful and totally authentic – meaning she really is a homemaker – this is what she does. So many times in this business, people don’t really walk the walk, but she really knows her stuff.” Saying that they fell into lockstep with one another by the end of the taping of their first show, Steines says their relationship has come to be very much like that of a married couple. “She knows what she knows very well – cooking and decorating a house,” he says. “I know what I know as far as building things and repairing things and remodeling, so it is much like a traditional relationship.” As Steines speaks of his co-host, he takes a breath and pauses. “Cristina and I really get along great,” he says. “But the truth be told, our relationship goes much deeper than that, and that is because I’ve been going through a difficult transition in my life. I went through a divorce this past year. I also lost my father and had some health issues. While I was going through those things, she would call me and just ask how I was doing – just checking to see if I was okay. She would send me home with food. When I was home for my father’s funeral, Cristina and her daughter literally came into my house and cleaned it and, while they were there, organized my spices ➤ photo by David Laurell


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Christina Ferrare and kitchen drawers. She was there in latex gloves washing windows and scrubbing. They had everything looking beautiful. Who does that?” Having spent Thanksgiving with the Thomopoulos-Ferrare family, Steines says he is so appreciative that Cristina, Tony and their children have become a part of his life. “They have shown so much love to me and my two boys,” he says. “Our families came into one another’s lives at just the right time. Not that they needed me. But I needed them. With the difficult transition I’ve been going through, it is nice that we have become like family. They have been a great blessing to me.” The Real Deal While she and Steines are currently providing Hallmark viewers with tips on home improvements, crafts, parenting, cooking, lifestyles, health and fitness, Ferrare has been a fixture on television since her five-year tenure as the co-host of “AM Los Angeles” in the 1980s. Going on to host numerous programs, including her own talk show, “Cristina and Friends,” she has also been a popular substitute co-host on “Good Morning America” and “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.” Prior to her work in television, Ferrare was an international fashion model and magazine cover girl who served as a spokeswoman for Max Factor. She followed up her successful modeling career acting in feature films including the 1968 comedy “The Impossible Years” and the 1971 western “J.W. Coop.” She believes her success in television has stemmed from being herself. “With me, it’s what you see is what you get,” she says. “For those who know me from watching me on television – they know me. I think that if you work in television, viewers can see through you. If you’re not genuine and the real deal they are not going to respond to you.” The Christmases of Cristina “We always had a big celebration on Christmas Eve,” Ferrare says after being asked to reflect on the Christmases of her youth, as a young girl growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. “I came from an Italian family and our tradition was to celebrate the Fest of the Seven Fishes. We would have our pasta with calamari, and shrimp, and flounder, and the eating just went on and on. I remember one Christmas Eve, I got a Revlon doll. She had pearl earrings and stockings with seems and high-heel shoes and a beautiful dress,” she remembers. “When I got that, I figured that was it – what else could I hope for? But the next morning, when we woke up, at the bottom of my bed and my sister’s bed were two new bikes, which just blew us away, because my family didn’t have a lot of money. Getting that doll and that bike was so unexpected. I remember that Christmas like it was yesterday.” Born to a 14-year-old mother and a 24-year-old father who were married in Italy, Ferrare says the memories of her childhood are filled with family, music and the smell of cooking. “Our house was always filled with family members and neighbors,” she recalls. “We would always be together and, like most Italian families, we didn’t need a holiday to have a feast. We celebrated just getting up in the morning with food. Food is a very important part of my heritage and culture and my mother and my grandmother were always in the kitchen. They never discouraged me from joining them and helping them create things. I always loved being in the kitchen with them. It made me feel secure and good. All my senses came alive when I was in the kitchen with them.” Today, with a blended family of seven children, four grandchildren, and three dogs – a Maltese named Bella, a teacup poodle named Cher and Axel Rose, a Chihuahua-greyhound mix – Ferrare keeps the traditions she grew up with alive as well as also honoring those of her husband. “Tony is Greek, so we celebrate both cultures,” she explains. “We celebrate in the traditional Roman Catholic way in which I was raised and with the Greek Orthodox traditions he was raised with.” The family has also established traditions of their own over the years. “Our tradition is that the day after Thanksgiving, we go and get a tree,” she says. “Then, that Saturday, all of the family comes over and we invite some close friends and I make dinner. We play Christmas music and decorate the tree and really get into the spirit of what Christmas is all about. Throughout the holiday season, our house is filled with baking and cooking and people constantly coming and going. I love that,” she adds. While it is clear where she gets her culinary skills, she is perplexed when asked where her artistic creativity comes from. “I’ve always been good at decorating and arranging flowers and furniture, but I don’t know where that comes from,” she admits. “My sister is an extraordinary artist. My daughter Kathryn (her daughter from her previous marriage to auto executive John DeLorean) is a very talented artist. My daughter Alex also has incredible musical talents and I don’t know where that comes from either.” Preparing for this year’s Christmas dinner, which will include an extended family of about 50 people, Ferrare says this will be the first year her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, won’t be able to be with them. “That’s really


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difficult for me,” she says softly. “But that’s where family support and acceptance has to come in. And so I accept that and it’s okay.” Explaining that theirs is a very strong spiritual family, Ferrare says they are used to getting through tough times together. “I believe things turn out the way they are supposed to and that all we need to do is be supportive and loving and be there for one another,” she says. “If we do that, everything will just work out as it is intended. Maybe not the way we would perfectly hope for it to work out, but the way it is supposed to. That’s just the nature of what life is and we have to accept that and just move on and enjoy our lives – changing what we can and accepting the things we can’t with a sense of knowing that everything will be okay.” Embracing Acceptance Ferrare’s willingness to embrace acceptance also translates to the passing of years. Just a few months from her 64th birthday, she shrugs when asked if she has adopted any philosophy on aging. “Getting older is what it is,” she says. “You know, you get these weird little aches and pains and say: ‘What the heck is this?’ But I embrace it. I’m secure with who I am and I don’t give any thought to things that don’t matter – things I can’t change. I’m a happy person who has a wonderful husband and children. I don’t have a perfect life – no one does. We all have our ups and downs. But I feel so good about the way I have been able to cope with every aspect of my life by being willing to embrace acceptance. My mother has Alzheimer’s. I’m not happy about that at all, but I’m able to deal with it with calmness and clarity because I accept it and know I can’t change it.” Resolving to Make the Most of Each Day While the Christmas that included the Revlon doll and bike is perhaps her most memorable, Ferrare says she knows exactly what gift she needs to get to make this Christmas perfect. “As a parent, you are only as happy as your least-happy child,” she says. “So I want all of my children to be happy. I know they can’t be happy all the time, but I want them to embrace life and enjoy every day. My biggest joy and contentment comes from seeing my kids and my grandchildren happy. As I said, we have our problems, just like everyone, and life is never perfect – life always brings difficulties – but if my children are happy, I’m happy. And I do have happy children, so I’m very blessed.” And, as the last days of 2013 trickle into history, will Ferrare be entering the new year with any resolutions? “No,” she snaps adamantly. “I don’t make any resolutions, because I would never keep them. My resolution for each new year is always the same – that when I open my eyes every morning, I will make that day the very best I can. I embrace each day and the things it brings. I think that’s the most important resolution anyone can make – to make the most of each day we have, because you never know what the next one may bring.” ✦ For more information on Cristina Ferrare and “The Home and Family Show,” click on www. or

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ew films have resonated with baby boomers like “The Big Chill,” the 1983 dramedy that chronicles a small group of former college chums who, now in their 30s, have reunited for the funeral of a member of their collegiate clique who took his own life. As the days surrounding the send-off unfold, the friends reflect on the paths their lives have taken since leaving the cocoon of academia. Having transitioned from 1960s hippies to 1980s yuppies, it amazes them how their friends, and they themselves, so easily abandoned the ideals and goals that were once their passions. Brimming with scenes in which the characters deal with loss – not just of their friend who shuffled off his mortal coil, but also of their hopes and idealism – it is all poignantly played out over a soundtrack of classic rock, pop and Motown tunes. As Harold, a former radical who has become a successful pillar of the establishment he once fought, drops the needle on another ‘60s classic, Michael, a magazine writer who never become the serious novelist he dreamed of being asks: “Don’t you have any other music, you know, from this century?” “There is no other music, not in my house,” Harold snaps back. “There’s been a lot of terrific music in the last 10 years,” Michael argues. “Like what?” Harold questions Michael who is left speechless in a navel-gazing abandonment of his argument. That scene perfectly defines the way most people over 50 view the music of today, as well as the better part of all tunage churned out over the past two – if not three – decades. Although the reason why most people’s musical interests seem to arrest in their late 20s or early 30s is rarely contemplated, it is a fact that it is rare – even with those who were obsessed with music when they were young – for folks to exit their 30s with any clue of the current music scene. And for many, like Harold of “The Big Chill,” it’s not just a loss of interest, but a visceral and ofttimes adamant rejection of both the personalities and product that make up the current crop of music makers. Why does this happen? Life After 50 posed that question to two legendary singers – Smokey Robinson and Don McLean – who weighed in with their own reasons. “I hear people of my age knock the music of today all the time,” says Robinson. “I think that has a lot to do with the fact that their memories of good times – the best times of their lives – are with the music and songs of their youth. But I’m going to tell you, some of the music that is being made by the young artists of today is great. I think a lot of people, as they get older, are no longer followers of current music. If you’re not a real music buff and don’t want to know, or care to know, what’s going on in today’s music, you can just easily fluff it off. But there really is a tremendous amount of great music being made by the young people of today.” Pressed on why he thinks most people don’t continue to keep up with current music as they get older, Robinson shrugs. “That’s just a generational thing,” he opines. “Back when Motown first started and when Dick (Clark) first started doing ‘American Bandstand,’ our parents – the older people of that time – looked at what was happening and heard the music and said, ‘What is this crap?’ I think it goes back to the fact that music is generational and such a personal thing. People tend to embrace the music of their generation. I understand the generational thing, but I know people, when they are exposed to some of the music that is being created today, are impressed by what they hear.” As for Don McLean, he shrugs when asked for his take on the


Resolve to Rock Anew in 2014 Stuck in a musical rut? In the new year, singer Diane Birch just may change that

Story by david Laurell

music being produced today. “For the most part, it’s uninspiring,” he contends. “But today’s music is not being produced for people who have been around awhile. That’s the nature of society, and that’s totally appropriate. Each new generation is entitled to their world and their music. Today’s generation is not ours. I’ve been around long enough to see what has become a very prevalent homogenization of thoughts and actions – in our world and in our music. The 1960s were a messy decade that I really didn’t care for, but at least people had attention spans and were thinking a lot of different things and saying what they thought. There was a lot to argue about, and that generated excitement. Today everything is too sanitized and neat.” Tom Andrews, a longtime radio personality who slaved over a hot microphone throughout the 1970s and ‘80s believes Robinson and McLean both make valid points. “While the music from 1955 to 1985 is my wheelhouse, there has been a tremendous amount of great music that has come out since the mid-80s,” says Andrews. “I just think that as you get older, you become so busy with work, and kids, and life, that keeping up with current music is just no longer a part of your life.” Andrews, who says he does keep up with current music to some extent, admits he is a rarity amongst his mid-50s peers. “Their knowledge of today’s music and artists would be very limited,” he says. “Because of their kids, they may know a few of the really big names – Justin Timberlake, or Beyoncé, or Katy Perry, or Lady Gaga – but I doubt if they could name one of their songs, and they are certainly not buying or downloading their music.” A believer that boomers have been spoiled by the musical era they grew up in, Andrews thinks it is very hard for those raised on Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Who, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Doors, The Moody Blues, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Joan Baez, Van Morrison and Elton John to feel anyone can ever live up to their standards. “Baby boomers grew up with such great music that I think it’s hard for them to delve into new stuff when there is such a treasure trove of music from the past that they don’t even have time to listen to,” says Andrews. “And then on top of that, many of those artists – Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney, and Elton John, and the Stones, are all still touring and putting out more great music. Stephen Stills has a new group, the Rides, that are great, and Elton’s latest album (“The Diving Board”) is as good as anything he has ever done. So these classic rockers are still out there giving the boomers new music and no reason to move forward with other artists.” And yet, while he may be in the minority when it comes to boomers who are clued in to current music, Andrews is quick to point out that his peers are missing out on some extremely compelling music. “There are some really great artists out there today,” he preaches. “Lady Gaga has one of the best voices in music and I think when her jazz album with Tony Bennett comes out in 2014, you will see an older audience really take notice of her and realize just what a talent she is.” As for who he recommends for 50-plusers who may be interested in expanding their musical horizons, Andrews reels off a list of those who are amongst his current favorites including Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Gary Clark, Jr., Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Dana Fuchs, Diane Birch, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers, Kings of Leon, Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile, Wilco and Duffy. “That’s just off the top of my head,” says Andrews. “And there are many more that would have real appeal to boomers – people of any age who love good music – if they were just exposed to them.” ✦


Diane Birch

As she gets a little louder, people of all ages are listening a lot closer Story and Photos by David Laurell


or those taking note of Tom Andrews’ recommendations in the previous story (”Resolve to Rock Anew in 2014”), there is one name he mentioned that has recently been popping up on many lists besides his – Diane Birch. Rolling Stone’s Izzy Cihak has written that Birch’s songs “range from a contemporary take on Americana to a brand of soul both reminiscent of Motown and the disco era (at its most sincere and least campy) to the sounds of the 20th century’s most prolific singer/songwriters. Her range makes it difficult to place Birch in a particular genre, but it also makes it hard to find a particular brand of America’s greatest songwriters where she doesn’t fit.” Considered by many to be a female combo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Birch, who will turn 31 next year, has a unique vocal style that has been equated to the royalty of recording including Carole King, Laura Nyro, Stevie Nicks and Karen Carpenter, and TIME. com has put her at the top of their list of Musical Artists to Watch in 2014. Born in Michigan, Birch grew up as a minister’s daughter in a staunchly conservative Seventh Day Adventist family and her early life brought her to Zimbabwe, South Africa and Sydney, Australia due to her father’s missionary work. The family returned to the United States when she was 10 and settled in Portland, Oregon. Attracted to opera, church hymns, and classical music from an early age, Diane began studying piano at the age of seven. “I swear, I grew up like I was from another era,” Birch recently told journalist Tony Gervino of The New York Times. “My mother and father were 20 years older than my friends’ parents, and they were incredibly religious, so while I’m definitely not conservative or traditional by any means, I am, in a sense, a little old-fashioned. I gravitate to things that are really old-fashioned, because in my mind, I think that they’re so ahead of the game.” In what she calls “textbook preacher’s daughter behavior,” Birch’s teenage years saw her rebellious side emerge. She found kindred spirits in Portland’s goth and punk world and became obsessed with bands of the genre including Sisters of Mercy, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Cure and Joy Division. By the time she was in her early 20s, Birch had left Portland for Los Angeles to pursue her career. It was there, in 2006, while playing


piano in the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel, she was “discovered” by Prince. That led to her opening for Stevie Wonder, the release of her well-received first album, “Bible Belt” (S-Curve Records, 2009), invites to appear on all the major talk shows, and tours that took her to every corner of the U.S., Europe and Asia, where she attracted audiences of all ages. This past October, following a difficult few years in which she endured the breakup of a relationship with her boyfriend and the death of her father, who succumbed to cancer in January of 2013, the release of Birch’s second album, “Speak a little Louder” (S-Curve Records, 2013), coincided with a U.S tour and an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Following her appearance with Leno, as the audience filed out of the Burbank studio, a member of the NBC security team – a gentleman in his 70s – was asked what he thought of Birch’s performance. “I rarely take much notice of the musical acts, but she makes you take notice,” he said. “She’s the real deal,” he added. In late October, just prior to a performance at The Troubadour, the legendary West Hollywood club that has served as a launch pad for so many musical greats, Birch sat down with Life After 50 to share her thoughts on various topics including her creative process and why she believes her music has been a magnet for a such a broad generational fan base. With her soulful, brown, doe eyes peeking out from under the most rocking bangs in music since Beatlemania, Birch’s goth-girl persona rapidly melted into a girlish blush as she was apprised of the NBC security guard’s praise. Diane Birch: I look at it as a complete compliment that I am attracting an audience of people of all ages. I consider today’s older generation to have been witness to the era of the greatest pop music ever. For those who were into the Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac, and David Bowie, it’s super exciting to me that they are embracing what I’m doing and coming to my shows when I’m just this new kid on the block. Maybe I have that appeal because so many of my favorite artists are the ones that have been able to cross age gaps, and preferences, and genres, and interests. Like Michael Jackson – artists who have had a cross-over appeal to kids, older people and to international audiences. That has always been the thing for me with my music. I’ve always wanted to touch everyone. Life After 50: You have been equated to so many artists and have been called a balladeer who also does pop, and goth, and R&B, and funk, and blues. One reviewer described you as being “everything from indie to electro to country, folk, gospel and soul.” Where do you see yourself?

(Laughs) I have no point of reference for myself anymore. I don’t know where I belong in the music business or who my demographic is. I play a show and there is every kind of person imaginable in the audience – teenagers, hipsters, goths, older couples, rockers – and that’s great because that diversity is a ➤


Diane Birch manifestation of all the things I have been influenced by. I grew up in a very religious home. I had a very conservative upbringing, and yet, I developed this totally goth fascination. So, I’ve always been all over the place. That has been my challenge, and I think that’s why it has taken me such a long time to discover where I belong. But recently, I have come to realize I have to create where I belong. I don’t find a place; a place finds me. That’s exciting for me, because all of these little things that I have been influenced by throughout my life have been creeping out into my music and I have been fighting for all of those inspirations – for their voices to be heard. I am opposed to those who say you have to make sense, or be one dimensional and fit into a box and a specific genre. I think that is a dated concept because people – no matter what their age – are not into one thing anymore. Often times the genre, or styles, or eras you’re into contradict one another. Look at me, I like new wave and I like goth music. I listen to Enya and then hip hop. That is what you see Kanye (West) doing. It’s, ‘Here ya go. Here’s different kinds of music that can all have its place.’”

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I’ll listen to Bauhaus and then put on Michael McDonald, and then I’ll want to listen to dance hall or hip hop. I’m into so many different types of music, and relate to so many people and artists on so many different levels and styles and genres. I’m into super trendy things – the whole fashion and music of the modern, edgy, underground rock ‘n roll scene. I love avant-garde experimental music. I love Lady Gaga. I think she is really talented and I admire someone who is ballsy in an era when so many artists are manufactured. It’s refreshing to see a girl who can play the piano, and sing, and write songs, and can dance, and has an artistic vision. Your new album includes songs that deal with loss and overcoming self-doubts and sadness and embracing acceptance. Would “Speak a Little Louder” have been a different album had you not lost you father?

Most of the songs were actually written before my father got sick. I know that comes as a surprise, but I wrote the song “It Plays On,” before I even knew he was sick. It was only as time went by, and he passed away, that I realized it was a tribute song to him. The song “Lighthouse” could also be interpreted as one that deals with the loss of my father, but, it was written about the loss I experienced when I broke up with my boyfriend. The thing is, the album is about any type of loss, and grief, and the process of letting go, and realizing that change in life is always inevitable – that you have to find your own center outside of the circumstances that will throw you all the time. Is the Diane Birch who did “Bible Belt” different than the one who did “Speak a Little Louder?”

I’ve grown a lot since my first album. I’ve realized how to navigate between my own desires of wanting something and actually manifesting it. When I did “Bible Belt,” I had my own artistic vision, but I didn’t have the credibility or clout to say, “This is how I want it to be.” I had to take a backseat in some areas of making that record, which is very difficult for me to do. I’ve learned a lot about the music business, and the recording process, and how to work with musicians. I also learned a lot about production. So I’ve grown as an artist, but more than anything, I’ve grown as a human being, which has given me more wind to be able to carry me and help me better implement my ideas. I’ve grown the most in getting what I want and fighting

for my vision in a way that is productive and not destructive. I was adamant about that with the new record. So you’ve learned to speak a little louder.

(Smiles and nods) I didn’t know that “Speak a Little Louder” would be the title track of the album. The song just came about as a stream-of-consciousness thing. It came about while I was on the microphone improvising. I had the verse and I knew the chorus should feel a certain way. I was trying some different things and it just came out (singing)“When you’re wastin’ time and nobody knows what you’re saying, speak a little louder.” I think I just shouted that out, “Speak a little louder!” It was just kind of out of rebellion and me just being silly, and Homer (the Daptones drummer, Homer Steinweiss, who produced the record and collaborated with Birch on several songs) was “Hey! That’s the song! That’s the hook.” It was just one of those things that just came about organically and then, as the album progressed, it became the message. That is what I love about the creative process, as the body of work comes together, all these little fragments of pieces come to the middle and form a chorus and then you connect the dots. It’s almost like your subconscious has forced these ideas out of you and then gives you the chance to bring them together. Some of the greatest songwriters – John Lennon and Bernie Taupin – have been amused by those who have searched for deep meanings in their songs. I remember Taupin once being asked what one of his songs meant and he said he had no idea.

I get that. A lot of times, when I write, things just come out and I don’t know why or what they mean. But I’m really careful not to censor those things just because I don’t know what it means, or that it doesn’t make sense, or I wonder who could have inspired it. There’s a song on “Speak a Little Louder” – “Adelaide.” It’s not about a person or a place, but it is more of a symbol or an entity. I don’t even know where the name came from, but it has a beautiful ring to it and it rolls off the tongue well. Do you have a process when you write? Do you write lyrics to music or vice versa?

I usually do music and lyrics simultaneously. Melodies really come quickly for me. I’ll just sit at the piano and it’s like (singing)“yaoowza zaalowa” and then words kind of form out of that. I rarely write lyrics and then try to make them into a song. I will usually write the melody and just allow the words to form. Then, the more I’ll sing it to myself, the more I’ll hear that a vowel or a consonant really needs to be in a certain place and ultimately the words just take shape around the melody. Sometimes it’s just like a puzzle that has to be put together. When I was writing the song “Superstar,” it was weird. I came up with line, “They got Bowie playing on the radio,” and all of a sudden it was, “Oh my God, why don’t I say, “We got life on Mars,” in the next part, because I had already said, “Let’s go dance on Mars” (Bowie fans, especially those familiar with his 1972 concept album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” will get that). That was a very magical song for me. It just rolled out of me. I felt like I was channeling some kind of godly place. It just happened so organically and flowed and it was like “whoa whoa,” like I was just a vessel and the ideas were coming through me and I was irrelevant to the situation. I just felt that song was in me and needed me to give it its place and the space to breathe. I really felt like I was receiving a message and it was just my job to put it out there. And putting it out there, she is. Speaking to those who have already discovered and love her, and doing it a little louder for those who are, perhaps, reluctant to believe...there is still a lot of great music being made.✦

If you are thinking about expanding your musical horizons in 2014, there is no better artist to begin with than Diane Birch. Her two albums, “Bible Belt” and the newly released “Speak a Little Louder,” are available through her website, www.


Defeating Denial

Coming to terms with reality following a cancer diagnosis By Deborah J. Cornwall and Max Andrews


e all want to believe we’re in control of our lives and that things don’t just randomly occur. However, no matter how firmly someone holds to that belief, it can be shattered in seconds when cancer is diagnosed. As a result of formal interviews with 86 cancer patients, caregivers and family members, and informal conversations with dozens of others, it was revealed that most everyone experienced violent and mind-numbing visions at the moment they were told of the diagnosis. They described their total loss of control as if it were a car crash or an earthquake. For most, the shock of the diagnosis forced them to confront reality. For others, denial greatly complicated the situation. Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or reality. Many psychologists and social workers contend that denial can be a perfectly natural and even somewhat helpful as a defense mechanism for dealing with a traumatic change. It can serve as a stepping stone toward acceptance. For a short period, it can help patients and those that love them cope. It can be a protective function that buys time to think, to gather information, and to marshal resources that help us absorb reality in digestible bites. However, when prolonged denial begins to stand in the way of a patient’s treatment, comfort, or well-being, it’s no longer helpful to anyone. Prolonged denial may come in the form of challenging the physician’s diagnosis and seeking out third or fourth or even fifth opinions in cases where the cancer isn’t exceedingly rare or doesn’t require scarce medical expertise. In those cases, further research may simply postpone needed treatments. Denial may also manifest itself by obsessively surfing the Internet and seeking out “alternative” treatments (instead of proven medical ones) and remedies that lack any empirical justifications. Or, it may (at worst), result in telling a dying patient that they could get better if they just tried harder, or refusing to call in hospice when a dying patient needs pain control or anxiety relief.

Strategies for breaking the grip of denial


If cancer has touched you or someone close to you and you recognize any of these manifestations of denial, you should do everything possible to establish ongoing dialogue between the patient, the healthcare team, other family members, and support resources to create perspective. In most cases, the dialogue needs to be initiated by the person in denial, at a rate that feels digestible. Part of making it digestible is helping the individual figure out what elements of the experience are more controllable than others. That may come from more interaction with patients and family members who are having parallel experiences and may be farther along in the process of redefining their own avenues for restoring normalcy and control. Sharing feelings of helplessness and even fear can validate those feelings while inspiring practical and potentially empowering actions. Keeping a journal and written records of what is said by involved parties and at medical appointments can also be a great help in overcoming denial. Record personal feelings, hopes and fears, and then periodically review your entries to reflect on whether you and everyone involved are coming to grips with reality in a constructive way. Sometimes writing your own deepest feelings and thoughts can help you say things to yourself that may be unspeakable to others. Journaling can be a very positive tool in helping you start moving from denial to acceptance. Remember, when cancer is diagnosed, the patient must always be everyone’s focus. Ideally, all members of the family and caregiving team should strive to go through the experience with their eyes wide open and with a strong sense of mutual support in confronting and planning for reality – doing everything possible to assist a patient who is in remission, or supporting a dying patient with dignity, love and respect.âœŚ Deborah J. Cornwall is the author of “Things I Wish I’d Known: Cancer Caregivers Speak Out,â€? a book based on interviews with 86 cancer caregivers and dozens of patients and survivors. For more information or to purchase the book, click on

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A Home of H olidays, History...and Hope By Max Andrews | Photos courtesy Coldwell Banker, Hilton and Hyland and Linda Hope


hile the playing of Bing Crosby’s recording of “White Christmas” is a traditional part of the Yuletide season, for one family, who for many years lived at 10346 Moorpark Street in Toluca Lake, the tradition was for Bing himself to actually stop by and sing the Irving Berlin classic. “Bing sang ‘White Christmas’ in our living room on numerous occasions,” recalls Linda Hope, the daughter of legendary comedian Bob Hope. “He would even come by our house with his family caroling.” Along with Crosby’s Christmas crooning, for over 70 years, that Moorpark Street home also served as the venue for meetings, visits, dinners and parties that included Hollywood’s elite and political luminaries including U.S. presidents. From 1940, when the Hope family moved in, until Bob’s passing in 2003 and the death of his wife, Dolores, in 2011, the home was always abuzz with activity that came to a crescendo during the Christmas season. “My mother was a very devout Catholic, so Christmas was a big deal,” says Linda. “Our house was always beautifully decorated and my mother was very involved in overseeing the decorating with all the ornaments she had collected


over the years. We had this large nativity set with hand-carved Italian figures that she would set up in the living room. I remember from the time it was set up and all throughout the season, there would be no baby in the crib. Then, the first thing on Christmas morning, when we woke up and ran downstairs, the baby Jesus would be in the crib.” Linda says that, because of her dad’s dedication to entertaining oversees troops during the holidays, Christmas was almost always a two-part celebration for the Hope family. “My mother would let each of us kids open five presents on Christmas Day,” she recalls. “Everything else had to stay under the tree until dad came home and we could have Christmas with him. I would always try to find him the most outrageous golf pants as a gift. That was my little tradition with him.” This year, things are very different at the 14,876-square-foot home that sits on a compound stretching out over five acres. There will be no sign of Marine One landing in the backyard, no comings and goings of Tinseltown royalty, no decorations, and no gathering of Hope family members. During this holiday season, the house will sit empty, waiting for a new family to call it home - and that family could be yours! If, that is, you happen to have $27.5 million to spare. ➤

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The house has gone under two major restorations, one in the 1950s and the second in the 1970s. However, it was constantly being remodeled or added on to. The joke was that every time Bob went away on tour, Dolores would add a room or two, making it hard for Bob to find his way around when he returned. The house got so big, in fact, that Hope, who said he “performed for eleven presidents, and entertained eight,” was once asked by Johnny Carson if he would ever consider running for president. “Noooo,” Rapid Robert replied emphatically during an appearance on “The Tonight Show.” “Dolores would never be willing to move into a smaller house.” Along with its nine bathrooms (not counting the ones in the guest house, servants’ quarters, the office or the grounds), seven bedrooms (not counting guest house or servants’ quarters), the tree-lined property also offers a putting green, three rose gardens, an outdoor Olympic swimming pool, an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, and parking for 50 cars. If you are in the market for a new place and you’re thinking the Hope house may be what you’ve been looking for, you should be aware the property is being offered under the terms of a covenant. “My parents made provisions that the

house was not to be sold to an organization or a developer,” Linda explains. “This was done so that it would stay intact as a family home for at least five years. It was mostly done out of respect to their neighbors, but, of course, my wish is that the house, with all of its history and memories, would always remain as it is today.” As for the sale of her family home, a sense of melancholia overtakes Linda as she is asked about her feelings. “It’s difficult to come to terms with the reality that, finally, the home I grew up in will be owned by someone else,” she says with a sigh. “Everything about the house and everything that was in it had a story and meaning and a memory associated with it. It will be really sad, during this holiday season, not to see the big nativity scene we always put out on the Ledge Avenue corner of the house. But at least people will still get to enjoy it. My mother left it to Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, and they now present it on the grounds there.” The sale of the Hope estate is being handled by Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker and Drew Fenton of Hilton and Hyland. All of the proceeds from the home’s sale will go to the Dolores Hope Foundation in support of three of her favorite charities that give assistance to children, the underprivileged and veterans.✦







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11/20/13 1:27 PM


The Merry Soul of the Kings’ Cole photo by David Laurell

Singer and actress Tina Cole on her life and families – on screen and off By David Laurell


s the first generation to grow up immersed in the programs, personalities, characters and culture of television, baby boomers – unlike their parents or offspring – lived through that pre-cable extremely-limited-choice era when everyone, of every age, watched or was familiar with the same shows. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, variety shows and situation comedies attracted cross-generational viewing and, when it came to the holiday season, just about every family gathered around the tube for “specials” hosted by a cavalcade of entertainers such as Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Andy Williams. When the post-war babes think back on that time, the names and images of so many singers and actors pop into their heads, including one who regularly appeared on just about every variety show of the era, had roles on


two of America’s most popular television programs and, along with her family, was a regular on numerous holiday specials – Tina Cole. As a member of The King Family Singers, their subgroup, The Four King Cousins, her recurring appearance as Sunny Day on “Hawaiian Eye,” and the role that made her a star – Katie Miller Douglas on “My Three Sons,” Cole was a seemingly omnipresent fixture on television for two decades. As the archetypal all-American-girlnext-door, her broad cross-generational appeal saw her do something that few people in the public eye have ever done – captivate boomer boys with crushes, serve as a role model for their female counterparts, and set the standard for the type of girl every parent hoped their sons would bring home to meet them. The rise of America’s First Family of Song Born into a show business family, Cole’s mother, Yvonne King, was a member of The Four King Sisters. The first female vocal group to perform jazz-based four-part harmonies, the quartet, who recorded for RCA Records, charted with 13 hit songs including “Mairzy Doates,” “Nighty Night,” “Miss Otis Regrets,” “San Fernando Valley,” “Jersey Bounce” and the “Hut-Sut Song” between 1941 and 1945. “My mother and her sisters had been performing together since they were children,” says Cole. “They had several career rebirths and, ultimately, The King Family grew out of their act.” Known as “America’s First Family of Song,” The King Family, under the musical direction of guitar virtuoso Alvino Rey, was comprised of The King Sisters and 30plus brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles and children. Their first national exposure came after the devout Mormon family was asked to perform at a fundraiser to assist Utah’s Brigham Young University in the building of an athletic field house. Their show had been filmed and Cole’s mother thought it might be something one of the networks would be interested in airing. “She called Elton Rule, who was the head of ABC at the time,” Cole recalls. “He loved it and that led to us doing ‘The Hollywood Palace’ in 1964.” Presenting their wholesome take on standards and show tunes, the clean-cut and fresh-faced Bob Mackie-costumed family members resonated with viewers and went on to become one of the most popular and beloved family acts of the 1960s and ‘70s.

In addition to starring in 17 holiday specials, they appeared on every variety show Life after Katie of the time, recorded a string of albums for Warner Bros. Records, including their After “My Three Sons” was dropped by CBS in 1972, Cole returned to performhugely popular Christmas offerings, headlined at the nation’s top concert venues and ing with The Four King Cousins. “We did quite a bit of recording, toured all over the were regular performers at Disneyland. world and opened for Wayne Newton and John Byner,” she recalls. “I was on the road “Our Christmas specials stemmed from our real-life family celebrations,” Cole eight months out of the year and was really looking to establish a more stable life. I explains. “Our family has had a tradition of doing Christmas caroling parties since was up for the co-host job with Regis Philbin that went to Cindy Garvey. Losing that back in the 1940s. Every year, instead of just job was a real blow. When that didn’t happen, it getting to together and eating canapes while was a rough time for me. I was 36, tired of living making small talk, we would have family this gypsy lifestyle, and didn’t have any idea of members do readings and share stories and what I wanted to do.” we would all sing. Everybody felt such a spirit Making the decision to move to the Bay of family and Christmas. We had a wonderful Area, regroup and figure out what she wanted family home in Sherman Oaks that had been to do with the rest of her life, Cole was soon purchased by my grandparents and then passed tapped to serve as the director of the Sacradown. It was our base and we would all gather mento Children’s Theatre and also coached there for weddings and funerals and holidays. acting classes at the John Robert Powers acting It didn’t even have to be Christmas or Thanksschools in Roseville and Elk Grove. giving. It could have been Groundhog Day. We Asked if, as the years went by, she kept in would use any excuse to get this big Mormon touch with Grady, who died of cancer in 2012 family together,” she adds with a laugh. at the age of 68, Cole says they did, but only Along with three of her cousins – Cathy, slightly. “We would run into one another at Carolyn and Candy – Cole had been regularly events or functions now and then. But when featured in many of The Four King Sisters’ he became ill, I didn’t want to intrude. I really The reunited Four King Cousins (from left): performances since she was a toddler. This led to wanted to contact him, but he was married and Carolyn, Tina, Candy and Cathy. the girls providing background vocals for a galhad a family and l didn’t feel it was my place. So axy of recording artists including Frank Sinatra, photo courtesy Pollyoentertainment, LLC. I just thought of him and kept him in my prayers. Ella Fitzgerald, The Everly Brothers and Doris Day, before establishing their own act I knew, from what I had heard, that he was worse off than he was letting on, and I – The Four King Cousins. finally wrote him an e-mail and he wrote back. It was a beautiful e-mail in which he “I was 15 when we were doing that back-up work for Warner Bros. Records and talked about his wife and kids and how proud he was of them. He said I had set the one day, a television producer came in and wanted us to record a song for one of his bar high, which meant a lot to me. I’m so glad I did reach out to him, because we did shows,” Cole says. “My cousins and I did an arrangement and performed it for the have a special relationship.” Warner Bros. people and, as we were leaving, they asked me to wait in the lobby. I was finally called into this room with these men, who asked me if I would do a A comeback for Cole and the cousins screen test. They called my mom, who agreed. So they screen-tested me and liked me Cole, who will turn 71 this coming summer, has recently done something she never enough to sign me on as a contract player. They put me on various shows and then expected to do – professionally reunite with The Four King Cousins. “In 2009, PBS “Hawaiian Eye,” which led to doing a few roles on ‘My Three Sons.’ ” did a documentary – ‘Christmas with the King Family’ – that celebrated our Christmas specials,” she says. “After that, we were all having people ask us if we would ever From a cousin to Katie record or perform again. Now, we hadn’t sang publicly since the 1980s, so, in May of Having debuted in 1960, “My Three Sons” was already a huge hit by the time Cole 2013, just to see if we could still do it, we got together and released a new CD (“More was tapped for small roles as a neighbor of the Douglas family and then as one of Today Than Yesterday – Classic Songs of the ‘60s & ‘70s”). The CD sold out and we Robbie Douglas’ schoolmates. had so much fun singing together again. It all just came back. So we decided to see if “That was 1967 and I had just had a baby and was working with The King Family were to perform, if anyone would come.” and The Four King Cousins,” Cole recalls. “We were appearing as regulars on the And come they did. The Four King Cousins staged their comeback before a sold ‘Kraft Summer Music Hall’ with John Davidson and Flip Wilson and George Carlin out audience at Hollywood’s famed Catalina Jazz Club this past November and are and Richard Pryor, and I got a call from the producer of ‘My Three Sons’ who said currently planning more performances in 2014. they were looking for someone to play the part of Robbie’s wife. They had looked at about 2,000 girls and couldn’t find what they were looking for, so they asked me to Embracing life as the matriarch come in and meet with them.” Today, Cole, who is battling the early onset of macular degeneration, says she is Arriving at the studio, the then-23-year-old Cole met with Fred De Cordova, who looking forward to what 2014 and beyond will bring and is excited about the proswas directing the show. “He told me people liked the show because it had a certain pect of performing for old fans as well as a new generation. structure and that they weren’t really sure how viewers would accept change,” says “My mom and all of her sisters are now gone,” says Cole. “So, as the oldest of the Cole. “He said they needed a girl who was a little feisty and, while not too sappy, still girls, I’m now the matriarch of the King family and I’m really enjoying my life and had to be sweet enough so she wouldn’t alienate the audience who had bought into have great peace in my soul. I’m savoring moments and appreciating things more the premise of it being an all-male show. I also met with Fred MacMurray (the show’s than ever before. I know it sounds like all those corny sayings you see on plaques, but star) and, before I left that day, they had me sign a contract, sent me home with a just having fun and finding the enjoyment of family and little things – good music, script and we started shooting a week-and-a-half later.” flowers, food, my faith – that’s what means the most to me today.” ✦ According to Cole, the decision to cast her as Katie was one that, while championed by MacMurray, was objected to by Don Grady who played Robbie. “Fred had a lot to do with me getting cast as Katie, but Don was really against it,” says Cole. “I had no idea about that at the time and only learned of it later. He had told the producers that I wasn’t his type. Now, I WAS his type to Fred MacMurray, and to everyone For more information on Tina Cole, else – but not to him. Don liked skinny little surfer-girl types, like Peggy Lipton. I was The Four King Cousins, their upcoming definitely not that. I was round and bouncy. From what I later learned, he almost quit appearances or to order their latest CD, when he was told they had decided to go with me.” “More Today Than Yesterday – Classic Ironically, Cole began to grow on Grady, and by the 1968-69 season, when Robbie Songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s,” click on and Katie became the parents of triplets, the two had developed feelings for one other in real life. “Don and I really became crazy about one another,” she reveals. “We even talked about getting married at various times over the years, but it was always a situation that when it was right for me, it wasn’t for him, or the other way around.”


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deal of fun. Material may be inappropriate for the faint of heart – or those under 18. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. $39-$64 (310) 208-5454. geffenplayhouse. com. WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION JAM Musicians and cowboy poets perform stories and songs of the romantic days of the Old West, contemporary music of the American West and songs of the open range and the American cowboy. The Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles. $6-$10. (323) 667-2000. MONDAY, DECEMBER 16 ICE AT SANTA MONICA Ice skate in this beachside community where an 8,000-square-foot outdoor seasonal ice skating rink transforms the corner of Fifth St. and Arizona Ave. A smaller rink for kids, 5 and under. 1324 Fifth St., Santa Monica. $12. (310)461-8333. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17



MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET The Nowaks have always felt special, ever since the night Clara’s father, an immigrant from war-torn Poland, had a miraculous vision in his barbershop. Nearly 65 years later in their gritty, deteriorating neighborhood things have changed for the family when a deathbed confession causes the family legend to unravel with unexpectedly dramatic results. The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third St., Burbank. Prices vary. (818) 558-7000.

DOWNTOWN ON ICE Get your glide on at this holiday season at this outdoor community skating rink. Enjoy festive


PLAY DEAD Weaving together storytelling, illusion and telepathy proves that there is nothing more arousing than unholy resurrection and we’re never so alive as when we’re scared to death. The stories and events contain some disturbing images, brief moments of nudity and a great

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18 A CHRISTMAS CAROL The holiday classic by Charles Dickens is adapted for the stage by Geoff Elliott. A Noise Within, 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Wed.-Sun. through Dec. 22. $40-$52. (626) 356-3100. CONEY ISLAND CHRISTMAS Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl, much to her immigrant parents’ exasperation, is cast as Jesus in the school’s Christmas pageant. The play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays and is a perfect tradition to begin with your friends and family. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. Dates vary through Dec. 24. $39-$64 (310) 208-5454.

The exhibit surveys the renowned architect’s career from his formative works of the 1960s and early 1970s to recent projects around the world. In addition to models, the exhibition uses sketches, drawings, photographs, and films of more than 30 building projects to explore Safdie’s aesthetic language of transcendent light, powerful geometry, and iconic forms. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Tues.-Sun. through March 2. $7-$10. (310) 4404500.

events including a holiday concert series, a Winter Holiday Festival (Dec. 14), championship skating exhibitions and broomball games. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive, Los Angeles. Through Jan. 20. $9/one-hour skate session. $3 skate rental. (213) 847-4970.

season performing beautiful holiday favorites well as some of her greatest hits. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles. $34-$91. (323) 850-2000.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: TWIST YOUR DICKENS! The reloaded and re-twisted production features Scrooge, the Cratchits and all the timetraveling ghosts normally found in this Dickens uplifting holiday fare while breathing new life into the classic tale with celebrity guests, audience-interactive improvisation, a few new characters and a festive party atmosphere in the lobby. Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Dates vary through Dec. 29. $20-$65. (213) 628-2772. THE LATEST ON ROSES Rose Horticulturalist Hector Silva discusses the newest trends in rose care and introduces some new rose varieties. Part of “Get Dirty: A Garden Series. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. Free. (818) 949-4200. A JUDY COLLINS CHRISTMAS Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Judy Collins, known for her silvery soprano and eclectic tastes, fills the hall with the spirit of the

THIRD WEDNESDAYS Neighborhood-wide holiday happy hour. Celebrate yuletide spirit and goodwill for all under the sparkling lights of the boulevards and the Culver City Christmas Tree. Make merry with free samples, discounts and a sleigh-full of beer specials at area bars and dining establishments. Enjoy drink and dinner specials, free samples, discounts and prize giveaways from over 30 area merchants. Downtown Culver City, between Culver and Washington Blvds. and Dusquene Ave., Culver City. GLENDALE NOON CONCERTS First Baptist Church of Glendale, 209 N. Louise St., Glendale. Free. (818) 242-2113. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19 THE STEWARD OF CHRISTENDOM Set in the early 1930s at an Irish county mental home, 75-year-old Thomas Dunne (Brian Dennehy) has been committed by his daughter. Here, his mind wanders in and out of lucidity as he remembers his childhood, his wife and children and his career as the head of Dublin’s Metropolitan Police, where he rose through the

CALENDAR ranks to the highest position a Catholic could hope to achieve. Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Through Jan. 5. $20-$70. (213) 628-2772. GOD’S GYPSY The world premiere of a humanizing portrait of Teresa of Avila, the 16th century mystic who became one of the most controversial reformers of the Catholic Church. This highly sensorial theater piece explores Teresa’s Jewish roots, her unconventional prayer life, her clashes with the Inquisition and her profound spirituality. Lillian Theatre, 1076 Lillian Way, Los Angeles. Thurs.-Sun. through Jan. 12. $30. godsgypsy. com. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20 PETER AND THE STARCATCHER This a swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan, tells the tale of an orphan who heads to a faraway land, where he finds love, friendship and ultimately, himself. Center Theatre Group/ Ahmanson Theatre At the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Dates vary through Jan. 12. $20-$110. (213) 972-4400. STOMP Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra, eight Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. This show uses everything but conventional percussion instruments - dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, and hub caps - to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd. (near La Cienega Blvd.), Beverly Hills. $42-$72. Dates vary through Jan. 5. (877) 598-8497. stomponline. com.

Dec 2013-Jan 2014 LA/Ventura contemporary songs, the exquisite singers of Chanticleer never fail to spark the Christmas spirit. The concerts culminate in Mussorgsky’s fanciful, powerful musical paintings. Los Angeles Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles. $34-$91. (323) 850-2000. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21 FIESTA NAVIDEÑAS A special ‘south-of-the-border’ celebration laden with seasonal accents, including a traditional Christmas processional (posada), Mexican holiday songs (villancicos), a visit from the three wise men, a festive piñata scene and a vibrant holiday finale performed in the spirit of a true mariachi fiesta. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. $28-$50. (562) 944-9801, (714) 9946310. NAPLES ISLAND HOLIDAY BOAT PARADE Gondolas and festively decorated small and large vessels cruise the canals of Naples Island and Alamitos Bay. Carolers, decorated homes and businesses. HOLIDAY SING-ALONG Lift your voice and sing along to all your favorite Christmas and holiday songs. Lyric sheets will be provided to all. Family-friendly. Special guest Julie Andrews will offer her storytelling talents. Los Angeles Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles. $29$80. (323) 850-2000.

Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. $41-$156. (805) 449-2787.

JANUARY 2014 SUNDAY, JANUARY 5 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. SALUTE TO VIENNA Patterned after Vienna’s world famous “Neujahrskonzert” the show features a cast of some 75 musicians, European singers and dancers in beautiful costumes and a lighthearted blend of popular Strauss waltzes, polkas and famous operetta excerpts from “Die Fledermaus,” “The Merry Widow” and others. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. $42-$126. (800) 745-3000. FRIDAY, JANUARY 10 MAN OF LA MANCHA Set in a prison during the Spanish Inquisition, the story of knight-errant Don Quixote is told as

a play within a play. Featuring the songs “The Impossible Dream,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Dulcinea.” the production is “engrossing,” raves the Los Angeles Times. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Also Jan. 11. $40-$68. (562) 4678818. ANDY MCKEE After 150 million collective views for his YouTube videos, this self-taught musician from Topeka has emerged as one of the world’s finest steel-string acoustic guitar soloists. Pepperdine University Center for the Arts, Smothers Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. $15-$35. TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 MAMMA MIA Writer Catherine Johnson’s sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Through Jan. 19. $59-$74. (805) 449-2787.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22 HANDEL’S MESSIAH The concert provides the opportunity to hear this riveting oratorio – filled with soaring high notes, powerful bass, majestic brass and luscious orchestrations. Composed in 1741 in a mere 24 days, Handel’s English-language oratorio may be the most performed classical work of all time. It is set to the libretto by Charles Jennens, who drew texts from the King James and Great Bibles. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Also Dec. 14. $29-$119. (213) 972-7282. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24

DAVE KOZ AND FRIENDS CHRISTMAS Get into the holiday spirit with multi-Grammy nominee and saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz as he is joined by Gospel great Oleta Adams, singer-guitarist Jonathan Butler, and chart-topping keyboardist Keiko Matsui. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Also Dec. 21. $50$95. (562) 467-8818. A CHANTICLEER CHRISTMAS With a repertoire ranging from Medieval and Renaissance classics to spiritual and

LOS ANGELES COUNTY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION Enjoy choirs, music ensembles and dance companies from the many neighborhoods and cultures of Los Angeles to celebrate the season. The entire three-hour program will be broadcast on KCET-TV. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion @ the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Free. (213) 972-3099. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31 BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY The high-energy nine-piece ensemble continues takes things to the next level and urges their millions of fans worldwide to shake and move to their inimitable grooves while also expanding their horizons with new musical inspiration and influence. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 Thousand



Broadway’s most popular songs and shows come to life in a spectacular presentation of graceful figure-skating set to catchy stage tunes. The talented ensemble of skaters and musical performers makes this an unforgettable, one-ofa-kind theatrical experience. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Also Dec. 28. $40-$65. (562) 467-8818.



Dec 2013-Jan 2014 LA/Ventura Museum, 40 Presidential Dr., Simi Valley. Through Jan. 5. $13-$16. (800) 410-8354. SPY: THE SECRET WORLD OF ESPIONAGE This exhibition displays some 300 documents and spy gadgets – many of which have never before been seen – or even known – reveal an unseen picture of the mysterious world of espionage. Visitors slip into a secret world of patriots, spies, moles, traitors and spy catchers: a world with heroes and villains, whose actions helped shape the world we live in today. Become a spy with the interactive displays that offer thrilling on-the-spot training, including secret writing, disguise, voice changing and a laser maze. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Dr., Simi Valley. Through March 9. $13-$16. (800) 4108354.



How can one evening at the theater change history? The unfolding of events of April 14, 1865 did just that as the lives of those in the audience and those in our country would never be the same. Uncovering Abraham Lincoln’s White House piano and many of the era’s personalities to tell these stories best, Hershey Felder regales audiences with a stunningly new and insightful look at the artistry, politics and individuals surrounding that fateful night at Ford’s Theatre. From vaudeville to minstrel shows to American hymns and songs of patriotism, Felder’s signature storytelling and music reminds us of our collective history and how the history of the brave emboldens us all. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. Through Jan. 13. $37-$77. (310) 208-2028.

EXHIBITIONS CHEAP TRICK: I WANT YOU TO WANT ME! This one-of-a-kind exhibition offers an indepth look at the impressive career of Cheap Trick, who continue to reign as power-pop progenitors with a musical legacy spanning over 35 years. The exhibit features guitars played by Rick Nielsen, including his 1952 Fender Telecaster used when performing at Budokan; “Dream Police” costumes and original photographs; original lyrics to several hits; personal correspondence, tour ephemera and photographs. The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, 4th floor, Mike Curb Gallery, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. Through June 30. $12-$13. (213) 765-6803. SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 WAYNE THIEBAUD: WORKS ON PAPER, 1948–2004 Printmaking has always been an important medium for California Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud. Throughout his career, he turned to graphics to develop pictorial ideas by exploring unique qualities of line and color.


This exhibition, drawn from the holdings of the California State University, Sacramento, covers his entire career from the 1950s to the present and includes examples of his work in etching, lithography, woodcut and other graphic media. Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu. Through March 30. Free. (310) 506-4851.

JUNIPERO SERRA AND THE LEGACIES OF THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS The life of Junípero Serra (1713-1784)—and his impact on Indian life and California culture through his founding of missions—is the subject of this comprehensive, international loan exhibition. The displays examines Serra’s early life and career in Mallorca, Spain; his mission work in Mexico and California;

SAM FRANCIS Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections. The exhibition celebrates internationally acclaimed California native Sam Francis (1923–1994), one of the state’s most historically significant artists. Featuring a colorful range of the artist’s paintings and unique works on paper, this survey highlights different periods of the artist’s works, beginning in the 1940s, and leading up to the artist’s influential and expansive body of work created between the 1950s and the 1990s. Pasadena Museum of Art, 490 East Union Street, Pasadena. Through Jan. 5. $5-$7. Wed.-Sun. (626) 568-3665. Get the Word Out. E-mail your announcements to Claire Fadden, Include a brief description, location, date, time, cost, phone and website. Submission does not guarantee publication. Deadline for the January/February calendar is December 1.

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Come Celebrate with Us!! THE PLAIDS ARE BACK! JAN. 31-FEB. 9 2014


TINA’S TOYS AND OTHER THINGS Contemporary Sculpture by Jeff Sanders. From small to monumental, Sanders’s pieces are executed with sensitivity, precision and frequent expressions of tongue-in-cheek humor. He works adeptly with aluminum, poly resins, patinas, and numerous other components. Museum of Ventura County, 100 E. Main St., Ventura. Through Feb.2. $3-$4. (805) 653-0323. A CALIFORNIA CHRISTMAS This annual Christmas tree exhibit showcases the great state of California, featuring natural beauties and manmade attractions. Twenty-four trees will represent not only tourist attractions such as the cities of San Francisco and nearby Los Angeles, but also historical landmarks and national parks like Yosemite and the Redwoods. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and

the diversity and complexity of California Indian cultures; and the experiences of the missionaries and Indians who lived in the missions. Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens, Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Through Jan. 6. $12-$15. 626405-2100.

MAR. 28-APR. 6 2014


JULY 18-27 2014

BUY A MINISEASON & SAVE!!! Cabrillo Music Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


To advertise in this section, contact Ed Boitano at (818) 985-8132 or

THE BEST OF 2013 TRAVEL Compiled by Ed BoItAno, Travel Editor HAWAII ALOHA HAWAIIAN VACATIONS - For more than 30 years the Overman family has been exclusively providing affordable, quality All Inclusive Vacation Packages to Hawaii. They offer All-Inclusive Hawaii vacations to Maui, Kauai, the Big Island of Hawaii and Oahu (Waikiki, Honolulu). Their competitively priced pre-planned vacations are NOT “organized tours”, and you have many choices and much flexibility, with lots of free time and you dine whenever you desire. They do all the planning, coordinating, and organizing your vacation before you arrive which allows you to maximize your fun and relaxation time in Hawaii. (800) 256-4211 or CONDOMINIUM RENTALS HAWAII has been managing vacation rental condos on Maui and Kauai for over 30 years. Select from more than 350 one- and two-bedroom condos on or across the street from the beach. Save with 15% OFF standard rates now through 2014! (855) 318-6766 or

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HANALEI VACATIONS specializes in Hawaii vacation rentals on Kauai’s beautiful North Shore. Guests can choose from budget friendly fully-equipped condominiums to cottages on the beach and luxury homes with pools surrounded by tropical vegetation. Locations include Princeville, Haena, Hanalei and Waipouli. Call for special pricing and discounts on island activities. Contact us today for the vacation you’ve always dreamed of! (800) ALASKA CRUISES AND VACATIONS BY TYEE TRAVEL - What kind of cruise is right 487-9833 or for you? From casual small-ship cruises to elegant luxury ships, Alaskans at Alaska Cruises & Vacations have experience and first-hand knowledge to plan your perfect KAUAI CALLS offers a variety of fully furnished condos and, cottage rentals for your cruise. Customize a land tour to make your journey complete. For advice from Alaskans Kauai vacation. The most beautiful and the oldest of all the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is who cruise themselves, go online at or call (800) 977-9705 the island of which dreams are made, the very definition of a tropical paradise. Set your heart free in the quiet majesty of the island’s lush tropical setting and extraordinary ALASKA DENALI TRAVEL – DENALI BACKCOUNTRY LODGE - Alaska Travel Experts, natural heritage. Kauai Calls you to discover the legendary Aloha Spirit that abounds Denali Specialists. Enjoy a unique experience deep within Denali National Park at our in this friendly garden paradise. Contact Candace at (888) 822-2403; candace@ or to Alaska’s only regularly scheduled public rail transportation service make reservations or request additional information for island activities.


DOLPHIN BAY HOTEL - Looking for a hotel on the Big Island of Hawai’i? Experience the Aloha that the resort hotels lack. Just a short walk from downtown Hilo, Dolphin Bay Hotel offers comfortable accommodations at a reasonable price. We cater to people who want to see the real Hawaii. We offer four types of units, each with a fully equipped kitchen, a bath/ shower, cable color TV, free Wi-Fi and table fans. Stay at the hotel “rated the nicest small hotel in the Hilo area.” (877) 935-1466 or KO`A KEA HOTEL & RESORT is nestled on the shores of picturesque Po`ipu Beach on HANALEI COLONY RESORT is nestled on a secluded stretch of golden beach set the island of Kauai. The intimate boutique against the magnificent mountains of Kauai’s North Shore. This is an intimate Kauai resort features a contemporary design to beach resort that offers much more than just a place to stay. Hanalei Colony is an the 121 guest rooms and suites, as well as escape for those seeking a break from modern-day stress, a hideaway for families the popular Red Salt lounge and restaurant and a luxury spa facility. The resort is the closest property to the beach (literally just a few steps),Attention and is ideal for anyone looking for an intimate and quiet escape to the islands. (808) 828-8888 or www.


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THE PUFFIN INN is conveniently located near the Ted Stevens International Airport and Lake Hood and just ten minutes from Downtown Anchorage, shopping, flight The Adventure Capital of Alaska seeing, fishing and more. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, the Puffin Inn has ALASKA RAILROAD covers 500 miles of Alaska’s most stunning scenery. The fabulous four distinct room styles to suit your needs. rail experience includes premium Gold Star Service to Seward and Denali, comfortable Enjoy a morning newspaper and deluxe seating in Adventure Class, and knowledgeable tour guides. The railroad has transported continental breakfast served daily. Free passengers through Alaska for close to a century. Open year-round, the Alaska Railroad’s Airport shuttle available. (800) 4PUFFIN or adventure packages and day trips include the finest accommodations and sightseeing tours along the rail belt. (800) 544-0552 or exclusive Denali Backcountry Lodge. More than a beautiful location; experience the area with naturalist-guided hikes, gold panning, independent fishing and biking, or schedule a massage at our private spa, The Nest. Our travel consultants can help plan the perfect Alaskan escape for you and your family. Get your FREE Alaska Travel Planner at www. or (800) 808-8068.

BREEZE INN HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER - A relaxing getaway in Seward, Alaska, the Breeze Inn offers a fulfilling lodging and dining experience in a breathtaking setting. Where nesting eagles and patrolling sea lions are your neighbors, the Breeze Inn is also in the heart of Seward’s busy small boat harbor on Resurrection Bay, within walking distance of most of the activities of our beautiful coastal town. All rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi and full cable with HBO. Outside your room, spectacular sights and incredible adventures await! (888) 224-5237 or


Explore the Road Less Traveled

DISCOVER KODIAK -Kodiak, Alaska’s Emerald Isle, offers miles of scenic coastline for beachcombing in quiet solitude while eagles soar overhead. Worldclass fishing, bear viewing, whale watching, birding, and unspoiled scenery make Kodiak the best place to experience authentic Alaska. Museums, picturesque harbors, shopping, restaurants serving the freshest seafood and kind hospitality round out your experience in “the real Alaska.� Kodiak - the only way to see Alaska. (800) 789-4782 or HAINES, ALASKA is like no other destination. With fascinating history, intriguing culture, breathtaking scenery and adventure to last a lifetime, there’s no question that your time spent in Haines will be enjoyed and remembered for years to come. Journey on up the Inside Passage and discover your Haines adventure! (800) 458-3579 or

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hiking, golf, biking, and a quaint village full of shops and restaurants, and much more. For the time you do spend indoors, make sure it’s a premium vacation rental from Big Bear Cool Cabins. Our cabins are close to all the fun. We have pet friendly cabins available too. Se Habla Espaùol! (800) 550-8779 or THE CEDAR HOUSE SPORT HOTEL, located just outside the Historic Downtown District of Truckee, California, fuses innovative green architecture with the best of contemporary design. Described as a stunning combination of hip and organic, savvy and relaxing, The Cedar House incorporates a number of eco-friendly elements, bringing a fresh and environmentally conscience style to the Sierras. Featuring 42 rooms and suites, enjoy modern conveniences, from flat screen TVs to plush linens. (866) 582-5655 or THE LAFAYETTE HOTEL, SWIM CLUB & BUNGALOWS - The newly redesigned Lafayette Hotel in San Diego blends unique style and exceptional service with eco-friendly practices to become your ideal travel companion. Reserve a room and see for yourself why this California boutique hotel was a one-time haven for iconic celebrities. Imbedded within the vibrant North Park San Diego community, The Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club offers both luxury and affordability. (619) 296 2101 or

THE BEACHCOMBER MOTEL ON THE BEACH is nestled on the dramatic Mendocino Coast with direct access to the beach and the ten-mile Coastal Trail. With the Pacific Ocean at its front yard, guests enjoy spectacular views from every suite and room. Guests enjoy spacious decks, ideal for watching the sunset with a glass of wine or barbecuing your catch of the day. Be sure to visit Glass Beach, MacKerricher State Park, and the Mendocino Coast! (800) 400-SURF (7873) or

THE LODGE AT LAKE TAHOE - Ideally located in the center of South Lake Tahoe, our efficiency, one bedroom and two bedroom condominiums provide you with ample space to enjoy a Winter Wonderlands vacation. After a day on the slopes or on the lake, our partial and full kitchens make it easy to prepare a refreshing snack or meal. Our hot tub is open year-round. These resort amenities serve as a premier spot to relax, ski and enjoy the gorgeous weather in South Lake Tahoe. (866) 469-8222 or

BIG BEAR COOL CABINS - Escape to Big Bear Lake. Experience the tranquility of the forest. Watch the sunset while relaxing by the lake. Enjoy many of the outdoors activities Big Bear has to offer such as:

LOMPOC VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND VISITORS BUREAU - Lompoc (pronounced LOM-POKE) is located on scenic Pacific Coast Highway, just 155 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Lompoc Valley boasts spectacular rolling hills which open at its western end to the Pacific Coast Shoreline. Coined the ‘City of Arts and Flowers,’ Lompoc is a nature lover’s paradise. Gateway to Santa Rita Hills Vineyards, Wineries and

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the amazing “Wine Ghetto”, visitors enjoy colorful murals, vibrant summer flowers, yearround golf, world-class skydiving and Chumash Indian sites, and more recent history, in the Lompoc Museum. The establishment of La Purisima Mission in 1787 marked the earliest European settlement of the Lompoc Valley. The restored mission is now a State Historic Park. (800) 240-0999 or

Express Bedding Package. All rooms are equipped with microwave and refrigerator for your convenience. Enjoy easy access to Old Town, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Balloon Fiesta Park, and Sandia Peak Tramway. Complimentary shuttle service is THE EBB TIDE RESORT in Seaside, Oregon is one of the finest oceanfront hotels on the available. Amenities include free high-speed Internet access, complimentary Express Start Oregon Coast. The Ebb Tide Resort showcases deluxe oceanfront units on the historic breakfast buffet, fitness center and outdoor pool. (505) 881-0544 or 8800’ long prom loop, wonderful service and a vibrant location. The Ebb Tide is only an OLD TOWN’S FIESTA DE REYES - Fiesta de Reyes and the Cosmopolitan hour and a half from Portland and within walking distance to downtown shopping, dining, HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SANTA FE - Rich cultural diversity is what characterizes the Restaurant and Hotel are the ideal place to spend the holiday season. With gift shops, the aquarium and local cultural attractions. Discover why the Ebb Tide is an historic city of Santa Fe. The Holiday Inn Express® Hotel Santa Fe’s accommodations unrivaled choice for those seeking the perfect location, superb service and the absolute are well positioned to explore the celebrated attractions that make Santa Fe unique. shopping deals, special seasonal menus, festive décor and a visit from best value all around. (800) 468-6232 or Santa Claus, you will want to make it a family tradition to spend the most The property is only four miles from downtown’s celebrated art galleries, museums wonderful time of the year. On Sat. Dec 14, Old Town San Diego State and shops. While lodging here, head downtown to Santa Fe Plaza to visit the Palace of THE HI TIDE RESORT is nestled on the spectacular Oregon Coast in historic Seaside. Historic Park hosts Holiday in the Park. All of the museums, stores and the Governors and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Lodging at this hotel offers travelers Located just an hour and a half drive from Portland, choose from deluxe oceanfront units restaurants in the park will be open and richly decorated. Guests will enjoy access to amenities like the lovely, two-tone patio and outdoor pool and 24-hour with balconies, complete with king and double queen size beds, gas fireplace, color TV special holiday treats, activities and extended shopping hours, along with Fitness Center. We treat you to a free, hot breakfast each morning, too, so “Stay Smart” and mini kitchenettes with refrigerators and bar sinks. Amenities include indoor heated strolling carolers on this evening until 8 p.m. Guests will also be able to as you discover the riches of Santa Fe. (505) 474-3900 or pool and Jacuzzi tub, free in-room coffee, continental breakfast and Wi-Fi. The Hi Tide is view gingerbread houses in the merchant shops and enjoy s’mores by the santafe situated just three blocks from the “the famous turn around,” and within walking distance bonfire. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, winter of restaurants, the city center and shopping. (800) 621-9876 or evenings are celebrated in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Join carolers and other performers from dusk to 9 p.m. (619) 297-3100 or COLORADO TRAILS RANCH - What you need is a week unwinding and exploring the wonders of our first class guest ranch. Colorado Trails Ranch is not far from Durango, PISMO COAST VILLAGE RV RESORT – Located right on the beach, this beautifully HAMPTON INN SANTA FE - Make yourself home at the Hampton Santa Fe. Dealing in in lovely Southwest Colorado. Set in the spectacular panoramas of the San Juan landscaped RV resort features 400 full hookup sites, each with complimentary wireless traditional, old-fashioned comfort, our hotel promises to provide you with the ultimate internet access and cable TV, on 26 grassy, tree-lined acres. Guests enjoy General Store, in New Mexico hospitality. Choose from 81 stylish, spacious guest rooms, nestled in the Mountains, our dude ranch resort has been the scene of thousands of once in a lifetime experiences for singles, groups and entire families. There isn’t one difficult activity in children’s arcade, restaurant, Laundromat, heated pool, bicycle rentals and miniature foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Amenities include free high-speed Internet golf course. Bask in the Oceanside solitude or use the resort as a base to enjoy wineries, access, complimentary hot breakfast and exercise room. The Georgia O’Keeffe Trail, St. our perfectly personalized programs. The food is delicious, the comfort is wonderful and you’ll feel like a well cared member of the family. (800) 323-3833 or www. golf or Hearst Castle. Pismo Coast Village RV Resort was awarded the 2007/2008 Francis Cathedral and Santa Fe River Park are all nearby. Relax in the indoor pool spa, National RV Park of the Year. (888) RV-BEACH or or soothe tired muscles in the sauna or hot tub after a day of exploring Santa Fe. (505) 474-3900 or RANCHO OSO GUEST RANCH - The perfect vacation destination awaits you at Rancho SEASCAPE BEACH RESORT is like having your own beach home with all the amenities Oso Resort in Santa Barbara, California. Located only 30 minutes from Highway 101, of a four-diamond resort. For a spectacular Santa Cruz vacation, enjoy 285 spacious HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES ALBUQUERQUE MIDTOWN - Our all-suites hotel Rancho Oso’s peaceful setting makes you feel like you’re worlds away from civilization. suites and beach villas, fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes, fireplaces, and private is centrally located in Albuquerque, only a few miles from the Albuquerque International Our unique resort offers over 100 RV sites with beautiful views of the Santa Ynez balconies facing the majestic Monterey Bay. Indulge in championship golf, in-suite spa Airport. Our friendly staff invites you to experience our spacious suites featuring the mountains, National Forest access, resort comforts, equestrian facilities, lodging options, treatments, and the popular beach-fires-to-go. The luxury and comfort of Seascape and Western hospitality. Great for families, too! (805) 683-5686 or makes it the popular vacation spot for couples, families and destination weddings. (800) 676-1684 or ROWES 1 + 1 RANCH - Satisfy your inner Cowboy with one of the world’s most Come & Enjoy the Splendor authentic working ranches! Learn to work cattle, ride the range and experience life as a THE SEAVENTURE RESORT, one of the premier California beachfront hotels, offers cowboy with real cowboys. Ride, rope, brand, drive the herd, sort cattle. Experience luxury accommodations for less. This Pismo Beach Hotel has tastefully appointed rooms, of the Oregon Coast real what it’s like to ride well-trained horses. Rowse’s 1+1 is widely known for its wide open with private balcony and hot tub, to refresh you after a day of enjoying Central Coast Historic Seaside, Oregon is just spaces, genuine hospitality, phenomenal horses and unparalleled riding opportunities. outdoor activities. Savor contemporary coastal cuisine along with spectacular 180 800.621.9876 an hour & a half drive from Portland. With limited numbers of guests each week, you will finally receive that quality riding degree ocean views at the SeaVenture Restaurant. We also offer a full range of body treatments at our spa. Come join us at the SeaVenture Resort, your romantic Pismo Color TV holiday you’ve been looking for. Adults only. (308) 346-5530 or Beach destination. (800) 662-5545 or Free Wi-Fi



Hi Tide Resort

SURF & SAND LODGE is located on the beach in Fort Bragg, and Northern California’s spectacular and rugged Mendocino Coast – the ideal location to explore Fort Bragg, Glass Beach, Macke richer State Park and the Mendocino Coast. We have 30 beautiful and luxurious rooms, 24 with an ocean view. We also have rooms with fireplace and spa tub for two. Enjoy the magnificent ocean, whale watching, and beautiful sunsets, all from your own private balcony. (707) 964-9383 or

Gas fireplace Free in-room coffee Free continental breakfast Indoor heated pool & Jacuzzi tub Deluxe oceanfront units with balconies Mini kitchenettes with refrigerators & bar sinks in all units


CRUISEONE specializes in cruise and land vacations to the world’s most exotic destinations, including Alaska, Antarctica, Belize, Hawaii, Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Mexican Riviera. Programs range from family reunions at sea and honeymoon cruises to river cruising and land vacations. Each independently owned and operated


A new all-suites hotel centrally located in Albuquerque only a few miles from Albuquerque International Airport.

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Luxurious Beachfront Lodging • 50 Yards from the Pacific Ocean! Whalewatch from Your Private Balcony! • Designated Pet Rooms Fireplaces & 2-Person Spa Tubs • Easy Walk to Downtown Fort Bragg Mountain bike trails within 20 miles of the motel Kayaking, Sportfishing & Surfing • 707.964.9383

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business combines the latest technology with old-fashioned customer service. Contact Joni Notagiacomo. (800) 600-4548 or


THE GREAT CANADIAN TRAVEL COMPANY LTD - Since 1981 The Great Canadian Travel Company has specialized in innovative, unique programs in Canada. Get nose to nose with a polar bear (well, almost!), pet a beluga whale, watch an Inuit artist carve soapstone sculptures, sail the coastal or inland waterways, track through the wilderness on hiking trails or a train, or get behind the wheel on the road to discovery. Canada. Keep exploring! (800) 661-3830 or



MAYAN PRINCESS HOTEL offers suites right on the beach in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize – where you can enjoy all the sights and sound of local culture, or just relax on your private sea-side veranda. For the adventure traveler there are diving, snorkeling, fishing, or mainland tours offering cave tubing, Mayan ruins and jungle tours. Guests enjoy beautiful oceanfront suites with kitchenettes, daily maid service, complimentary Continental breakfast, on-site dive center and free shuttle from the airstrip. (501) 226-2778 or www. MILITARY HISTORICAL TOURS (MHT) has been serving veterans, battlefield enthusiast, educators, historians and their families for over 25 years. MHT is the premier U.S. Military Veteran owned and operated battlefield tour company. The exclusive provider to Iwo Jima and Korea Revisits. MHT is the Vietnam Battlefield experts and our European Legacy Tours are “bucket list” memory fillers. Tours are limited in size to tailor them for individual requests ensuring a “personal” experience. Our Veteran Tour Leaders provide an “in-depth” perspective. (800) 722-9501 or

Your Independent Cruise Specialist! Contact: Joni Notagiacomo


NORTHERN EXPOSURE SPAIN - Get Exposed to Northern Spain: world heritage history, amazing food/wine, unique culture and spectacular nature (with active options). Enjoy the things you love. Take pleasure in new experiences. Discover a place you´ve never heard of but won´t soon forget. Private customized itineraries. Ultra small groups (8 max). Capturing the essence of Northern Spain. Sharing it like only a local can. (888) 7378146 or

PACIFIC DELIGHT TOURS - Air inclusive China Tours from $2,599*. Explore all of our • PROOF Asia destinations: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, and India. For more information: Call (800) 221-7179 or visit

RADISSON FORT GEORGE HOTEL & MARINA - Located in the historic Fort George area of Belize City, the Fort George draws adventure travelers to Belize’s ancient Mayan Sites, exotic wildlife and spectacular waters for snorkeling and diving. The award-winning resort hotel offers spacious rooms, two swimming pools, fitness centre, full-service marina, 2 restaurants, bars, & cafe on property. The guest services desk can arrange Belize sightseeing tours and diving trips. 001-501-223-3333 / (800) 333-3333 or SPAIN CAVE TOUR - Experience firsthand Northern Spain´s Paleolithic Cave Art. Seventeen caves in Northern Spain have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. Containing Europe´s oldest art for over 40,000 years; Altamira cave is considered the Sistine Chapel of prehistoric art. Custom crafted ultra small group tours. (888) 7378146 or

Los Angeles

""I represent all major cruise lines TARATOURS.COM specializes in tours to Central and South America with more excitement, contrast and mystery than you could experience in a lifetime of travel. Tara to Alaska & Tours can take you there, with great service and tour programs, designed with your other exotic locations."

Specialists in individual and group travel to the Arctic regions for over thirty years.


per couple

CST 2006278-40

up to

(800) 600-4548

desires and budget in mind. From the majesty of Machu Picchu, “The Lost City of the Inkas”, to the color of the -cariocas-, street people of pulsating Rio de Janeiro “Cidade Maravilhosa”, to the indigenous open market of Chichicastenango, the awesomeness of Peru’s Amazon Jungle, the isolated incredibility of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, Chile and Argentina’s Patagonia to the esoteric ruins of Tikal, Easter Island or to the natural

Savings On Luxury CHINA Tours 2014-2015

beauty of Costa Rica.....and much more! Come join us to discover Latin America! (800) 327-0080 or TRANQUILITY BAY RESORT is nestled on twelve acres on one of the finest beaches in Belize. Located just inside the Belize Barrier Reef, Tranquility Bay is the only resort on Ambergris Caye that is located inside the United Nations World Heritage Site. World class fishing, sailing, snorkeling and diving are just out the front door. Tranquility Bay Resort is like a private hideaway for travelers, interested in adventure and romance, while enjoying local culture and environmental wonders without sacrificing a comfy bed, terrific food and a well stocked bar. (888) 843-2293 or WILDERNESS TRAVEL has been creating dream journeys for over 30 years. With over 150 journeys worldwide, our cultural, wildlife and hiking adventures offer an incredible range of experiences with trips for every interest and ability. From walking trips in Tuscany to thrilling wildlife safaris in Africa and cultural journeys to Machu Picchu, there are many ways to travel with us, all featuring the exceptional quality that has made us a leader in adventure travel. (800) 368-2794 or

RELoCAtIon SUN CITY, ARIZONA, the retirement community that started them all offers the BEST VALUE in retirement living. The unincorporated community, northwest of Phoenix offers Low Cost of Living: low taxes • lowest fees. Great Health Care: Banner Boswell Medical Center • Core Institute. Golf Courses: 5-Regulation • 3-Executive • 3-Country Clubs. 7-Recreation Centers: swimming • tennis • bowling • Pickelball • Fitness Centers • 120+ Clubs and Activities. (800) 437-8146 or SUNRIVER ST. GEORGE is southern Utah’s premier master-planned active adult lifestyle community. Built in an unspoiled, rural location, Sun River St. George provides a quiet, superbly planned community with occupancy limited to at least one resident 55 or older. From the golf course layout and community center design to the floor plans of our sensational Sun River St. George homes, the active adult lifestyle is our central point of focus. Sun River St. George is “building a lifestyle, not just homes.” (888) 688-6556 or Ambergris Caye Belize

(888) 843-2293

CHINA – 12 Days Beijing . Xi’an . Chongqing . River Cruise . Shanghai Was from $3,399* Now from $2,899*

FiveStarPlus® hotels: Four Seasons, Shangri-La, JW Marriott and Executive Suites on board Five Star Victoria Cruises For travel dates in 2014-2015.

Robert Taylor

Bryan Alexander


Must book and pay in full by Oct. 31, 2013.

*Prices are per person based on double occupancy and does not include transpacific air or initial arrival and departure transfers. Offers cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or discount. Offers are valid for listed travel dates and must be booked by expiration dates above. CST 2098539-20

(800) 221-7179


Elegant beachfront cabanas • Nestled on twelve acres of one the finest beaches in Belize Ambergris Caye’s only resort located inside the United Nations World Heritage Site World-class fishing, diving & snorkeling right outside your door.

Extraordinary Cultural, Wildlife, and Hiking Adventures since 1978.


Classic Swiss Alps • Great Alpine Traverse Hike to the Matterhorn • Tour du Mont Blanc Hiking the Haute Route

AMBERGRIS CAYE • BELIZE Beautiful oceanfront suites in the heart of San Pedro with A/C cable TV & verandas. Every room is a room with a view at the Mayan Princess. • Packages available. Friendly staff will arrange diving, snorkeling, fishing or mainland tours.

(800) -368-2794

501-226-2778 • MHT specializes in visiting the world’s battlegrounds:

EUROPE WWI, D-DAY, SOUTH PACIFIC WWII, The originator of the KOREA & VIETNAM Vietnam Battlefield Tour! BATTLEFIELDS! 800-722-9501

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MACHU PICCHU From $1483 pp/dbl

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The Bookworm’s Best A Life After 50 book review by Terri “The Bookworm” Schlichenmeyer

27: A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse by Howard Sounes You remember the first time you heard it. Was it the guitar that first touched your soul and called you to dance? Or maybe the bluesy tones made you sway, or the sitar, the drums, the listen-to-me voice. You were so young, and so were the performers who brought you to that point. Was it coincidence that they all died so early or was it something more sinister? Read “27: A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse” by Howard Sounes, and find out… Call it tragic, call it a shock, but it was probably no surprise to most: Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Brian Jones, Cobain, and Winehouse – each, arguably, a genius in the musical industry and each dead at age 27. What is it about rock ‘n’ roll and that age? Is there something mysterious afoot? No, says Sounes. The 27 Club is a coincidence – a major one, true, and terribly sad, but a coincidence nonetheless. Statistics show that dying at age 27 is not uncommon, especially when it comes to hard-living, drug-taking rock stars. Still, in addition to commonality of age, Jones, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain, and Winehouse experienced other parallels. All, says Sounes, seemed to be “weary of life by the end.” As children, they were intelligent, and five of them naturally gravitated toward music. All had rocky (or nonexistent) relationships with their parents. All six suffered from mental illness or depression and were substance abusers. Jones had been “living dangerously for years” before drowning in his swimming pool. Hendrix died under mysterious circumstances and ever-conflicting stories. Joplin signed a new will three days before her death, perhaps contemplating suicide. Morrison, fearing a jail sentence in Miami, flew to Paris, where he eventually overdosed on heroin. Before he committed suicide, Cobain expressed hope that his daughter, who was just a toddler, wouldn’t follow in his footsteps. And Winehouse literally “drank herself to death.” And though Sounes indicates that most of these six musicians “had a horror” of being alone, alone is how each of them died. The first time you heard “Light My Fire” or “Me and Bobby McGee,” it was probably from a scratchy record and cheap speakers. “27” brings those memories back – with a lot less static. This is, in fact, almost a read-in-one-sitting kind of book, so thoroughly fascinating is author Howard Sounes in his method of storytelling. We start with the death of the most recent inductee into the “club,” then travel around and back. Along the way, Sounes explains what led each to the (often bitter) end, then he gives readers a shock: the 27 Club is a mega-coincidence, but the six here are the tip of the tragic iceberg. I very much enjoyed this book, not just for its musical history but for the sounds it put inside my head. I think that if you’re a fan of classic rock or blues, or if you just want a good look at stardom gone wrong, “27” gets five stars. “27: A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse” by Howard Sounes, c.2013, DaCapo , $26.99, 360 pages The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer who lives on a hill with two dogs and more than 12,000 books. You can read all of Terri’s book reviews, updated weekly, at Just click on “Entertainment” and then “Book Reviews.”

Just a Thought Before We Go

A Look Back In 1958, Johnny Mathis released his first Christmas album, “Merry Christmas,” establishing himself as one of the mostassociated voices of the Christmas season. Five years after his first holiday album, in 1963, Mathis added to the Christmas cannon with “Sounds of Christmas” under the musical direction of the legendary Don Costa. This year, 50 years after the release of his second holiday album,” Columbia Records has released “Sending You A Little Christmas,” a new collection of seasonal duets with Mathis joined by a wish-list of guest artists including Susan Boyle, Natalie Cole, Gloria Estefan, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Billy Joel. The singer’s first collection of new holiday recordings since “The Christmas Album” in 2002, “Sending You A Little Christmas” is the artist’s sixth album of newly recorded seasonal sounds. Along with “Merry Christmas” and “The Sounds of Christmas,” his previous million-selling holiday albums have included 1969’s “Give Me Your Love For Christmas,” “Johnny Mathis For Christmas” released in 1984, and 1986’s “Christmas Eve With Johnny Mathis.” For more information on the 78-year-old Mathis, who is still touring and stands alone as the most prolific and enduring holiday recording artist of all time, click on

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – Charles Dickens


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Fun for all ages.

Seniors have an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy fuller, healthier, more energetic lives than ever before. That’s why Hoag brings together a range of services ideally suited for seniors’ health needs. From preventive screenings to world-class expertise in orthopedics, neurosciences, heart health and more, our commitment to exceptional care means that for our seniors, life is just getting started.

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Help us reshape the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease Are you or is someone you know diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease AND is donepezil the current treatment? Why join the STARSHINE Study? • You might be able to help with a clinical research study looking at a potential new treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. • You will receive the best standard of study-related medical care • You may receive an investigational treatment, designed to help improve memory, thinking and reasoning • All study-related medicines and consultations during the study will be free of charge and reason able travel, parking and food expenses will be paid

To be able to join the STARSHINE study you must be: • • • •

Diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease Aged 50 years and over Able to communicate with study doctors Have a caregiver who can communicate with study doctors and will join you during every visit • Able to walk, independently or assisted • Free from other conditions which affect mental ability, such as schizophrenia or Parkinson’s disease • Taking a drug containing donepezil for at least 6 months

If this is you, or someone you know, we would like to hear from you! For full details about what is involved and to find out if you might be suitable to take part in the STARSHINE Study, please contact:


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or send us an e-mail to: We are located in Santa Ana 1401 N. Tustin Avenue, Suite 130 Santa Ana, CA 92705 Principal Investigator John Gregory Duffy, M.D. Dementia Specialist

NOTICE TO SENIORS, VETERANS AND THE DISABLED What would you say if we told you - you don’t have to pay your credit card or medical bills? Most of our clients say, “Thank you.”

Living on Social Security, disability payments, pensions, or veteran’s benefits? Federal law states that your income cannot be taken to repay debts, even some student loans. Don’t endure frustrating calls and letters from collection agents. You can live worry-free as thousands of our clients do. DCSD shelters you from harassment DCSD protects your income DCSD is not a bankruptcy

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Not the Same Old Thing

a move to elmcroft isn’t throwing in the towel – it’s getting back in the game. Practically everybody who lives with us has a more active life now than they did when they lived alone. activities, events, concerts, movies, plays – you name it – they’re seeing it and doing it.

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When Every Minute Matters, We Deliver World-Class Stroke Care. FaSt reSponSe: Through telemedicine, a board-certified neurologist is at the bedside within 15 minutes of arrival to quickly diagnose and determine appropriate action 24/7 Stroke team: Our new partnership with UC Irvine Health brings expanded services and 24/7 access to worldclass physicians and surgeons poSitive outcomeS: With the latest tools, minimally invasive techniques and treatment times that beat the national average, we save lives and minimize disabilities

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bringing 24/7 advanced and comprehensive stroke treatment to this community is monumental because it will ultimately save lives and minimize disabilities.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Shuichi Suzuki, M.D. Interventional neuroradiologist and board-certified vascular neurologist at UC Irvine Health and medical director of neurointerventional services at Saddleback Memorial | 1-800-MEMORIAL (1-800-636-6742)

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Life After 50  

December 2013

Life After 50  

December 2013