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Prime Celebrating Midlife and Beyond

December/January Double Issue

FREE

Mont omery

Toy Stories

A

The toys you loved as a kid

Healthy

Jumpstart for 2011 INside

The Sportsman’s Winter Forecast n Bulbs that Beat the Winter Weather n Holiday Cookie Recipes, and much more! n

A Prime Montgomery Exclusive: Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s Hometown Holiday Memories


Features Remembering when bright lights, decorated store fronts, and whispering your Christmas list to Santa were unrivaled thrills for Montgomery children. By Rheta Grimsley Johnson

14 wrapless gifts keep on giving There are lots of options when it comes to holiday giving for those in need. By Henrietta Longstreet

Montgomery

26 A SOUTHERN Castle Christmas

The holiday season, as celebrated now and in the past, at Asheville’s Biltmore Estate. By Andrea Gross

31 Medicare prescription Drug coverage 2011 Whether you’re just signing up, or you’re already enrolled, Medicare’s 2011 drug plan promises big changes.

33 Eleven for 2011 22 Toy stories Remember these? They were on many of our lists, back in the day... By Tom Ensey

Prime Montgomery movie critic Mark Glass offers up this list of DVDs to brighten up even the dreariest winter day.

37 A Strong Start to 2011 Tips to make 2011 your best year yet, by improving both your physical and mental well-being. By Lenore Vickrey

The Biltmore Estate library at Christmas, Asheville, NC.

December 2010/January 2011

10 Hometown Holiday Memories

Prime

Celebrating Midlife and Beyond


Financial

19 mONEYWISE

A plan to help improve your financial management. By Alan Wallace

Health/Nutrition 35 Moving free with Mirabai Exercises to ease neck, shoulder and back pain caused by too much computer time. By Mirabai Holland

Medical

17

39 in every life ‘Tis the season...for pneumonia. Heed these tips to help prevent this dangerous respiratory disease. By Arlene Morris

Lifestyles 17 a gracious plenty Old Saint Nick will never get back up the chimney after snacking on all these delicious cookies. By Patsy Smith 28 Yard ‘n garden Selecting, caring for, and planting the right bulbs now can make for a showy display in the spring. By Ethel Dozier Boykin 29 Discovering your past Tips for learning about ancestors who made the voyage to America. By Nancy Dupree 30 Dr. Marion Exploring spiritual thoughts and feelings with your elder. By Marion Sommers

On the Cover

Prime Celebrating Midlife and Beyond

December/January Double Issue

FREE

Mont oMery

Toy Stories

A

The toys you loved as a kid

Healthy

Jumpstart for 2011 INsIde

The Sportsman’s Winter Forecast n Bulbs that Beat the Winter Weather n Holiday Cookie Recipes, and much more! n

A Prime Montgomery Exclusive: Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s Hometown Memories

Boomers Barbie® and Ken®. Photo by Bob Corley. Page 22.

13

33

Entertainment

08 Around montgomery

25 DECEMBER calendar

Mark these special events during the holiThe concrete maiden is ready to share day season. her fresh-picked bounty – much like the wholesale grocers for whom this 40 January Calendar building is named. By Jake Roberts Choose from a variety of activities during the first month of the New Year. 13 Off the beaten path It’s the most wonderful time of the year – particularly if you love to hunt and fish. By Niko Corley

41 Puzzles Sudoku and Crossword puzzles keep your mind in tip-top shape.


editor’s note Apropos of this season of glad tidings, publisher Bob Corley and I were thrilled to pick up six First Place Awards for Prime Montgomery at the recent North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA) Awards Banquet in Branson, MO. The organization represents nine million 50+ readers throughout Canada and the U.S. Competing against magazines with circulations up to 100,000, Prime was honored with the top prizes for Cover Photo, Feature Layout, Overall Use of Photography, Column Review, Briefs/Shorts and Table of Contents. In addition, the magazine received Second Place awards for Best of Show, Feature Writing, and Overall Design. A Third Place award was received in the Senior Issues category. A few special nods are in order. Callie Corley, Prime’s Art Director, gets the lion’s share of credit for all aspects of the magazine’s layout, as its design, from inception, has largely been her inspiration. Contributors Alan Wallace (First Place, Column Review), Arlene Morris (Third Place, Senior Issues) and Jake Roberts (First Place, Briefs/Shorts) deserve kudos for taking our challenge to write original columns, and for the finely crafted work they’ve produced. Their monthly “takes” on finance, aging and area points of interest — along with the voices of Patsy Smith (cooking), Nancy Dupree (ancestry), Niko Corley (outdoor recreation) and Ethel Dozier Boykin (gardening), and our developing cadre of strong River Region feature writers — make Prime more than informative and entertaining: it’s LOCAL. In this day of consolidated media-everything, we believe localism holds tremendous appeal. Prime’s localism gets pushed to new heights this month as nationally syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson provides us with an exclusive essay about childhood Christmases spent in Montgomery. Written with her trademark poignancy, Rheta’s Hometown Holiday Memories (page 10) is a definite must-read. Her vivid recollections and details bring mental images of Montgomery in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s into super-sharp focus. If blatant merchandising’s got you looking for ways to ratchet-up the true spirit of the season, first-time Prime contributor Henrietta Longstreet offers lots of giving alternatives in Wrapless Gifts Keep On Giving (page 14). From supporting the mission of Heifer International to becoming a Radio Reader, Henrietta suggests several ways to transform the focus of the gift-giving experience. Not in the holiday spirit yet? You’ll laugh out loud with Toy Stories (page 22), Tom Ensey’s tongue-in-cheek look back at the toys Santa brought us 50+’ers all (don’t say it!) those years ago. Our combined Dec./Jan. issue also includes two terrific articles you’ll find valuable for the New Year. Don’t miss Lenore Vickrey’s tips for getting A Strong Start for 2011(page 36) and Mark Glass’ list of Eleven for 2011(page 33), great DVD suggestions to chase away any pesky seasonal blues. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and best wishes for a safe, fun, and meaningful holiday for us all.

Sandra Polizos Editor

Prime

Celebrating Midlife and Beyond

www.facebook.com/primemontgomery

Montgomery

December 2010/January 2011 Volume I, Issue 9 PUBLISHER Bob Corley, primemontgomery@gmail.com EDITOR Sandra Polizos, primeeditor@gmail.com ART DIRECTOR Callie Corley, primemagdesign@gmail.com WRITERS Tom Ensey, Mark Glass, Andrea Gross, Rheta Grimsley Johnson, Henrietta Longstreet, Lenore Vickrey CONTRIBUTORS Ethel Boykin, Niko Corley, Tina Calligas, Nancy Dupree, Mirabai Holland, Arlene Morris, Jake Roberts, Patsy Smith, Alan Wallace PHOTOGRAPHER Bob Corley SALES Bob Corley, 334-202-0114, primemontgomery@gmail.com Erin Capilouto Sommer 334-233-2621, esommer8849@gmail.com Prime Montgomery 7956 Vaughn Road, #144 Montgomery, AL 36116 334-202-0114 www.primemontgomery.com ISSN 2152-9035 Prime Montgomery is a publication of The Polizos/ Corley Group, LLC. Original content is copyright 2010 by The Polizos/Corley Group, LLC., all rights reserved, with replication of any portion prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed are those of contributing writer(s) and not necessarily those of The Polizos/Corley Group, LLC. Prime Montgomery is published monthly except for the combined issue of December/January. Information in articles, departments, columns, and other content areas, as well as advertisements, does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Prime Montgomery magazine. Items relating to health, finances, and legal issues are not offered as substitutes for the advice and consultation of health, financial, and legal professionals. Consult properly degreed and licensed professionals when dealing with financial, medical, emotional, or legal matters. We accept no liability for errors or omissions, and are not responsible for advertiser claims.


news you can use

eat less. (RealAge.com)

An Aspirin a Day May Keep Prostate Cancer at Bay Men with prostate cancer who take anticoagulants like aspirin in addition to radiation therapy or surgery may be able to cut their risk of dying of the disease by more than half, according to a large study presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). The study involved men with localized cancer whose disease had not spread beyond the prostate gland.

Not Just For the Holidays Cranberries aren’t just for the holidays. That’s because cranberries contain benzoic acid, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of lung cancer, colon cancer, and some forms of leukemia. Buy bags of cranberries now, while they are in season and at their nutritional peak, and pop them in the freezer for later.

The Incredible, Edible Egg When people on low-calorie diets ate two scrambled eggs with toast for breakfast, they lost 65% more weight than the dieters who started their day with a bagel and cream cheese. The protein in eggs probably helps control appetite, so people

Early Menopause Linked to Future Cardiovascular Disease Women who experience early menopause appear to have more than twice the risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease event later in life than do women who do not go through early menopause, a new study indicates. Early menopause was defined as going through menopause before age 46, either naturally or surgically through removal of both ovaries. Researchers at the University of Alabama in Birmingham noted that it is important for women to know that early menopause is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease so

they can be mindful of modifiable risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, by exercising and following a healthy diet. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American women. Work at Resting Well Set aside at least seven to eight hours for sleep. Leaving only five or six hours may make you feel stressed and impact your ability to fall asleep. n Establish a regular bed and wake time and try to follow this routine even on the weekends. n Do relaxing activities before bedtime: read a book, listen to relaxing music or have a warm bath. n Reserve your bedroom for intimacy and sleep only; don’t work in the bedroom. n Make your bedroom dark, quiet and comfortable. n Exercise regularly early in the day. Vigorous activity in the evening can be stimulating and impair sleep. n Don’t smoke - nicotine is a stimulant and impairs your ability to fall asleep and n

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have a restful sleep. n Consider acupuncture, massage, yoga and meditation to promote relaxation. n Prescription sedatives should only be used when all else fails as they are addictive and cause numerous side effects, including impairment in short term memory. (www.NaturallySavvy.com, 2010, Tribune Media Services) Older Adults Watch More TV, But Enjoy It Less Older adults watch two to three times more television than younger people, but they derive much less pleasure and stress relief from it, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The findings came from a sample of nearly 4,000 Americans ages 15 to 98. Among reading, socializing, hobbies and other choices, television was the most popular activity in all age groups. In gen-

eral, older adults tend to report feeling as happy and satisfied with life compared to younger and middle-age groups, but they watch more TV and enjoy it less than younger people do. Other studies have shown that too much TV-viewing leads to increased risk for obesity diabetes, loss of bone density and dementia. Participating in Social Service Activities Can Improve Brain Functions Volunteer service, such as tutoring children, can help older adults delay or reverse declining brain function, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers found that seniors participating in a youth mentoring program made gains in key brain regions that support cognitive abilities important to planning and organizing one’s daily life. The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that valuable social service programs can have the added benefits of improving the cognitive

abilities of older adults, enhancing their quality of life. Zap Cataracts Using a laser to take apart a lens clouded by cataracts can make the tricky eye surgery easier and more precise, doctors recently reported. The surgeons employed a laser to break up the damaged lenses before taking them out and replacing them with an artificial lens. The procedure appears to increase safety, improve precision and reproducibility, and standardizes the procedure. Surgeons at Stanford University in California reported that the new approach could make the procedure less dependent on surgical skill and allow for greater consistency. Cataracts form when the eye’s lens is damaged, often by aging or long-term exposure to sunlight, clouding vision. The lens is a small bag of fluid that helps focus light in the eye. The U.S. National Eye Institute says more than 1.5 million such procedures are done every year in the United States, making it the most common surgical procedure.


around montgomery

The Lady with the Horn of Plenty

S

By Jake Roberts

he stands with one foot poised on a large stone, knee partially raised, a horn-of-plenty resting on her thigh. From the downward turned mouth of the horn a variety of fruit, flowers and grains tumble out, a frozen, concrete waterfall. From her vantage point two stories above the street, she can see (if she indeed COULD see) Riverwalk Stadium, former home of The Western Railway of Alabama. The horn-of-plenty held by this concrete half-statue is an ancient symbol, a sign of boundless riches and wealth, whether that wealth be land, crops, cattle, a strong and loving family, or coin of the realm. An ancient symbol, the horn-of-plenty has represented abundance and well-being since it first appeared in Greek mythology. According to legend, the horn-of-plenty came - literally from Amalthea, a she-goat that provided Zeus with milk as a baby. In thanks for this, Zeus broke off one of Amalthea’s horns and endowed it with the power to provide its owner anything their heart desired. The downtown building holding this fair maiden and her horn-of-plenty dates from the late 1800s and stretches almost a full city block. This delicately detailed half-statue clinging to the brick wall has endured 125 years of rain, wind, sun and heat, standing proud and silent, her horn-of-plenty casting perpetual abundance on those below. If you know where this is, call or e-mail. We’ll meet you at the site and take your photograph, for a future issue of Prime Montgomery.

Prime reader Joyce Fargis Hoffman tells how she found October’s “Around Montgomery” location:

8 December/January | www.primemontgomery.com

We went on an adventure to find the original WSFA radio station (a clue in October‘s Around Montgomery) and I learned lots of "things.”  First, I tried Dannelly Field and they all thought I was nutty – that area was referred to in an internet site I looked through. I even called Maxwell to see if they knew where the first WSFA might have been; they REALLY thought I was nutty.  Then, we went to WSFA-TV station and talked to the receptionist. She knew nothing of the WSFA radio site and called someone in the back offices who gave her the Dannelly Field information. There was your Prime magazine on the table in the reception area and I just wanted to pick the article up and show them what I was talking about. I feared I would end up in the five o’clock news.  It was mentioned that Hank Williams and Martin Luther King both had been in the WSFA radio station so I called the Hank Williams Museum and THEY knew the answer right away:  The Jefferson Davis Hotel. I guess they had been getting calls.  We had fun trying to find the answer and here is our picture at the Jefferson Davis Hotel!  — Joyce Fargis Hoffman


Prime Montgomery Garners Six First Place National Awards* • Cover Photo • Feature Layout • Table of Contents • Column Review (“MoneyWise”) • Best Overall Use of Photography • Briefs/Shorts (“Around Montgomery”)

City of Montgomery Honors Prime Montgomery

Mayor Todd Strange (r) presents Prime Montgomery Publisher Bob Corley a Certificate of Recognition for recent awards received, citing the magazine as “...an effective ambassador for the Capital City and the entire River Region.” *Awards were judged by the Missouri School of Journalism and presented by the North American Mature Publishers Association, of which Prime Montgomery is a member.


feature

Hometown Holiday Memories By Rheta Grimsley Johnson

E

astbrook was our shopping center when I was a child, the strip mall closest to our house before there was any other kind of mall. It was within easy walking distance of our Dalraida home. Eastbrook had a real dime store anchoring one end, a toy shop with high shelves and the majestic Montgomery

Fair at its heart. Montgomery Fair had a “mezzanine,” for heaven’s sake, and I loved the sound of that word and thought any building with one, a mezzanine, that is, had to be special, part Italian, maybe. All year long we kids made the trek to Eastbrook, jingling the dimes in our pockets and calculating with what we

Eastbrook Shopping Center was developed in the 1950’s, in the eastern part of the city.The flagship store was Montgomery Fair, located in the middle of the outdoor strip mall.Today the Eastbrook Flea Market operates in the old Montgomery Fair location. (courtesy www.HistoricMontgomery.com)

10

December/January | www.primemontgomery.com


Normandale Shopping Center, on Montgomery’s south side, opened in 1954.This photo, by John E. Scott, Jr., was taken on Grand Opening Day. (courtesy www.HistoricMontgomery.com)

might buy upon arrival. Another plastic Breyer horse at Toyland? A cherry candy lipstick at the drug store? Mostly we just hung out, the same way today’s kids do at malls, trying on clothes we couldn’t afford or handling record albums we’d never hear. And countless times we rode the elevator, up to the lofty mezzanine, down again. Nobody stopped us. At Christmas time, however, at least once during the season, we broke allegiance with Eastbrook and the familiar, with the soda fountain jerks we knew who gave us extra French fries at the Woolworth’s, and the sweet lady shoe clerk named Mrs. Watson who lovingly fitted us with Hushpuppies every fall.

Loyalty went out the window, and we headed across town to Normandale Shopping Center. Eastbrook was Texas League; Normandale was The Show. Now this was an era of fewer lights, before restaurants all had themes and were lit up like street carnivals, before people decorated for every season or kept twinkling strings burning year-round in potted plants. Christmas was the only time you saw colored lights in yards, or lights wrapping poles and burning all night in store windows. Lights had more impact because they were lit more judiciously. So, on the way to Normandale, we also looked at The Lights,

Montgomery children waited in line to visit Santa at Normandale Shopping Center in the 1950s and ‘60s: (above) a young Zan Simon Pappas in what is likely her first visit to Santa; (above, middle) twins Claire Williams Simon and brother Claude Williams travelled all the way from South Alabama to see Santa at Normandale.

(above) Nancy Nodine Robinson sits with the big guy at Normandale in the late 1950s; (bottom) Renee Polizos Whitmire visits the same Santa about eight years later.


Montgomery never gave us as noble a pilgrimage and a white Christmas, but it often purpose as Canterbury or gave us cold ones, which was Oz. The houses along the way were older but grander, good enough. For children of the 1950’s and ‘60’s, shopping and we passed the Country centers were beyond exotic. Club and a world about We were happy customers. which we knew little. Even On our street, Ware Hill today I feel slightly out of place in Old Cloverdale, Drive, we saved Clorox bottles and, in concert as a neighwhere the “old” stood for borhood, burned candles on money. When I was small and traveling in those neighborcertain nights, outlining our hoods, I felt we might be driveways and front yards. It arrested. was a glorious sight, the land of Curbs and Gutters stitched out At Normandale we waited of the night with real flames. in line to speak to a convincing Santa at Loveman’s, Others have the Currier and Ives Christmases of New and we carefully studied the England. Some prefer the balmy artfully decorated windows in all the stores. Even the Florida kind. I cherished the From his perch looking out from the second floor window in Loveman’s at Kwik-Chek was special, Normandale, Santa was an impressive sight. (courtesy David Robertson, Sr., Montgomery holiday, when you simply played the hand you with murals depicting Heart Photography by the Robertsons) were dealt. of Dixie scenery, including Rheta Grimsley Johnson, who grew up in Montgomery, is a syndicated the state Capitol, and red carpet. Imagine. We usually went to columnist whose essays appear in newspapers across the country. Normandale at night – the better to see The Lights – and that One of three finalists for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, made the odyssey magical. In my memory – what’s left of it – Rheta shares these memories exclusively with readers of Prime the nights were colder then, and I can see the little clouds my Montgomery. breath would make in the purple air.

De•fin'•ing Re•tire'•ment 1. Care•free (adj.) - untroubled, relaxed 2. In•de•pen•dent (adj.) - self-determining 3. Com•for•ta•ble (adj.) - a state of physical ease

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off the beaten path

Fur, Fins, and Feathers Forecast Do It ALL in December and January

F

or many sportsmen, December and January are the two best months of the year when you can chase creatures that run, fly and swim, sometimes all in the same day. Here are some good times – and a few good places – for hunting and fishing over the next eight weeks. Fur: Doe now, buck later Many hunters in Alabama live for deer season, and Niko Corley & Bella why not? The state is blessed to have one of the most abundant whitetail populations in the country. For hunters without access to private land, wildlife management areas and other state and federally-owned property provide hundreds of thousands of acres of public hunting land. Early December can be one of the best time to harvest does and fill your freezer in anticipation of chasing big bucks during the rut. The woods are still full of acorns, so setting up there the first few weeks of December should be a good bet. As the mast crop thins out, move closer to natural funnels leading to green fields or sit on the green fields themselves. Just prior to and during the rut however, bucks are the name of the game and luckily, WMAs around Central Alabama consistently produce some of the biggest bucks taken on public land in the state. Fins: Redfish stacking up I like two things in a fish – good fight and good taste, and redfish provide both. Most folks think summertime when someone mentions fishing, but fall and winter on the Central Gulf Coast can be one of the best times to hook into large schools of reds. They can consistently be caught in areas of strong current during tidal flow, such as a pass or cut from inshore out to the open sea. In my experience, you can’t go wrong with live bait in these

spots. Destin, Pensacola and Orange Beach are some of my favorite areas to fish for reds, and this time of year crowds are smaller and room prices cheaper. An added bonus, if you’re a duck hunter, is to look into hunting opportunities near where you’re fishing as the Central Gulf Coast is a temporary winter home to great numbers of migrating waterfowl. Feathers: Woodies on Wednesdays, but watch the weather The wood duck is the bread-and-butter bird for Alabama duck hunters and thankfully, authorities this year kept the limit at three per day per hunter. Wood ducks can be hunted in just about any creek or backwater off a main body of water, particularly if there is suitable roosting habitat at the head of said area. Around cities with public water nearby, competition for duck holes can be fierce on weekends so I like to hunt during the week as much as possible. Watching the weather for cold fronts is just part of duck hunting, since these fronts push huge flocks of ducks and geese down the flyway. While most of those birds will fly through Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana, some will head east through Alabama. A couple of mallards or teal added to a wood duck limit makes for a fine supper. While WMAs in Mobile County and those around Lake Guntersville see the most duck hunter traffic, suitable public hunting exists at other WMAs in the state. For what I call “king daddy” duck hunting, Bella and I head west to Mississippi or Arkansas at least once a season. See you in woods or on the water. Niko Corley is an avid sportsman, spending his free time hunting, fishing and enjoying other outdoor activities. In this column, he covers a range of outdoor recreation activities in central Alabama and beyond. www.primemontgomery.com | December/January 13


Feature

Wrapless Gifts Keep on Giving

O

By Henrietta Longstreet

nce you’ve finished wrapping the obligatory gifts on your Christmas list there’s another list you might enjoy. This one needs no colorful paper, no to-&-from cards or no fancy ribbons. It just needs you. Unwrapped. And you need it. It is the many places and organizations which can use a pair of willing hands to make Christmas a little bit jollier for those in need. The city has a growing number of churches, agencies, outreaches, companies and groups most of which need volunteers to help fulfill their endless obligations. You could choose from a variety of possibilities, some more exotic than others. For example, how about a Heifer, or a part of one? Heifer International is a non-profit which works worldwide to provide livestock, bees and instructions to poverty stricken communities to teach them sustainable farming. $500.00 will provide the whole animal to a family in the developing world, or $50.00 will join other contributions to cover the entire animal. Llamas in Peru or water buffalo in India will help change lives in villages throughout the world . But if you want something more literary, you could be a Radio Reader for the blind. Every day on Alabama Public Radio volunteers read the newspaper for the sightless, and the station al-

ways needs someone to keep the pages turning. The editorial articles, the sports section and the front page are avidly followed by listeners who need a special receiver supplied free of charge by the station. During the holidays the need is even more urgent for some of the regular readers are traveling. However, if you would rather get up close and personal, helping Hospice is a good way to go. The family caregivers of Alzheimer patients are enduring a form of slavery, and often have needs of their own. Most of all they want a little relief from the 24-hour demands from which there is no escape. They long to go and have their hair done, to stop by a friend’s for a cup of tea, to spend an uninterrupted half hour shopping, anything for a few brief shining moments of release which you, trained by Hospice, could supply just by being there. How about your church, or some other in the neighborhood? Many of them serve Christmas dinner to those who have no other place to go, and usually the servers would enjoy an extra set of nimble fingers to fetch and carry. On a rotating basis thirteen churches in the city provide safe sleeping quarters for the homeless, and helpers are always needed. Almost every shelter/ soup kitchen looks for someone to set out the bread or crackers, and to

Left: Downtown home of the Montgomery Area Council on Aging, complete with a large senior center where activities promote independent living. Right: In addition to their well-known blood donor services, the Red Cross offers training in first aid, CPR, baby sitting, caregiving, and other skills. 14 December/January | www.primemontgomery.com


Choose the best charity for your buck As thoughts and feelings of good cheer increase with the coming holiday season, you might find yourself wanting to do more than just put gifts under the tree. If you decide to use your purchasing power to give back this year, make sure your charity is keeping its word. Do some research on the charity in which you want to invest. Foundations like Charity Navigator (www.

charitynavigator.org) and GuideStar (www.guidestar. org) help you see what the charity actually does, where it spends your money and how effective its programs are. The Better Business Bureau actually rates charities on 20 different standards. Use these sites to determine which charity meets your philanthropic needs. Happy Charitable Holidays!

Here are some to start with... Heifer, International http://www.heifer.org/ 800-422-0474

Red Cross of Central Alabama http://www.montgomeryarc.org/ 334-260-3980

Radio Reading Service http://publicradio.troy.edu/ 800-414-5756

Montgomery Area Council on Aging http://www.macoa.org/ 334-263-0532

see that the salt and pepper shakers are full. Or if you like to drive, Meals on Wheels can often use a chauffeur to keep the older folks from worrying that the soup will be cold before it arrives. On a more intimate basis, if there’s a mother with a new baby on your block, she would find an offer of help the best Christmas present in the world. She may see in her dreams

someone like you willing to go pick up clothes from the cleaners or to the bank to cash a check or to drive the older kids to the baseball game or just to walk the dog. On the other hand, maybe the best gift she can think of is just someone who will hold the baby while she deals with a minor crisis of the plumbing system. MCA_Ad_7.10_Prime_Layout 1 7/23/10 Page 1 street Or perhaps there’s a widow living 12:52 alonePM down the

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who needs the classic light bulb changed in all its many forms. And while you’re there, you could add a little Christmas cheer by admiring the photos, a mere 37 of them, of her grandchildren in their pink ballet tutus. Or – and this will put an extra jewel in your crown – a teenager who just longs for someone older and wiser to listen to him talk about himself (for 30 minutes? hours? weeks?) and make suggestions about his Christmas list. One of the most successful international rescue packages is the micro-finance loan to a woman in a developing country. $50.00 will buy her a sewing machine to start a tiny business. In addition to her other duties she sells clothes to her neighbors, makes a small profit, pays back the loan, borrows a little more, and she’s on her way. That marginal profit helps in innumerable ways. She can buy her family better food or a mosquito net or pay for school in a town in Kenya. One of our community’s greatest needs increases during the holiday season; the need for blood. Since the blood supply depends on contributions, the owners of that blood disappear during this time of the year. They’re too busy, they’re out of town, they‘re traveling to spend a few days with grandma, they’re skiing in the Rockies, they’re doing everything except providing “the gift of life” when it’s the most necessary. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas the need for blood is greater than at any time in the year because every hospital, clinic and Doc-in-a-Box needs blood to cope with year-end

emergencies.You could help fill that void by contributing a pint. It will take less than an hour, and as the slogan of the blood collectors points out, the life you save may be your own. It’s well known that the American population is growing older, a fact which brings a host of problems. To deal with those situations the Montgomery Area Council on Aging, MACOA, provides a large number of services which in turn requires a large number of volunteers. One goal of MACOA is to keep the elderly in their own home, a situation which is beneficial to society and infinitely cheaper for the community. But that demands delivery of food to homes, and transportation of the elderly to Senior Centers, doctors offices, church services and various other necessary trips. Altogether more than 3,000 volunteers carry on the work of the organization, last year delivering nearly 87,000 meals to Seniors, with the demand steadily going up. And, to complete the circle, a large number of Seniors do an endless amount of volunteer work for the young and old citizens of the five county area which MACOA covers. To help keep that circle intact they need you to provide unwrapped gifts of energy, time and money for your extended Christmas list. Henrietta Longstreet is a longtime resident of Montgomery, and a founder of Montgomery Living magazine. This is her first article for Prime Montgomery.

Connect with the very large and active 50+ market by advertising in the River Region’s award-winning* monthly magazine, Prime Montgomery. The 50 and older segment of the tri-county population is often overlooked and frequently mischaracterized by businesses seeking to grow their market share. This group represents a sizable force in retail sales throughout the U.S. To find out how YOUR business can best be represented to this important demographic, contact Prime Montgomery today.

In Montgomery contact: Bob • 334-202-0114 • primemontgomery@gmail.com Erin • 334-233-2621 • esommer8849@gmail.com _____________________________________ In Prattville, Millbrook, Wetumpka contact Kimberly • 334-224-1105 • kimbodown@aol.com *Prime Montgomery received six first place awards at the recent conference of the North American Mature Publishers Association. See page 9 for details.


SweetMemori es

A gracious plenty

Miss Sue’s Teacakes These are really light!

1 c. sugar 2 sticks butter 1 c. oil 2 eggs 2 t. vanilla 4-1/2 c. plain flour 1 t. baking soda 1 t. baking powder 1 t. cream of tartar

1 c. powdered sugar Mix first five ingredients and cream well. Add blended dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls on baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar.

Mae Noland’s Sand Tarts 2 sticks oleo 5 heaping T. confectioners sugar 1 c. chopped pecans 2 t. vanilla flavoring 2 c. plain flour Confectioners sugar for dusting

Mix together, adding sugar and flour slowly. Shape into balls the size of a walnut. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. While still warm, carefully roll in confectioners sugar. Cool. Roll again. (Hint: Shake them in a bag of XX sugar.)

O

ne of our favorite holiday traditions is getting underway. I’ve pulled out the Orange Juice Cookie recipe and am now waiting for a night of big fun. The family will don red aprons and a sugary mess as we bake and decorate our Patsy Smith favorite shapes. A tradition as long as my children’s memories, now it’s fun to watch the grandchildren pick out their best creations for Santa’s plate on Christmas Eve. Other holiday recipes come with sweet memories, too. Tea Cakes, so light and airy they melt in your mouth, were shared by one of my favorite people on this earth. If you know me, you know how much I love Miss Sue Williams, my “second mother.” When I bake her cookies, I say prayers for her just like she has done for me forever. It reminds me to pay her love forward. Mae Noland rocked my babies in the church nursery. Every time I mix up her Sand Tarts, I think of how my babies smelled when I picked them up after church….like Mae’s perfume… and I knew she had nuzzled them close in my absence. It inspires me to love other people’s babies, too. Mama’s crispy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies fill the house with a heavenly aroma. Geraldine Porter has taught me everything I know about cooking and sharing. Finding ways to share love is an important part of the holiday season. That opportunity is now on our plate. And that plate can be filled with cookies. Patsy Smith, a Montgomery native, is the author of two cookbooks, A Cookbook for My Southern Daughter and A Southern Daughter Entertains. They may be purchased at Capitol Book and News, Rosemont Gardens, Southern Homes and Gardens, Jo’s Hallmark, Richardson’s Pharmacy, and other fine book and gift stores, or through her website at southerndaughtercookbooks.com. www.primemontgomery.com | December/January 17


3 c. flour 1 c. sugar 1/4 c. orange juice 1 c. margarine 1/2 t. baking soda 1 t. baking powder 1/2 t. salt 1/2 t. orange extract

Nut Cookies Oatmeal Raisin 1 c. raisins 1/2 3/4 c. Crisco (or 1butter) 0 sticks softened Preheat oven to 35 r ga su n er ow th br 1 c. degrees. Beat toge r ga su egg, 1/2 c. shortening, sugars, til 1 egg water, and vanilla un d ne bi m 1/4 c. water co d creamy. Ad g and ts ien ed 1 t. vanilla flavorin gr remaining in ts oa ed ded ok un co ro un by c. p 3 mix well. Dro ur flo e os sed rp ea pu gr all to 1 c. teaspoonfuls on 0 35 at lt 1 t. sa cookie sheet. Bake da so ng ki 1/2 t. ba for 12-15 minutes. ns 1 c. chopped peca

Orange Juice Cookie s A Christmas Tradition Mix dry ingredients. Crea m butter and sugar. Add or ange juice and flavoring. Slowl y add flour mixture. Chill doug h. Roll dough out to 1/4� thickne ss on floured waxed paper shee ts. Cut out desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-7 minu tes on ungreased cookie sheets.


Moneywise

T

Fresh Starts

he approach of a new year brings in the event of a death or disability is a great way to save time the expectation of changes that and reduce frustration for others later on. Such a data packet can can improve our lives. Not least anticipate lots of questions. One resource to guide you through among the possible adjustments are the process is Get It Together, available at www.nolo.com. those which deal, directly or indirectly, Re-evaluate: It pays, both financially and in peace of mind, with finances. Consider three key words to recheck certain assumptions and relationships from time which have clusters of specific options to time. As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” Are you connected to them: simplify, organize and getting the most for your premium dollar on your auto and re-evaluate. If you implement one or two homeowners coverage? Are there better credit card choices ideas from each of these three clusters, available than the one(s) you are using? Do you need to reAlan Wallace you may find financial management to be place your washing machine hoses and water heater to avoid both easier and more rewarding over time, not just this year, a leak or other problem in the near future? Is there a better but for many years to come. bank account than the one you are using? Simplify: Steps toward simplification should reduce the In each of the three areas – simplification, organization and time and mental energy required to carry out a task, without re-evaluation – there are likely many other opportunities to significantly impairing the quality of the results. improve the management of your financial situation. Just take For instance, if you track your expenditures using a system a few quiet minutes to think through your daily, weekly and with 30 expense categories, simplifying to a system with 10 is monthly routine with a pad and pen, and you may come up much easier but still provides you with useful feedback about with several worth considering. where your money is going. Reducing to a system with 3 My final counsel this month is that you prioritize. Do not categories, however, means that the feedback you get will not try to act on every good idea that comes to mind. Doing so be very useful. will lead to both failure and frustration. It is better to do less Consider reducing the number of bank, investment, and credit well than more badly. Choose the ideas that seem best to card accounts that you maintain. For instance, a widow I helped you and then pursue them wholeheartedly.You will likely find several years ago had investments in more than 15 accounts. yourself re-energized and feeling better about yourself as the She is now served equally well, perhaps better, with two. year progresses. Another possibility is to put your utilities on budget billing and have the monthly payment debited directly from your Alan Wallace, CFA, ChFC, CLU is a Senior FInancial Advisor for checking account. With budget billing you pay a more stable Ronald Blue & Co.’s Montgomery office, 334-270-5960, alan.walamount each month based on your average usage throughout lace@ronblue.com. the year. Over time you neither overpay nor underpay your actual usage, but monthly fluctuations are minimal. Paying by direct debit means that you do not have to write a check, buy stamps, or A__________________________ Mediterranean Experience use on-line banking to save you both __________________________ time and money. Organize: What records should you keep and how should you store them? You can get some good material on organizing personal records from the U.S. government at the “free information” website, www.pueblo.gsa.gov. Personally I use a combination of an alpha “expando” file, three-ring binders, and file folders. One benefit of knowing what to keep is that you can get rid of everything else. Just make sure that you 6268 Atlanta Highway shred or otherwise destroy anything Montgomery, AL 36117 that an identity thief would benefit 334-365-4662 from. We cater. Call today! Compiling information for your family

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1. All Ears Hearing Center Lunch & Learn event at Mr. G’s showcased cochlear implant technology. 2. Montgomery Co. Commission Chairman Elton Dean (l) and Mayor Todd Strange talk with media and city/county leaders at the Hyundai plant during a recent tour of expanding businesses. 3. Michael Passineau, All Ears Hearing Center, presents Linda Pittman of Montgomery a gift basket she won at a local Health Fair. The basket was provided by Bou Cou Boutique. 4. On the set of Alabama LIVE (l-r), Tonya Terry, Patsy Smith, Judd Davis, and Josh Johnson share a laugh following Patsy’s cooking demonstration.

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1.Volunteers prepare customs forms for boxes going to U.S. military personnel in Iraq. Clockwise from bottom left: Judy Swanson, Elaine Manikas, Chuck Manikas, Sula Burrell, and Ruth Lee. Chuck Manikas, VP of the Montgomery Chap. of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), organized the box-filling and mailing project and solicited items for the boxes from individuals and local businesses. 2. Inez Jackson of Montgomery responds to a hearing screening conducted by Michael Crouse, Au.D., of Beltone.The event was hosted by the Montgomery Hearing Loss Support Group and held at the First Baptist Church Caring Center. 3. Miles DeMott autographs copies of his book Family Meeting, about a respected old-south family coming to terms with dark secrets that threaten to wreck a very lucrative business deal.

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Feature

“When you flipped on the switch, it sounded like a plane taking off.”


Toy Stories By Tom Ensey

T

here was a time you didn’t need a $3,000 computer and a degree in engineering to play. Toys were made of wood, steel, rubber and that newfangled stuff, plastic. Occasionally, you even had to go outside, which is much like being inside a video game, only there are no zombies, wizards or pterodactyls that shoot lasers out of their eyes. You had to use your imagination. A lot. Remember these? Silly Putty: A silicone polymer invented by accident when scientists were trying to improve on rubber. It appeared in the classic, egg-shaped plastic containers in Christmas stockings in the 1950s. A “solid liquid” with a bizarre, slick texture, it could be molded into shapes and then melt back into a puddle.You could mash it down on the Sunday funnies ­­— in the days when people still bought newspapers — and it would pick up the images which you could then distort. Roll it into a ball and it would bounce. It wasn’t long before mom discovered that it was useful around the house to pick up pet hair and broken glass — once. And if you ground it into your sweater, it was goodbye sweater. Electric football game: The original electric football game, manufactured by Tudor, broke onto the scene in the 1940s. There were no dice, spinners or cards to determine the action, just sculpted little players that you could paint yourself, attach decal numbers to, and turn on the switch and … they vibrated all over the place like you'd kicked open an anthill. But it was the 40s. Electricity was novel and boys' imaginations were better than they are now. The game was beautiful, sitting under the Christmas tree, all the little men lined up, with a giant grandstand on either side and a scoreboard with dials and buttons.You could almost hear the roar of the crowd. When you flipped on the switch, it sounded like a plane

taking off. The ball was an oval piece of felt. The quarterback's arm cocked back with a little cradle to hold the ball.You tripped the trigger and … plop. The ball fell at his feet. Today, immaculately preserved games sell to collectors for hundreds, or thousands of dollars. They're worth it as a piece of art and memorabilia. Amazing to look at. Lionel Electric Trains: These have been around for more than 100 years. They started out as not so much a toy as a display for toy stores, according to the company website. The models are richly detailed. The tracks and the trains themselves are engineered with precision from locomotive to caboose, down to the last rivet. They evoke the nostalgia of a bygone era. Collectible trains cost as much as an SUV. Let’s face it. These toys are way too cool for kids. View Master and Reels: Back in 1939, a device that would enable youngsters to view seven 3-D images of the Eiffel Tower and stuff was moderately interesting. Nowadays, not so much. It has a certain, old-school charm. But if your 10-year-old is not bored by this thing within 10 minutes, have him tested. Hula Hoop: The Zen simplicity is striking. A circle of light, colored plastic.You put it around your waist, your arm or your neck and make it go around and around.You are the master, centrifugal force is your servant. It doesn’t come easy. It takes practice, several days, to stop looking like a dork. And you get bruises on your hips. Wham-O put them on the market in 1957, and sold 100 million in the first few months.Yes, 100 million back in the day when 100 million was a lot. My grandmother used to tell how she and her brothers and sisters improvised their own hula hoops. They lived on a farm, and barrels were a big part of the deal there. They dismantled the barrels and took the metal hoops that held them together and played with them in the same way that I and 99,999,999 www.primemontgomery.com | December/January 23


other little Americans played with our hula hoops. Even then, as a tiny child, I realized if my grandmother had a better sense of marketing, I might be hula hooping on the family estate in Hollywood. Easy Bake Oven: A light bulb oven in which little girls could prepare tasty, sweet treats. The small packets of cake mix and tiny bowls and cake pans came with it. My baby sister got one of the first ones off the assembly line in the early 1960s. The drawback was the cooking chamber got about as hot as the surface of the sun, and if you didn’t cook the tiny cakes long enough, they simulated the consistency and temperature of lava. My baby sister’s tinkling laughter filled our home that Christmas morning as I popped her cake in my mouth and screamed as smoke came out my nose. The company improved the design and sold a few million. Lincoln Logs®: Brown cylinders of wood with notches at the ends enabled you to build a serviceable replica of a log cabin, the likes of which was the first home of our nation’s 16th president. Best thing about this toy -- when you got tired of building little houses and forts and stuff, you and your buddies could take them outside, construct a village and … Oh, no! Godzilla attacks! Drench it with charcoal lighter fluid and set it on fire with the Zippo you swiped from dad’s coat pocket and it was neat until Mrs. Jackson next door called the cops. Roller skates: Metal shoes with wheels. Stand up. Fall down. Repeat until you can skate or have to go to the hospital. Barbie® and Ken®: Barbie, the doll that launched a million cases of anorexia nervosa, began creating an unrealistic body image in the minds of American girls in 1959. According to a study, a standard Barbie doll is 11.5 inches tall, which would make her 5-foot-9 inches at 1/6 scale. She’d have measurements of 36 (chest)-18 (waist)-33 (hips). The only other comparable American icon, Marilyn Monroe, was downright pudgy by comparison, standing 5-foot-5 with measurements of 35-22-35. Andy Warhol painted portraits of both. Boyfriend Ken showed up in 1961. He, too, is iconic but far from spectacular, an example of homogenous, bland good looks and plastic hair. The couple has its own mythos and a universe of friends, houses, cars, electronics, videos, furniture and clothes, clothes, clothes, clothes and clothes. The motto on the official website says it all: “It’s Barbie’s 24 December/January | www.primemontgomery.com

world. We just play in it.” Applied to any other creation of humanity, those words would be hubris most foul. Talking about Barbie, it’s nothing but the truth. Jacks and Ball: About as simple as it gets, in terms of the toy itself. A red rubber ball and at least 10 jacks.You bounce the ball, pick up one jack. That’s onesies.You bounce the ball, pick up two jacks, twosies.You continue all the way up to tensies. Completing a run from onesies to tensies requires the hand-and-eye coordination of a major league shortstop. It was a good idea to keep the jacks away from small children and pets. Swallowing one ensured a high-speed trip to the emergency room. Operation: Milton Bradley brought us this battery powered electric game in the mid 1960s. The board featured a portly patient with a bad haircut and a red light bulb clown nose. "Cavity Sam" was his name, and the surface of the board was dotted with openings that contained Sam's "broken heart," "knee bone connected to the ankle bone,""Butterflies in the stomach" and about 10 other afflictions. You tested the steadiness of your hand attempting to remove the various ailments with a pair of tweezers connected to the board by a live wire. If you touched the metal edged side of the opening with the tweezers, you completed the circuit and Sam's nose lighted up and a loud buzzer sounded indicating you had killed your patient. Years passed, we took the game to college, and played it while enjoying cocktails, adding a whole new dimension. Marbles: The most ancient of toys, marbles compare favorably to a rock, the other playtime option of the cave child. They’re glass balls. That’s it. They roll and you can throw them at people, and if you swallowed one, your mom took you to the doctor and he gave you this stuff, and well, that’s all I care to say about marbles. Chemistry Set: Chemistry sets never really lived up to their billing. On TV, in movies and cartoons, people were always whipping up solutions with their chemistry sets that gave Model Ts the power of flight, made baseballs repel wood so they could not be hit with a bat, or better yet, created mutant insects that destroyed civilization. The best havoc an eight-yearold boy could wreak with an off-the-shelf chemistry set back when the Beatles topped the charts was to make a corked test tube full of rotten egg gas. It involved sulfur and some other stuff and you could clear a math class with it if you unleashed it in front of the fan. Of course, I wouldn't know about that. Tom Ensey, a former newspaper sports writer and the current web news producer at WSFA-TV, is a frequent Prime Montgomery contributor.


December Things To Do aLaBama ShakeSpeare FeStivaL

the Musical

NOW PL AY I N G ThrOuGh

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New

New Cast! Choreography!

Featuring Broadway’s longest running Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Sarah Litzsinger.

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888-240-1850 or visit www. oldalabamatown.com. Dec. 10, 7 p.m., Wetumpka Civic Center, Wetumpka City Pops Concert. Free. For info call 567-1384. Dec. 11, 1 p.m., Davis Theater. Montgomery Youth Orchestra Winter Concert. Free. Dec. 11, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Christmas on the Coosa, Downtown, Gold Star Park, Wetumpka. 12K run, arts, crafts, antique car show, entertainment, Santa ski-in. For info call 334-567-5147 or visit www.wetumpkalibrary.com/ Default.asp?ID=361. Dec. 12, 2 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Cottage Hill Candlelight Tour. Walking tour of Montgomery’s oldest residential neighborhood. Artist gallery, refreshments, choral groups. Admission. For tickets call 334-264-2410 or purchase the day of the tour at 103 Whitman Street. Children under 6 free. Dec. 17-21. 7:30 p.m. (17, 18), 2:30 p.m. (18, 19), 6 p.m. (20, 21). Montgomery Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Davis Theater. Choreography by Artistic Director Elie Lazar. A special Sugar Plum Fairy Party after the matinees includes meet-and-greet with cast members, autographs, party favors, photo opportunities. Admission. For info/ tickets call 334-409-0522 or visit www.etix.com. Tickets available at the box office an hour prior to the performances. www.MontgomeryBallet.org Dec. 31, 9:30 p.m.-Midnight. New Years Eve Celebration, Elmore Co. Court House, Wetumpka. Music, meteor strike/NYC ball drop, fireworks.

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Dec. 1, 6 p.m. Harpsichord Chamber Ensemble Concert, Christchurch, 8800 Vaughn Rd. Free. Tickets available for Champaign Desert Reception following the concert. For info/tickets call 334-387-0566 ext 201. Dec. 2, 5 p.m., Lighting of the Christmas Tree, City Hall, Prattville. Entertainment, Santa. Free. For info call 334-358-0297 or email kellie. cook@prattvilleal.gov. Dec. 2, 6-7 p.m., Lighting of the Christmas Tree, Village Green Park, Millbrook. Music, caroling, food. Free. Dec. 2-5, 7 p.m. (2 p.m. Dec. 5). Red Headed Robbie’s Christmas Story, Wetumpka Depot Players, Wetumpka. Admission. For info call 334868-1440 or visit wetumpkadepot.com. Dec 2-31. Christmas Light Festival, Montgomery Zoo. Admission. For info call 334240-4900. Dec. 3, 6 p.m. Christmas Parade, Downtown Montgomery. Free. For info call 334-241-4400 or visit www. montgomeryal.gov. Dec. 4, 4 p.m. Christmas Parade, Downtown Prattville. Hundreds of floats. Free. Fee to enter a float. For info call 358-0297 or email kellie. cook@prattvilleal.gov. Dec. 4, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Spirit Of Christmas Parade & Festival, Downtown Millbrook. Arts, crafts, food, entertainment, Santa. For info call 334-322-9871 or visit www. cityofmillbrook.org. Dec. 9, 5-8 p.m. Traditions of Holidays Past, Old Alabama Town, Montgomery. Choirs, handbells in the church, cider, and Father Christmas reveal 19th century traditions. Admission. For info call

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13 - 23,

twitter.com/alabamashakes facebook.com/alabamashakes

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Feature

A 35-foot live Fraser fir graces the Banquet Hall of Biltmore House.

A Southern Castle Christmas Asheville, North Carolina Story by Andrea Gross Photos courtesy Biltmore Estate

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t’s not easy to impress relatives, especially when their last name is Vanderbilt. But young George III — grandson of Cornelius, the great railroad tycoon — managed to do just that when he invited his family to Christmas Eve dinner back in 1895. His relatives traveled by private railway from New York to the then-small town of Asheville, North Carolina. There amid the mountains of southern Appalachia, George welcomed them to his new home, a luxurious estate that rivaled the grandest French chateaux. His niece, Gertrude, was appropriately awed. “I have seldom enjoyed a place so much,” she reportedly exclaimed. I agree. Named Biltmore — “Bilt” after the area in the Netherlands where the Vanderbilts came from and “more” for the Old English word meaning “rolling hills” — the home is sumptuous at any time of the year, but during Christmas it is truly

26 December/January | www.primemontgomery.com


Christmases when other-worldly. Our granddaughter the Vanderbilts was convinced it hosted massive was a castle. family-friendly Of course, even Christmas parties without Christmas for their employglitter, the estate ees and gave a is statistically and present to each artistically stagchild who lived on gering: the estate. n The mansion While Vanderis more than three bilt was most times the size of concerned with the White House. his own home, n The 250 he also wanted rooms, about a to provide livable third of which space for his are open to the workers. In 1889 public, include he purchased 65 fireplaces, property near the 35 bedrooms, estate, tore down 43 bathrooms, the dilapidated three kitchens, an buildings and built Biltmore House features dozens of trees, miles of evergreen roping, and thousands of ornaments. a planned comindoor bowling alley and a heated munity in which swimming pool. all streets radiated n More than 50,000 objects of art are on display, including out fan-shape from the focal point, All Souls Church. Biltmore Village was incorporated as a town in 1893, two years before paintings by Renoir and Whistler and several 16th-century Flemish tapestries. Vanderbilt moved into his own mansion. n Some of the 125,000 acres originally purchased by Most of the buildings have been restored and are now used as shops, restaurants and gallerVanderbilt are now part of Mount Pisgah National Park, but the estate ies. Of special note: New Morning Gallery, more than 12,000 square grounds are still more than nine times the size of New York’s Cenfeet of outstanding handmade tral Park. items, and Bellagio, a showcase of n The formal and informal wearable art. Also not to be missed during the holiday season: Olde gardens were designed by FrederWorld Christmas Shoppe, which, ick Law Olmsted, whose resumé included Central Park in New York as the name implies, is filled with City. Fifty thousand tulips and more nutcrackers and fudge. than 1,000 azaleas bloom in the The first weekend in December the Village ushers in the holiday spring, while in the summer an Allseason by turning on thousands of America rose garden overwhelms the senses. lights. Strolling vocalists and instrumentalists — all dressed in turn-ofNow add to this the Christmas stats: nearly 100 decorated Christthe-century costumes — offer free mas trees, ranging from a small, entertainment. tabletop model to a 35-foot Fraser Vanderbilt would have like that. fir that sits in the 72-foot high BanSo do I! www.biltmore.com/ Reservations quet Hall; more than 1,000 wreaths advised. and bows; 1,450 poinsettias, miles of evergreen garlands and, accordThe Grand Staircase is twined with live evergreen. Andrea Gross is a former contributing ing to floral manager Cathy Barneditor for Ladies’ Home Journal. She hardt, “bazillions of ornaments.” This year the giant fir will be and husband Irv Gross now split their laden with child-pleasing decorations, including dolls, tops and time between travel writing and helping people write their personal even tricycles and toy trains. This is designed to reflect early and family stories.


yard ‘n Garden

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Bulb Basics

tarting any day now you can begin to buy and plant bulbs for spring. An investment in bulbs can yield worthwhile returns because they (other than tulips) come back each year. They also multiply, which means your bed will become fuller over time. “What do I buy?” and “Where should I plant?” are questions you may ask yourself. Many great choices await you at the Ethel Dozier Boykin garden centers. All choices are great in this area EXCEPT the tulip. Tulips are in need of colder weather than we provide.Tulips are also the most expensive cost-per-day flower. They come up wonderfully but are gone before you blink. In contrast, think of how long daffodils last, if the weather is kind. But we all love the look of tulips and you may want them anyway, so go ahead, spoil yourself. Just know the rules to follow. Tulips need to be prechilled (it will say this on the package), so they should be put in the crisper of the fridge for six weeks before planting.This fools the bulbs to think they have been living up North. Some bulbs, like daffodil bulbs, are poisonous to rodents, so you won’t see squirrels digging those bulbs up for dinner! That’s one reason you see fields of daffodils along the roadside in spring. A wonderful marriage in the garden results from planting bulbs alongside daylilies. Spring arrives and bulb flowers, like daffodils, come up and bloom, but afterwards you are left with the daffodil foliage which falls and fades. You tidy folks may want to cut the foliage off. Do not! This foliage feeds the bulb for next year. If you plant daylilies next to the bulbs the daylily foliage comes up and starts to hide the fading foliage. Every bulb is happy. Both daylilies and bulbs like the same growing environment and food. It’s a win-win situation. Bulbs are graded by size and their costs reflect this. Larger bulbs are older, cost the most, and will be “showier” sooner.

28 December/January | www.primemontgomery.com

But remember: small bulbs will also grow up to become large bulbs one day. Buying bags of bulbs is the best purchase for your money. This time of year stores frequently advertise bulb “specials.” Another way to buy bulbs is to order them in bulk from one of the major bulb companies. One such company I have had good luck with is Netherland Bulb Company (888-508-3763). This company sells bulbs in large quantities, such as 500 to 1000. A yard can be very exciting when large masses of bulbs burst into bloom. Don’t forget that bulbs also make excellent Christmas presents; they are easy to bag up in gift bags, and are a thoughtful present for the person who has everything. If you want to enhance a bulb gift, just add a bulb planter or some bulb food to your package. Now, to answer some specific questions: n How do I plant bulbs? They can be planted in individual holes or in trenches. You can also create an attractive, natural effect by " scattering' the bulbs and planting them where they fall. n How deep? The rule of thumb is to plant bulbs and tubers twice as deep as they are high. A 2-inch bulb, for example, would be planted 4-inches deep. n How far apart? Larger varieties should be planted 5-inches apart, while the smaller bulbs can be planted 4-inches apart. n What soil should I use? You should plant in wellloosened soil, not heavy clay, as good drainage is needed for bulbs. I suggest a purchase of a good soil mix for bulbs. When placing bulbs, put them pointed side up. Then empty bags of soil on top to equal the depth needed for bulb size. Water in well, and mulch with between 2-3 inches of pine straw. Then, wait for spring to bring you beautiful post-winter joy. Enjoy your efforts! Ethel Dozier Boykin, a Montgomery native, owns Art in the Garden, a landscape design and consulting company in the Capital City. Contact her at 334-395-5949, or by email at etheldozierboykin@ yahoo.com.


disCovering your past

Immigration and Naturalization

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hether your ancestors came to America during the Colonial period or first set foot on U.S. soil at Ellis Island, your family history research will eventually lead to immigration and naturalization records. Exploring how and when, and even why, your ancestors chose to make the trip to America can be challenging, but very rewarding, possibly adding more pieces Nancy Dupree to your family history puzzle. Immigration Records For immigration records there are two periods to consider – pre-1820 and 1820-mid 20th century. Prior to January 1, 1820, federal law did not require passenger arrival lists. Many of the existing passenger arrival records for that period have been published and are available on-line and in many research repositories. The records for the period between 1820 and the mid-20th century are more plentiful. Keep in mind that early passenger arrival lists were compiled at the point of embarkation, listing only the names of the passengers, and those names were often changed at the point of entry into the U. S. Later immigration records are more detailed. Many of these records are available from the National Archives – www. archives.gov. Immigration and naturalization information is also available on census records of the early 20th century. The 1900–1930

census records include the year of arrival in the U. S., whether the individual was naturalized, and, if so, the year of naturalization. Naturalization was a two-step process by which an immigrant became an American citizen. After living in the U. S. for at least two years, an individual filed in court a Declaration of Intent. Some years later, usually three to five, a Petition for Naturalization could be filed, but it was not necessarily filed in the same court or even in the same state. Naturalization Records The search for naturalization records is divided into three periods – prior to 1790, 1790–1906, and after September 1906 with the creation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. During the Colonial period, many of the colonies had their own naturalization laws. Published indexes and abstracts are available for Colonial period naturalizations. The search for naturalization records in the period between 1790 and 1906 can be the most challenging. The extant records may be found in a number of courts: federal, state, county, and municipal. With the creation of the INS, records became more centralized. Many of those records are at the National Archives. The Alabama Department of Archives and History has a limited number of naturalization records filed in the county probate records. Nancy Dupree is Senior Archivist at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. If you have a question for Nancy, email us at primeeditor@gmail.com.


Lifestyles

Discussing Spirituality with Ailing Elders

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y father is coming to the end of his life and for the first time ever, he has begun to talk about spirituality. As his caregiver, I’m not sure how to handle this.What would you do? — Nancy, 62

By all means, encourage your father to explore his spiritual thoughts and feelings. Many seniors believe there are forces at work in the universe, and many of them have tapped into some form of spirituality. It’s just not possible to understand everything that happens, and spirituality can help explain things. Even if spirituality is not discussed, it does exist in most people’s conscious life. The connectedness to a spiritual life helps people deal with hardships, face fears, and can ultimately give hope. Most of my clients get a great deal out of their religious activities. It helps them feel that their life has a meaning and a purpose. Nearly every one of my clients experiences an inner awareness or a quiet peace before they pass on. Even if fishing is their “religion,” they know where they need to go to find that quiet space for reflection, to recharge and gain perspective. This process helps our elders find a way to let go of emotions and worldly trappings, and become ready to travel free. Not everyone acknowledges or feels the need to have a spiritual life, and I respect that, too. We all have a right to

make the decision on our own. But for those who embrace a spiritual life, it can provide a source of strength above and beyond a person’s own weak humanity. I’m not talking about spirituality in terms of the regular routine and/or regimentation of going to a house of worship. It need not be confined by four walls and icons and meeting times and rituals. Spirituality is the path each of us takes to find the quiet within ourselves. Some people like the routine. Going to a house of worship can also provide a sense of community and companionship. Spirituality can really be whatever a person wants it to be. The crucial part is to have a quiet knowing that there’s something beyond you that can help give meaning to the peaks and valleys of life. Religion and spirituality can be a way to center oneself and find internal and external comfort. Marion Somers, Ph.D. has worked with thousands of seniors and their caregivers as a geriatric care manager and elder care expert. For more information, visit www.DrMarion.org.

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Feature

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Your guide to what’s new and what to do for 2011

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hether you're approaching age 65 or already enrolled in Medicare, the annual enrollment period for 2011's Medicare plans is an important time. When it comes to prescription coverage, seniors are seeing some of the biggest changes since the Medicare prescription benefit became available in 2006. The changes — from having fewer options to premium increases to new discounts on brand-name drugs — are enough to make anyone's head spin. But, seniors who don't take the time to research their options and choose the plan that best suits their needs could leave hundreds of dollars in annual premium savings on the table. In fact, according to a recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, only about 10 percent of participants change plans annually. Staying put and not investigating your options, however, could impact your overall costs. But how do you know if you have the best plan already or if you should consider a different plan? Luckily, there are a few tools that can help with the decision-making process. But first, let's start with the basics and what is changing this year. Access to private plans Beneficiaries have access to the Medicare drug benefit, known as Part D, through private plans approved by the federal government, either through stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans

(MA-PDs). According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study in October 2010, of those who purchase Part D coverage, 38 percent, or 17.7 million beneficiaries, opt for stand-alone plans. Twenty-four percent, or 11.1 million, are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. Plan options in 2011 While shopping around could save many seniors money, some beneficiaries have no option other than to find a new plan for next year. For 2011, the federal government directed insurers to eliminate duplicative Part D prescription drug plans and plans with low enrollment. That means a third fewer prescription drug plans will be offered nationwide next year compared to 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and many of the remaining options may come with higher premiums. And with the federal government changing the way it reimburses health plans through Medicare Advantage, some insurers have quit offering their Medicare Advantage plans for next year. If your plan is no longer being offered, you may need to find alternative coverage. Enrollment periods Beneficiaries have a six-week annual enrollment period from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31 - to pick a Part D plan for 2011. For Medicare Advantage enrollees, it is especially important to pick the right plan during that period. Unlike previous years, people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans can no longer switch to other Medicare Advantage plans during January, February and www.primemontgomery.com | December/January 31


March. However, while this “open enrollment period” will not be available in 2011, after Jan. 1, enrollees can still leave their Advantage plan and go back to original Medicare. “Doughnut hole” relief Here’s some good news: there is a new 50 percent discount on the formulary’s brand-name drugs for those who land in the program’s coverage gap, also called the “doughnut hole.” In addition, plans will pay 7 percent of the cost for generic drugs in the gap. This applies to drugs that are on the plan’s formulary. If they aren’t on the formulary there may be no discount, so make sure you check. How to compare plans Each plan has different features and each person has unique prescription needs so it’s important to find the plan that is best for you. Here are some things to keep in mind: Cost and coverage: Plans vary in the coverage offered and how much they cost. Consider the cost of premiums and whether it includes prescription coverage while in the gap. Pharmacy: Some plans restrict where you can use your drug plan. Determine whether your desired pharmacy is included in the plan you choose. For example, new this year are some plans whose monthly premiums fall well below the average price for Part D policies. However, these lower-cost plans come with some restrictions. The copays and coinsurance for prescription drugs are lowest when using preferred pharmacies; they increase for outside pharmacies. Formulary changes: Insurers may change drug formularies each year. Make sure you enroll in a Part D plan that covers your medications. Other limitations: In some cases, a plan may limit the circumstances under which a drug is covered. Certain medications may only be covered after prior authorization, after you’ve tried other drugs through a process called step therapy, or in certain doses and quantities. Comparing plans can be overwhelming, but there are easyto-use online tools such as www.PlanPrescriber.com that can take you through a four step process to narrow down your options and identify the most cost-effective plan. If you have a low income and struggle to pay for your prescription drugs, you may qualify for the Extra Help/Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program. For more information, go to http://www.PlanPrescriber.com/ medicare-part-d/extra-help/ or https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/

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i1020/main.html. For additional resources on Medicare, go to Medicare.gov. Though it may seem overwhelming at first, taking the time to research your best option for Medicare prescription drug coverage could really pay off. How to maximize your cost savings In 2011, there are lots of changes on tap when it comes to Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans. But open enrollment is a great time to review your coverage. These DOs and DON’Ts can help ensure you are maximizing your cost savings. DO check to ensure your medications are still covered. Check your prescription drug plan each year because insurers may change which medications are covered.You can enter your medications on websites like www.PlanPrescriber.com to see which drugs are covered and compare the projected costs with other plans. DO pay attention to the drug limitations in your plan. Even if your medication is on the formulary, a plan may limit the circumstances under which a drug is covered. They may only be covered after prior authorization, after you’ve tried other drugs through a process called step therapy, or in certain doses and quantities. DO consider all your options. Medicare supplemental plans, or Medigap, have their own six-month open enrollment period, beginning the day you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. The enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and stand-alone prescription drug plans is Nov. 15 to Dec. 31 2010. DON’T go on auto-pilot. Many plans change cost and drug coverage annually. What worked last year for you could cost you more money this year in terms of higher prescription drug costs and other out-of-pocket expenses. DON’T be afraid to ask for help from qualified professionals. You can get help through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), PlanPrescriber, licensed health insurance agents who are certified to sell Medicare, family members or by calling 1-800-Medicare. DON’T think that stable premiums = stable coverage. Just because your premiums haven’t gone up doesn’t mean that you are getting the same plan for the same price next year. Materials provided by Family Features. Illustration courtesy of Getty Images.


Feature

Eleven for 2011

Post-holiday slump? DVDs to chase those blues away...

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t’s relatively easy for most reviewers to list their all-time favorite films, whether overall, or within a given category. But that usually covers movies you’ve already seen. So, to offer you some novelty in your entertainment choices in the wintry weather to come, here’s a list of films I thought deserved far more attention and praise than they received. In no particular order: Mark Glass The Castle (1997) - This Australian gem is a heartwarming comedy that shows what family values really should mean. When airport expansion spells doom for one family’s home, they take on the system with loving, idealistic determination.Your patience at the beginning will be richly rewarded long before the end.   L.A. Confidential (1997) Of all the crime dramas I can recall, none have juggled three conflicting protagonists as masterfully as in Brian Helgeland’s screenplay from James Ellroy’s novel. Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce play homicide detectives with little in common, and less love lost among them. The noirish depiction of murder among the showbiz glamor crowd, and the sleazy set along their fringes, also nourishes a deep supporting cast of memorable characters.    Wag the Dog (1997) - This brilliant political satire could have ranked with Dr. Strangelove, but Kevin Spacey headlines in L.A. Confidential. for its unfortunate timing with events in the actual world that overshadowed its fictional approach. A sex scandal was about to devastate the White House. Their only hope was perceived to lie in a huge distraction. Nothing seemed to fit the bill better than a war. But, even more brilliantly, not a real one - just something that looks like one on

TV. Barry Levinson lined up a great cast behind stars Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro. The Americanization of Emily (1964) - Perhaps the best anti-war comedy that no one watched. Set in WW II, James Garner plays a US naval officer in pre-D-Day England whose job is to scrounge for whatever luxuries his admiral needs to get what they want from allies, politicians, etc. A primly disapproving nurse (Julie Andrews) is appalled by his wheeling and dealing. The satire in Paddy Chayefsky’s script is sharp and timeless, with a couple of speeches that should be enshrined the Common Sense Hall of Fame...if anyone ever establishes one.  Garner has mentioned this as one of his own favorites from his stellar career.   The Trouble with Harry (1955) - Though we always associate Alfred Hitchcock with suspense and terror, this one is a masterful exception. It’s a whimsical little comedy more likely to have come from Alec Guinness than from the man who frightened generations of fans. In an idyllic slice of rural New England, a dead body is discovered in the woods. A charming set of characters (including Shirley MacLaine’s debut) wrestles with various questions and concerns about who he was, how he got there, and why he’s dead. The farcical result is a series of amusing burials and exhumations (no kidding), as each of the locals variably tries to protect someone else. The brilliance of handling such a premise so charmingly is one of Hitchcock’s underrated achievements.   Waiting for Guffman (1996) A quasi-repertory company, loosely orbiting around Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean, has delivered a slew of brilliant mockumentaries, starting with This is Spinal Tap for the world of rock groups, and later including the more commercially successful A Mighty Wind, and Best in Show, www.primemontgomery.com | December/January 33


Nathan Lane (l) and Matthew Broderick in The Producers.

covering folk music and dog shows, respectively. But this spoof on small towns anywhere at any time, following the hopes and hassles of those putting on a pageant to celebrate the founding of a fictional Missouri village may be the funniest of the lot. A film crew follows the production from casting, though rehearsals with conflicts over everything - including the golden ring - the fact that a Broadway hotshot (hence the title) will be attending, opening fantasies of stardom well east of the Mississippi.  The Producers (2005); South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999); The Little Mermaid (1989) - These three are together because each features an excellent over-achieving score, with a slew of memorable songs. The fact that Mel Brooks wrote the music for the first, and then got such outstanding performances from Will Ferrell and Uma Thurman is icing on the cake of his brilliant comedy legacy. Fans of the irreverent animated series on Comedy Central had no reason to expect Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s talents would extend to serving up several Broadway-worthy numbers to ramp up the antics of their devilish set of kids. The last one set the table for a slew of fine and near-miss Disney animated musicals over the past two decades, but few offered

34 December/January | www.primemontgomery.com

better written and depicted numbers than Alan Menken and Howard Ashman crafted for this one.   Hot Fuzz (2007) Simon Pegg and Nick Frost headlined an instant British cult classic when their Shaun of the Dead turned the genre of zombie flick on its undead ears. Gross and hilarious. But this pairing of the lads is just as funny without testing the limits of your gag reflexes. As a London cop, Pegg is so skilled and zealous that he makes the rest of the force look like slackers. So they dispatch him to England’s most peaceful village. Or so it seems. Pegg senses something amiss beneath the Stepford-esque tranquility, and the rest is gold. If nothing else, watching the antics of onetime James Bond portrayer Timothy Dalton, is worth the price of the rental.  Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) This classic is listed here because it’s old enough to be forgotten. Jimmy Cagney’s portrayal of George M. Cohan in this biopic is the best known antidote for today’s cynicism and disenchantment over politics and world events. Yes, it’s corny and sentimental to the point of overkill. But do you really want to spend time with anyone whose eyes aren’t misty at the end of this one?   Mark Glass is an officer and director of the St. Louis Film Critics Association.


Moving Free ® with MirAbai

Help for Computer Strain

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got this email the other day from a woman with aches and pains in her back, neck, and arm. She thinks it’s because she spends so much time on the computer. “The New Year is just around the corner and I’m determined not to live another year in pain if I can help it. I spend a lot of time on the computer. But after a couple of hours my back starts to hurt, my Mirabai Holland shoulder and mouse arm ache and I feel tension in my neck. Are there any exercises I can do to relieve this problem?” Of course I was at my own computer reading that email and I noticed that my computer posture was less than perfect too. So I decided to share my reply to her with you. I answered: “Sounds like the first thing you need to do is adjust the ergonomics of your computer set-up. Good posture can minimize those aches and pains. n Place your monitor at eye level. n Find your sit bones (those bones under each hip) and rock sideways to locate them. Balance your torso by sitting on top of those bones. n Position your hips and knees at 90 degrees, feet shoulder width apart. n If your legs are crossed, uncross them; crossed legs can cause a curvature of the spine. n Imagine your head is a helium balloon, lifting your whole spine upwards.

Avoid bending your wrist. Keep it in a neutral position. Even with proper posture, sitting in the same position for hours at a time is bound to cause some stiffness and muscle soreness. Here are three stretches that should give you some relief.” Neck Exercise: n Side to side, n Place right hand on top of head. Gently pull head sideways, stretching neck towards the right shoulder. Repeat on other side. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Front Shoulder Stretch: n Extend right arm in front of you, chest level. n Take left hand and cup right elbow n Slowly stretch right arm across towards left shoulder. Hold for 10 counts. Back Extension: n Lower Back n Stand with feet slightly apart. n Take hands and make two fists and place them on the lower back. n Slowly arch backwards, keeping abdominals contracted. n Hold for 10-20 counts. n

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Mirabai Holland M.F.A. is one of the leading authorities in the Health & Fitness industry, and a public health activist specializing in preventive and rehabilitative exercise for women. Visit her website at www.movingfree.com ©2010.

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www.primemontgomery.com | December/January 35


2011 feature

Strong Starts for A

By Lenore Vickery

new year is looming, whether we like it or not. Will 2011 be the year you finally get down to business and do the things you’ve been putting off, such as losing those extra pounds, starting a vitamin regime, or beginning to write your memoirs? Despite the fact you’re 50-plus you can make important changes to improve your physical and mental health as you begin the second decade of the new millennium. Prime Montgomery talked to two professionals in the area who offered tips to help you get the new year off to a strong start. YOUR MIND Continue to learn, says Dr. Don Hill, Ph.D., LPC., founder of the Frazer Counseling Clinic in Montgomery. Older adults have many opportunities to enroll in classes at local colleges, take up a new hobby, or read the books they’ve always intended to get to. “Education is lifelong,” he said, and older adults often make the best students because they are more mature and focused. “Some of my best students were women in their 50s who decided to go back to school,” said the former college professor. Interact with others. “Sitting at home alone and watching TV, especially the news, is not a good way to spend your time,” said Hill, and accounts for depression being a common illness of seniors. “Change your lifestyle, go for a walk, and interact

36 December/January | www.primemontgomery.com

with others.” Be physically active. “Being physical helps our mental outlook,” Hill said. “It renews both the mind and the body.” Walk at Eastdale Mall or in your neighborhood or local gym with a friend or family member. Many churches have walking tracks and/or exercise groups for older adults. Stay mentally active. “We not only need the physical exercise to prevent osteoporosis, but we also need brain exercise,” said Dr. Marla Wohlman, a preventive and integrative physician in Millbrook. “When we retire, a lot of us retire our brains,” she added, but keeping your mind active is important to overall well-being. She suggests doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, learning a new skill, taking a new job, and simply getting out of the house. Count your blessings. Older people often spend too much time thinking about “what I should have done with my life,” said Hill, but that’s not helpful. “Sometimes what we really need to do is forgive ourselves.” Instead of living with regrets about the past, put it behind you and enjoy the present, he said. Build bridges. If there’s a family or friend relationship that needs repair, take the initiative and do it. Be willing to forgive. “Someone has to make the first move,” said Hill. “Try friendly contact first. Make a phone call, send a card. There are any number of ways to make contact with


Don Hill at his Frazer Counseling Clinic office at Frazer United Methodist Church. Among activities he recommends are reading, writing, volunteering – and laughing.

someone. Tell them you love them.” Give of yourself.Volunteer to help others in the community. For example, seniors are valuable assets to public schools as tutors or in other capacities, Hill said. Others are skilled at home repairs or yard work, and even income tax preparation. “We might think, ‘Well, anyone can do that,’ but not everyone may have that special gift you have.” Share it. Write it down. “Go back and write about the interesting things that happened in your life,” said Hill. “Start with your very first memory in life and journal it. Then add to it as memories come back.” A grandparents’ journal is a wonderful legacy to leave for your grandchildren and the generations to come. How many of us have a similar journal from our own grandparents? Probably not many. Start a family tradition. Laugh more. “It’s said that one good laugh is worth two minutes on a rowing machine,” Hill said. Fight negativity by

watching funny television programs (just not all the time), movies or reading humorous books. He recommends “The Big Bang Theory” as one of his personal favorites. Laughter has been shown to naturally boost levels of seratonin, a neurotransmitter that aids in our feelings of well-being. YOUR BODY Watch your intake of refined carbohydrates, says Dr. Marla Wohlman, and be aware of the glycemic index (measure of the effects of carbs on blood sugar) of various foods. Refined or processed carbs, which include all sugars and products containing sugar or corn syrup, are a major contributor to weight gain, obesity and other diet-related diseases. They are also found in bread, rolls, cookies, cake, pasta and biscuits, all of which are practically staples in our Southern diets. Many refined carbs (white potatoes, white bread, which have a high glycemic index), break down quickly during


digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream, which can spike blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that persons who follow a low-glycemic diet over many years were at a significantly lower risk for developing both type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Get enough Vitamin D, specifically Vitamin D3, which is the most biologically active of the D vitamins and has been shown not only to boost bone health but have preventive benefits for several health problems, including colon cancer. Generally, the typical American diet does not include enough Vitamin D, so supplements are usually recommended. Americans 50 and older are at increased risk for Vitamin D insufficiency because their skin cannot synthesize Vitamin D as efficiently and the kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active hormone form. Many calcium supplements include 400 IU of Vitamin D, but Dr. Wohlman recommends more. She advises at least 2000 to 4000 IU a day, but cautions that persons should have their Vitamin D levels checked first, and then monitored regularly by their own doctor. She also recommends considering a well formulated B-complex vitamin that contains methylated folic acid. “Be careful what you purchase since all vitamin and nutritional supplements are not created equal,” she said. Have routine medical screenings. These include utdoor Pops Concert colonoscopy adway Under the Stars - at age 50, with follow-up screenings as recomby your doctor; cholesterol ptember 16 •mended 7:30pm/ Blount Cultural Park screening; bone density screening (usually covered after the age of 60 by most

insurance plans); for men, annual PSA levels and prostate exams; for women, pap smears on at least a bi-annual basis and yearly breast exams and mammograms. Many health issues can be prevented with regular exams and screenings. “It would be unfortunate to be 60 years old and debilitated from a medical condition that a routine screening could have detected or prevented…” said Dr. Wohlman. Consider hormone replacement. Although it has its detractors, hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be desirable for many older adults to treat decreased libido, flagging energy, mental fatigue and other agerelated issues. “I believe in hormone replacement therapy, but one size does not fit all, and hormone replacement is not for everybody,” Dr. Wohlman said. “Your need for continuation of hormone replacement should be assessed on a yearly basis. The risks and benefits of any medical therapy should be discussed with your physician.” Blood tests can help your doctor determine your needs. Lastly, don’t do anything in excess. That includes overeating, drinking alcohol, staying up too late, or even getting too much sleep. “After the age of 50, our bodies can’t tolerate the excesses like they used to,” said Dr. Wohlman. “Use the new year to get recharged and rebalance your life.” Lenore Vickrey is Director of Strategic Communications at the Business Council of Alabama. Her articles regularly appear in Prime Montgomery.

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In Every Life

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Preventing Pneumonia

inter months are associated with colds, flu, and pneumonia. In preventing pneumonia, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” You can be exposed to organisms that cause pneumonia in either community settings (communityacquired pneumonia/CAP) or in hospital settings (hospital-acquired pneumonia/ HAP). Organisms can be acquired from Arlene Morris another person or from an object (door knob, phone, ventilator, tubing, etc). The location from which you contact the organism can be important because hospital organisms may be more resistant to some antibiotics. CAP is more common, often occurring in late fall and winter as a complication of influenza. Most people develop pneumonia when their immune systems can’t overcome the invading organisms. Pneumonia is an excess of fluid in the lungs caused by inflammation, triggered by different types of organisms or by inhaling an irritant. Aspiration pneumonia can occur when a person inhales food, fluid, or another object that irritates the lung and/or blocks areas of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. Sometimes (and especially in older adults), fever and cough are not present; symptoms may include confusion, anxiety, fatigue, decreased appetite, or shortness of breath (all due to less oxygen in the blood). Chest pain, headache, body aches, or increased heart rate may occur. Sometimes sputum is produced, but often congestion cannot be cleared from the airway, even with coughing. Drinking fluids is important, to prevent dehydration and to thin secretions to enable them to be expelled with coughing. Dangerous complications of pneumonia are a weak pulse and irregular heart rhythms due to decreased oxygen to the heart muscle, which can cause a drop in blood pressure and shock. Antibiotics are often prescribed to combat the infectious

organism(s); steroids may be necessary to decrease swelling if the airways are blocked. While you may not be able to avoid all enclosed, crowded environments during your holiday shopping or gatherings, suggestions for preventing pneumonia include: n Discuss with your health care provider whether immunizations for influenza (annually) and for pneumonia (every 5-10 years) are appropriate for you. n Get enough rest, sleep, and healthy food to maintain your immunity. n Unless your fluid intake is restricted, drink eight or more eight-ounce glasses of fluid per day; hot fluids and their steam may help clear lungs from congestion. n Hand-washing and covering a cough or sneeze helps decrease spread of organisms. Small hand sanitizers in your purse or pocket can be used frequently if soap and water are not available. n Avoid dust, smoking, second-hand smoke, aerosols, or other irritating inhalants. n Avoid sitting or lying in the same position for more than two hours to prevent fluid accumulation in one area of your chest, and take deep breaths every waking hour. n Swallow food and fluids carefully before talking or laughing. n Keep your mouth and teeth clean. n Lay on your side if nauseated. n If respiratory equipment is used in your home, clean it as directed by the prescriber. n See your healthcare provider if fever lasts more than 24 hours or if your immunity is decreased. Have a healthy winter! Arlene H. Morris, RN, Ed.D. is a Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor in the Auburn Montgomery School of Nursing, where she enjoys teaching content regarding gerontology and professional nursing issues. Email her at amorris@aum.edu.

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January Things To Do Jan. 1 - 7. Montgomery. Rosa Parks Museum. Great Depression photographs of Eudora Welty. For info, 334-241-8701. www.montgomery.troy.edu/rosaparks/ museum. Free. Jan. 1. Montgomery. Hank Williams Museum, Oakwood Cemetery, 58th Memorial Celebration. Wreath-laying ceremony followed by music, black-eyed peas at the museum. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. For info, 334-262-3600. Reservations required. Admission. www.TheHankWilliamsMuseum.com. Jan. 1. Dothan. Landmark Park. Dulcimer Club Jam/Practice. No experience needed. Participants must have a mountain dulcimer. Beginners 12:30 p.m., advanced 2 p.m. For info, 334-794-3452. www.landpark.com. Admission. Jan. 1 - 31. Montgomery. Old Alabama Town. How early Alabamians kept warm. Mon. - Sat., 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. For info, 888240-1850. www.oldalabamatown.com. Admission. Jan. 5. Downtown Mobile. Mardi Gras Parade, Fireworks, GMAC Bowl Street Party, starts at 6:30 p.m. For info, 251635-0011. www.gmacbowl.com. Free. Jan. 6. Mobile. Ladd Peeble Stadium. 12th Annual GMAC Bowl. 7 p.m. Sun Belt, Mid-American Conf. team champions. For into, 251-635-0011. www.gmacbowl.com. Admission. Jan. 8. Birmingham. Legion Field. Papa Johns Bowl. Post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A. For info, 205-7333776. www.PapaJohnsbowl.com. Admission. Jan. 10. Montgomery. All Shook Up. Davis Theater. 7 p.m. 24 Elvis hits on stage.Admission. For info, 334-241-9567, www.montgomery.troy.edu/davistheatre. Jan. 11 - Jan 23. Montgomery. Bear Country. Alabama Shakespeare Festival. 2 & 7:30 p.m. Rodney Clark reprises his role as Paul “Bear” Bryant. For info, 334271-5326. www.asf.net. Jan. 13. Elba. GRITS - The Musical. Elba High School. 7 p.m. Four women, four generations, four different views. Admission. For info, 334-406-1617. www.CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com. Jan. 13. Troy. Life is So Good. Troy University Crosby Theater. 7:30 p.m. Admission. For info, 334-670-3593. www. troyartscouncil.com. Jan. 14. Livingston. The Sucarnochee

Revue. University of W. Alabama. 7 p.m. Nationally syndicated musical variety radio show taped before a live audience. Admission. For info, 205-652-5405. http:// jackyjack.com. Jan. 15 - 16. Dauphin Island. 150th Anniversary,"Surrender of Fort Gaines.” East end of Dauphin Island. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Reenactment, period life and blacksmith demonstrations. Free. For info, 251-861 6992. www.dauphinisland.org. Jan. 15 - 16. Mobile. Camellia Show. Colonial Mall Bel Air. 2 - 7 p.m. 15th; noon - 4 p.m. 16th. Display plus info on planting and growing camellias. Free. For info, 251988-1405. www.mobilecamellia.org. Jan. 16. Birmingham. Southern Bridal Show. Bham - Jefferson Civic Center. Noon - 5 p.m. South’s largest bridal show. Vendors, photographers, caterers, florists. Live entertainment, fashion show. Admission. For info, 770-736-1979. www. eliteevents.com. Jan. 18. Birmingham. Birmingham Art Music Alliance (BAMA) Concert. UAB Mary Culp Hulsey Recital Hall. 7:30 p.m. New works by Bham-area composers/ artists. Admission. For info, 205-975-8858. www.music.uab.edu. Jan. 19 - Jun. 3. Montgomery. Sesquicentennial of Civil War. First White House of the Confederacy. Various commemorations. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon. - Fri. For info, 334-315-7266. www.firstwhitehouse. org.

Jan. 20. Montgomery. ArchiTreats: The Road to War: Jan. - Apr. 1861. AL Dept. of Archives and History (3rd Thursday lecture series). Free. For info, 334-353-4726 www.archives.alabama.gov. Jan. 21 - 22. Auburn. A Spirit Unafraid: The Press in Alabama, 1810-2010. AU Hotel & Conf. Center. The past, present, and future of the press in Alabama. For info, 334-844-4903. www.auburn.edu/cah. Jan. 22 - 23. Montgomery. Alabama Horse Council Horse Fair. Garrett Coliseum. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Drill team, mounted shooters, vendors, lectures, silent auction. Admission. For info, 205-678-2882. www. alabamahorsecouncil.org. Jan. 28, 29. Brundidge, Troy. Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival. We Piddle Around Theater Brundidge (28th, 6:30 p.m.), Trojan Center Theater, Troy (29th, 10 a.m., 2 & 6:30 p.m.). Master storytellers including Kathryn Tucker Windham, traditional music. Admission. For info, 334-670-6302. www.piddle.org. Jan. 29. Birmingham. AAA Alabama Annual Travel Show. Grand Conference Center. Cruise, tour, hotel and tourist bureau representatives on-hand. Holland America hosting On Stage Alaska. Free. Travel seminars 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. For info, 205-978-7030 ext 3105. Jan. 29. Mobile. Senior Bowl. LaddPeebles Stadium. Best senior collegiate players in pre-draft game. Admission. For info, 251-438-2276. www.seniorbowl.com.


By Josiah Breward | Scranton, PA

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Games 48 Rodeo ropes Crossword Clues 53 Innate ability ACROSS 58 Hobo 1 Broadway success 59 Recuperation 6 Belittle 15 French city known for facilities 62 Caribbean island textiles 63 Acting as chairperson 16 Kissed 64 Sot 17 Choice of 65 Audience conjunctions 66 Water pitchers 18 Licorice sticks 19 Peachy DOWN 20 One Finger Lake 1 Informal vocabulary 21 Talk of the town 2 "Rebel without a 23 Beige shades Cause" co-star 27 Fondle 3 Robert and Alan 32 Futhark letter 4 Casino staples 33 Buries the hatchet 5 Melodramatic 37 At some prior time behavior 38 Zenith 6 AMA members 39 Edge of a stage 40 Auctioneer's last word 7 Man or Dogs 8 Read quickly 41 Setup 9 Unadulterated 42 Animation tycoon 10 __ Roosevelt 44 Fork part Longworth 45 Method 11 Encountered 46 Garbles

12 Lunched 13 Retrieve 14 Meese and Wynn 22 Papayas 24 Talk and talk and talk 25 Napoleon Solo's org.

26 Shabby 28 Discharge a debt 29 Holliman and Scruggs 30 George C. or Zachary 31 Dispatcher 33 Dillon and McCoy 34 March follower 35 Reeves of "My Own Private Idaho" 36 Skill in a particular area 43 Copy 47 Glossy fabric 49 Directional indicator 50 Brownish-gray 51 Brownish-yellow 52 Trains for a bout 54 Alan or Cheryl 55 View from Cleveland 56 Five after four 57 Some putouts 59 Hot tub 60 Drummer Blakey 61 Bottom-line figure Š 2010 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

Crossword Puzzle answers are on page 35. Sudoku answers are on page 30. www.primemontgomery.com | December/January

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December 2010/January 2011