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Prime FREE FOR YOU

Celebrating Life

October 2016

Montgomery’s

“Seven Bridges Road” The road, the song,

and the man who wrote it. Plus • Robin, “Boy Wonder”, still crusading • a trip to Cajun Country • watermelons for Halloween


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Bring the pain. www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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Prime I

EDITOR’S NOTE

October 2016 • Volume 7 • Issue 7

PUBLISHER Bob Corley, primemontgomery@gmail.com EDITOR Sandra Polizos, primeeditor@gmail.com ART DIRECTOR Callie Corley, primemagdesign@gmail.com WRITERS Jocelyn Baird, Andrea Gross, William McDonald, Willie Moseley CONTRIBUTORS Niko Corley, Kylle’ McKinney, Bob Moos, Arlene Morris, Martha Skelley, Nick Thomas, Alan Wallace SALES Bob Corley • 334-202-0114 primemontgomery@gmail.com Suzanne Roquemore • 334-546-0010 suzannerprime@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 2016 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.

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t was a surprise trip to Troy, a spur of the moment decision. Always gracious, my in-laws were happy to see us. “But,” they apologized, “we’re hosting a football party for the ‘jetsetters.’” It was a playful, self-deprecating term they’d invented to describe their neighborhood group, poking fun at the fact that, after decades of hard work and financial and familial sacrifices, they’d all reached a point in life where they could relax and be more carefree. Mama and Papa fretted that we might be bored at a get-together of “old fogies,” but Sandra Polizos it never crossed our minds. My in-laws knew how to throw a fun party and to us, they and their friends epitomized the coolest cats of their Greatest Generation. The guests arrived way before the game started, already anticipating Lorraine’s spread for the evening. Her reputation preceded her. Food always makes a party and it was a lesson my mother-in-law knew well. Marinated mushrooms, a layered shrimp plate, and spinach dip were followed by a spread of slow-fired ribs, vine-ripe tomato pies, broccoli, potato and cauliflower salads, homemade cole slaw, fresh-shucked butter beans, sliced cucumbers and hot rolls. And for dessert, homemade banana pudding along with Mama’s famous apple cake. Diet or no, you just couldn’t foil Lorraine’s plan to keep you fed, satisfied, and happy. And no one wanted to. By the time Mama and Papa were 79 and 85, respectively, their friends were either their age or a little younger. They’d all been though WWII and Korea, eye-opening experiences for those assigned to foreign duty, as well as those who’d stayed home. After their military service, many of the men came back home to work within the local economy. Long years spent in places with strange sounding names made the familiarity of Troy a welcoming place to start a career and a family. My father-in-law had been lifelong friends with many of the assembled guests, and I listened as his contemporaries revealed him to me in a whole new light. Raconteurs, these elderly gentlemen told entertaining stories of youth: forming a band together in the 1930s (who’d have thought it?), a realized scheme to buy and own a gas station (it didn’t last long), and pioneer efforts to begin what would eventually become the Troy Country Club. The women talked about meeting their beaus and the difficulty of marrying into a cadre of friends who’d all grown up in the same small town. (For years after they were married Mama recalled that she was always introduced as being from “off,” i.e. “not from around here” –– even though she was raised in Atmore, Ala., just 125 miles down the road from Troy.) My in-laws invited us to their jetsetter party, hoping to share good food, good company, and hopefully some good football. What we got was so much more — unforgettable insights on family history told only as old friends can relate them. It was a valuable lesson on how families are woven into the fabric of a community, and how each one shapes the other. If you want to share family history with your children, throw a party with food, football, and a few old friends. Your old friends will end up being the stars of the show. If you’re 50+ and on Facebook, become a fan of PRIME Montgomery!

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com


October 2016 Table of Contents Editor’s Note 4 Quick Reads 6

Alzheimer’s blood test; good water & bad water

Yard ‘n Garden 9

African Violets and my Mother

Medicare 10

The cost of long-term care

A Gracious Plenty 12

Halloween watermelon fun

A Trip to Cajun Country 14 Survival of an historic lifestyle

Money Wi$e 17

Retiring: How much is enough?

“Seven Bridges Road” 18

Montgomery’s famous thoroughfare

Tinseltown Talks 22

Robin, “The Boy Wonder,” still crusading

Social Security 24

Social Security Basics: Part 3 of 3

In Every Life 25

Genealogy screening for cancer risks

Dying in-debt 26

Who pays the money you owe?

My Dad’s Alzheimer’s 29 What it taught me

Crossword & Sudoku Puzzles 30 Answers on page 33

History’s Mystery 31 Who ARE these people?

Calendar 32 Off the Beaten Path 34 Septembers Gone

October 27, 1954 www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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Quick Reads

Dietary benefits of water For people who want to control their weight or reduce their intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, tap water may be the answer. A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 U.S. adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water by 1% reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol. A paper issued by researchers at the U. of Illinois stated those who increased water consumption by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams. — U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics)

Babies at mealtime: more than eating At the dinner table, new research suggests babies do a lot more than play with their sippy cups; they pay close attention to what food is being eaten around them, and especially who is eating it. The study adds evidence to a growing body of research suggesting even very young children think in sophisticated ways about subtle social cues. The authors found 1-year-olds expect people to like the same foods, unless those people belong to different social or cultural groups, such as those that speak a different language. The study underscores just how tightly our food choices are coupled with our social thinking. “Kids are sensitive to cultural groups early in life,” said the study’s coauthor Katherine Kinzler. “When babies see someone eat, they are not just learning about food – they are also learning about who eats what with whom. An ability to think about people as being ‘same versus different’, and perhaps even ‘us versus them,’ starts very early in life.” — Cornell University (published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

Don’t drink the (warm) water, study says Americans can take a warning from a U. of Florida study of bottled water in China: don’t drink the liquid if you’ve left it somewhere warm for a long time. Plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate. When heated, they release the chemicals antimony and bisphenol A, commonly called BPA. A research team examined 16 bottled water brands at 158 degrees for four weeks. The study found that as bottles warmed over the fourweek period, antimony and BPA levels increased. Some health officials, including those at the Mayo Clinic, say the chemical can cause negative effects on children’s health. The U. of Florida scientist warned against leaving bottled water in a hot garage for weeks on end or in your car all day during the summer. — U. of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science 6

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com


COPD patients and physical activity A study presented at this year's European Respiratory Society International Congress shows increased physical activity among patients with COPD reduces their risk of anxiety or depression. Low physical activity is a critical feature of COPD, believed to be an important risk factor for other health conditions. The results suggested higher levels of physical activity were associated with a reduced risk of developing anxiety and depression over a five year period. Researchers did not observe statistically significant associations of physical activity with helping other health conditions. — European Lung Foundations

Downside of working from home The benefits of working from home disappear over time for employees and organizations if it’s a full-time arrangement. While previous studies have demonstrated home workers are more productive than office-based workers, a new study by the London School of Economics shows that on a long term basis, there are no differences between home and office workers. The reason? Employees no longer see working at home as a discretionary benefit or a ‘privilege’ when it becomes the ‘norm’ in an organization. ”Some of the downsides of home working,” says study author Dr. Esther Canonico, “are an increased sense of professional isolation and a decrease in sharing knowledge with colleagues. It’s not for everyone but it is becoming entrenched into our working culture.” — London School of Economics

Progress with Alzheimer’s blood test A research team has made a significant step towards the development of a simple blood test to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from Cardiff University, King’s College London and the University of Oxford, studied blood from 292 individuals with the earliest signs of memory impairment and found a set of biomarkers (indicators of disease) that predicted whether or not a given individual would develop Alzheimer’s disease. These new findings laid the groundwork for a much larger, ongoing study involving several UK universities and pharmaceutical companies seeking to replicate the findings and refine the test. — Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK

www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com


YARD ‘N GARDEN

Raised with the Violets W

By Martha Skelley

hen I was growing up, my Mom had African Violets (Saintpaulia) all over our house. My worst nightmare was being told to water the violets. “Aarrgh!” I’d think. (At least I was smart enough not to voice that consideration aloud.) There were so many rules, like don’t get water on the leaves, don’t overfill the pot so it runs over on the furniture, and only use the water specified. There were so many plants that watering them was not a job quickly done. Fast forward twenty years. I am married and busy with three sons. Out of the deep, dark recesses of my mind comes the thought that I should have African Violets at my house. Of course, I go to my Mom to procure advice and also three beautiful, blooming plants. She is overjoyed I

am following in her hobby footsteps. I ask the secrets to growing gorgeous violets. “There’s nothing to it,” she answers. “They are the easiest, most rewarding plants you can grow.” Great. I am all set. I carefully transport my new plants home to Alabama. I wish for a kitchen window in which to put them — like Mom has always had — but I remember she has them in other rooms too, so I am not concerned. I place all three plants in the dining room window so they can get a full dose of the afternoon sun.

Capital City Master Gardener Association Free Lunch & Learn 12:00-1:00 p.m. | Bring a sack lunch. Drinks provided Oct. 5: Fruit Tree Selection for the Backyard — Dr. Arlie Powell, Petals from the Past Nov. 2: Care and Selection of Garden Tools — Mary McCroan, Advanced Master Gardener Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Avenue Contact the Montgomery County Extension Office (334) 270-4133 for more information.

Welcomes D r. W a r e Montgomery native Dr. Ashley H. Ware graduated from Saint James Dr. Ashley Ware School and the U. of Mississippi, graduating with honors from the U. of Alabama Birmingham’s School of Optometry with the prestigious Contact Lens Practice Achievement Award. Dr. Ware completed an externship at Montgomery’s VA Hospital and clinical externships in private practice, developing expertise

in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases. Dr. Ware is licensed by the AL Board of Optometry, holds a certificate from the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, and is a member of the American Optometric Assn., Southern Council of Optometrist, AL Optometric Assn., and the East Central AL Optometric Society. Dr. Ware, husband Christian Ware, and their two-year old son Charlie returned to Montgomery in 2012.

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A week or two goes by. I remember I have violets in the house and wonder if they need water. To my surprise, they are not looking all that great. All the blooms are spent and the soil is kind of dry. I call Mom. The interrogation begins. “Did you overwater them?” she asks. I could honestly say no. “Do you have them in an east facing window?” “I’m not sure what direction that window faces,” I lie. “I will check on that.” “Your house always seems cold to me,” says mom. “They may be too cold and they don’t like draft. Did you remember to put a drop of liquid fertilizer in the water before you water them?” “Well, no, you never told me the cocktail you were feeding them,” I reply. “You really need to talk to them,” Mom concludes. “What??” I exclaim. “I am not about to talk to dead violets, Mom!” “Well, dear,” she says, “then that is exactly what you will get. I will be there this weekend to bring them home.” And so my violet growing ended. They may be easy to grow, but it seems you need to know all the rules and to follow them diligently to have a good experience. I guess Mom thought I’d learned those things that were second nature to her by growing up with violets. I still occasionally buy a violet at the grocery and enjoy it until it quits blooming. Nothing else I know reminds me so much of my Mom. Martha Skelley, an intern in the 2016 Master Gardener Class, lives in Montgomery. For more information on becoming a master gardener, visit www.capcitymga.org or email capcitymga@gmail.com. www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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MEDICARE

Long-Term Care Costs

I

By Bob Moos, U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

f you’re 65, you have just about a 50-50 chance of entering a nursing home at some point. The average cost of a private room now exceeds $75,000 per year, and the average length of stay is almost 2½ years. That adds up to more than $185,000. One reason people don’t give much thought to the high cost of long-term care is that they figure they won’t have to pay for it. If and when the time comes, they tell themselves, Medicare will pick up most of the tab, the same as it does for hospital stays and doctor visits. But that’s not the case. It can be a real eye-opener to discover that Medicare typically doesn’t pay for long-term “custodial care” – the kind of personal care that helps you with such day-to-day tasks as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing and eating. Medicare does cover some skilled nursing or rehabilitative care if a physician orders it after a hospital stay of at least three days. You pay nothing during the first 20 days of your care and then part of the cost for the next 80 days. After 100 days, you’re responsible for all bills. So, since Medicare won’t cover long-term custodial care, what are the most common options? n Private long-term care insurance. Such policies were once seen as the most promising way to finance long-term care. But sharp premium increases in recent years have made the coverage more difficult to afford. Shopping for longterm care insurance requires planning ahead. If you wait until you need it, you may not get it, since people with disabilities may not qualify. n Life savings and other personal resources. Long-term care residents often cover their expenses out of their own pockets, tapping their savings and investments or perhaps even home equity. The high cost of such care, however, can quickly exhaust those personal resources. Many people go through their nest eggs much more quickly than they had anticipated. n Medicaid. Let’s look at this option more closely, since it finances a large share of long-term care in this country. Although the program is usually seen as the state and federal safety net

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October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

that provides health care coverage to the poor, it also pays for the long-term care of millions of older and disabled Americans after they have impoverished themselves. Over the years, policy-makers have debated whether the government should create a publicly financed program specifically to help pay for the nation’s long-term care costs. In the absence of any emerging political consensus, Medicaid remains the public insurance program that most closely addresses that growing social and economic issue. As anyone requiring long-term care learns, there are strings attached to Medicaid’s assistance. You must meet stringent asset and income limits. Though the eligibility rules vary from state to state, you generally can keep no more than a home, your personal belongings, a car and a small amount of savings -- often no more than $2,000. Nor can you give away assets or sell them for less than market value to qualify for Medicaid. The state will look at your financial records for the past five years to check for any improper transfers. If it finds one, your eligibility will be delayed. Also, in many states, you can have only a meager income. Long-term care residents who have been approved for Medicaid coverage must contribute much of their income — such as from Social Security or a pension — toward the cost of their care, after deducting a small allowance for personal needs, the cost of health care insurance premiums and, for couples, an allowance for at-home spouses. And finally, after you die, Medicaid has the right to seek reimbursement from your estate for what it has spent on your long-term care. As you can see, there are no easy answers when it comes to covering the cost of long-term care. But learning now about your options will pay off if and when the day arrives that you can’t look after yourself. To find out more, you may want to consult a financial adviser or retirement planner. You also should consider visiting with a counselor from your state’s Health Insurance Assistance Program. In Alabama, the number is 1-800-243-5463.


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A GRACIOUS PLENTY

Halloween Watermelon? S

pooky, silly or symbolic, carved pumpkins are an essential ingredient to any Halloween celebration. This year, scare up some special fun for your grandchildren or an upcoming party with a wicked watermelon carving, instead - but don’t stop there. After crafting your watermelon into an artful mummy, take advantage of the healthy, immune-system supporting qualities of the lycopene leader among fresh produce. At 92 percent water, as well as an excellent source of vitamins A and C, watermelon is a hydrating post-art snack. Carving a creative design into a watermelon is a simple way to kick off the festivities and requires only a handful of common tools. Add a twinkling candle to make a fantastically

Choosing a Watermelon With a thick rind covering the fruit inside, you may wonder how to choose the best watermelon at the market. Here are some tips for picking the perfect one: n Look it over. Look for a round, oval or oblong shaped watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents. n Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. On average, a 5-pound watermelon yields 15 cups of edible fruit. n Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

Kids Watermelon Pizza Supreme Servings: 6 n 1 watermelon slice (8-10 inches around and 1-inch thick), drained n 1cup strawberry preserves n 1/2 cup white chocolate chips n 1/2 cup raisins n 1/2 cup chopped walnuts n 1 cup sweetened shredded coconuts Place watermelon slice on serving platter and cut into 6 wedges, leaving in shape of pizza. Spread preserves over watermelon and sprinkle chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts and coconut. Source: Family Features 12

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

frightful centerpiece. Or fill it with a fresh fruit salad or salsas for a more functional, practical approach. Even if you’re planning on a hollowed-out carving, keep the sweet juicy fruit and make it a healthy addition to your Halloween party menu with a recipe that puts to use all your carving leftovers. To take advantage of all a watermelon has to offer - outside of the fun carving - try Frosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls or Kids Watermelon Pizza Supreme. These fun, simple recipes make it easy to incorporate a healthy snack after all your hard work carving up a Halloween masterpiece. Find more recipes, carving patterns and inspiration at watermelon.org. Carving Tips n Prior to carving, read through all of the directions. n Cuts are easiest when the watermelon is at room temperature. Once your handiwork is complete, chill the carving and contents before serving. n After drawing your design on the rind, insert toothpicks in key places to guide your cuts. n A sharp knife with a pointed tip makes the easiest, cleanest cuts. n Remove excess flesh in large pieces, when possible, to allow for easier melon ball or cube creation. n Use round toothpicks or skewers to attach pieces to your design as flat toothpicks are not strong enough to bear the weight or stand up to the thickness of the rind.


Watermelon Mummy n n n n n n n

Supplies and Tools: Oval or round seedless watermelon Cutting board Kitchen knife Small bowl Dry erase marker Paring knife Melon baller, fluted or regular

Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry. On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and use kitchen knife to cut off 1/4-inch to 1/2inch from bottom (end opposite stem), being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind. Cut 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch from stem end to create opening large enough to fit small bowl. Using dry erase marker, draw eyes, nose and mouth, along with wavy slits around carving to let more light flow through. Use paring knife to cut out design, being sure to cut through to red fruit. Use fluted or regular melon

n n n n n n

Scoop Assorted peelers Cheesecloth Straight pin Battery-operated candle or light Candy eyeballs or blueberries

baller to hollow out inside of watermelon. Use scoop to remove excess watermelon. Peel green rind off outside of watermelon. (Tip: Different peelers work well for different parts of the watermelon, depending on how flat or round the melon is.) Wrap thin strips of cheesecloth around mummy carving and secure with straight pin, if needed. Put battery-operated candle or light into carving. Fit small bowl into top of carving and trim away excess rind to make bowl fit securely. Fill bowl with melon balls and attach candy or blueberries to make eyes.

Frosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls Servings: 35-40 n 1 small watermelon n 1 package (3 ounces) watermelon or other red flavor gelatin dessert Using melon baller, scoop out 35-40 small watermelon balls. Place on paper towels and set aside. Pour gelatin into shallow bowl. One-by-one, gently drop watermelon balls into bowl, roll around, take out and place on plate covered with paper towel. Repeat until all gelatin is used. Place plate of frosted watermelon balls in freezer. Allow at least 2 hours to make sure they are completely frozen. Remove from freezer and let sit a few minutes before eating. Note: To serve with toothpicks, place toothpicks in before freezing to aid in serving.

www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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FEATURE

Legend has it that Canadian lobster shriveled to Louisiana crawfish under the heat of the southern sun.

Editor’s Note: Lafayette is recovering from recent floodings. Assistance can be provided through a number of agencies, including the American Red Cross, www.redcross.org, and Louisanna Flood Recovery, http://lafloodrecovery.org/.

Louisiana’s Cajun Country C

Story by Andrea Gross | Photos by Irv Green

hallenging the Queen of England isn't a job for the average attorney, yet Warren Perrin speaks of it casually, as if waging a legal war against the British crown is no big deal. In fact, it was a very big deal — not only for Perrin, but also for the half million people he represents: the Cajuns of South Louisiana. The Louisiana litigator claimed the Crown owed the Cajuns an apology for deporting their French-speaking ancestors from Canada back in 1755. When the Acadians (French colonists) refused to bow to the British king, they were separated from their 14

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

families, pushed onto small boats and forced out to sea. More than one third lost their lives, others were dispersed throughout the American colonies, and some eventually made it to south Louisiana, where they were welcomed by a largely French-speaking populace. But as the saying goes, one man's misfortune is another man's good luck. Having lost so much, the Acadians, whose name evolved into Cajun, were determined to hang on to what they had left. Today, more than 260 years later, many of their traditions remain intact, making south Louisiana one of the most distinctive regions in the oft-


homogenous United States. Using Lafayette (www.lafayettetravel.com) as our hub, my husband and I begin our immersion into Cajun culture by exploring the surroundings that greeted the new arrivals. To do this, we tour the swamps with Bryan Champagne, whose flat-bottomed boat can slide over logs, weave through tunnels of moss-draped cypress trees and carve paths that take us past egret nests and snoozing gators. How different this environment must have seemed to folks who were used to Canadian winters! Within a few short years, the Cajuns were building sturdy homes on dry ground. We see a typical Cajun community at Vermilionville, a heritage and folk life park that depicts Acadian life between 1765 and 1890. There’s a school, boat Cajuns found gardening easier in Louisiana than in Canada. shed, forge and church as well as a variety of homes. One is a trapper’s hut, another replicates a native American dwelling and some are like those that belonged to Cajun and Creole families. But Vermilionville is about more than the distant past. The costumed interpreters, who demonstrate crafts such as violin making, quilting, and blacksmithing, generally grew up in the area and their discussions — as well as some of the exhibits — tell us about Cajun life in more recent times as well. We enter L’École, a reproduction of a mid twentieth-century schoolhouse. Up front is a giant U.S. flag with 48 stars. Below, on the blackboard, is an edict that the children were forced to copy during daily lessons: “I will not speak French on the school grounds.” A ninety-plus year old gentleman is on hand The kitchen was the heart of Cajun homes. to tell visitors how difficult that made life for the Cajuns. “We spoke Cajun at home, yet from 1916 until 1968 we couldn’t even speak French among ourselves on the playground,” he says. “Without a common language, it was hard to pass down our traditions.” But the Cajuns managed. People eat crawfish in restaurants filled with traditional music and dance to age-old tunes at weekly jamfests. We return to Vermilionville on Saturday afternoon to find approximately two dozen folks playing fiddles, guitars and accordions before an audience composed mostly of friends and neighbors. A man next to me invites me to dance. I have two left feet, but the music is so inviting I give it a try. Finally, in order to enrich our minds while stuffing our stomachs, we sign up for a 3.5 hour tour that stops at six eateries, where people feed us Cajun stories along with Cajun food. According to the Legend of the Shriveling Lobsters, when Swamp tours are conducted in small, flat-bottomed boats. the Acadians were forced out of Canada, the unhappy lobsters

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Above and Top Right: Artisans practice crafts handed down through generations. Bottom Right: Visitors can hear traditional Cajun music at Vermilionville’s weekly jamfests.

followed the castaways to Louisiana. There, unaccustomed to Southern heat, the poor crustaceans shrunk until voilà, they became crawfish. Today crawfish are a staple in Cajun cooking and are often used in gumbo, jambalaya, bisque, boulettes, etouffée, maque choux, rice dressing and even cornbread. But the most authentic way to eat them is whole, a multi-step twist-suck-and-crack operation that tangles my fingers as it tempts my tastebuds. Fortunately, practicing is a lot of fun! Meanwhile, Warren Perrin was successful in winning his royal battle. In 2003 Queen Elizabeth II issued a proclamation decreeing July 28th as an annual “Day of Commemoration of the Acadian Deportation.” It wasn’t exactly an apology, but at least it was an acknowledgement that the Acadians had indeed been expelled against their will and suffered greatly as a result. Now — thanks in large part to Perrin — French, albeit with a Parisian rather 16 October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

than a Cajun accent, is being offered in all Louisiana schools. Laissez les bos temps rouler! [Let the good times roll!]

For more on Lafayette and Cajun culture, go to www.traveltizers.com. For helpful tips on travel in Louisiana, see the section titled Napkin Notes.

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MONEYWI $ E

How Much is Enough? “Financial planning is the process of using limited resources to meet one’s needs and reach one’s goals.”

O

ne of the best questions to ask yourself when considering a financial decision is, “How much is enough?” The question implies that, for any financial choice, a line exists. On one side of the line is territory labelled “insufficiency” or “less than required.” On the other side is an area called “excess” or “more than necessary.” The line itself marks out the Goldilocks zone which is “just right.” Alan Wallace This criterion can be applied almost universally. How much is enough income for me to reach my objectives? How much is enough insurance coverage? How much cash is enough in reserve for emergencies? How much is enough to spend on a car, a house, a vacation? How much is enough risk to take in my retirement account? How much is enough to support me/us in retirement? How much is enough to leave my heirs? Admittedly a few people (like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet) have resources sufficiently vast that their financial security is unlikely to be damaged by a few minor bad decisions. But plenty of folks with big temporary incomes (like professional athletes and entertainers) suffer by failing to consider, “How much is enough?” Since you can only spend a particular dollar once, when you use more than necessary for any good or service, or buy things that do not match your priorities, you have less to apply toward other things. Financial planning is the process of using limited resources to meet one’s needs and reach one’s goals. It is all about trade-offs, and success depends on lots of correct small decisions. A good long-term outcome is more likely for those who do the following: 1. Develop and follow a realistic plan that prioritizes what is important to you. For example, my wife and I value travel and creating memories more than driving new or luxury cars. For 41 years of marriage we have tried to conserve on vehicle costs. This has allowed us to visit a lot of memorable places. Know what you want and don’t let other people set your values or priorities. 2. Follow a rational decision-making process, espe-

cially for big decisions. Avoid making rush decisions when you do not have all the important information or when you are under stress or duress. Impulse decisions rarely turn out well, and the higher the stakes, the worse the potential consequences. Determine what it is you really need or want from the outlay, identify and evaluate options in light of your preferences, and consider the risks of the preferred choices before finalizing your decision. Seek objective counsel when appropriate. 3. Distinguish between needs and wants. The line between these two has become blurred for many people. Most of us would be surprised what we could do without if we had to, as our parents and grandparents did during the Great Depression. Often it is okay to have your wants fulfilled, but it is still helpful to distinguish a want from a need. It permits one to prioritize and make tradeoffs that allow the achievement of additional other goals. For instance: If you buy house # 1, that is all you get. If you buy house # 2, you also can take a two-week trip to Italy. 4. Make the best all-around deal that you can. It takes effort to find out what things cost so that you do not overpay. It takes self-control to wait until you can pay cash or to negotiate a better deal than the one being offered. It takes judgment to know whom to trust, when to compromise, and when to walk away. And consider ongoing expenses (maintenance, etc.) as well as the up-front cost. 5. Learn the right lessons from your mistakes and from those of others. Everyone makes a bad decision now and then. Make the most of it by learning the right lessons so that you do not repeat the same error. If you consistently consider the question, “How much is enough?” before making financial decisions, you may find yourself experiencing less buyer’s remorse, a larger bank balance, more satisfaction with your choices, and a greater sense of control over your financial future. Alan Wallace, CFA, ChFC, CLU, is a Senior Private Wealth Advisor for Ronald Blue & Co.’s Montgomery office, www. ronblue.com/location-al. He can be reached at 334-2705960, or by e-mail at alan.wallace@ronblue.com. 4926528-08-16 www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

17


The Real

FEATURE

“Seven Bridges Road”

Two bridges along Woodley Road as it winds southeast out of the city. (photo by Bob Corley)

O

By Willie G. Moseley

ne of the earliest, most-enduring “unplugged” (acoustic) songs by a rock band usually playing electric was the Eagles’ 1980 live rendition of “Seven Bridges Road.” Penned by Alabama native Steve Young (19422016), many music fans know the song is about a county road on the outskirts of Montgomery. Few, however, are aware the tune was actually written in Montgomery, and that friends of Young’s who witnessed the song’s composition included a future state Attorney General and an acclaimed news reporter and book author.

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October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com


Young, originally from Gadsden, was an itinerant songwriter and guitarist who often played in Montgomery in the 1960s. His usual venue was the Shady Grove folk club, on the corner of Cleveland Avenue (now Rosa Parks Avenue) and Fairview Avenue. In earlier years, the night spot had been the popular Roxy Drive-In. It was there Young befriended a fellow music lover and up-and-coming lawyer named Jimmy Evans, and they became roommates. Decades later Evans would be elected Alabama’s Attorney General, and he recently recalled his own development of music appreciation as a youngster. “I worked for my father,” Evans noted, “who processed gravel out of a huge pit out on the Old Selma Road. Near there, an elderly black gentleman lived in a shack in the middle of a huge cotton field. They called him Alabama Sam, and he used to allow me to listen to him play guitar, and I was in awe. That’s where it started for me.” Evans also remembered the glory days of the Shady Grove in the ‘60s. “When the Roxy restaurant closed down, John Russell, who was nicknamed ‘Sweet Pea’, rented it and made it into a club centered around bluegrass and folk music,” Evans said. “I met Steve out there, and later, we rented an apartment together over on Capital Avenue. He had played in Birmingham with some folk group, and was classically-trained on guitar. He stayed here a long time, but would be going back and forth to California. Above: Steve Young He had other jobs besides playing when he was here, in Montgomery, because he had to make a living.” 1960s. (photo courReportedly, Young’s jobs in the Capital City included tesy Jimmy Evans) a before-sunup route as a milkman for Hall Brothers Right: Jimmy Evans Dairy. with “Scooter.” Evans was also familiar with Montgomery’s Woodley (photo by Bob Corley) Road south of the four-way intersection with McInnis Road and Virginia Loop Road. That stretch was known locally as Seven Bridges Road, and Evans and friends had frequented the country two-lane since their high school days. “Woodley Road turned off to the left and went to Orion,” Evans remembered. “I’d go down to Orion a lot to listen to a guitarist named C.P. Austin. The county road that went straight ahead became Mt. Zion Road. There had been seven wooden bridges, and we’d go out there a lot... I thought it was

The most southern of the seven bridges alluded to in Young’s famous classic “Seven Bridges Road.” www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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Above: The late author Wayne Greenhaw at a 2011 book signing at Capitol Book & News. (photo by Bob Corley) Left: Former radio personality Larry Stevens at his advertising agency in Montgomery. (photo by Bob Corley)

the most beautiful place around Montgomery that I’d ever seen. That road was a ‘cavern’ of moss; it looked like a tunnel.” As for the inspiration for the song, writer Wayne Greenhaw (1940-2011) recalled accompanying Evans and Young on outings down the road to visit Austin in his anthology My Heart is in the Earth: True Stories of Alabama and Mexico (River City Publishing). Evans recounted one particular sojourn. “That night, there was a full moon,” he said. “We were in my Oldsmobile, and when I stopped, Steve got out on the right side fender. We sat there a while, and he started writing down words. That’s the way I recall that song coming about.” Young completed the song in the apartment he shared with Evans. The erstwhile Attorney General acknowledged the power of the imagery of “Seven Bridges Road,” noting that the exquisite harmony vocals in the Eagles cover, and in other versions by famous artists, was a bonus. “I think he just wrote it for himself; I don’t think harmony singing was originally part of it, but it turned out to be fantastic,” said Evans. “He recorded it, and he’d told me that the Eagles’ version was coming out. I recall some country female singers recording it as well, but (the Eagles’ rendition) was the most successful.” As for the local response to the Eagles’ version of “Seven Bridges Road,” former radio icon Larry Stevens, whose morning show often attracted more than half of all radio listeners in Montgomery, recalled the interest in the song, even though it was recorded live. 20 October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

“I’d say (the percentage of live songs that were hits) was very low,” Stevens said. “Once that song was released, it came to my attention it was about Montgomery. I found out it was about Woodley Road, and I was living in Spring Valley (subdivision) at the time. I even got a letter from an elderly lady who recalled going out to Seven Bridges Road when she was a child. It was full of vivid details.” Stevens recorded a monologue in which he read the woman’s letter with music in the background. “I sent it to Casey Kasem,” he recalled, “I thought it might be of interest to him, and I was actually invited to read it as a guest host on American Top 40, and I never did.” Stevens tracked down Young in California, and interviewed him on the air. The veteran radio personality believes the song would have been added to the playlist even without the local reference in its lyrics. “It was unique, clean, and simple with great harmonies,” said Stevens. “A rare example of ‘less is more’ with pure talent.” Montgomery County engineer Lonnie McGough’s office still gets inquiries about Seven Bridges Road. “It doesn’t happen a lot,” McGough said. “Maybe once every six months. Most people contact us out of curiosity, because they heard the Eagles’ version. I’ve never heard anyone mention the Steve Young version.” Music aficionados who are still fans of “Seven Bridges Road” can hear an excellent rendition in modern times, performed in concert by ex-Eagle Don Felder and his band. Felder’s version utilizes electric bass and drums in addition to churning acoustic guitars, and the harmony vocals are impeccable. The result is yet another classic interpretation of the iconic song. Steve Young and Jimmy Evans kept in touch after the growth of Young’s music took him away from Montgomery, and they


Top: The bridges lie in and outside city limits. (photo by Bob Corley) Right: Ex-Eagle Don Felder performing “Seven Bridges Road.” (photo by Willie G. Moseley)

experienced success in their respective careers. The former attorney general misses his old friend, who died in March. “Steve wrote some beautiful music,” Evans said wistfully. “He was a great guitar player, too. He’d do session work in Nashville, and performed live with a lot of famous players.” Author/columnist/lecturer Willie G. Moseley is the Senior Writer for Vintage Guitar Magazine, News Editor Emeritus for The Tallassee Tribune, and the author of twelve books. He can be reached at willie@vintageguitar.com. Special thanks to Ham Wilson and Lonnie McGough for research assistance.

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www.montgomerysymphony.org • 240-4004 www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

21


TINSELTOWN TALKS

Caped Crusader

Turns Canine Crusader By Nick Thomas

T

here was a time when Burt Ward would leap dramatically across our TV screens in green shorts, beige tights, and a gold cape masquerading weekly as ‘Robin, the Boy Wonder,’ one-half of the crime fighting Dynamic Duo in the popular television show “Batman,” which first aired 50 years ago this year. Today, you’ll find Burt more comfortable at home in jeans, rescuing dogs, although he hasn’t abandoned the citizens of Gotham City entirely. “I was the Caped Crusader, but now I’m the Canine Crusader,” laughed Burt from his five-acre property in Norco, California. “Since my wife Tracy and I began running Gentle Giants 22 years ago, we have rescued over 15,500 dogs and found safe, loving homes for them” (see www.gentlegiantsrescue.com). The Wards actually share their home — inside and out — with up to 50 dogs, mostly large breeds like Great Danes, Greyhounds, and St. Bernards. The pack of pooches consumes 600 pounds of food each day, costing around $14,000 a month, while veterinary expenses run a staggering $50,000 per year. Adoption fees and donations make little dent in the bills, and the money received from selling their own brand of dog food, also called Gentle Giants, goes directly to support the animals. “We pay for everything and take no salary,” explained Burt. “This is our charity.” In addition to saving the lives of ‘Man’s Best Friend,’ the Wards

claim to have also extended those lives by creating a unique, healthy dog food. "Right now, we have 24 dogs between 15 to 26 years old!” said Ward. “But there’s nothing magical, it’s all based on quality and science.” With a team of nutritionists, Burt says they developed a special formula which contains much less fat than many commercial dog foods. They tested it on their dogs for two years before making it commercially available in 2008. “It’s now sold in 1,200 stores in California, Arizona, and Florida, and available nationally online from walmart.com and amazon.com,” notes Burt proudly, and with a level of enthusiasm reminiscent of the youthful exuberance he brought to his Robin role. The original Batman series lasted for three seasons in the 60s and led to a 1966 feature film and animated series in the 70s, all starring Ward as Robin and Adam West as Batman. Fans of the franchise will be delighted to learn that Burt hasn’t entirely retired from crime fighting. Together with West and the original Catwoman, Julie Newmar, the trio has reunited to provide voices for a new animated feature called “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” due for release in October. “This is a Warner Brothers project that I've been aware of for about 18 months,” explained Burt. “It incorporates all of the

Burt and Tracy Ward at their home with a few of their rescue dogs. (photo Courtesy Burt Ward) 22

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com


Left: Burt Ward (L) and Adam West, Robin and Batman, from the 1960s TV show Batman. (courtesy 20th Century Fox Television) Right: Animated Batman feature “Return of the Caped Crusaders,” for release October 11. (courtesy Warner Bros. & DC Comics)

great things that made Batman wonderful then — including the humor — and combines that with some of the style in the recent, edgier Batman features.” While the reunion was enjoyable, Burt recalls the original series as being especially fun with all the gadgets and tonguein-cheek humor, “except for the explosions, third-degree burns, and broken bones” that occurred during filming. But despite the injuries, he says the cast was a joy to work with. “Adam and I have been great friends for 50 years,” he said. “And Alan Napier (‘Alfred’) was the sweetest man in the world and so cultured. He carried around this tiny dog which would fit in the palm of his hand and only put it down while doing his scenes.”

Put this down, pick these up,

Today, the Wards have no such luxury in dog transportation with their giant breeds that can weigh up to 300 pounds. Now 71, Ward says they do hire helpers to assist with the dog feeding and other heavy duties. But every other aspect of the rescue is essentially a two-person operation between Burt and Tracy, “but mainly Tracy” he adds. “In our hearts, we know it’s really important what we’re doing,” says Burt. “We’re involved in other charitable work, but this is our daily hands-on cause.” Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns, and interviews for more than 600 magazines and newspapers.

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23


SOCIAL SECURITY

Part 3/3

Your Social Security Questions Answered

Q

uestion: What is a Social Security “credit?” Answer: During your working years, earnings covered by Social Security are posted to your record. You earn Social Kylle’ McKinney Security credits based on those earnings. The amount of earnings needed for one credit rises as average earnings levels rise. To learn how much you need to earn for a credit, please visit www.social security.gov/planners/ credits. You can earn up to a maximum of four credits a year. Most people will need a minimum of 40 credits (or 10 years of work) to be eligible for retirement benefits. Learn more by reading the online publication How You Earn Credits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10072.html. Question: I'm retiring early, at age 62, and I receive investment income from a rental property I own. Does investment income count as earnings? Answer: No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you're self-employed. Non-work income such as annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains, and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits. Most pensions will not affect your benefits. However, your benefit may be affected by government pensions earned through work on which you did not pay Social Security tax. You can retire online at www.socialsecurity.gov. For more information, call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Question: I have two minor children at home and I plan to retire this fall. Will my children be eligible for monthly Social Security benefits after I retire? Answer: Monthly Social Security 24

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

payments may be made to your children if: n they are unmarried and under age 18; n age 18 or 19 and still in high school; or n age 18 or older, became disabled before age 22, and continue to be disabled. Children who may qualify include a biological child, adopted child, or dependent stepchild. (In some cases, your grandchild also could be eligible for benefits on your record if you are supporting them.) For more information, see our online publication, Benefits For Children, at www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Question: A few months after I started receiving my Social Security retirement benefit, my former employer offered to take me back. It’s a great offer. Can I withdraw my retirement claim and reapply later to increase my benefit amount? Answer: Social Security understands that unexpected changes may occur after you begin receiving retirement benefits. If you change your mind, you may be able to withdraw your Social Security claim and re-apply at a future date. This withdrawal must occur within 12 months of your original retirement, and you are limited to one withdrawal during your lifetime. Keep in mind, you must repay all of the benefits you received. You can learn more about the one-year period when you can postpone your benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/withdrawal.htm Question: I went back to work after retiring, but now the company I work for is downsizing. I’ll be receiving unemployment benefits in a few weeks. Will this affect my retirement benefits? Answer: When it comes to retirement benefits, Social Security does not count unemployment as earnings, so your retirement benefits will not be affected. However, any income you receive from Social Security may reduce your unemployment benefits. Contact your state

unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction to your unemployment compensation. Question: My spouse and I have been married for over 30 years and we are about to retire. Will there be any reduction in benefits because we are married? Answer: None at all. We calculate lifetime earnings independently to determine each spouse’s Social Security benefit amount, and couples aren’t penalized because they are married. When both spouses meet all other eligibility requirements to receive Social Security retirement benefits, each spouse receives a monthly benefit amount based on his or her own earnings. If one member of the couple earned low wages or failed to earn enough Social Security credits to be insured for retirement benefits, he or she may be eligible to receive benefits as a spouse. Learn more about earning Social Security credits by reading our publication, How You Earn Credits, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by e-mail at kylle. mckinney@ssa.gov.

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IN EVERY LIFE

Cancer Risk: Genetic Testing

A

s a component of routine assessments, healthcare providers ask about your threegeneration family history of various types of cancers. An individual may Arlene Morris be at higher risk for some cancers if that individual received one or more particular genes from family members. Research on the human genome, genetic sequencing/mapping/biomarkers, and changes in gene patent laws have led to an evolving field of genetic testing to assess for cancer risk. Research has shown that some gene, multi-gene, or genomic mutations are mildly, moderately or strongly linked to development of different types of cancers. This opens the field of genetic testing for risk before any signs or symptoms are otherwise identifiable. For example, BRCA-1 or BRCA-2, and various other multiple gene mutations have been linked to breast cancer. The BRCA-1 mutation has been associated with the highest lifetime risk, and both BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 mutations are linked with increased risk for developing

cancer in the other breast. Although the cost for genetic testing has decreased over the past few years, it may not be included in health insurance plans. The U. S. Preventative Task Force has recommendations for appropriate screening of potential risk factors for inheritable cancer before counseling regarding genetic testing (see Resources). If genetic testing is chosen, collaboration among healthcare providers, genetic counselors, individuals and family members can help to evaluate potential risks/benefits of various treatment options. The following issues may be discussed by an individual and family with healthcare providers and genetic counselors specializing in the potentially hereditary cancer: 1. What family and personal history indicates potential benefits of genetic testing outweigh financial or psychological costs? 2. What are the availability, reliability, cost and reimbursement for single and/or multi-gene panels? 3. What genetic level results will change the assessment of cancer risk? In other words, is there strong, moderate, or low links to future cancer development (5-year or 10-year and lifetime risk of developing the potential

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hereditary cancer)? 4. How do the results impact quality of life or psychological state of the individual who has been tested? 5. What do you do with the information? Do results change decisions regarding lifestyle, or other methods of prevention or management, including preventative surgery for removal of all or part of the potential cancer site before the cancer may develop? 6. Will results influence decisions about childbearing, or options for medical intervention, including assisted reproduction? 7. Do individuals prefer face-to-face, telephone, or written disclosure of the results? Do individuals, healthcare providers, or genetic counselors notice that the reporting method influences treatment choices or psychological state? 8. What potential is there for lifetime psychosocial or economic burden of inconclusive, false-positive or falsenegative results of genetic tests on the individuals screened, or related to communication of test results with first-degree relatives (recommendations for cancer panel testing of siblings and next generation)?

Use of genetic testing to screen for multiple genes and genomes that have shown a link to different types of cancer is expected to increase for prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has guidelines for referral to cancer genetic professionals for information, and several risk assessment models are available.

Arlene H. Morris, EdD, RN, CNE is Professor of Nursing, Auburn Montgomery School of Nursing. Contact her at amorris@aum.edu. Resource: http://bit.ly/2cJ8Mir www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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FEATURE

What Happens to Debt When You Die? T

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By Jocelyn Baird, NextAdvisor.com

hough it isn’t a topic many people like to talk about, we’re all going to die someday, and making preparations for the inevitable can save the people you love a lot of unnecessary grief. Of course, it isn’t always possible to plan for death, but any person with an outstanding loan, mortgage, car payments or credit card debt should be mindful that when they die, their debt might become the responsibility of their loved ones. And considering eight out of 10 Americans are in debt, that’s most people. The manner of how debt is handled after death varies, and there are no hard and fast rules, but there are some general things to keep in mind, whether you’re preparing for your own passing or you’re a friend or family member handling the pass-

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

ing of someone in your life. To learn exactly what happens to your debt when you die, we looked at different types of debt to explain what you — and your loved ones — can expect, and how you can best prepare. Who handles your debts when you die? When a person has died, there is typically an executor, such as an adult child or a trusted friend or a lawyer, who is in charge of handling their assets. This person will be appointed by the deceased prior to death, either in person or through their will, or if no executor was chosen before death, one will be appointed by following a state priority list or through a probate court, if necessary. Not all assets


are distributed by a person’s will, so even if there isn’t a will, many of a dead person’s assets can be sorted by looking at the documentation they signed which designates beneficiaries. One of the duties of an executor is handling the payment of the deceased’s debts. It’s important for the executor and/or family members to make sure that creditors are notified of the death so accounts don’t continue to be charged or accumulate fees, whether it’s a phone bill or a credit card. It’s a good idea to obtain extra copies of the death certificate, in case you’re asked to provide it for proof. Once debts are paid off, what’s remaining of the estate will be distributed. What happens to specific types of debt? Just as each debt reports to your credit reports differently, the type of debt also impacts what happens to it after the account holder dies. It should be noted that while the rules we detailed below apply to most situations, if you live in one of the nine community property states — Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin — you may have to abide by other rules and even find yourself on the hook for a spouse’s debt after they die, even if you aren’t a cosigner. Credit card debt: If the credit card is owned by a single person, then their estate will be responsible for any remaining balance after death. However, if it’s a joint credit card account with a cosigner, such as a spouse or child, then that person will held liable. Anyone else in the deceased’s life, including any authorized users on the credit card account or the person’s spouse, cannot be held accountable by the credit card companies. It’s important that any authorized or joint users do not use the card after the account holder’s death to avoid racking up extra fees. To try and prevent things from getting too messy, some legislation has been enacted, including the Credit Card Act of 2009, which requires credit card companies to notify the estate quickly of any remaining balance on an account. This act also forbids the credit card company from tacking on additional fees or penalties while the estate is being settled. If there aren’t enough assets to pay the remaining credit card balance(s), the credit card company might try to contact family members to settle

It’s important for the executor and/or family members to make sure that creditors are notified of the death so accounts don’t continue to be charged or accumulate fees.

www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

27


creditors can and cannot do when trying to collect on a debt owed by a person who has passed.

the debt. However, unless the account is in the family member’s name, nobody can be held liable and the credit card company may wind up taking a loss. Loan debt: Student loan debt depends entirely on your loan source — private or government. Fully-backed federal loans (as well as federal PLUS loans for parents) will be discharged completely upon death. Private loans, however, depend entirely on your lender. Some lenders do offer death and disability forgiveness, but most don’t. If a person with an unpaid private student loan dies, the lender will first attempt to collect the remaining balance from their estate. If there isn’t an estate (or enough in the estate to cover the total), then it’s down to the loan cosigner (if there is one) or the person’s spouse. It’s important to note that spousal inheritance of student loan debt is dependent on state laws, so you and your spouse might want to check those out when discussing finances, as some states offer educational exceptions for spouses who haven’t cosigned the loan. Other types of loans will be handled similarly to private student loans. Again, the general rule is that any loan with a cosigner will become that cosigner’s responsibility should the primary signer die. If you’re considering cosigning a loan with someone, definitely keep this fact in mind before you go through with it. Mortgages and auto loans: Since both of these loans are secured with the property they exist to pay for, in the event of the borrower’s death, the lender will either require the loan be paid in full or take back and sell the property to satisfy the debt. However, in the event that 28

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

there is a co-owner or someone has inherited the property from their deceased loved one, that person may take over the mortgage payments. If it’s possible, the estate might pay off the remaining loan as well, making it so whoever takes over the property doesn’t have to take over payments or refinance the loan. This is absolutely a case where it’s important for the estate executor to be in communication with the creditors as well as anyone involved to prevent the loss of property to foreclosure or reclamation. Medical debt: Similar to credit card debt, unless someone has signed any documents taking on responsibility for the deceased’s medical bills, then unpaid debts will be handled by the executor. If there isn’t enough money in the estate to pay off the debt, it will not be inherited by anyone else. As always, some exclusions to this rule may apply, so check with your local laws and always make sure to read any paperwork thoroughly before signing if you’re dealing with a loved one in the hospital or putting an elderly parent into a nursing home. What should I do if I’m being asked to pay a debt? Sometimes, creditors may try to pressure relatives of a deceased person to pay off outstanding debts. However, unless you were a joint account owner or cosigned, they probably have no ground to stand on. The laws vary from state to state, but in most cases, if you are contacted about a debt owed by a deceased loved one, it’s best to not engage with the debt collector and instead contact the executor of the estate. The FTC has outlined some rules regarding what

Watch out for identity theft Unfortunately, identity thieves are unscrupulous and not above poring over obituaries to find recently deceased people from whom to steal an identity. This is why it’s absolutely vital that someone contact the three credit bureaus as soon as possible regarding the death of a loved one. Although the bureaus will eventually update this information themselves, it could take some time, and in the meantime your loved one’s identity could be taken advantage of by a criminal. You can find contact information for the three credit bureaus on the FTC’s website. Similarly, the Identity Theft Resource Center has an extensive list of things you can do to decrease the identity theft risk when a loved one dies, and you can learn more about identity theft by following the NextAdvisor.com identity theft protection blog. The good news is, your debt can’t follow you beyond the grave — but it can haunt your friends and family members. A little planning ahead now, when it comes to how your finances will be handled after you pass, can help alleviate some of the strain on your loved ones down the road. (This blogpost originally appeared online at www.NextAdvisor. com. )


ESSAY

Lessons from Alzheimer’s By William McDonald

I

comb his hair and ask, “Feel like going for a walk?” He smiles, points at his feet. I get his shoes. Slip-Ons these days. Easier for both of us to manage. It is 20 feet from his front steps to the sidewalk that runs up and down the street where he lives. Where we both live now. It will take us 10 minutes to cover those 20 feet plus another minute to be certain the gate is properly closed. There was a time when my father could swim across a lake in 11 minutes. It will take us half an hour to walk half a block. He will stop to remove every pebble, every twig, every leaf, everything that does not belong on the sidewalk. He has taught me to be more patient with him than he ever was with any part of his life. After our walk I take him to A&W for onion rings and root beer. He will study every onion ring the same way an infant studies its fingers and toes. I will hold the mug of root beer for him while he drinks. He cannot lift it on his own. I once saw him swim across the lake, chop down a 40-foot tree, trim it, drag it to the lake and swim it back to where he would use it to build a dock. I have never known anyone as strong as he was. He has taught me to be stronger than I thought I could be. Later, we will watch The Weather Channel for a couple of hours before I bathe him, change him and tuck him in. He lifts the blanket, points to his feet and smiles. He likes to sleep with his socks on. I remember the day he cracked two ribs but refused any help from anyone to get his socks off and on. He has taught me there is more to perseverance than I imagined. I go to bed hating Alzheimer’s. Hating that I know so much about it, and nothing about it. Hating that my father and millions like him have no idea why the memories they spent a lifetime so carefully scrapbooking in their minds have been so slowly, methodically erased. Hating that I have learned how to hate. In the dead of night I hear him cussing. I find him at the window, shaking his fist at the first snow of the season. When he was himself, he would wake me and say, “It’s snowing. Let’s

Alzheimer’s support groups: n n n n

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get out there and clear the driveway so your mom and sisters don’t get snowed in.” My mother passed on years ago and my sisters have long since moved into their own homes but I say to him, “Let’s get out there and clear the sidewalk.” He smiles. We get dressed and go sweep the snow from the sidewalk. When we are finished he cups my face in his hands, looks into my eyes and nods once. He has taught me there is more to having a sidewalk with no snow on it than having a sidewalk with no snow on it. There is more. You who are caregivers know there is so very much more. It is not easy watching your parent (or anyone) disappear before your eyes but if you listen, if you watch, you will see and hear it – “I have more to teach you.” My father was in a wheelchair. There was music playing. He held out his arms. I danced with him. My sister filmed it on her phone. I did not know why my father had a tear in his eye. A week later, my father died. My sister emailed me a copy of the video of he and I dancing. I had not noticed the song we were dancing to was, “Time to Say Goodbye.” The last thing my father taught me, with a tear in his eye, was to dance to the song being played. William McDonald is the author of “Old Friends” (Endless Love) available at: www.oldfriendsendlesslove.com.

www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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PRIME DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Visits 8 Legal test, familiarly 14 Reporter's needs 15 Punk rock surname 16 Like some watches 18 Cost-of-living fig. 19 Feed in a bag 20 "Am __ the right track?" 22 Bath floater 26 Gumbo veggie 27 Nylons, fishnets, etc. 28 Petty squabbles 29 Penny-__ 30 "I'll have another" responder 34 Neon, or fuel for a Neon 35 Patchwork plaything 36 Public image, briefly 39 Freaked out 40 One-eighties 41 Freak out 44 Shows proof of 46 Player with a record 14 100-RBI seasons 47 Running a marathon may be on it 50 '90s "SNL" regular Meadows

51 "__ Jim" 52 Knack for snappy comebacks 53 Project suggested by the starts of 16-, 22-, 35- and 47-Across 59 River through Toledo 60 Hall who won on "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2012 61 Linen closet stack 62 Jones with a diary DOWN 1 Cincinnati-to-Nashville dir. 2 Shelley's "__ Skylark" 3 Pariahs 4 Private school student 5 Parchment user 6 Atmo- kin 7 "Ash Wednesday" poet's monogram 8 __ by fire 9 Speed 10 Ambulance VIPs 11 Fluffy scarf 12 Golfer Sorenstam, who was among the first women to become honorary members of St Andrews golf club

in February 2015 13 Comeback 17 More than sniffle 21 "One Mic" rapper 22 Carpet type 23 The last Mrs. Chaplin 24 __ renewal 25 How some wines are sorted 26 Facing: Abbr. 28 Pommes frites sprinkling 31 Nutritional stat 32 Coin for Putin 33 ‌cole attendee 35 Korean soldier 36 Speaking from memory 37 Spud sprouts 38 Furtive attention-getter 39 Saturn, for one 40 Like sketchbook paper 41 Collected dust 42 Rainbow makers 43 Big brass output 45 Formal admission 47 Lisa of "Enemy of the State" 48 They can be hard to fight 49 Atlanta-based health agcy. 51 Sherbet flavor 54 Repent 55 Photo __ 56 Throw too low, say 57 Merkel's "never" 58 Captured Š 2016 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

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Sudoku and Crossword Puzzle Answers on page 33. October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com


HISTORY’S MYSTERIES

Do You Know These People?

T

hree Montgomery-area photographers have shared their decades-long collections with the Alabama Department of Archives and History. The task before us now is to identify everyone we can in those photographs, and you can help. If you recognize anyone in these, or previous photos (available at www.primemontgomery.com or www. archives.alabama.gov), contact Meredith McDonough, 334-353-5442 (meredith.mcdonough@archives.alabama. gov), or e-mail Prime magazine at primemontgomery@ gmail.com.

Top Right: 1950. A man and boy stand beside an award-winning hog, the boy wearing an Autauga County 4-H shirt and an award ribbon. (Horace Perry, photographer) Bottom Right: Oct. 1966. Girl Scouts at the homecoming parade for Booker T. Washington High School, Montgomery, AL. The photo was taken for (but not used in) a photo spread in The Southern Courier, Oct. 29-30, 1966. (Jim Peppler, photographer). Below: Oct. 27, 1954. Boys with bicycles won in a contest, possibly sponsored by The Montgomery Examiner newspaper, Montgomery, AL. (John E. Scott, photographer)

www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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Happening in October “Young Frankenstein the Musical.” Wetumpka Depot Players, Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1, 6-8, 13-15, 7:30 pm. Oct. 9, 2 pm. $12 advance, $15 door/on-line. Call (334) 868-1440 or visit www. wetumpkadepot.com. Evening of “haunting” acoustic music. Old Alabama Town Revue. Oct. 6, 7 pm, Old Church, Columbus St. Old Alabama Town. Free. Donations welcomed. 7th Annual “Food Invasion.” Oct. 13, Hampstead Farm (Taylor Rd.), Montgomery. Locally-grown fall produce, award-winning Atlanta Chef Anne Quatrano. 6 pm cocktails, 7 pm 4-course dinner. $150/ticket. Sale ends Oct. 13. Visit http://www.hampsteadliving.com/food-invasion, e-mail anna@hampsteadliving.com. Newcomers Club of Montgomery Luncheon. Oct. 27, 11:30 am. Arrowhead CC. Speaker Sara DuBose, author and member of AL Storytellers

Association. $18. Reservations required. Contact Jan Burdette (334) 593-9266, or jan8410@bellsouth.net. 63rd Annual Fall Flower Show, Mtgy Federation of Garden Clubs. Oct. 28-Nov. 6. AL National Fair, Garrett Coliseum. Visit http://www.alnationalfair.org/competitions/flower-show for schedule, entry forms. Floral Design Demo Oct. 29, 5-6 pm, Nov 5, 11 am-noon. For info contact Rose Winkler (334) 270-0884, rmwinkler45@yahoo.com. Open to the public after judging. Alabama Vision Summit, Oct. 28, 8:30 am-4 pm. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Experts discuss vision/eye health in Alabama. For info contact Caroline Clark at (334) 467-9001, cmontgomeryclark@ preventblindness.org. Dracula, “A Ballet to Die For,” and Mistletoe. Alabama Dance Theatre. Dracula: Oct. 29, 7:30 pm, Oct. 30, 2:30 pm. Mistletoe: Oct. 29, 2:30 pm. Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Tickets $15-$30. Visit www.alabamadancetheatre.com or call (334) 241-2800.

Capital City Artists 8th Annual Art Show

Opening Reception Sun., Oct. 2, 2-4 pm Armory Learning Arts Center

Exhibit continues through October during regular business hours.

Armory Learning Arts Center 1018 Madison Ave. • Montgomery For information: (334) 322-1615 32

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com


To reach the Baby Boomer demographic, advertise in Prime by contacting: Bob Corley (334) 202-0115 primemontgomery@gmail.com

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October 2016

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“Seven Bridge s Road” The road, the song,

and the man who wrote it. Plus • Robin,e “Boy Wonder”, still crusading • a trip a Lifetim the Ride of their • watermelons for Halloweento Cajun Country Revisiting Alabama brothers retrace

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www.primemontgomery.com | October 2016

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OFF THE BEATEN PATH

H

Septembers Gone

ad she not gone to be with the Lord three years ago, she’d have turned 98 last month. In some ways, the years since my Granny’s death seem long, the void created by her passing more and more apparent each year. But in other ways, the years since, filled with the joy of growing children with daily needs, have accelerated the passage of time. Time itself is a fickle thing, sometimes passing too quickly, other times not quickly enough. Each of us uses markers – usually life events, whether recurring or one-time – to gauge its passage. The gradual transition of summer into fall – also known as September – is one of mine. My sister and I spent parts of each summer with Granny and Papa, whose five wooded acres were a child’s perfect playground. Armed with a Daisy Red Ryder, I dutifully guarded Granny’s last-of-the-season September tomatoes from flocks of thieving grackles who bombarded her hilltop garden. More than a few fell to my keen aim. When I graduated to a pellet gun, not a squirrel on their hickory, oak and sweet gum-dotted property was safe. When the supper hour came Granny would walk to the edge of the gulley and call down to the bottom. There, we’d dammed up the creek with the intention of later destroying the obstruction in order to flood the mock encampment of plastic Army men so we could launch an amphibious rescue of the toy soldiers. An elaborate, dirty and time consuming operation, it always left us hungry for seconds of the chicken and dumplings she’d had simmering all afternoon. Halfway up the hill I’d get winded, but then I’d catch a whiff of supper, my stomach would growl and I’d quicken my pace. After we’d eaten, the four of us would sit on the back deck as the day came to a close, children chasing fireflies, all watching the twilight shadows of late summer shift through the tree branches and eventually fade into darkness. By Thanksgiving the trees would be bare and the roar of the highway on the far ridge would carry all the way across the bottom. But in September, with most of the creek bottom still summer-green, the cars on the highway were invisible and their traffic merely a muted hum. The full moon of September also marked the last time the bream would spawn, or “go on the bed,” for the year. The fishing would be at its best just before and after the peak of the full moon, which was when Granny would time our fishing trips, just as she had the previous four months. Only September was our last shot. We’d perch on the bank, she in a lawn chair and me straddling the five-gallon bucket we worked all afternoon to fill with thick, skillet-sized coppernose bream and the occasional channel cat or bass looking for an easy meal in the shallows. Some days we fished with crickets, others with “wigglers,” both from the bait shop near their home. At the end of every trip was the guarantee of a fried fish dinner. Any turtles we caught went into a second bucket, Granny’s longtime housekeeper all too happy to take them off our hands knowing 34

October 2016 | www.primemontgomery.com

she’d likely get no more until the bream-bed fishing ensued again the following May. Granny was a September baby, but whenever someone tried to organize a get-together for her birthday, she was always reluctant. An infant at the time of her mother’s death, Granny became a caregiver for younger halfsiblings several years later after her father remarried. From there forward, taking care of family was exactly what she did. She didn’t like anyone making a fuss over her, preferring to fuss over her three children, their spouses and her seven grandchildren. Still, we’d occasionally succeed in convincing her to let us celebrate her for a change. After I went off to school, whenever home I’d try and make it down to Granny’s to visit and take care of odd jobs for her, especially after Papa died. We’d catch up on life over a glass of milk and a couple of her famous blondies or piece of toasted pound cake. Then, I’d go about filling the bird feeders, climbing up in the attic and changing the A/C filter, fertilizing the pond, even tightening door knobs. Later, when she moved to assisted living, the to-do list shrank. I could accept the lack of blondies and pound cake, but with each visit there was unspoken sense of urgency, as if time was slipping away. When she went in the hospital in late August three years ago, we knew there’d be no recovery. Her death a few weeks shy of her 95th birthday made for a very different September than anyone had planned. But despite the fact the guest of honor could not attend, we celebrated Granny’s birthday and her life nonetheless. With each year that passes, memories, like pictures, fade just a tad around the edges. My grandparents’ five acres was sold not long after Granny died and as it always does, life has gone on. But some memories remain vividly etched in our minds. Down in the creek bed on those five acres are the remnants of a small, forgotten army outpost. It has seen many floods, and green plastic toy soldiers litter the ground. The bream in the pond still go on the bed each full summer moon, just like their ancestors did. The hilltop garden has long been overtaken by grass, but if you look closely, the trees nearby still show the scars of many an errant BB and pellet, reminders of a childhood of Septembers gone. And if you walk the edge of the gulley around supper time, the highway traffic a steady hum in the distance, you might still catch the faint whiff of chicken and dumplings on the breeze. Niko Corley, a USCG-licensed charter boat captain, spends his free time on the water or in the woods. Contact him at niko.corley@gmail.com

Niko Corley


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Prime Magazine Oct 2016  

Baby Boomer lifestyle magazine.

Prime Magazine Oct 2016  

Baby Boomer lifestyle magazine.

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