Page 1

1


Montgomery’s 15th Annual Jewish Food Festival Sponsored by Temple Beth Or will be held on Sunday, February 25, 2018 ~We look forward to coming every year. I get excited when I see the signs around town announcing the date.~ ~Love, love, love the food. I wish they would hold it every month!~

Comments by past visitors to Temple Beth Or’s Jewish Food Festival

The members of Temple Beth Or once again welcome our friends and neighbors to enjoy our Jewish Food Festival and Treasure Market from 9am to 2pm on Sunday, February 25th. Year after year, visitors enjoy delicious food, wonderful bakery items and great bargains in the Collectibles and Treasure Market. Choose from a variety of delicious food items available to eat in or take out. Some of our homemade, mouthwatering Jewish specialties include slow cooked, tender beef brisket, stuffed cabbage, noodle kugel (noodle and egg casserole made with sugar and raisins), potato latkes, and quajado (spinach, pasta, egg and cheese casserole). You can even take home a quart of frozen homemade matzoh ball soup. For lunch, choose from a hot plate consisting of beef brisket in savory pan juices, carrots, quajado and homemade challah bread, or a deli plate that includes a sandwich piled high with thin-sliced corned beef served with homemade marinated slaw, chips and a pickle spear. Our veggie plate is a combo of quajado, noodle kugel, potato latke and challah bread. Kids (or you) will love the kosher hotdogs with hearty mustard. Hungry yet?

“imported” from New York or buy a whole frozen cake! Take home several loaves of challah bread or rolls lovingly baked in Temple ovens by our Temple members.

Don’t forget to visit our beautiful bakery to try the many homemade pastries such as strudel, rugelach, mandelbrot, curabies (traditional Sephardic sand tarts) and praline matzah. Have a slice of famous Carnegie Deli cheesecake

Our Treasure and Collectibles Markets are full of unique, pre-loved items ready for sale at bargain prices. Spend time browsing the book room, or enjoy the great deals on jewelry, silver, glassware, antiques, artwork, lamps, furniture, household and decorative items. We have an entire children room with items from baby to Legos (lots of Legos). We are grateful for the hard work of our members and the support of Montgomery’s interfaith community for 15 successful years. We are so appreciative of the business community supporting us as annual sponsors.

What: Jewish Food Festival Where: Temple Beth Or 2246 Narrow Lane Road Montgomery, AL 36106 When: Sunday, February 25, 2018, 9 am – 2 pm Additional info: www.templebethor.net Free Admission and Free Parking


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

3


5


Come Worship with Us! Sunday Worship: 9:30 a.m. Christian Education: 11:00 a.m. on Sundays and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays

Founded Upon God’s Word

Liturgically Joyful

At Christchurch, Holy Scripture serves as the final authority for our teaching and preaching. Indeed, over the course of three years, almost the entire Bible is read aloud and preached upon.

At Christchurch, worship involves the entire congregation, as we offer God praise, thanksgiving and adoration using worship traditions that can be traced back to the earliest days of the Church. Our worship is not designed to entertain us, but to honor the true “audience” of worship, the Lord!

Warm and Loving

Committed to Mission

By God’s grace and through His Spirit, the people of Christchurch enjoy the richness and joy of being a true family. We’d love for you to become a part of us! Regardless of who you are, you will always find a home at Christchurch.

The people of Christchurch respond to God’s Word by going out into the world proclaiming the good news of Jesus, and we joyfully serve as His hands and feet whether in places like Uganda and Guatemala or within Montgomery.

8800 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36117 www.christchurchmgm.net 334.387.0566


BOOM!, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Contents

February 2018 Volume 8 Issue 6

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

Facebook.com/RiverRegionBoom

C.S. Lewis

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

Carl Bard

2 Jewish Food Festival 8 Publisher’s Letter 10 Civil Rights Trail 11 "What the AUM - OLLI Program Has Meant to Me" 12 PATIENCE Cheri Youngblood

page 18

14 Let’s Play Leigh Anne Richards

Features

18 Creative Ways to Tell Your Grandchild ‘I Love You’ Departments 20 This and That

Getting You “In the Know”

34 Things That'll Make Him Fall in Love...All Over Again

16 Championship Teams! McDonald Hagen

40 Whooping It Up in Decatur, Alabama

20 Ted, The Wine Guy Big Wine Bash 21 Art Auction 2018

44 {12} Things

Special Events for Boomers

24 The Illusionists Live On Broadway

42 Greg Budell

We Loved You, Ben Hagler

26 How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... Ask an Elder Law Attorney 28 BOOM! Cover Profile 36 The Happiness Doctor Is In 38 Marijuana & Seniors 39 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Mushrooms...?

page 21

page 40

46 40 Years on, Debby Boone still lighting up our lives

BOOM!

COVER PROFILE page 28

page 46

page 44

page 34

BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 3966 Atlanta Hwy, Box 266, Montgomery, AL 36109. The phone number is 334.324.3472. Copyright 2018 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

7


Publisher’s Letter

Light a Fire for Love!

The mission of BOOM! is to serve the folks of the River Region age 50 plus with information and ideas to inspire new experiences, better quality of life and new beginnings.

Publisher/Editor

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 jim@riverregionboom.com

Contributing Writers Jeff Barganier Austin Barranco Tracy Bhalla Kimberly Blaker Greg Budell Sue Campbell Ken Furman Jenny Ives

Thomas Mitchell Leigh Anne Richards Raley L. Wiggins Cheri Youngblood

Our Cover Profile this month is another example of well-aged love. John and Jenny Ives have been romancing each other since their marriage in 1988, and they are a testament that love grows the more you invest in it. As a blended family they were also blessed with the opportunity to have their granddaughter Kaitlyn come and live with them when she was 12. She will be graduating from the University of Alabama in May and both John and Jenny have been dramatically enriched by her presence. I think you’ll find their story a great addition to your February reading experience. There are many other good reads in this month’s issue including a feature on how make your man fall in love with you…all over again! There are many ideas to stimulate some fresh romance in your relationship, it’s never too late to light a fire for love. We also have Jeff Barganier sharing a recent experience in North Alabama, hanging out with some rare birds. As usual, Jeff shares a great story again. We have new ideas to say I Love You to your grandchildren, a perfect way to interact with them during this Valentine month. Now that Marijuana is in the conversation of our culture I thought it would be interesting to take a glimpse into “Marijuana and Seniors”. We brought in the Happiness Doctor to prescribe some specific details on how to become happier, who wouldn’t want some more “Happy” in their lives?

Cover Photography

Greg Budell shares some of his heart this month when he pays tribute to one of his colleagues, Ben Hagler, who passed away suddenly in December. Greg’s got heart. Of course, we have our usual quality columns from Leigh Ann Richards about learning how to PLAY, even at our ages, it may just cure what ails you, take a look.

Advertising

There’s plenty more to check out this month, so enjoy the best reading experience for the 50+ community in the River Region. Please share BOOM! with your friends and your comments with me. I love to listen. Please sign up for the free subscription to the Digital & Interactive BOOM! online at RiverRegionBoom.com. Thanks for being part of our BOOM! Community. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jeri Hines Total Image Portraits www.totalimage.com 334.261.2080

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 jim@riverregionboom.com Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

Jim jim@riverregionboom.com 334.324.3472 cell/text

Facebook.com/RiverRegionBoom

Digital & Interactive

When you read the Digital & Interactive version of BOOM! on your digital device you will be interactive with every website and email link in the magazine. You can click through to a writer’s source, an

advertiser, send comments and suggestions, request more info and share your favorite reads on Facebook and Twitter. The Digital & Interactive version was built for the new you so go ahead and sign up for a free subscription at RiverRegionBoom.com “BOOM!, the best reading experience for the 50+ community”

8 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

9


civil rights trail www.civilrightstrail.com

The fight for American civil rights spanned decades, cities and states – from Topeka, Kansas, to Memphis, Tennessee, from Atlanta, Georgia, to Selma and Birmingham, and all the way to Washington, D.C. Chart the course of the Civil Rights Movement through the Civil Rights Trail that begins with the site of school integration and takes you to the scene of Bloody Sunday and finally the Supreme Court of the United States. This website allows you to explore the destinations important to the Civil Rights Movement, as well as plan your journey to cities along the trail. On this site, you’ll find places to see and things to do at each destination. Plus, you’ll find in-depth explorations crafted to allow you to experience the destination or event in a more comprehensive way. Discover the trail. Discover the fight for civil rights. And make sure the true stories that changed history are never lost. Discover the Trail at

www.civilrightstrail.com 10 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Written by Ken Furman

"What the AUM - OLLI Program Has Meant to Me" When I retired and moved to Montgomery in the summer of 2012, I knew I wanted to stay active in a variety of enriching activities centered on volunteerism and continuing education. I was soon blessed to discover the Lifelong Learning Program (now OLLI) at AUM and immediately enrolled in three classes that fall. Since then, I have continued to take classes in a wide variety of topics, motivated strongly by the inspirational passion of the instructors for their topics/fields of expertise and the leadership of the AUM folks in charge of the OLLI program. I have always evaluated opportunities in which to invest my discretionary time from five perspectives of “health friendly” and to historically find a program that delivers three or four of the criteria has always proven to be a winner. The Auburn University at Montgomery

(AUM) OLLI program delivers all five! I Financial: great value as total cost of attending is minimal – and excellent financial planning courses are offered; I Physical: eclectic curriculum with courses offering health-related activities and/or classroom instruction; I Mental: challenging courses that generate passionate discussion with the Instructors and students, and the luncheon series is a bonus for learning about many new topics; I Emotional: meeting genuinely fine folks – instructors, classmates, and AUM OLLI staff – and richly blessed with the opportunity to serve on the OLLI Curriculum Committee, where these relationships were enriched even more; I Spiritual: simply said = nourishment for the soul!

ever could contribute. In fact, the program was directly responsible for introducing me to my two most passionate Ken Furman volunteer commitments – MANE and Hospice of Montgomery – MANE from attending the OLLI luncheon series and Hospice of Montgomery from one of my class Instructors. OLLI has, for me, been the ultimate “Win-Win” during my six years in Montgomery: a truly incredible and special blessing.

I always received considerably more from my relationship with AUM OLLI than I

For more information about AUM OLLI or to request a catalog, contact: Brittany at 244-3804.

Come expand your horizons with a term of learning with AUM OLLI members!

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

11


By Cheri Youngblood

PATIENCE This is a story about patience. I grew up in New England and I remember my Grandpa putting a trowel in my hand for the first time when I was three years old, because I wanted so badly to help him. I was blessed that when I was that age he was old enough to be retired and willing to spend his days with an adoring granddaughter. Our backyards joined at the back of our lots with a house in the middle at the front so my Mother never worried when I would run out the back door in the morning yelling that I was going to “dig in the dirt”. Don’t I remember those endless questions Grandpa would kindly answer for me? “Grandpa, when will the apples be ripe enough to eat? When will it be time for me to help Grandma pick the currents? Can I help you pick the little tomatoes?” I was always ready to do these things, but it was not always the right time to do them. Grandpa would gently tell me things would be ready in God’s own time – not mine – no matter how badly I wanted them. Twenty years ago, I saw a picture of an Amazon Lily in a Wayside Gardens

12 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

Throughout that time, I kept hearing my dear Grandpa’s voice saying, “Patience, Cheri.” One day, all-of-a-sudden, it was like, the lily just woke up, and said “it’s time to grow”. It started growing by leaps and bounds and in no time at all I had my first flower stalk with a cluster of five blooms. They looked like flattened white daffodils and carried a delicate smell.

catalogue. I thought it was just lovely and immediately ordered it. When the plant came in the mail, there was only a huge bare root in a plastic bag. I planted it according to directions – another of Grandpa’s lessons – and waited and waited and waited. I waited 14 long years, as the lily slowly grew in my Orchid house, in the dappled sunshine of the Florida woods. For all those years there was never any more to the plant than five or six bright shiny leaves. I cannot tell you how many times I nearly tossed that plant right out the door because I was so tired of waiting, but its beautiful, shiny leaves – sparse as they were – always stopped me.

Seventeen years after I had first planted that huge root, the lily began to produce blooms, several times a year. Today it fills the corner of my living room – heaven help me if it gets much bigger – What a wonderful lesson my Grandfather taught me all those years ago. How necessary it is in life to be patient, not only with plants but with others and ourselves. If we are patient, we will see a flowering beauty all around us. Thank you, Grandpa! Cheri Youngblood, a Master Gardener in the Capital City Master Gardener Association since 2014, lives in Montgomery. For more information on becoming a master gardener, visit www.capcitymga.org or email capcitymga@gmail.com.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


13


I always ponder what I am going to write for my column. It must be informative but also information that we can really use and apply. As most of you know by now through my writings, I am very involved with the Rock Steady exercise program for Parkinson’s patients. This truly has become my new passion in life. I think about this all the time and research how I can focus on activities that benefit these clients. Honestly, it is not that much different from non-Parkinson’s exercisers. Each week we focus on a different area on benefiting our participants. Last week, it was “play with toys.” Play- I said. Toys such as all kinds of balls, ropes, balloons, pool noodles. We worked in teams and socialized with each other but challenged each other. Play is FUN. Play is exercise. Play stimulates our brains Play is not just essential for kids; It can be an important source of fueling your imagination, problem solving and social interaction. Play is usually associated with childhood, but as adults, we are never too old to reap its benefits. Play is necessary for both childhood and development and a healthy aging process, according to researcher Cale

14 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

Let’s Play

Magnuson of the University of Illinois “When children play, they discover what they are capable of. As adults play, they

influences almost every aspect of life, from the ability to feel pleasure and happiness to, motivation, energy, and even the power to control movement. Low dopamine levels severely diminish the physiological and cognitive responses that combine to by Leigh Anne Richards make each day enjoyable, but there are many natural and healthy ways to boost our dopamine levels and recapture our zest for life!! can continue on the path of discovery, gain multiple health benefits, and simply Physical activity promotes the have fun along the way. Engaging your production of dopamine. Research shows that exercise impacts body and mind is the best prescription neurotransmission, positively affecting to ensure physical and mental health the brain’s dopamine. throughout adulthood,” Magnuson says.

Fitness over Fifty

All work and no play makes for a very dull life. Play is essential to our health. Play feels good and has the opposite effect on the body as stress. Play can lead to laughter, which has been linked to decreased stress and inflammation and improve vascular health. Your blood pressure goes down. You release dopamine. Dopamine? Dopamine is the brain chemical primarily responsible for creating pleasurable feelings. Dopamine

Play can be a variety of things- but greater benefits of play should involve at least one other person, away from the sensory overload of electronic gadgets. Focus your play on the actual experience- It could be simply goofing off with friends, playing Frisbee on the beach, playing fetch with your dog, a game of charades at a party, going for a bike ride with no destination in mind, and many other activities. Give yourself permission to play and you can reap oodles of health benefits through life.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Play Can: • Relieve stress• Improve brain function • Stimulate the mind and boost creativity • Improve relationships and connection to others • Keep you feeling young and energetic Some of my favorite exercise classes to teach involve play- partners. This makes exercise more fun and creates laughter and social interaction. My greatest compliment as an instructor is for my participants to say that was FUN. They got a great workout, sweated, burned calories, increased their heart rate, stimulated their muscles, AND never got bored Ideas on how to “play” as exercise • Throw all different kinds and sizes of balls to a partner- Challenge each other by standing on one leg for balance, adding squats as you catch. • Throw the balls and then run after them • Hit balloons in the air and don’t let them touch the floor • Relay races • Hula hoops • Kick ball or even dodge ball • Group tug-a war • Dancing • Jumping rope • Hopscotch • Skipping or Galloping • Nature circuit- using trees, benches, curbs and more The “play” list can go on and on. If you are tired of hearing yourself say- I need to go for a run, I ought to exercise more, I need to work harder- ENOUGH!! Play, fun, moving and games is exercise!! Put the fun in your fitness!! To quote George Bernard Shaw- We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing www.Helpguide.org The Benefits of Play for Adults Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General ManagerMetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at LAMetrofit@aol.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

15


Championship Teams!

Brandt McDonald introduces his guest columnist, Austin Barranco… From time to time, I will be introducing several of our advisors through this column. They will share personalized insights into financial markets, financial planning, and overall wealth management concepts. At McDonald & Hagen, we have a deep bench of talent that is eager to serve our firm’s clients and our local community. This month’s column is written by Austin Barranco. Austin entered the financial industry in 2014 after earning a degree in Finance from The University of Alabama, with a specialization in Insurance and Risk Management, he has also earned the distinction of a FINRA General Securities Principal held with LPL. Austin and his wife Maghen live in East Montgomery with their dog Chip. In his free time Austin enjoys college football, golf, and traveling the world.

February is one of my favorite months of the year, because I get to watch the Super Bowl. As a financial adviser, I enjoy the intricacies of investment strategy, and I often find correlations between NFL football and investment strategy. Let me explain: a well-balanced portfolio is similar to a top tier NFL football team in many ways. For example, take a look at the New England Patriots. They are such a well-coached team that they are perennial playoff contenders. In the world of finance, I would compare Bill Belichick to a world class portfolio manager, and his team is his portfolio.

Financial Thoughts

with Austin Barranco

portfolio, the manager must also be able to identify undervalued investment opportunities from multiple areas: bond market, stock market, real estate market, etc. In addition to locating valuable investments or players, the coach/ portfolio manager must be cautious not to focus too much on offense or defense,

A portfolio manager is responsible for identifying market trends, and developing an investment strategy based on those trends. Belichick has the same level of responsibility with regards to football. He must analyze the league to see which trends will prevail throughout the season, and then mold his team to combat those trends, which change every season. When building a championship football team, it is important to focus on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and the same concept holds true for investment portfolios. For the sake of this article, I would compare stocks to offense, and bonds to defense. A portfolio that focuses solely on stocks (offense) may perform poorly in a down market. A portfolio that focuses solely on bonds (defense) may perform well in a down market, but will fail to thrive in a standard bull market. Therefore, it is crucial to have a well-balanced portfolio that will perform well under many market scenarios. The key to building a Super Bowl worthy football team is not so different from building a successful portfolio. A coach and his staff must be able to identify player talent from multiple areas: free agent market, the draft, or through trades/acquisitions. When building a

16 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

Finally, all great coaches and portfolio managers have the ability to focus their players and clients on the ultimate goal. For NFL coaches, that means winning Super Bowls. For portfolio managers, that means setting their clients up for a comfortable retirement. At the time of writing this article, there are four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs, but I can go ahead and tell you which team is going to win it all… The team with the best offense, defense, and special teams. If you’re unfamiliar with investments, and want to start preparing for retirement with a professional, please do not hesitate to give us a call at McDonald and Hagen Wealth Management. We specialize in retirement planning, and we have a game plan for you. Austin Barranco, Financial Advisor Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager

but rather a well-blended group of players/investments. To make matters more difficult, football coaches have a limited amount of “Cap Space” they can use. This means that some players may be out of their price range, and although the team would benefit from the addition of this player, the team simply cannot afford them. This problem happens frequently in the world of investments. A quality coach or portfolio manager knows how to compile a group of investments that are not out of the team’s or client’s price range, and still perform well in close games or stressful market scenarios.

www.mcdonaldhagen.com Direct comments and questions to Jennifer.Hunt@LPL.com or 334.387.0094 The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principle. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized legal or tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific legal or tax issues with a qualified legal or tax advisor.

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor, and separate entity from LPL Financial. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

17


Creative Ways to Tell Your Grandchild ‘I Love You’ by Kimberly Blaker

On Valentine’s Day or Any Day of the Year

go on a picnic, or have lunch together in the school cafeteria. (If you choose the latter, make sure your grandchild won’t mind or be embarrassed.)

Valentine’s Day is a perfect reason to show your grandchild just how much he or she is loved. Try these creative ideas to show how much you care on Valentine’s Day and throughout the entire year.

EDIBLE IDEAS Heart shaped lunch Use a large, heart shaped cookie cutter to make heart-shaped sandwiches, toast, and other treats. Your grandkids will love the shape and that you’ve eliminated the crust. A cupful of love Give your grandchild a “World’s Greatest Grandson/Granddaughter”

18 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

or “I Love You” cup. Then use it whenever you serve hot cocoa or graham crackers and milk. Do lunch Pickup your grandchild from school for a surprise lunch date. Hit your grandchild's favorite fast-food joint,

THE WRITTEN WORD A poet and didn’t know-it You don’t have to be a poet to write a poem for your grandchild. If poetry isn’t your thing, look up simple children’s rhymes. Then make revisions especially for your grandchild. Poems can be serious or fun, but either way, your grandchild will love it.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


A valentine welcome Welcome your grandchild with a valentine banner across your front porch or entryway. Add cute sayings that remind your grandkids why they're the greatest. Create fun sentences by clipping words from magazine ads and add some valentine doodles.

A class connection As kids grow, together-time becomes increasingly rare. Decide with your adolescent grandchild on an activity or hobby the two of you would enjoy together. Sign up for a class or set a regular schedule for the activity. Then mark it on your calendar.

Snail mail surprise Kids love to get mail, so why not send your grandchild a card, letter, or postcard?

A trip down memory lane. Flip through photo albums or watch family videos together, and reminisce about favorite holidays, vacations, and family times you’ve had together.

Say it with email Send your grandchild an email with a link to a fun website or a funny animated e-greeting. With the abundance of entertaining websites and free e-greetings, you can send your grandchild something new every day of the year. C is for…. Make a poster portraying your grandchild’s characteristics. Put your grandchild's name at the top. Then list as many positive descriptive words as you can that begin with your grandchild's initial. Use a thesaurus to find oodles of words. (Example: Cassandra, cute, caring, creative, crafty, curious.) When you finish, laminate or frame it, and to hang in your grandchild's room. DO IT TOGETHER Love is silly One thing kids love and do best is act silly, so loosen up, and join in the fun. If being silly isn’t your style, take a few lessons from your grandchild, and practice up. Letting loose is a great way to reduce stress and to let your grandkids know they're fun to be around.

Eventful gifts Buy tickets to a concert, ice show, or sporting event your grandkids have been dying to see. But keep it a surprise. On the day of the event, just say you’re all going out for dinner or some other concoction. Then catch your grandkids by surprise when you arrive at your true destination. Make a date Plan a regular date with your grandchild for one-onone time. This works especially well for families with more than one grandchild. You can go out for lunch or supper, play putt-putt golf, take in a movie, go roller-skating, or spend an afternoon at the park. Set a regular schedule so your grandchild can look forward to your dates together.

GIFTS FROM THE HEART Flowers for her Cut fresh flowers for your granddaughter, to brighten her room and her day. Race cars for him Clip sports cars from magazines for your grandson and post them on a bulletin board in his room. Engrave your thoughts Have a necklace or bracelet engraved for your grandchild. Be sure to include his name, your sentiments, and who it’s from. Photos say a thousand words Choose several photos of your grandchild from infancy through the present. Then use paper-edgers, and trim them into different sizes and shapes. Overlap and tape them to the backing of a frame using doublesided tape. Then add matting and frame the collage. It’s in the wrapping Don’t wait for a special occasion to give your grandchild a gift. Kids love presents, so the next time you pick up something for your child, wrap it as a surprise. Don’t forget the ribbon (so it takes longer to unwrap) and include a small gift card that says how much you appreciate her. Scrapbookin’ fun Put together a memory scrapbook of your grandchild. Use photos, locks of hair, vacation postcards, and ticket stubs. Dedicate each page to a special holiday, event, or theme. Include dates and any details you remember, along with cute sayings and stickers to fit the themes. Kimberly Blaker is a lifestyle and parenting freelance writer. She also writes a blog, The Young Gma's Guide to Parenting at www.theyounggma.com Copyright © 2017 Kimberly Blaker, All rights reserved.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

19


i

This & tHAT Ted, The Wine Guy Big Wine Bash

Ted, The Wine Guy will host The Big Wine Bash on Friday February 23rd, 6 to 8 pm downtown Montgomery at 129 Coosa, above Central Restaurant. This year will be another wonderfully diverse wine tasting, with over 100 selections to choose from. $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Tickets are now on sale! We've also made them available on the web again this year through the Eventbrite website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-wine-bash-2018tickets-39851485867. In addition to our local sales reps pouring wines, we make an effort to get winery staff and reps here to better describe their wines. So far this year, we have commitments from these wineries: Goldschmidt, Klinker Brick, Elizabeth Spencer, Juan Gil, Jackson Family (Freemark Abbey, Stonestreet, Hartford Court), Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sean Minor, Small Vineyards (family owned, small production Italian wineries), d'Arenberg, Justin, Landmark... This is shaping up to be an outstanding evening of wine tasting! Don't wait too long to get your tickets... we sold out last year and had to turn folks away. For more info call 334.395.9911 or visit www.tedthewineguy.com

2018 Home Building and Remodeling Expo The Greater Montgomery Home Building and Remodeling Expo is scheduled for February 23-25 at Montgomery Multiplex at Cramton Bowl. The 2018 Expo is a three-day event that will highlight the latest and greatest in home building and remodeling trends and technology. This year’s featured guest will be Clint Harp from HGTV’s hit show “Fixer Upper” and DIY Network’s new show “Wood Works”. Whether you have a product to showcase, or are looking to start your own home building and remodeling project the 2018 Home Expo is the place for you. Expo times will be Friday & Saturday 10 am to 6 pm - Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Regular Admission is $6, military Free Friday. Call 334.277.7766 for more information or visit www.gmhba.org

Montgomery Red Dress Dash The Montgomery Red Dress Dash is a 5K benefiting the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement, nationally sponsored by Macy's and CVS Health and locally sponsored by Baptist Health - Central Alabama and Classic Buick GMC Cadillac. This year's dash will held Saturday, February 24th at Baptist Health - East Campus, DeBoer Building, 301 Brown Springs Road, Montgomery, AL 36117. EVENT SCHEDULE: 7:30 AM – Festivities Begin (Registration Opens), 8:00 AM – Opening Ceremonies, 8:30 AM – Race Begins 10:30 AM - Event Concludes. PETS WELCOME: Any pet dressed up in red will be entered for a chance to win a prize. Stop by the registration tent to enter your pet and please remember to keep them on a leash and clean up after them. Sanitary bags are not provided. Advance registration is $25. Please note that day of registration is available for a $35 donation. T-shirt is not guaranteed for day of race registrants. For more information, call 228.604.5316 or visit www.active.com/montgomery-al/running/ distance-running-races/red-dress-dash-5k-run-walk-2018

20 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


BOOMERS, share your stuff with BOOM! We Love to Bring BOOMERS Together, send info and pics to jim@riverregionboom.com

The Westerlies in Concert On Friday, March 2nd at 7 pm, Montgomery's Clefworks will present The Westerlies in Old Cloverdale at The Capri Theatre! Celebrate the finale of a week of school outreach with this talented Brass Quartet from New York. Tickets are $25 adults, $15 military/student and $10 Save a Seat for a Student. Call 334.603.2533 for more information or visit www.clefworks. org or www.facebook.com/events/162229560962944/. The Capri Theatre is located at 1045 E Fairview Ave., Montgomery (www.capritheatre.org)

The Depot Players Present Greater Tuna Twenty-Two Characters...Forty-Two Costume Changes! Greater Tuna is a hilarious comedy about Texas' third smallest town, where the Lion's Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies. The eclectic band of citizens that make up this town are portrayed by only two performers, making this satire on life in rural America even more delightful as they depict all the inhabitants of Tuna- men, women, children and animals! Various showtimes, February 1-17, 2018. For more info visit www.wetumpkadepot.com

Caring for the Caregiver, Alzheimer/Dementia Support Group Meeting the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 1-3 pm at ChristChurch, 8800 Vaughn Rd. Montgomery, AL. A place for RESPITE: a pause or rest, EXCHANGING: practical information on caregiving problems, possible solutions, and resources in our community, SHARING: needs and concerns, TALKING: through challenges and discovering new ways to cope. Often, we hear caregivers say they are looking for support from people who “really understand because we have been there too.” This group offers just that-a safe place for caregivers, family and friends of persons with dementia to meet and develop a mutual support system. We welcome caregivers. For more info call 334.462.2613.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

21


This & tHAT

i

More

Art Auction 2018 Art Auction 2018 will be one evening, a combination of past years’ Silent Auction and Live Auction events. The event will take place on March 1st, 6-10 pm. at Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. The Art Acquisition Committee has gathered artwork from New York, Santa Fe, and Charleston, and this year, they have selected a large number of works from prominent New Orleans galleries. This year’s Auction will also include artwork selected by the newly formed Contemporary Committee, a group focused on finding contemporary artworks by regional artists priced for the beginning collector. The evening will begin with a preview of the Live Auction works, a select number of pieces of the highest quality, in the Museum’s Rotunda. Cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres will be provided by Jennie Weller Catering. At 8 P.M, there will be an exciting Live Auction featuring special guests and surprises. Nearly 300 pieces of art are available this year including paintings, prints, glass objects, sculptures, and jewelry, as well as non-art items, such as exclusive art-centric travel and entertainment packages. Proceeds from the biennial Art Auction will directly benefit the Museum’s future acquisition, exhibition, and education programs for the River Region. We hope to see you there. Bid early and bid often to support your Museum and build your own art collection! Silent Auction items will be displayed in the Museum’s temporary exhibition halls starting February 16. Purchase tickets now for this popular, exciting event online at www.mmfaauction.com or call 334.240.4333. Tickets will be $75 for the evening. For more visit www.mmfa.org

PING PONG TOURNAMENT [all ages and abilities] 2018 Ping Pong is a sport that keeps older people who want to continue to stay fit “on their toes.” The low impact bending, reaching, squatting and eye-hand coordination keep the body tuned for daily life and for the occasional recreational challenge. The physical impact of ping pong may be low, but the charitable impact for Renascence keeps men with few support systems “on their toes” as they bounce back to a life out of prison. FRIDAY, MARCH 2 [PARTY] 6-9 pm; SATURDAY, MARCH 3 [TOURNAMENT] 9 am-3 pm at the ALCAZAR CENTER, 555 EASTERN BLVD. in Montgomery. The Tournament benefits Renascence and the men coming out of the prison system who need a hand up, not a hand-out, as they transition into society and employment. No other group in the city, and few in the state, provide safe, drug-free housing for male ex-offenders. Like a ping pong ball, the men of Renascence want to bounce back into productive lives. To register visit www.halfway-home.net to sign up for the tournament and/or the preview party. The cost is $10 age 19 and under, $20 ages 20 and over. PREVIEW PARTY COST: $45 per person includes food, beverages, dance band, silent auction and the opportunity to play ping pong. For more info call Renascence Re-Entry Community, 334.832.1402

Know an Outstanding Volunteer?

Nominees for the Volunteer of the Year awards run the gamut from high school students who read to children at Common Ground Montgomery to seniors answering phones at Jackson Hospital. None of them seeks the spotlight, but all of them are contributing to their community through time given to others. HandsOn River Region is accepting nominations for the 2018 Volunteer of the Year through March 19. All nominees will be recognized and receive a certificate and gift during the ceremony on April 26 at Trinity Presbyterian Church. For more than 40 years, the awards has become the region's largest volunteer recognition event, honoring individuals and groups who give their time and talent to improve their community and the overall quality of life. HandsOn River Region and the Junior League of Montgomery host the awards celebration each year during National Volunteer Week in April. The categories include: Adult Group, Adult Volunteer, Senior Volunteer, The Arts, Youth Group, Youth Volunteer. Don't delay! Visit www.handsonriverregion.org/volunteer-of-the-year-awards to nominate an outstanding volunteer today! The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine 22 BOOM! February 2018 RiverRegionBoom.com


Jazz Brunch at Vintage Year Enjoy a Jazz Brunch with live music from The Lo-Fi Loungers Sunday, February 25th at Vintage Year, 10:30-2 pm. The Lo-Fi Loungers are a group of guys in Montgomery who play various tunes from the first 50 years of recorded music. This includes, Western Swing, Swing, Gypsy Jazz, and old Pop Standards. Call 334.819.7215 for more information. For more visit www.facebook.com/ events/1448925131886372/

Volunteer This Year

Whether an individual, group or corporation - HandsOn River Region is here to help you realize the benefit each and every person can be to their community. We coordinate and manage volunteer projects throughout the River Region for over 200 non-profits. And we’ve been doing this for over 40 years! Search for volunteer opportunities on our website or call us for assistance in locating the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! Get involved and Serve Today, visit www.handsonriverregion.org or call 334.264.3335

Capital City Master Gardener Association Presents Free Lunch & Learn 2018 Capital City Master Gardener Association presents Lunch & Learn 2018 the 1st Wednesday of Every Month from 12-1 pm. We meet at the Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Avenue, Downtown Montgomery. Mark your calendars February 7th-Home Gardening Facts, Mallory Kelley, Horticulturist, ACES and March 7th-How to Add Color in the Landscape, Jane McCarthy, Horticulturist For information, please contact the Montgomery County Extension Office 334.270.4133. Also visit www.capcitymga.org

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

23


This & tHAT

i

More

The Illusionists - Live On Broadway This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jawdropping talents of five of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS™ – LIVE FROM BROADWAY dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. "INCREDIBLE, ASTOUNDING, AMUSING, MYSTIFYING, PERPLEXING, AND CHALLENGING - ALL IN ALL THIS IS A MAGICAL, MYSTERY TOUR DE FORCE. BE PREPARED TO BE AMAZED!" — Australian Stage. The Illusionists - Live On Broadway will be at the BJCC on February 23 & 24. For more info and tickets visit www.theaterleague.com/birmingham/illusionists or www.theillusionistslive.com

AUM Business Breakfast featuring Peggy Brockman Peggy Brockman, Author, Inspirational Speaker and Business Coach will be the speaker for AUM' Business Breakfast at The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill, Prattville. Have you ever felt stuck in life or business? Everyone does – whether you want to admit it or not! Peggy Brockman, inspirational and Business Coach will help you learn tips on how to go from ordinary to extraordinary, how and why you need to break through your comfort zone and challenge yourself to be better. She will give tips on the importance of improving your attitude, eliminating old beliefs and making choices that propel you forward in business and life. After attending this breakfast, you will be empowered to create and concentrate on your purpose, vision, and goals. Plan to attend Tuesday, February 27th, 7:30-9 am at The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill, Prattville. Tickets are $35 and you can register at www.learning.aum.edu/wconnect/ace/home.htm

Selma to Montgomery 51 Mile Relay Race Walk Jog Run Club is honored to present its inaugural Selma to Montgomery 51 Mile Relay Race to commemorate the 1965 world renowned march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The race will start in Selma, Alabama and end at the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. Runners will be able to enjoy a beautiful scenic route from Selma to Montgomery, while reflecting on a part of Alabama's history. They will be able to experience the historic route taken by courageous citizens, leaders and civil rights activists on the memorable "Bloody Sunday" when 600 marchers endured physical and mental abuse while fighting for the rights of African Americans. They will cross the same Edmund Pettus Bridge that so many marchers crossed on their way to the state capitol so that African Americans could have the right to vote. To ensure that this event is a success, hundreds of volunteers are needed! Participants can serve for all or part of the day and will be scattered along the race route involved in a variety of activities. To register to be a part of this event, visit www.runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/AL/Selma/InauguralSelmatoMontgomery51MileRelay. For additional information, please contact Raynard Lawler at Raynard@wjrclub.com or 256.283.6941.

Digital & Interactive

f re e su bsc r i pt i on s at w w w.r ive rre gio n b o o m.co m 24 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Critter Crawl & Yeti Dash

Women of Hope

Breast Cancer Support Group Tuesday, February 13th, 5:30 p.m. Frazer UMC, Room 8114 6000 Atlanta Highway Enjoy fun and fellowship with your breast cancer “sisters” and friends!

The program will be: Dictation Carcinoma In Situ: Is It Cancer, or Not Presented by Dr. Pamela Strickland, Breast Surgeon Central Alabama Breast Care

Everyone is Welcome!

For information please call 334-220-4599 or email womenofhope@charter.net www.thewomenofhope.org

Bear Country

The Southern Writers’ Project worldpremiere production of Bear Country returns to the ASF stage for a limited run to commemorate Alabama 200’s 2018 theme, “Honoring Our People.” Meet the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant as he reminisces about the career that turned him into an icon and dispenses his particular brand of life coaching, which made him a champion to his players on and off the field. Recommended ages 11+. March 9-25, various times. For more info call 334.271.5353 or visit www.asf.net

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The Alabama Wildlife Federation's annual 5k trail run is back so bring the family and some friends and join others at the ANC pavilion for a wild race! Enjoy some great food and friends and get a little exercise while you race through 3.1 miles of trails that are found on the 350 acre property! Participants may pick up their race packets Friday, February 9th 1pm-5pm. The course will be open that afternoon for individuals who want to see the course prior to the race. New for this year is the Yeti Dash! The Yeti Dash is a 1 mile trail system run. Nature/critter costumes are mandatory for any guests who wish to participate in the Yeti Dash. Any guests who do not dress in costume will not be eligible to win a Yeti Dash medal. One medal will be awarded to the first place finisher in each age group category. This is an all-out race to beat the Yeti, can you survive? While you are here, be on the lookout for the elusive Yeti, you just might be able to snag a picture with him! Saturday February 10, 7:30-11:30 am. For more info call 1.800.822.9453 or visit www.alabamawildlife.org

The 4th Annual Connecting Hearts with special guest Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South) AGAPE of Central Alabama is proud to announce the 4th Annual Connecting Hearts event with special guest Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South). Sean is a columnist, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, Good Grit, South Magazine, The Mobile Press Register, and many other outlets. He has authored seven books and will have an eighth book out very soon! The Connecting Hearts event will take place on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the Alley Station Warehouse in downtown Montgomery. Reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the main event starts at 6:30 p.m. All ticket holders participate in the reception and V.I.P. ticket holders will have the chance to meet and greet with the speaker. Your support of this event will impact children and teens, throughout Central Alabama. Agape of Central Alabama is a ministry that helps children by connecting hearts through adoption and foster care. There are so many children in our area that need a loving home, and Agape sets out to match children with permanent homes with nurturing Christian families. Tickets range from $30 to $60 and may be purchased through Eventbrite. Call 334.272.9466 for more information or visit www.agapeforchildren.org/connecting-hearts

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

25


Ask an Elder Law Attorney

By: Raley L. Wiggins | Attorney at Law | Red Oak Legal, PC

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... The English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned those famous lines around 1845 in a sonnet dedicated to her future husband, Robert Browning. The sentiment has been quoted so often it has become a part of our popular culture, seen in everything from Hallmark cards to Bugs Bunny cartoons. While most of us are familiar with the opening stanza of the poem, I suspect that few of us can recall all fourteen lines of the sonnet’s iambic pentameter. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, take a moment to read the entire poem: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.

This poem is a love letter, written in an era where people sat in contemplation by candle light with nothing to distract them but books, lively conversation, or perhaps even pen and paper. Not a modern, cheap, disposable ball-point pen mind you, but a finely-tipped fountain pen which applies ink to paper via a method that is essentially a controlled leak. The ink, once applied to paper, would have to be blotted dry to avoid smears and smudges. When was the last time you sat down, shut out the distractions of modern society, and wrote a letter to someone you loved? Not an email, not a text, not a Facebook post or Tweet, but an honestto-goodness paper letter?

26 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

We rarely take the time to express our feelings to our loved ones the way the future Mrs. Browning did when she wrote the lines quoted above. While we may not write many letters these days, an

Once we leave this earth, an estate plan is also an opportunity to give gifts of property to the people we care about. They may be sentimental gifts, like family heirlooms, or they may be monetary gifts. They may even be gifts of Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop education, ensuring that Wednesday, March 28: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 children or pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This grandchildren educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins go to college. covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living You might wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, even leave bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care a gift of and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. motivation— conditioning Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at such gifts on www.redoaklegalpc.com. achieving certain goals, estate plan can be a final expression of like a minimum GPA, for example. love, a love letter of sorts, to the people we care about most. Every person’s estate planning goals will of course be unique. Every family is Think about it: the one person who will unique. That is why you, and only you, not be around to benefit from your estate can adequately craft a final expression of planning is you. Getting your affairs in love to the people you care about. Most order is not a selfish act, it is a gift to your love letters are written by the young, loved ones. And I’m not just talking about but you shouldn’t assume that estate monetary gifts. planning is only for the old, the sick, or the dying. To the contrary, the best time For example, what if you were in a terrible to draft your final love letter to your car accident, and your family had to family is while you are strong of body and make the decision whether to continue sharp of mind. to keep you alive using machines or other treatments that would serve to prolong This year, skip the flowers and chocolate, your life, but that would not cure you. turn off the TV, shut down the cellphone, In those conversations, the topic usually and write a letter to someone you love. turns to what you “would have wanted.” Without written instructions, your family Raley L. Wiggins is left to guess whether you would want Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC to be kept alive indefinitely, or whether 334-239-3625 | info@redoaklegalpc.com 312 Catoma Street, Suite 150, Montgomery, AL you prefer to be allowed to die a natural 36104, www.redoaklegalpc.com death. (If you’re familiar with the famous Terry Shaivo case from the 1990’s, her family spent several years debating whether Terry “would have wanted” to be kept alive using machines, even though she was permanently unconscious).

Attend Free Workshop

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

27


BOOM! COVER PROFILE

Jenny & John Ives This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is Jenny and John Ives. Jenny, who once ran for city council, is a retired Senior VP-Multi Family Division of Aronov Realty and John owns and operates Paragon Construction. They both are committed to their faith and place of worship, Temple Beth Or, where John serves as President and Jenny is active in the annual Jewish Food Festival. Their hearts for community service can be found in Leadership Montgomery, Easter Seals, and Bridge Builders. We recently spent some time getting to know this loving couple and we think you'll enjoy getting to know them as well.

Jenny and John love to share many special moments together

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. are you from the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, marriage, family, etc? Jenny/John: Interestingly, we both were raised in Birmingham but never knew each other, and we met through Aronov Realty, where Jenny worked in multi-family and John ran a new construction division that started in 1979. We married in 1988 and raised two daughters here, and with two daughters in Atlanta, worked to blend our children into a new family. BOOM!: The Montgomery/ River Region has a big heart when it comes

28 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

so many want to volunteer and serve in our community? What are some of the organizations you support with your time?

Jenny and Granddaughter Layla

to serving others, you’ve lived here many years and given your time in service, how do you explain why

Jenny/John: We both hope that people give of their time and resources because doing so voluntarily is the best means of supporting a community. You have to find where you belong and what touches your heart. Jenny has been involved with organizations addressing the diversity of our city such as Leadership Montgomery and Bridge Builders while John has been touched by organizations that directly involve people with disabilities and other life changing issues such as Easter Seals and

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


BOOM!: What are some of your Jenny/John: Jenny favorite travel destinations and why? has served as the Any travel dreams planned? chairperson of the Jewish Food Festival for Jenny/John: Our favorite destination many years, celebrating is Telluride, Colorado, winter and our 15th year in summer, where we can escape February. The festival BOOM!: briefly from the hustle and bustle brings our members Since of everyday life. Our shared together preparing the Valentine’s experiences foods and Day is with friends then the around there have opportunity the corner created to share would you memories these foods Daughter Natalie and husband Mark Mussafer share with that will last a with the our readers your love story, how you lifetime. We greater community. There met and some of the secrets to your leave in April for can be no better outreach marriage success? a long overdue than sharing with the trip to Israel, Montgomery area the Jenny/John: From day one, we knew ending with a importance of this time we were best friends and that we romantic 4 day together. Daughter Kelly and husband Keith Lucky were going to successfully blend excursion in our families into one and that our 4 Paris. BOOM!: What is it about daughters would be our family. That living in the Montgomery/ commitment has never changed. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies River Region that you like? But our love story has always been or other activities that grab your singularly the most important aspect attention? Jenny/John: We love living here of our life together. and the Jenny/John: community BOOM!: You’re both members of Grandchildren, spirit has Temple Beth Or and one of their community activities enhanced great outreaches to the River Region and travel consume our lives is the Jewish Food Festival, can you us. Jenny exercises, completely. share more about this special event participates in her book The and what it means to the cultural club and John plays golf convenience landscape of Montgomery? as often as possible and of being 10 loves to snow ski. minutes from everywhere is BOOM!: You both have a bonus and had successful careers the diversified and now retirement culture is for Jenny…you seem extraordinary. Daughter Stephanie and husband Mac McCall to embrace aging well, what advice can you share about BOOM!: What are you most what that means to you? passionate about? Rebuilding Together. Both are graduates of Leadership Alabama.

Daughter Lindsey and husband Justin Barry

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Jenny/John: Our passions are significant but most importantly, our love for each other, our faith, our family and our community.

Jenny/John: Jenny was ready to back away from her profession when it was time and thus embrace the future. The decision was mutual

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

29


grandparent name. John, as an average golfer, became “Bogey” and for more than 22 years, that is how we are known, not only to our children, our grandchildren, but also their friends. Sometimes grand parenting takes on a different role and we were blessed to be in the position where our granddaughter, Kaitlyn, came to live with us at the age of 12. She will be graduating from the University of Alabama in May and our lives have been dramatically enriched by her presence.

the rest of us seeking renewal?

Jenny/John: Well, our lives didn’t have much of an empty nest effect, especially after our granddaughter came to live with us. But in our mid-fifties, we certainly had a sense of renewal and an importance that we could never have anticipated Grandchildren: by having Layla (3), Asher (2 ½) and Isabel (5 ½) Kaitlyn in our and the opportunity happened at home. Not the perfect time. While John still many people continues in his profession, Jenny will ever have knew that there were too many other or even need paths for her to pursue. this to happen but for us, it BOOM!: Would was a blessing you share your that has kept Grandchildren: Grandparenting us young and Evan (8 ½ ), Cannon and Jake (8 ½) experience with spirited. BOOM!: us? What do they Many people over 50 are call you? BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have experiencing a renewed your priorities changed? sense of purpose, new Jenny/John: goals, new careers, We became Jenny/John: None really. Romance especially if they’ve grandparents remains at the top of the list of our experienced the empty at an early age. priorities. nest syndrome of their kids Grandchildren: John had always Kaitlyn (22) with Cannon (11) moving on. How would called Jenny BOOM!: How do you like to relax and you describe this sense of “Birdie” and she chose that to be her wind down from a hard day’s work? renewal in your life? Any advice for

30 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


field superintendents, to see what is happening at any given time, is a game changer. But most importantly, the ability to facetime with our children and grandchildren, to see them and talk to them is the most enriching result of technology for us. BOOM!: Jenny, you Daughters Natalie & Lindsey, Jenny, daughter Stephanie and entered the political granddaughter Kaitlyn world a few years ago We want to thank Jenny and John for helping with a run for City Council us put together this month’s BOOM! Cover District 7, any plans to be a politician Profile. They both have been extremely busy in again? the search for a new Rabbi for Temple Beth Or

Getaway in Telluride with friends Jeff & Robin Blitz, Jenny, John

Jenny/John: A glass or two of wine, dinner always by candlelight, and sharing the events of the day. Nothing has ever changed. BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives. What’s your relationship with the digital world? Does technology help you run a smarter business? Jenny/John: Absolutely technology has made business easier. The ability to communicate instantly with our

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Jenny/John: Never! BOOM!: Jenny and John, give us three words that describe you? Your marriage? Jenny/John: Love, commitment, sharing!

so their time was at a premium. We appreciate them sharing some of it this month. If you want to learn more or share a thought with Jenny and John, email them at johnives@pcd-inc.com Also, plan to attend the Jewish Food Festival for some seriously wonderful food and a unique experience of Montgomery's diverse culture. We want to thank the portrait team at Total Image Portraits for their quality work. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to jim@riverregionboom.com Read all of the BOOM! Cover Profiles at http://riverregionboom.com/archive/

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

31


32 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

33


12 Gestures and Habits That'll Make Him Fall in Love...

All Over Again by Kimberly Blaker

It probably comes as no surprise that keeping the romance alive in a relationship requires effort. But often, when women feel their romantic relationships becoming stagnant, they blame the man in their life for not being romantic enough. So, it may be an eyeopener that 44% of men say it bothers them "a lot" that their wife or girlfriend isn't more romantic, according to a study of 80,000 participants by Chrisanna Northrup. So why not take the first big step, and give your man the romance he's craving? Try out the following ideas and reap the reward of your man falling in love with you all over again. Be spontaneous. Spontaneity and routine are opposites. Routine, which typically sets in once a relationship is established, often leads to monotony. What keeps relationships alive early on is the excitement of spontaneity, which lends itself to discovery about each other and new things. When couples lose that spontaneity, life becomes routine and dull. So practice spontaneity, and do things on a whim with your partner to awaken the feelings you both felt early on in your relationship. Write him a love note. It doesn't have to be lengthy, although it could be. But just a simple “I love you” or “I can't wait to spend time with you this weekend” placed in his lunch box is sure to make his day. If you're good with words, write him a poem, or borrow one, and leave it

34 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

on his pillow. Laugh at his jokes and with him. Men love to be funny, so no matter how corny his jokes, genuinely laugh when he's trying to be funny, even if you have to laugh because he's so corny. Not only will your laughter boost his ego, but it's good for your relationship, too. But there's more. Numerous studies, including a 2015 study by Laura E. Kurtz appearing in the Personal Relationships journal, have found shared laughter brings couples closer together. So look for opportunities to share laughter with your partner. Watch sitcoms, go to the comedy club, hang out with other fun couples, or just be silly with each other. Physical affection. This is such a simple

gesture and can be done anytime, any place. Hold hands when you're watching TV or out and about. Kiss him on the cheek. When he's sitting at the table, walk over and give him a shoulder massage. Pat him on the butt. Walk up from behind and wrap your arms

around him. There are so many ways and opportunities to show your affection. Make his favorite dinner. The adage goes, a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. So go all out, and cook his favorite dinner and dessert. Also, don't forget the candles, wine, and soft music. Take him on a date. Make a plan to do something the two of you both enjoy but haven't done in a while. Better yet, plan something special he particularly enjoys that you haven't been keen to do with him in the past. Even if it isn't your favorite activity, make the most of it, and let him know how much you enjoy seeing him happy and just spending time together. Do you need some ideas? Check out a sporting event, concert, or play. Visit a museum or go golfing or bowling. Pay him a compliment. Everyone loves a compliment especially from a significant other. Tell him you love how that blue shirt brings out his dreamy blue eyes. Compliment his new haircut. Or let him know how much you appreciate his handyman skills. Look for genuine reasons to compliment him often. Initiate sex. If your partner is the primary initiator of sex, your initiation will go a long way toward making your man fall in love all over again. Men need to feel desired as much as women do, according to a survey conducted by Sarah Hunter

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Murray Ph.D., reported in her article “Men Need to Feel Desired by Their Partners, Too.” So make it a practice to come on to your man more often. Give him a gift. Men don't place as much importance on receiving gifts as women do. Still, it can be a very romantic and meaningful gesture when done out of the blue. Look for something he'll love such as tickets to a game, a favorite movie on DVD, or something useful for his favorite hobby or sporting activity. Show him your unconditional love. Many women fall for and marry men with the idea they can “fix him.” Over time, this results in constant badgering of a man to change, which wreaks havoc on his romantic feelings. Learn to accept your partner's shortcomings, and love him unconditionally, and you'll likely see your man's romantic side shine through. Spoon with him. Cuddle with your man before you fall asleep and when you wake up. It'll make you both happier and improve your relationship because it releases endorphins, particularly oxytocin, the love hormone.

Tell him you love him in a deep and meaningful way. During a romantic moment, tell him, "You're my soul mate," "I want to be with you forever," "You make my life whole," or whatever it is you honestly feel for him. Give him massage. Even men enjoy getting pampered. Give him a foot or back massage or have him strip down for a full body treatment. Massage is also another way to increase oxytocin and improve the romance in your relationship. Books on keeping the romance alive

The Normal Bar: Where Does Your Relationship Fall? Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz, James Witte

Rekindling the Romance: Loving the Love of Your Life Dennis Rainey, Barbara Rainey

Mars and Venus in the Bedroom: A Guide to Lasting Romance and Passion, John Gray Courtship After Marriage: Romance Can Last a Lifetime, Zig Ziglar Rekindling Romance for Dummies Sabine Walter, Pierre A. Lehu

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, Sue Johnson The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives, Lewis Howes Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, Harville Hendrix Kimberly Blaker is a lifestyle and parenting freelance writer. She also writes a blog, The Young Gma's Guide to Parenting at www.theyounggma.com Copyright © 2017 Kimberly Blaker, All rights reserved.

35


The Happiness Doctor Is In

By Sue Campbell

A Mayo Clinic physician offers a joyful plan based in science

Dr. Amit Sood, 48, reckons, based on average life span, that he has 10,000 days more to live. That sense of finite time helps him focus his attention, show compassion, be grateful and help others — all actions that lead to happiness. Sood chooses happiness. And he wishes for you to choose it, too. His recently released Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness pulls together easy things to incorporate into a busy life to boost joy and fulfillment. The Mayo Clinic researcher, educator and clinician grew up in India and was a young medical student during the massive 1984 chemical spill in Bhopal. He witnessed the resulting injuries and suffering of people whose homes and lives were destroyed by the accident. When he moved to the United States a decade later, he thought he would find, he says, “the Disneyland of the world.” And yet, he saw suffering, stress and pain in this country, too. Why, he wondered, is happiness so elusive? What is it about the human condition that pulls us to the negative? The problem, his research showed, is our brains. They are not designed for peace and happiness but to constantly scan the environment for what could harm us, looking always for what’s wrong or out of place. And our minds wander — most of us spend 50 to 80 percent of our time thinking wandering thoughts. We can’t seem to help it. When Mayo gave people 174 choices of activities that made them happy, “thinking” came in dead last. Yet, it gobbles up our finite days. So how to break free of the brain’s relentless churning, its pull to the negative? “If we can do that,” Sood says, “we gift ourselves with joy, positivity, resilience, better productivity and better thought. “ The First Steps Sood created a four-step plan that’s been tested and is in practice at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He teaches it to doctors

36 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

trained there, nurses who work there and patients undergoing treatment for everything from cancer to heart disease. Next, he’s taking it to the city of Rochester, teaching it to high school students. “This is meant to be very real-world,” Sood says. “I am not sitting on a mountain in a monastery thinking up great ideas. Most of what I’m doing is on the run. This is where the rubber meets the road.” Before you even begin, Sood says, you need self-awareness about your wandering, ruminating mind. For most of us, this is easy to see when we stop and sit for five minutes. That’s step zero. Step one is harder: Train your attention. For anyone who’s tried to meditate and given up, Sood can relate. “Why do we teach a method that results in failure for 95 percent of people?” he asks. Instead, he prescribes two small, specific activities. First, when you wake up in the morning, instead of getting caught up in what you must do that day, stop and think about a few people in your life who are making you happy — picture them in your mind, one by one. That’s it. Next, for the first three minutes when you come home and greet your family, resolve not to improve anybody. “Praise them,” Sood says. “Focus on their novelty. When was the last time you stopped and looked at the color of your loved one’s eyes, or the way she ties her hair differently every day or the care she puts into the clothes she wears? “These two simple practices immediately give you joy. And they are immediately available to you. They don’t deplete your energy or willpower, and they will connect you better with your family,” notes Sood. Step two: Cultivate emotional resilience. Attention teaches us to hold positive thoughts. But they will slip, and resilience helps us quickly recover from negativity and roll with life’s stressors, which surely will come.

To become resilient, Sood has you use five broad principles, and he’s assigned each a day of the week — a theme for your day you can always turn to when things go wrong. Over time, using the principles builds your ability to bounce back from adversity. The Schedule: Monday: Gratitude — focus on what is right Tuesday: Compassion — recognize that when people are upset, it’s a call for help Wednesday: Acceptance — creatively work with what is, be open to possibilities, control the controllable Thursday: Meaning — it is very important, Sood says, to know why you are here. If you don’t know, he says a good answer is: “I am an agent of service and love, to make a little corner of the world happier and more hopeful than I found it.” Friday: Forgiveness — choose forgiveness to help yourself “When you have this schema, you can remember when your thoughts turn negative to ask: ‘What is today? Acceptance? How can I accept what is happening?’” Sood says. One Day at a Time The next steps are to incorporate a mindbody practice and then finally, once your mind is in better control, to make dietary or physical changes. These last steps are easier if you have mastered your attention and developed resilience. “It’s important to sequence,” Sood says, “so do the first two steps together.” Happiness, Sood says, is a habit. Some people are born with or grow up learning it, but others must choose it. Going back to the 10,000 days he has left to live, Sood says: “I am not like the pigeon sitting on the tree closing my eyes and thinking the cat can’t see me. The cat can see! This realization that I have finite time makes me appreciate the days I have. If I have two pancakes on my plate, and that is all I have, it makes me eat more gratefully and with greater presence. “ Presence enough to make time to look into the eyes of loved ones and see the colors there. This article first appeared at www.nextavenue.org. Sue Campbell is the former Editorial and Content Director for Next Avenue. Follow her on Twitter @SuePCampbell.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

37


Marijuana & Seniors Senior citizens make up one of the fastest-growing demographics of cannabis consumers. Unfortunately, seniors are often uneducated about the advances in marijuana over the last few decades. So instead of creating a podcast or YouTube video, a team of cannabis professionals have joined with a senior living facility to bring higher learning to its residents and other interested people. Infused-tablet company Stratos and medical-marijuana evaluation clinic Holos Health have been hosting a series of Cannabis 101 classes at Balfour Senior Living residences, traveling to the Balfour facilities in Louisville and Denver to teach senior citizens about how cannabis can help their age-related ailments. "We all know about the munchies," Dr. Joe Cohen told the crowd as they settled in at Balfour in Denver. "We are wired for this plant. It's the most therapeutic drug known to man." Cohen and representatives from Stratos told the crowd about new ways to ingest cannabis, such as vaporizing and innovative edible products, showing them how much easier it is to dose with five- or ten-milligram edibles compared to a joint off the street. Sara Suter, a quadriplegic who suffers from spinal cord neuropathy, rotator cuff pain and tendonitis, has been living at Balfour for nearly two years. She'd been using only Tylenol for body pain, abstaining from opioids to the point of not being able to pronounce the word. Although she'd tried medical marijuana

38 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

over five years ago, she says she received virtually no guidance from her recommending physician and was forced to experiment with edibles and hash-oil vaporizers. Finally, she found something that works. "Now that I've been taking this cannabis in the pill, it relaxes me," she says. "Then I got this vapor cigarette, and I wasn't sure what I was doing with that – if I was getting a big enough drag or just a tiny one. But I really like the pills." Approaching seniors with cannabis in the form of pills, creams, balms and other traditional forms of application makes many of them more open to giving infused products a try, Cohen says. "When we see patients coming into our offices, a lot of times they're new to cannabis," he explains. "The first thing they'll say when they come through the door is, 'I don't want to get high.' So, we'll hear that initially and we can talk about CBDs and make them feel comfortable with the fact that they don't have to get stoned if they don't want to be." Cohen didn't just speak to the group about medical marijuana's effect on joint pain. He dove into the history of the plant and the propaganda against it that many of the attendees had heard while growing up. He also spoke about

the body's endocannabinoid system, effective micro-dosing with edibles and medicating with non-psychoactive compounds, such as CBD. "We did a previous talk in Louisville. We probably had a couple hundred people there. We were hearing from patients afterward who had completely changed their views on cannabis," he says. "Many were opposed or afraid of it, but by the time we left, they were convinced that it could be a therapeutic approach for them." Although Balfour residents are allowed to consume edibles on the property, smoking isn't allowed. Still, Balfour founder and CEO Michael Schonbrun, who's also on the board of National Jewish Health, wanted to give his residents a way to safely consume marijuana. "We noticed that a few folks who were always out of sorts suddenly became a lot happier and more pleasant to deal with," he said of the atmosphere at Balfour after marijuana was legalized. "It seemed to make sense to set up and say, 'Here's information; it's up to you.'" The Balfour staff doesn't offer marijuana to residents, whether medical or recreational. "Maybe as a child of the ’60s, this isn't so scary to me," Schonbrun continued. "It's not on the menu in any dining rooms. There's no Alice B. Toklas brownies the chef prepares, but if somebody wants to make their own mix, they're free to do that." Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for www.westword.com.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Mushrooms...merely food, or more? For thousands of years the people of Asia have eaten mushrooms for both food and medicine. Among them, the mighty Maitake mushroom reigns supreme. Significant research has been done regarding its medicinal benefits and I will elaborate on that later. First of all, know that all mushrooms have nutritional benefits and help us to expand our nutritional base. The greater the variety of foods we eat, the greater benefits we will get from our diet. Whilst eating spinach, for example, is great for many reasons, if we eat it every day we are limiting our source and range of nutrition from food. Variety is key, and many of us do not eat fungi regularly, if at all. I’m sure you’ve all tried the common white mushroom, even the crimini or baby bella, but how many of you have expanded your horizons to the Enoki, the Portabella, the Oyster, the Shitake and the Maitake? Unfortunately, I already know the answer, so I will now try to persuade you to expand your fungi horizons. As a food generally, all mushrooms are FAT FREE, SUGAR FREE and extremely low in both carbohydrates and sodium. This fact in itself makes them a great food choice. Now add to that the nutrients they contain – fiber, protein, potassium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin D and zinc. Now tell me why they’re not an everyday part of your diet…. Certain varieties of mushroom do have higher levels of certain nutrients than others, which is why they are known for certain medicinal uses. For example, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

the Maitake has extremely high levels of Vitamin D. Known as the sunshine vitamin - Your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight, or more specifically ultraviolet B (UVB). This is the most natural way to get

vitamin D. Unfortunately, most of us do not expose enough bare skin per day to produce the amount our bodies require. We can supplement it by eating certain foods, but there is a very limited range of foods which provide this very important vitamin: salmon, mackerel, egg yolk, milk, yoghurt, almond milk, orange juice, beef or calf liver, oyster, shitake and maitake mushrooms. Of these foods, (ignoring the mushrooms for a second) the oily fish are the winners by far, having 425 IU Vitamin D in 3oz. salmon, 547 IU in 3oz. mackerel. Now consider that in the same 3oz. serving of Maitake there is a whopping 943 IU of vitamin D. That’s 236% of the Daily Recommended Value. Now Vitamin D is an incredibly important and often overlooked part of our diet, mainly because people assume that we get it solely from the sun, but if we rely on that alone we are going to be severely deficient. Evidence continues to mount that the vitamin which has long been associated with bone health (which includes your teeth!) also helps to regulate the immune system, lower blood pressure, protect against depression, and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and several kinds of cancer. A 2014 study

from the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine also found that people with low vitamin D levels were twice as likely to die prematurely. If that is not enough evidence to convince you to try a Maitake mushroom, then I don’t know what is! (PS. Supplements are a second choice, but should always remain a second choice as they are synthetic copies at best.) In addition to the vitamin D argument, Maitakes are also used to treat cancer and relieve some of the side effects of chemotherapy. Several researchers corroborate that maitake causes apoptosis (“programmed suicide”) of cancer cells and contains antiangionenesis properties. That means they can restrict the proliferation of blood cells that feed tumors. One reason may be that maitake mushroom fruitbodies are rich in complex polysaccharides, in particular the heavy and complex 1,3; 1,4; and 1,6 beta-Dglucans. Various studies also show its effectiveness in treating diabetes as it modulates glucose levels thanks to the α-glucosidase inhibitor they contain. (Care should be taken if consuming alongside other diabetes drugs, as they also do the same thing – compounding the effect could cause blood sugar to drop too low.) In addition to all of this, they are actually very, very tasty! I know they look a bit strange if you’re not used to them, but just cook them as you would a regular mushroom and be wowed by both the taste and the potential health benefits. Tracy Bhalla, Independent Consultant with NYR Organics, website: us.nyrorganic.com/shop/ tracybhalla email: nyrbhalla@gmail.com You can also visit Tracy’s blog at Tracybhalla.com, Continuing my obsession with all things organic, I have been working with NYR for two years now, using their skincare products myself for over 25 years! Your skin is the body’s largest organ, it deserves to be well looked after. I am here to answer any questions you may have.

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

39


Travel Experiences with Jeff Barganier

Whooping It Up in Decatur, Alabama

Several years ago, my sweet little designer-wife spent hours and hours pulling together a client presentation based upon the vivid colors in a certain beautiful fabric she had selected for draperies. A lovely blend of browns, greens and coral, the fabric also depicted some colorful birds. After all, the design was for a beach house and, at the beach, one usually finds feathered creatures in abundance. It was imperative that the clients like the fabric because it served as the focal point of the whole design. Without it, the entire color scheme would be invalidated. The appointed day came and the clients sat like emotionless mannequins, observing and listening as Cindy, bubbling over with excitement, presented her work. When she was done, there was a pregnant pause, after which, smiling broadly and eager for feedback, Cindy asked: “Well, so, what do you think?” For several seconds, silence lingered like a mute cockatoo. Then came a rather flat, scornful reply. “We don’t like birds.” What? Good grief! Who doesn’t like birds? Can you imagine what the world would be like without birds? While you’re pondering the question, allow me to tweet about an adventure that you must make happen for your grands! You and your grandchildren will love visiting Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur, Alabama. Established in 1938 as a wintering area for ducks, geese and other migratory birds, the refuge is where you can have an “out of Africa” experience by watching thousands of sandhill cranes take to the air, and by

40 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

Whooping Crane/Credit: Paul Franklin.

possibly observing one of the world’s rarest birds—the whooping crane. These giant birds—they stand about 5 feet tall—only numbered about 15 in the 1940s. Today, there are about 600 in existence. And one of the only places in the world to see them is Alabama!

white.

north on I-65 about 9:30 a.m. on a Friday seeking a wintrylodge-ornithological experience: a winter retreat with birds almost as tall as we are. About 1:00 p.m., we stretched our legs in Cullman and visited our favorite architectural antiques store, Southern Accents. Back on the road, we encountered snow flurries about thirty-five miles north of Decatur. When we arrived at the lodge in Rogersville, it was snowing like crazy. Even the steep roof of the river-side lodge was turning

From our warm room overlooking a wide tributary of the Tennessee River, we delighted in the flurries. But not only the flurries. Hundreds of sea gulls entertained us with their aerial I first heard about this impromptu travel skills, hovering high above the water in idea in early January 2018 when I read heavy wind, dive-bombing the surface, a story in Alabama Magazine by John N. splashing down and lifting off, playfully Felsher about the 2018 Festival of Cranes chasing one another—all merely a in Decatur. The idea did not immediately preview of our next day’s amazing visit take flight with my wife—still a little to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge reluctant when it comes to birds—but off the Tennessee River thirty miles she eventually southeast as the crow bought in flies. The following when I told morning, we enjoyed her we would a hearty breakfast be staying at the lodge, and at the Joe then meandered Wheeler State southeast to Decatur. Park Lodge The refuge attracts which has a people from all over humongous the world and the fireplace and… Park Service was out that snow was in force. At first, we expected. (Oh, wondered if we could Whooping cranes have recently added Wheeler to the lengths even get in, but a their eastern flyway. US Fish and Wildlife Service husbands ranger talked into his go.) Anyway, microphone, then we departed the River Region heading smiled and waved us through. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The a sandhill attractive crane— visitor’s they’re center was only about bustling four feet with birdtall—would watchers. glide by the Young and window. old alike Ducks, geese scurried and every here and imaginable One stretch of the hundred miles of hiking and biking opportunities at Wheeler. US Fish and Wildlife Service there, feathered viewing films, strolling through colorful creature joined in the pageantry. It was exhibit rooms and snapping photos a stunning show; and perhaps, for us, an beside a large, stuffed whooping crane. annual pilgrimage was born. We stood face-to-face with a live owl and red-tail hawk, asking questions and We reveled in the experience all the way receiving the most interesting answers back to the lodge, stopping to relish a hot from professional conservationists. Then pizza for lunch at Village Pizza in Athens. we took a cold but enchanting walk Then we toured Athens’ historic district through a cane-break beneath towering and soaked up the history, reading the trees. Along this path, whoopers could be markers on the Village Square. Sunday, seen and heard all around us, whooping we made the short drive to beautiful it up. In a cozy, heated structure we Florence and attended worship with The viewed a variety of birds—tens of Church of the Highlands’ Shoals campus thousands—some up close, through meeting there. Afterward, we drove one-way glass. An eagle swooped from north of Florence on the Natchez Trace the clouds Parkway to view high above, the phenomenal causing dry-stacked stone panic wall constructed among by the late Tom the flocks Hendrix. The wall in the is a memorial to wetlands his great, great, below. In grandmother, an instant, Te-lah-nay, who thousands was removed took flight. from her Alabama The scene home along the was rather Trail of Tears in like a spectacular snow storm, albeit the 1830’s. The thirteen-year-old Yuchi rising from the earth. Now and then, Tribe girl subsequently walked alone all

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

the way back to Alabama to her beloved homeland on the Tennessee River—more on this fascinating story in a future issue of Boom! The more I see of this beautiful state, the more in love I become with it. Alabamians have so much to be proud of, to enjoy, and to preserve. Support your state and state parks by visiting its amazing cities and attractions. Especially, mark your calendar for the winter 2019 Festival of Cranes! And, if you ever hire a designer, please, please, tell her up front if you don’t like birds! Kasi mekeoo. (That’s Yuchi for: Good journey.) For more information on the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, visit: www.fws.gov/refuge/wheeler.

To experience Wheeler in video visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JmE3W95tZw Jeff S. Barganier is a freelance writer and business manager of Cindy Barganier Interiors LLC. He travels far and wide upon the slightest excuse for something interesting to write about. Contact Jeff at Jeffbarganier@knology.net. Follow him on Instagram: #jeffbarganier.

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

41


By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

We Loved You, Ben Hagler

This past Christmas, Ben Hagler had dinner with his family, fell ill, then asleep, and never woke up.

I had no idea where I’d be staying on arrival- just that Ben had everything set up and all I had to do was connect with him.

Wow. Only 47.

hill and said “I see a store called Parisian”. He knew I was passing Eastdale Mall and had well overshot my runway. It was next he introduced me to FFGPS. “Here’s what you do. Make a U-turn and start heading south again. After a couple miles, you’ll see a McDonald’s. When you see McDonald’s, start getting in the lefthand lane. A little further up you’ll see a Chik-Fil-A and an Arby’s on the right. When you see them, look to the left and you’ll see a Popeye’s chicken. Turn left at Popeye’s, and look for a Hardee’s on the left. Across from Hardee’s is a shopping plaza with a Wendy’s. Kokopelli’s (our meeting locale) is behind and to the left of Wendy’s”.

At his packed memorial, “Benjammin’” was I dialed the warmly remembered number. Ben’s as an excellent husky, raspy "Studio Stooges" musician, radio voice greeted personality and friend. Most in me as if we’d been friends for years. He attendance were Ben’s age or older, all instructed me to stay on 231 North. It bearing a similar facial expression; one would curve to the east a bit, and when of shock, and disbelief. The death of Ben it straightened out heading north again, Hagler compelled everyone to recognize I should look for that life is indeed short, and no one is “Bonn Road”. Sure enough, promised tomorrow. following Ben’s Sure enough, 231 FFGPS led me to Ben was all of those things listed above, Kokopelli’s. I soon curved as expected, as unique a man as a man can be. realized that “Bonn but after what seemed like several Road (I did wonder Benjammin’ though, should be miles too much, I why Montgomery remembered for other accomplishments, saw no sign for a would have a street too. For example, did you know he Bonn Road. named for a German city) was actually invented the FFGPS? We know it as the I dialed Benji back, VAUGHN road. Fast Food Global Positioning System. informing him I was Greg took Ben to his Alma Mater Alabama, and introduced him to Don Shula and Gene Stallings- We walked into The date was April 28, 2005. I’m at on 231 but couldn’t all thanks to mutual friend Bob Baumhower Kokopelli’s, a nowthe end of my inaugural drive to find the designated Montgomery. After mind numbing miles street. defunct music bar, where everybody- I mean everybody- knew Ben. He of darkness on US231, a mileage sign “What can you see from your car?”, he indicating “Montgomery 4” appeared. I introduced me around like a lifelong asked, sounding a bit concerned. fished around my pocket for the slip of friend and I quickly realized that hanging paper with Ben’s name and cell number. with Ben Hagler was the shortest I looked to the right as my car climbed a Anxiety was building. distance between me and new people. Greg Budell's column is proudly sponsored by McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management

42 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


I even scored a couple hot phone numbers within my first 20 minutes, adding to my enthusiasm for my new town. I wouldn’t be lonely, either! I spent most of my free time with Ben during that first week in the Gump. He took me to the best restaurantsplaces he had connections, and I ate like a king on my poverty budget.

Ben is pictured with former Alabama linebacker, Barry Krauss (famous for the “Goal Line Stand” against Penn St. in the 1979 Sugar Bowl).

One day early on, Ben’s band was scheduled to play and he invited me and my first Montgomery girl friend to watch. He saw to it we were fed excellent steak dinners. We were quite full when he sat at his drums and his band took the stage. It was then I had the Ben Hagler Experience. My date and I thought Ben looked almost too tired to play. Someone did a 1-2-3 count and a most incredible transformation took place. Ben’s face lit up, and his body went fully animated as the guitarist ground out the lead riff to Badfinger’s “No Matter What”. Ben proceeded to belt out the lead vocal

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

like he wrote the damn song, keeping perfect time on the drums. My date and I exchanged dropped jaws in amazement.

the stages he worked, including, through the stories of those who loved him, that final stage.

Ben Hagler could turn on his talent in an Alabama instant.

As we stood in the pews of Frazer, clapping, I remembered Ben’s big smile as he introduced himself to me at Kokopelli’s 13 years previous. More so, I remembered Ben’s handshake-warm, sincere and most of all, welcoming. I wasn’t in town 10 minutes when I felt I had my first true friend.

We witnessed an evening’s worth of Ben’s extraordinary performances. Ben was like that on the radio, too. He’d be doing 20 things simultaneously in his studio chair while a song played on the air. When the song ended, Ben spun to the microphone and had something to say that offered insight or info on the artist and tune. I was hanging with him one afternoon when he let it drop that Alice Cooper was his friend and occasional golf partner. Cool! At Ben’s memorial, our boss, Rick Peters, did a magnificent eulogy that made everyone in attendance laugh, and laugh heartily- and at its conclusion, applaud. I’d never seen that at a funeral, but it was appropriate for the moment and the man. Ben was an entertainer on and off

He earned that farewell round of applause.

Twists of fate brought me to Montgomery. Ben Hagler convinced me on Day One it was a place I’d want to stay. Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, Roz, and dogs Hershey and Briscoe. He’s been in radio since 1970, and is marking 12 years in the River Region in 2017. He hosts the Newstalk 93.1FM Morning Show with Rich Thomas, Jay Scott & Emily Hayes, 6-9AM Monday-Friday. He returns weekday afternoons from 3-6PM for Happy Hour with sidekick Joey Clark. Greg can be reached at gregbudell@aol.com

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

43


February 2018

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Inspired by the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, The New York Times described Fly as “a superior piece of theatrical synergy.” With a focus on hope, endurance, and accomplishment, Fly tells the story of the first African-American Army Air Corps fighters who flew over the skies of Europe and North Africa during World War II. Fly dramatizes the historic contributions made by the Tuskegee Airmen to the desegregation of the American military and the furthering of civil rights. Learn more about Fly here www.asf.net/about-fly/ For tickets visit ASF box office or www.asf.net

Nora, vibrant housewife and mother of three children, appears to enjoy living the life of a pampered, indulged child. Nonetheless, she suffers from a crippling dependency on her husband. Nora’s acceptance of the status quo is put under a microscope and the illusions behind her marriage are exposed. Henrik Ibsen’s classic work examines fundamental inequalities surrounding gender roles, power, independence and money. In a time in our society where women still fight for equality and a voice, this classic work will illuminate that as women and as humans, our choices are rarely easy and often come at great cost and makes us examine which choices are worth it. For more info visit www.cloverdaleplayhouse.org

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

PIKE ROAD, ALABAMA

TDoes your yoga practice need a little artistic inspiration? Join us for this new program to stretch, reflect, and relax. Each Artful Yoga session will draw inspiration from collections and exhibitions of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Led by instructor Nancy Beale, this class will meet Wednesdays, February 7, 21, and March 7 and 21, 2018 at noon. The class is free and suitable for all levels, beginners are welcome. Guests are reminded to bring their yoga mats and wear comfortable clothing. Call 334.240.4333 for more information or visit www.mmfa.org

“In Her Own Fashion” has historical value, but it is also full of celebrity hijinks, career disasters, and reckless romance. The show is based on the stories and experiences of Ninette Grifith, Fashion Coordinator for Loveman’s Department Store in Birmingham in the 1950’s and 60’s – it’s ambitious, irreverent, sassy and honest. “In Her Own Fashion” is perfect for those with fond memories of Loveman’s, as well as those who may not have known the River Region during the department store’s glory days. Those interested can visit www.pikeroad.us to learn more.

Fly ASF Through February 11

Artful Yoga MMFA Wednesdays, February 7, 21, March 7, 21, 12-1 pm

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Galentine's Day The Shoppes at Eastchase Thursday, February 8, 6-8 pm

Grab your favorite babes and celebrate Galentine's Day together! You'll sip, jam and learn the basics of floral design with Evan & Company. Treats, drinks, fresh florals, witty instruction, design tools and a modern centerpiece vessel will be provided for you to take home and enjoy! Tickets are $50 and space is limited, so reserve your spot today! Located near Francesca's. Call 334.279.6046 for more information. For more info visit www.theshoppesateastchase.com/ event/galentines-floral-workshop/2145501237

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA A DOLL’S HOUSE Cloverdale Playhouse February 8-18

44 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

“In Her Own Fashion” by Dolores Hydock Crossroads Theater, Pike Road Town Hall Saturday, February 10th, 7:30 pm

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA The Killer, Cash, and the King ASF, Blount Cultural Park Wednesday, February 14, 7:30 - 9pm

Spend this Valentine’s Day with the Killer, Cash, and the King! Take a walk down memory lane to the greatest era of rock ‘n’ roll music with three iconic legends: Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley. You’ll be all shook up when these electrifying tribute artists bring

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Digital & Interactive

f re e su bsc r i pt i on s at w w w.rive r re gio n b o o m.co m legends to life for a one-night-only musical spectacular. Enjoy classic songs, such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire,” and more! Tickets on sale now. This production is performed in The Festival. For more information, call 334.271.5353 or visit www.asf.net

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA The Big Wine Bash 129 Coosa, above Central Friday, February 23, 6-8 pm

Sleepless In Seattle The Capri Theatre Wednesday, February 14th, 7:30 pm

Enjoy the classic love story, Sleepless in Seattle! His mom dies, and years later, eight-year-old Jonah wants to move forward. But with his dad, Sam, still grieving and dragging his feet, that's hard to do. But it's not like an eight-year-old has a lot of options. When he calls in to a radio for help, Sam ends up doing most of the talking, and Jonah gets him to talk about how much Sam misses his wife. Instantly, women across the nation fall in love with him. In the name of romantic hijinks, there are misunderstandings and missteps. But all that matters is whether the two unlucky lovebirds can get to the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day. Call 334.262.4858 for more information or visit www.capritheatre.org

CALERA, ALABAMA

Valentine's Dinner Vizzini Farms Winery , Calera, Alabama Wednesday, February 14th, 5-9 pm Enjoy a romantic dinner to celebrate Valentine's Day with your special someone. Our Executive Chef has a special menu planned featuring Filet wrapped in bacon or Chicken Piccata with lemon caper butter sauce. This 4-course dinner is priced at only $100/couple with a bottle of wine specifically for the evening menu. Space is limited, and reservations will fill up fast, so call today to reserve your table. For Reservations call 205.685.0655. For more info visit www.vizzinifarmswinery.com

DESTIN, FLORIDA

Sandestin Gumbo Festival Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort Februay 16-17th The Sandestin Gumbo Festival has been known as one of the largest & most popular winter food events along Florida’s Emerald Coast. Kick-off the weekend Friday, Feb. 16 with a delicious Seafood Boil from 5-7 p.m.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

at Hammerhead’s Bar and Grill. On Saturday, Feb. 17 from 12-4 p.m. guests will enjoy live music from Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, family activities & the best gumbo cook-off on the Gulf Coast. For more info visit www.sandestingumbofestival.com

The Big Wine Bash. A wonderfully diverse wine tasting, with over 100 selections to choose from. a sampling of some of the wineries participating Wineries thus far: Goldschmidt, Klinker Brick, Pali, Sean Minor, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Juan Gil Family Wines, Jackson Family Wines, Foley Family Wines, Elizabeth Spencer... How Much: $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Tickets are now on saleat Ted the Wine Guy and online at the Eventbrite website: https://www. eventbrite.com/e/big-wine-bash-2018-tickets-39851485867

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

David Ball Concert at the Hank Williams Museum Hank Williams Museum, Montgomery Friday, February 23rd, 7:30-9:30 pm David Ball (born July 9, 1953) is an American country music singersongwriter and musician. Active since 1988, he has recorded a total of seven studio albums on several different labels, including his platinum certified debut Thinkin' Problem. Fourteen of Ball's singles have entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. $25.00 each ticket. Please send a check made payable to Hank Williams Museum. 118 Commerce St., Montgomery, AL 36104. No Credit Card for this event. Call 334.262.3600 for more information or visit www. thehankwilliamsmuseum.net

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

The Miracle Worker ASF March 3-18; April 27, May 6, 2018, various times “Interesting, absorbing and moving.” – The New York Post. This classic is based on the true story of Anne Sullivan and her student, blind and mute Helen Keller, who grew up in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Trapped in her own world, Helen is unable to communicate. Anne realizes there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark silence, and her success with Helen finally comes with the utterance of a single, glorious word: “water.” Recommended ages 9+. For more information, call ASF 334.271.5353 or visit www.asf.net/ project/the-miracle-worker/ R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

45


Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

40 Years on, Debby Boone still lighting up our lives

Debby Boone performing at a recent concert

– I didn’t even realize some had never been released before.” Boone grew up in a musical family with three sisters, two parents, and a grandfather (Red Foley) who were all singers. And while she may have been destined for a career in entertainment, it wasn’t her original goal. “I’ve been an animal lover since I was a little girl and thought I might become a veterinarian.”

Debby Boone’s recording of “You Light up My Life” not only became a monster hit of 1977, but went on to become one of the most popular songs of the decade.

(Executive at Curb Records) had brought a cassette of this song they wanted me to record. At that point, I had only performed with the family, so I was shocked because we hadn’t talked about me doing anything on my own. But I was pleased when I heard this lovely song and my parents were supportive when I flew to New York to record it.” Since that day Boone, now 61, says she’s probably performed the song thousands of times with her renditions evolving over the years. “When I was younger I had a more powerful voice, but now I have a lot more maturity in my voice which I love. I think I command the lyrics better today than I did in my early 20s.”

That all changed when she was 14 and accompanied her father, “I have a hard time believing it’s been Pat Boone, 40 years,” said Boone. The album on a working of the same title released that year trip to Japan became certified platinum (1 million so the family in sales in the U.S.), yet it was never could remain With a new year released on CD when the new music together. ahead, Boone says format became popular in the 80s. “He made a there are plans to mistake and release more albums “To celebrate its 40th anniversary we put me in his as well as plenty of have just released the original album Cover of Debby Boone's re-released album, for the show!” she live performances in on CD for the first time, along with first time on CD, You Light Up My Life said, laughing. 2018. And looking additional tracks,” explained Boone. “I got a taste of the work and loved back, she says she’s forever grateful for Distributed by Real Gone Music in it, so that’s when I the success of her big hit four decades December knew for the first ago. (see www. time I had the realgonemusic. ability to be an “Some people still consider me to com), more entertainer.” be a one-hit wonder with ‘You Light than a dozen Up My Life’ even though I’ve had bonus songs are Just 21 when “You Number 1 country records and won featured on the Light Up My Life” three Grammys. But I’ve had a strong disc including became a hit, public persona over the years and am several vintage Boone had to adapt still performing and recording after 40 recordings of to fame quickly (see years. People remember that song, but 60s pop classics www.debbyboone. they also remember who sang it!” such as “He’s com) and still recalls a Rebel” and Debby Boone and dad, Pat. (early photo) Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at hearing the song for “Popsicles and Montgomery, Ala, and has written features, the first time. Icicles.” columns, and interviews for over 650 “It’s been such a long time since these were recorded – some with my sisters

46 BOOM!

February 2018

RiverRegionBoom.com

“I came home to my parents’ house and my mother said Mike Curb

newspapers and magazines.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2018

BOOM!

47


BOOM! February 2018  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! February 2018  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine