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The Family Birth Center at Jackson Hospital

has received a spectacular $3-million renovation.

We think you’ll love the colorful mosaic mural and light, airy color scheme that lets you know you’ve arrived in a special place. And we can’t wait to show you the spacious labor, delivery and postpartum rooms so that you and your family can share in your joy. New stateof-the-art equipment and experienced nurses will give you and your baby the exceptional care you’d expect in one of Alabama’s most advanced obstetrical facilities. Come see why Jackson Hospital is the premier location in the River Region to welcome your new baby.




Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.


March 2016

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


March 2016

for Boomers and Beyond

The Second Time Around How to Care for Yourself While Raising A Grandchild It’s an Act 2 you didn’t anticipate. After your last child left home, you thought your child-rearing days were over. But now you’re raising a grandchild—and are back on the job again. As much as you love your grandson or granddaughter, watching over a child late in life can be challenging—physically, emotionally and financially. Still, there are ways to lighten your load.

• Let friends know that you still want to socialize, but may need help with babysitting. And speaking of needs, yours still matter. Stay physically active, eat balanced meals and carve out at least some time for activities you enjoy.

Get great health tips by signing up for the Jackson Hospital Keeping Well e-Newsletter under e-Health Resources at

First, ask for help. If you’re hesitant, be aware that turning to others for support is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows that you want to do the best possible job of caring for your grandchild. You might:

• Make a list of ways—large and small—that others might lend a hand. Then speak up. Very

likely, your family and friends will want to pitch in. But without direction from you, they might be unsure about what to do.

• When making that list, be sure to include help with responsibilities beyond child rearing. For example, a friend might take your

aging parent to a doctor’s appointment. Support like this can give you more time and energy to tend to your grandchild.

• Consider calling a family meeting with close and extended relatives to discuss how your life, your grandchild’s life and their lives might change as you all work together. 3


March 2016

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

It’s not just your joints that are suffering.

It’s your life.

Introducing the Joint Center of Alabama at Baptist South. Is joint pain making you miss out on life? It’s time to stop hurting and start living. The new Joint Center of Alabama at Baptist South offers joint replacement surgery, recovery and rehab all in one convenient

Joint Center of Alabama


location. And our specialized doctors and surgeons know how to get you back to living. So call us today to schedule a visit. (334) 273.4444

Bring the pain. 5

come home come hope E A S T E R



If you’re looking for a church…if you’ve been away from church for a long time…if church has never been your thing…Easter is a beautiful time to renew a faith journey, and Frazer is a place where you are always welcome.

Easter Sunday is March 27, 2016

MO N TGOM ERY Sunrise Worship 6:00AM Blount Cultural Park Contemporary and Traditional Easter Worship 8:00, 9:30 & 11:00AM PIKE ROA D Sunrise Worship 6:00AM Location TBA Easter Worship 9:00 & 10:45AM in the Pike Road School See our other Holy Week events at

MONTGOMERY | 6000 Atlanta Highway | 334.272.8622 PIKE ROAD | 37 Bridge St. The Waters | 334.801.9080

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


March 2016

“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

Volume 6 Issue 8

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 8 Publisher’s Letter 12 A Role Model, Leigh Anne Richards 13 Side by Side Singers 13 Shave Years Off Your Brain 14 Your Lighthouse, Brandt McDonald page 36

Features 28 Filmmaker Aims to Decrease Depression... Among older adults

16 30A Wine Festival 18 Eufaula Pilgrimage, Tour of Homes

36 Grandparents & Grandchildren Getaways Multigenerational travel

46 “Taking Care of Business” for her Special Needs Finley Grace has a rare disease

Departments 16 This and That

Now You’re “In the Know”

44 {12} Things

Solutions for Bored Boomers

40 Greg Budell

“Heeeere’s Johnny! Again!”


20 BOOM! Cover Profile 25 Healthy Hearing Casey Gonzalez 26 Beauty Buzz What we LOVE right now... 30 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: The Power of Berries 32 Know When to Hold ‘Em Ask an Elder Law Attorney 34 “She’s My First Wife”


39 Art & Soul: Professor Angelo Granata

page 46

page 18

page 17

page 28

42 Montgomery Rotary ClubFunny Raiser 43 Dating Coach: The real reason a man dumps you

BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 6398 Eastwood Glen Pl., Montgomery, AL 36117. The phone number is 334.324.3472. Copyright 2016 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

March 2016



Publisher’s Letter

New Path Forward 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.


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Tracy Bhalla Greg Budell

Lisa Copeland Denise Crosby Erica Curless Casey Gonzalez Jill Knight Jamie Martin Brandt McDonald Leigh Anne Richards Nancy Stein Raley L. Wiggins Kathy Witt

This month’s issue of BOOM! has many interesting features and columns for your reading pleasure. The first is our Cover Profile, Jamie Martin. Jamie is the Director of Photography for Governor Bentley, and leads a very busy life chasing after those special moments that all governors want captured. I’ve known Jamie for a long time, she was the cover photographer for Montgomery Parents for many years and a dear friend of my first wife Marty, who was the Publisher until her death in 2006. Jamie helped us succeed with Montgomery Parents because her cover photos of children each month made Montgomery Parents the most appealing magazine in the River Region, especially with moms! Jamie is a special woman who has an interesting story to share, I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her. If you’re a grandparent we have a couple of features, you may want to check out. The first is Kathy Witt’s Traveling Trends story on Getaways for Grandparents and Grandchildren. With multigenerational travel in vogue these days, there will probably be some ideas for you to explore for your own family in her feature story. The other feature is how a little girl’s grandparents started a business to help pay for the enormous medical expenses she incurs each year because of a rare medical condition. What a selfless act of love and sacrifice Bill and Patti Murphy have made for their special needs granddaughter. There is much more to check out such as Greg Budell’s take on Johnny Carson’s return to the airwaves, what Boomer doesn’t have fond memories of “Here’s Johnny?” For those of you with too much anxiety about your investments, sit back, take a deep breath and read Brandt McDonald’s column. He’s always helpful. Leigh Anne Richards has a role model she wants to share with you, and as always, she’s included some inspiration to get you motivated! There’s plenty more to engage with in this month’s issue of BOOM! Please share your thoughts with me through email or text, you know I love to listen!

Cover Photography Kim Bethea Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080

Finally, let me say thank you to everyone who commented on the tribute article I wrote for Jackie. It was a special privilege to share my heart with each of you. It was an emotional experience to share but valuable in so many ways as I begin to find my new path forward without Jackie. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.



Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 334.324.3472 cell/text

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics


Network Delivery

Printing Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

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March 2016

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

March 2016



10 BOOM!

March 2016

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

March 2016



A Role Model

During our lifetime, we all have that person (s) that we aspire to be like- It might be in our business, could be their character, etc. My business and passion in life has always been with fitness so over the years I have looked up to certain women and aspire to be like them when I am their age. As I sit here and write this I realize how relative age is. I think back to my 30’s and thought - Oh if I could be like “______” when I am in my 50’s because 50 seemed so old at that time in my life. I also always heard people talk about how once you hit 50 different things start happening to your body. Of course I thought- “That will never happen to me” because I am in such good shape and have such self discipline. Well, guess again. Some things are just inevitable and the older I get the more I realize it. Now at 56 years old I realize I just want to be the very best I can be and THAT is what I strive for. The older one gets, the younger people become in my eyes. Yes, I still pick out my role models and I am going to tell you about one of them right now.

educated and well trained so she knows she is doing things that are not going to hurt her. According to Winnie, “Going to class keeps me honest. When I am on my own I can always find an excuse to stop before I have finished my objectives.” I can After 5 personally by Leigh Anne Richards years of tell you running, that Winnie I moved Stakely on to a is always trainer and I highly recommend having going to push herself and keep going. The someone to help you get started using classes she attends have a wide range of the right technique and form to avoid ages in them- anywhere from 30’s- 70’s injury. At that time, I was at Sports First and she can hang with anybody. I’m one (MAC) Athletic Club. Since then I have of her instructors so I witness it! gone to all kinds of classes and even while I travel I exercise. I learned I can My final question for Winnie was what take the does exercise do for you? She says the exercise following.” Exercise is part and parcel of bands and living well. It gives us energy and strength workout to do the things we love in life. It helps on my own knowing, as we age, the things we can when I am do to protect ourselves from injury. away from Now that I know we need to walk more MetroFitness. (move), I don’t complain when parking a long way from a store or I don’t mind Not only taking extra steps around my house. does Winnie Every step is helping me stay fit so I can Winnie Stakely has do strength do the things I love. It makes for a much been exercising training but happier life.” with me since she started 2004. I have always participating What a joy it brings me as an instructor admired Winnie in yoga when to have Winnie Stakely working out with for her community she had a me at MetroFitness. There is never a involvement and back injury. I complaint – but a smile that and attitude her volunteerism learned that that gives me encouragement. in Montgomery. I an injury does first got to know not mean So…playing the age card is no excuse!! Winnie years ago you can’t do Who is your role model? when I served on some kind of Winnie Stakely the Sunshine Center exercise. Yoga Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Board with her. She has become MY role helped so much with my flexibility and Personal Trainer, Group Exercise model for how exercise keeps you young. I highly recommend it for flexibility and Instructor, General ManagerShe is a 75-year-old wife, mother and prevention of injuries. Everyone has to MetroFitness. For any questions or grandmother in which she takes great find what fits their needs. comments, contact Leigh Anne at pride and says that is reason enough to want to stay healthy. Winnie enjoys the group class format. She attends classes at MetroFitness 3-4 times I asked Winnie several questions about a week when she is in town. She likes the her lifestyle and how she began the fact that MetroFitness keeps their staff

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fitness journey. In her 30’s she started running. She worked up to a 2 mile run everyday. Over a 2-year period she only missed 5 days. Why I said- “Because I was afraid if I stopped I would not have the discipline to start again.”

Fitness over Fifty

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Shave Years Off Your Brain Merl Reagle has words on the brain. The 62-year-old master crossword puzzle creator, who also starred in the crossword puzzle documentary Wordplay, is the type of person who likes to spout off anagrams in casual conversation. “I’ve always found it funny that ‘schoolmaster’ anagrams into ‘the classroom,’ “ he says. “And have you ever noticed that ‘race car’ is the same in forwards and reverse?” He then informed us that there is only one other word that can be made from “Prevention” that uses all four vowels. (The answer, if you’re curious, is “pioneer.”). If, like Reagle, you love crosswords and other word-centric puzzles and games, you’re in luck: Doing them regularly may strengthen memory and concentration, and help keep Alzheimer’s at bay. Your brain contains neural pathways, called dendrites, that are like tree branches, says Paul Nussbaum, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Pittsburgh. When you encounter something novel and complex, your brain responds by generating new branches. Challenge your noodle all the time, and it “begins to look like a jungle, as opposed to a Caribbean island with one palm tree,” Nussbaum says. If crosswords don’t do it for you, try these five other ways to build up your brainpower. 1. Dust off your board games. Classic board games like Monopoly and Scrabble can help pump up your brainpower, Nussbaum says. (Reagle is a big fan of Boggle.) 2. Be a tourist. “When you travel to a different place, it’s going to be a new and complex environment for you,” Nussbaum says. And almost nothing challenges your brain like navigating a new and exotic locale, according to research linking travel to stronger cognitive health. If you can’t hop a flight to a far-off land, be a tourist in your own city by strolling through an unfamiliar neighborhood or visiting an art gallery opening. In general, novel experiences are going to engage your brain in healthy ways.

3. Find a new hobby. Whether it’s crafting or gardening, new hobbies challenge our brains in ways similar to foreign travel or learning a new language. All these tasks appear to help keep your brain young and may protect it from diseases like dementia, research shows. 4. Make a list. “Take out a blank piece of paper and write down three or four things you’re really good at,” Nussbaum says. “Then write down three or four things you’re not very good at.” Then work on practicing the things that are more challenging for you, think of those areas as being in serious need of some tree branch development, he says.

5. Grab your sneakers. Exercise is a well-established Alzheimer’s fighter. By improving blood and oxygen flow to your brain, physical activity can fortify the parts of your noodle that Alzheimer’s attacks, research shows. 6. Phone a friend. Your brain has a simple request, Nussbaum says: “It wants to be mentally stimulated and nourished, (and) to socialize with others.” Research shows that spending time with friends may keep you sharp and protect you from brain diseases. You may not realize it, but experts say that almost nothing engages and challenges your brain like social interaction. For more great health tips,visit (c)2016 Prevention magazine Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The Side by Side Singers are dedicated to sharing music to keep our minds strong. Music can improve our mood and boost cognitive skills. We invite those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care-partners to join us for 8-week sessions each Tuesday, 1:00-2:00 pm at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery. The music we sing ranges from Sinatra to Elvis. photo by Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser

SIDEbySIDE singers singers

Please contact Jack Horner at or Laura Selby at 834-8990 for more information.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine



2416 W. Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106 334.834.8990

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

March 2016



Your Lighthouse Wow, what a start to the New Year!!! As of this writing, the Standard and Poor’s 500 index is down 7.2% over the last twelve months. If you go back to October 15th of 2014, the same index has returned a whopping 2.2%. That’s an average annual return of roughly 1.46% per year. Prior to that, the S&P 500 had a total return of 139% from the period of March 2009 through October of 2014. What happened in October 2014 to cause the market to trade sideways and exhibit the incredible volatility we have all seen? During the five year period that we witnessed an impressive bull run, the U.S. Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to zero. They also introduced us to a new form of financial engineering, Quantitative Easing (QE), whereby they printed (created), $4.5 Trillion dollars. When they embarked upon this campaign in 2010, I proclaimed that this would be the greatest “asset reflation trade” we may ever see in our lifetime. And, that is exactly what we got. U.S. Equities, real estate, and commodities exploded to the upside. So, it’s no surprise that when the Federal Reserve decided to end QE in October of 2014 that the spectacular rise in the S&P 500 was stopped in its tracks. Put simply, the fed removed the fuel that was powering the rocket ship. In my opinion, this is ground zero for the dramatic disparity in “wealth inequality”. The fed’s policy actions did nothing to help the economy. If anything it masked the real structural problems of the U.S. economy – a bloated U.S. government that’s done nothing but stifle capital formation in the private sector due to unnecessary regulations and government demand for private sector capital to fund its own social programs. One of my favorite economists, Brian Wesbury likened it to a thoroughbred race horse (U.S. economy) that is escorted onto the track. This horse should whip all others

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horses on the track. And, it could if it weren’t for the 300 pound jockey (U.S. Government) that mounts his back!!

management in accordance with a welldefined risk profile and strict operating standards is imperative. Adherence to a rigorous discipline within a range When the fed decided to increase the of tight parameters is critical to longfederal funds rate in December to 0.25% term retirement success. The individual we witnessed a 12% drop in the S&P retirement plan is THE foundation that 500 in January and February of 2016! we use when it comes to managing our The fed is boxed in!! If they stay too client’s wealth. It is this client-specific loose on monetary plan that orders policy (zero rates) our thought it will encourage process and is continuous risk THE document taking that could that we always prove to be come back to you with damaging to the long when we are in Brandt McDonald term health of the choppy markets U.S. economy. If they like today. try and normalize rates too soon, it could throw us into Recently, I was at St. Simons Island, GA a recession. In the meantime, the rest and visited the most beautiful lighthouse of the world is fighting to protect their located on the edge of St. Simon’s sound economic turf. The Chinese, Japanese, and the Atlantic Ocean. It was constructed and Europeans all continue to in the late 1800s and is still used today slash interest rates, in some as an aide for sea navigation, especially cases to negative rates, and during stormy weather. On a beautiful, they continue to print more of sunny day, oceanic vessels travel in all their local currency to defend directions and hardly pay the lighthouse their market share on the any attention. But, when the storms come, global economic stage. There’s and they always do, the light from the no question the world is in a house can be the single thing that brings global currency war. And, let’s you home to safety. When volatility hits not forget about the precipitous markets, a good financial and retirement decline we have seen in Crude plan acts as a lighthouse designed to keep Oil prices. Lower gasoline prices us on course and bring us safely to our may be great for the consumer long term objectives. Whether it’s your but it is most assuredly not a personal life or your financial life, know good sign for stocks, and in where your lighthouse is and never take particular financial stocks. The it for granted. It may be what saves you in bottom line is that we are in a the end. most precarious position at the moment. This is not a time to blithely leave your As I always say, until next time, remember investment portfolio on auto pilot. So, to never run with the herd, always be what do? thankful, and look to the future with anticipation of what’s yet to come. At McDonald and Hagen, Wealth Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner Management we have embraced old McDonald, Barranco & Hagen Wealth Management fashioned pro-active investing. It’s LPL Branch Manager imperative to monitor sequence of Direct comments and questions to returns, especially for the huge amount of or 334.387.0094 retirees we have as clients. A distribution rate of 4% annually, combined with a year over year 10% correction in account Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. The value equals a 14% decline and makes opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations it difficult to catch up and get back on for any individual. The opinions expressed in this material do not curve. That’s why proactive portfolio necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

Financial Thoughts

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

March 2016




This & tHAT 30A Wine Festival

The Fifth Annual 30A Wine Festival returns to the beautiful community of Alys Beach Thursday, March 10 through Sunday, March 13. Showcasing renowned vintners and local culinary favorites, the four-day celebration will benefit Children’s Volunteer Health Network. The festival kicks off Friday night with “Bourbon, Beer, & Butts”, a lively barbeque and bourbon tasting featuring some of the country’s best pitmasters and distillers. Saturday offers wine lovers a number of wine tasting seminars throughout the day, followed by an evening grand tasting and after party at the Alys Beach Fire Pit. “Rosé & Croquet” on Sunday features rosé tastings, a delicious brunch, and the beloved croquet tournament (croquet whites encouraged). For more info/tickets visit

EAT South Spring Workshops 2016 Join EAT South for their 2016 Spring Workshop Series at the Downtown Farm. Topics cover composting, beginner gardening and everything in between. Participants should be prepared to be outside. Water, clothes that can get dirty and sunscreen are essentials. March 12th 9-12am - Gardening 101 (Recommended donation: $20). April 16th 9-11am - Composting Class (Recommended donation: $10) Coming in May - Date TBA - Build Your Own Cob Oven To find out more and reserve your spot, contact 334.422.9331 or info@ Space is limited. For more info visit

Local family-owned business The Name Dropper celebrates 75 years

Shea and Sid Schroll

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The Name Dropper originally opened as Bronson’s in downtown Montgomery in February of 1941. It moved to Normandale shopping center in the 1950s. In 1964 Mary and Charles Cahn purchased the store and later moved it to the Courtyard shopping center. It became known as The Name Dropper in 1969 after the Cahns held a contest to re-name it. The Cahns retired in 1984 and sold the store to Shea and Sid Schroll who operated Storkland in Eastdale Mall at the time. The Cahns thought The Name Dropper would fit perfectly with Storkland, a baby furnishings and gifts store. In 1987 the Schrolls combined both stores under one roof at Stratford Square shopping center. In 2001 the Schrolls’ son Brian and his wife Gina joined the business, and in 2003 The Name Dropper and Storkland moved to their current location at the Shoppes at EastChase. For more information about The Name Dropper visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOMERS, share your stuff with BOOM! We Love to Bring BOOMERS Together, send info and pics to

Could My Loyal Dog and I Really Resemble Each Other? Could my loyal dog and I really resemble each other? According to Fetch!, a fun new app for dog lovers, I’m a border collie — great athleticism, an intense stare and high intelligence. Though the description is hardly true about me, it’s a fun way to see what we might have in common with our furry friends. Upload photos of your dog, and Fetch! tries to identify your dog’s breed. The Microsoft-made program works quite accurately, to the delight of many dog lovers. If your dog is a mixed or unknown breed, the app shows how close it is to a known breed. Although Fetch! is best used as a fun app to help recognize dog breeds, it can also be used to compare people’s faces with known dog breeds. The results can be hilarious. Try it on your own photo, a friend’s photo or even for your enemies! Results can vary; for instance, Fetch! matched different photos of the same person with different dog breeds. If you upload non-dog or nonhuman photos, the app tells you “No dogs found!” and tries to guess what the object in the photo is. The artificial intelligence that powers Fetch! needs to be taught by providing it with accurate dog images, correct information about canine breeds and machine intelligence. This lets it mimic the way people look at images, making sense of what they contain and making judgments about them. According to Microsoft research director Mitch Goldberg, Fetch! relies on deep neural networks, a machine learning technique that allows the app to detect the very small differences in breeds even among similar breeds and can also sift through the various colors within breeds. Microsoft created a similar app last year that determines how old you are based on your photo. Fetch! is available from the Apple App Store. If you don’t use Apple devices, use Fetch!’s online interface at (source:

“It’s a Spring Thing” The Old Alabama Town Revue is presenting a special concert at Old Alabama Town, “It’s a Spring Thing,” on Saturday, April 2. The show will run from 1-3 in a big tent on the grounds located at the Living Block of Old Alabama Town. The Old Alabama Town Revue will be part of an entire day of activities at Old Alabama Town titled, “Springalong.” The public is encouraged to take advantage of reduced admission and come early and stay late (open from 10-4) to enjoy the role players and historic, charming buildings of Old Alabama Town. Smokehouse Barbecue will offer food and drink so “springalong” and come for lunch! The special Revue performance is possible through a grant from the Alabama Council of the Arts. Thanks to the Arts Council grant, the Revue is featuring some very special guest artists. Montgomery’s favorite actress, Greta Lambert will be appearing. Also, American Idol finalist Jess Meuse will honor the Revue stage with her talent and fabulous original songs. The Old Alabama Revue Crue will be there in full force; Tim Henderson has a new song ready to go, and Karren Pell doesn’t mind providing a spoiler that, despite the gaiety of the event, her Karren Pell song is sad! Aw well, what cha gonna do? Here’s what: Springalong and come to Old Alabama Town on April 2. Enjoy a spring day, take a fun peek into Alabama’s history, grab some lunch, let guest artists Greta Lambert and Jess Meuse (and there will be others!) wow you, and have fun with the Old Alabama Town Revue’s “It’s a Spring Thing.”

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2016



This & tHAT



Eufaula Pilgrimage, Alabama’s Oldest Tour of Homes The 48th Annual Eufaula Pilgrimage, Alabama’s Oldest Tour of Homes, takes place on April 1-3. Nestled on the banks of the Chattahoochee River at the junction of U.S. Highway 431 and 82, Eufaula is a picturesque town noted for its Southern hospitality and its beautiful Greek Revival and Italianate mansions that bear witness to its settlers’ early prosperity. Lovely Queen Anne cottages and Victorian homes beckon visitors to savor the delights of small town life. You will be able to customize your visit to many private residences open to the public only during this annual event. Choose among daytime and evening homes and gardens to tour, and enjoy an afternoon tea. Visit historic Fairview Cemetery where both famous and notorious residents “come to life” at sunset to tell their stories in the popular dramatization of Tales of the Tomb. Explore quaint shops downtown, visit historic churches, or just enjoy a stroll down shady streets lined with dogwoods, magnolias, and live oaks. You will find some of the South’s most treasured artists exhibiting their works in the heart of the Seth Lore Historic district. Daytime tour hours are from 9 am to 5 pm on Friday and Saturday. Candlelight tour hours are from 6 pm to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours are 1 pm to 4 pm. Group rates are available and Active and Retired Military are free with a valid military ID. Enjoy a beautiful spring weekend in one of the prettiest little towns in the South! For more info visit

Are You A “Newcomer” to the River Region? The Newcomers Club of Montgomery invites all women of the River Region to attend our monthly luncheon on Thursday, March 24, 2016 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Arrowhead Country Club. Guest speaker: Ms. Andi Martin, Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, to tell us about upcoming features at ASF. Cost is $18 and reservations must be made by noon Monday, March 21, to Jan Burdette at 334.593.9266 or Visit

It’s Derby time and Hospice of Montgomery is seeking volunteers to help with their Kentucky Derby Annual Benefit. The Kentucky Derby Annual Benefit will take place Saturday, May 7 from 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Montgomery Country Club. The event will be a fun-filled afternoon with post-position horse draw, exclusive silent auction, “funny money” casino tables, “best dressed couple” and “best hat” contests, and much more, all culminating with the viewing of the 42nd Run for the Roses! Volunteers will be needed throughout the day: setup will begin on Saturday, May 7 at 8:00 am, greeters, registration workers, and auction assistants will be needed beginning at 2:00 PM, and of course, cleanup helpers will be needed from 6:30 PM – until. A training overview of the volunteer needs for the event will be held Thursday, April 7 in the offices of Hospice of Montgomery at 1111 Holloway Park. A choice of two sessions 12:30 PM or 5:15 PM will be held. Confirmation of attendance is requested by calling Clara at the number listed below. Bring a friend and join the fun! For more information contact Clara Jehle, Volunteer Coordinator for Hospice of Montgomery 334.279.6677 or

Volunteers Needed

NOW AVAILABLE AT You can now pick up your copy of BOOM! each month in the magazine racks located in the entry area of Publix Grocery

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Montgomery Empty Bowls Fundraiser for Montgomery Area Food Bank Montgomery Empty Bowls, a fundraiser for the Montgomery Area Food Bank, is in its 10th year! This year the EB luncheon will be held at First Baptist Church on 305 South Perry Street in Montgomery on March 17, 2016, from 11am-1pm. Don’t worry, you won’t have to use your new bowl. You don’t have to make a bowl to donate either, but that’s half the fun. For bowl-making sessions (some folks have already begun) contact Louise at or For more information about tickets, please email: Tickets are available by making a check payable to the Montgomery Area Food Bank for $25. A $25 ticket includes your choice of a handmade bowl, soup and bread, and you take the bowl home! 100% goes to the food bank... checks should be made directly to: Montgomery Area Food Bank. For more info visit

MACOA’s 21st Annual Culinary Caper Benefitting Meals On Wheels Chefs from Montgomery’s finest restaurants and caterers will host the 22nd Annual Culinary Caper to benefit the Montgomery Area Council On Aging (MACOA) and its Meals On Wheels program on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at the Alabama Activity Center. The 2016 Presenting Sponsor is Baptist Health. Each chef will prepare a signature item and serve their dish as part of a carefully planned menu for guests at this highly anticipated seated luncheon and silent auction. Tickets are $75 per person. Tables of eight may be purchased for $750 to ensure preferred seating requests with your group. Sponsorship opportunities are also available at the $5,000, $3,500, and $1,200 level. A portion of tickets, table purchases, and sponsorships is tax deductible. 11:00am Silent Auction Opens, 12:00pm Reception, 12:30pm Lunch Is Served. In addition to the gourmet dishes of the day, a Silent Auction with a variety of items and a “Dine Out On Us” raffle featuring $1,000 worth of restaurant gift cards will serve as another special highlight of this charity benefit. We are also pleased to honor John and Joyce Caddell with the Rick Heinzman Memorial Meals On Wheels Award at this year’s caper. The goal of the Culinary Caper is to raise $50,000 to support MACOA and our Meals On Wheels program that serves 371 homebound seniors hot noon meals Monday through Friday. Currently, we have 275 clients on our waiting list to be added to a delivery route. With activities such as the Culinary Caper, we are working to expand this program and eliminate the number on the waiting list for this much needed service. For Culinary Caper reservations and more information, please contact Chacolby Burns- Johnson, MACOA Development Coordinator, at 334.263.0532 or or visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2016




Jamie Martin, Director of Photography This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is a very special woman, Jamie Martin. Jamie is the Director of Photography for Governor Bentley’s office who has been a part of the Montgomery community for more than thirty years. Jamie has been a photographer for many national and local publications and worked with the Montgomery Advertiser as a copy editor early in her career. Jamie is a friend who worked with me and my late wife, Marty, on producing great cover photos of local children for Montgomery Parents. Jamie has had many unique experiences and one of them is coping with the loss of her husband, Dave Martin. Like so many of us in the 50+ community, losing someone we love occurs far too frequently and the broken hearts take much time to heal. Jamie recently took some time to share her story with us and especially the love she had for her husband Dave. BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc?

A selfie with a real camera. Dave and I at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Jamie: I was born and grew up in Mobile, attending both public and parochial schools. We were members of St. Monica’s Parish, living in a very tight-knit neighborhood. In many ways it was idyllic, particularly considering Mobile is not as small as many towns in Alabama. As children and teenagers, my friends and I were able to roam the neighborhood freely and ride bikes or walk just about everywhere, as long as we were home by dark. We were close to everything a kid needed on a daily basis—a five and dime store, grocery store, church and school. I graduated from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, and went on to the University of Alabama where I majored in Public Relations and minored in English. After working for

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a little more than a year post-college in Tuscaloosa selling advertising, I returned to school and eventually received a Masters in Communication with an emphasis in journalism, working as a graduate teaching assistant in photojournalism and at the student newspaper, The Crimson White, photographing any and everything I could. My first freelance job for the Associated Press was standing on an overpass on I-59 to photograph the funeral procession of Coach Bryant in January 1983. I finished up my Masters in May 1983, in a very bad economy. I panicked when I did not have job offers lined up the day I finished school. Almost a month to the day of taking my comprehensive exams, I received three job offers on the same day. The one that seemed to have the most promise

for advancement was copy editing at The Montgomery Advertiser, so I happily accepted the job, moved to Montgomery, and hoped I could somehow end up working in the newspaper’s very-talented photography department. Ken Hare hired me. He and his wife Julie are still very active in the Montgomery community. At the time, Ken was the Managing Editor of the Advertiser. I remember Ken being a very seasoned and tough editor, but he would often pitch in and help his staff. It seemed to me he could do every job at the newspaper better than anyone. I later found out what an immensely talented writer Ken is, as he eventually transitioned into being one of the writers in the Editorial Department, along with Jim Earnhardt, and the late Mike Sherman, who was loved by all who knew him. These three men were an amazing team. They were so talented and young; it was humbling to be around them. I don’t get to see Ken very often these days, but I keep up with him on Facebook. He is a great photographer too, posting some fantastic photos of common and rare birds in our area. I love to see his pictures pop up on my news feed.

I also had met a young AP Photographer, Dave Martin, at the SEC Basketball Tournament in March while working on a story about Joe Holloway, Jr., a senior AP Photographer who was an Alabama Alumnus. As it turned out, Dave was based in Montgomery. Dave invited me to come to the Talladega 500 in May, and be a stringer (freelancer) for AP at the race. Considering I had never been to any car race, a NASCAR race was quite an eye-opening experience. As a copy editor at The Advertiser, I was off on Friday and Saturday, so I was fortunate enough to end up “stringing” for AP in the fall, covering Alabama and Auburn football with Dave. It was a very steep learning curve, trying to compete with a whole lot of great photographers, and even competing with Dave, who was the most competitive person I had ever known. But, he was willing to

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Communications be quite a thankless job. It is hard work, teach and share Director was a physically and intellectually demanding. his vast photo great mentor, And after working in a career that I knowledge – it a single mom loved for quite a few years, I missed the was a steep learning curve, with a teenage daily interaction with other adults in the son who had communication profession. I did as much with a lot of grown up in freelance photography as possible, and by cutting up, but an Associated the time Skip was in school, I was happily I received a lot Press family. working a lot, with clients such as The of one-on-one attention from Her father was New York Times, The Associated Press, Rex Thomas, Chicago Times, Atlanta Constitution and a young guy the Alabama several local magazines. I photographed the who really knew Correspondent covers for Montgomery Parents Magazine his stuff. And, for AP many for ten years, and I loved shooting for the I learned to Mickey Welsh, left, Montgomery Advertiser, Dave Martin of the years. I had Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, who develop film and Associated Press, center, and Julie Bennett of before had started a very high-quality magazine, print very quickly, Governor Bentley’s State of the State Address, February, 2013. worked with Press Secretary The Montgomery Business Journal. I was in ridiculous Peggy Roberts lucky enough to shoot most of their covers conditions, at the Advertiser. I also met two awesome and stories for more than a year. My kids under a critical eye and on tight deadlines. young women, Monica were growing Of course, I already had been doing these Allen, who had a television up, and it things the correct way for a while, but it background, and was also allowed me was fun to see how far film developing from Mobile, and Katie Hodge, more time to could be pushed without complete disaster. another strong, young single work. And, fate After several years of working together woman raising two children again led me to and dating, he asked me to marry him. So I on her own. Monica is now a job that has became Mrs. Dave Martin. the Group Sales Manager for been a blessing. the Renaissance Montgomery After about ten years at the Advertiser I was Hotel and Spa. Katie went on BOOM!: offered a position working for Governor Jim to become an attorney. I was You are a Folsom, Jr. Reluctantly, I left the Advertiser. I planning on staying on with professional must say it was a very difficult decision- my Gov. Folsom, but as fate would photographer passion was photojournalism. Bill Brown have it, the Gov. Folsom, and the was the Executive Editor at the newspaper head of an Administration Director of at the time, and he was a simply the best that brought Mercedes Benz Photography for newspaper executive I had the pleasure to Alabama - the first big the Governor of working for. Bill just always got it- he automotive company in the of Alabama, was smart, seasoned and had impeccable state, that basically started Robert Bentley. news judgment. He was understanding a business revolution in Please share when staffers needed that and tough when With my kids Emily and Skip Alabama, was not re-elected. some of your they needed a kick in the rear end. But, At that point, my photography career and how you ended he always managed to husband Dave had up in the Governor’s Office? What are the take care of issues in a begun traveling a most challenging aspects of your job? Most way that didn’t make tremendous amount, rewarding? his staff feel like failures. both nationally and Although I cried many internationally. We Jamie: About a month after Governor nights, I reluctantly left decided it would Robert Bentley was inaugurated in 2011, the newspaper, a great probably be best I was hired to photograph a cover photo team of photographers for me to stay home of him for Business Alabama Magazine. I and reporters and went with our babies for a really thought he was an amazing person, to work for Gov. Folsom. while. Being a Mom very real and down to earth. I went home to a three-year-old and told Dave I thought I might like to work In the long run, it and an infant was for Governor Bentley. And, I was blessed worked out well I think. by far the hardest enough to get the job. Governor Bentley Governor Folsom had job I have ever had. and his team have been like family to me. assembled a pretty As many women The Governor truly has a big heart for the amazing Press Team that who choose this people of Alabama. Shortly after he had I was proud to be part My dogs, Lucy and Mike downtown Montgomery Mardi Gras Block Party path realize, it can taken his oath of office, 100 days to be of. Barbara Thomas, our

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exact, killer tornadoes decimated a large interested in the rich civil rights history in part of the state. Governor Bentley made Montgomery, and I suppose just wanting it a point to personally visit every area to live in another part of the country for a and talk to the people who were affected by the storms. I am proud to work for a man who cares enough to put his arm around someone who is hurting and do what he can to comfort them. And then follow up by making sure funding is secured to help those who needed it the most. He is Cutting up with the boss, Gov. Robert Bentley. In the back are Jennifer Ardis, continuing to do Bentley Communications Director, and Zach Lee this by trying to get more health care providers in rural Alabama and secure while. It was a great place to work and get funding for voluntary pre-K programs, and to know some very interesting people, both workforce development. internally and from the stories we worked on in the community. We were mostly a I worked at The Advertiser for about young staff that spent a lot of time together ten years, managing the photography after work and on days off. It was almost like department for several years. The an extension of college. Montgomery Advertiser and the afternoon newspaper, The Alabama Journal, had a BOOM!: As a professional photographer, lot of young reporters and editors. Many what advice or tips would you give someone were from other parts of the country, trying become one?

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Jamie: Photography is increasingly becoming a more difficult way to make a living, as everyone now has a camera in their phone. I have advised my son who was considering a career in photography, to really think long and hard about it. If you are passionate enough, you will be able to make a living. But, there are many other career paths that allow you to use photo skills to enhance your work. And it is a great hobby. Some of the best photographers I know make their living doing other work. BOOM!: Many Boomers are seeking a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, new careers, especially if they’ve experienced the empty nest syndrome of their kids moving on. How would you describe this sense of renewal in your life? Any advice for the rest of us seeking renewal? Jamie: The normal time that the renewal begins in most boomer’s lives was disastrous for our family. My son Skip had just finished his first semester in college at the University of North Alabama in Florence, and my daughter was in her senior year of college at Spring Hill in Mobile. We had just enjoyed a nice family Christmas and Dave and I headed over to Atlanta the morning of New Year’s Eve. He was assigned to shoot and edit the Chick Fil A Bowl with AP Staffer John Bazemore. I went with Dave as a freelancer to photograph the game. Thankfully we had a wonderful day driving over to the game. We talked about a lot of things…including what all we would be able to go do after football season was

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finished, and our dreams for retirement. We planned on going out to Manuel’s Tavern, their regular spot, after we finished working the game with a large group of photojournalists who also were covering the game. Sadly, it did not work out as planned. At the end of the game, Dave was chasing players around and had a heart attack. I was told he fell backwards, tried to sit up, and then just went back down. He died on the field. I did not notice for a couple of minutes, as I too was trying to take photos of jubilant and dejected players, but when I saw a ring of photographers around someone, I knew it was my husband. I could not get to him until we were taken to an ambulance, but it was too late. The trainers on the field did everything they could, as did paramedics, but his heart would not start again. So being an empty nester has not been kind to me. I am trying my best to get on with life, realizing I am fortunate to have had a lasting, long and happy marriage with a man I was just crazy about. BOOM!: What are you most passionate about? Jamie: Photography, music, people and animals. BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work? Jamie: I love to take my dogs for a walk or play with them, visit with friends, read a book or magazine. I enjoy listening to the news when I am getting ready for work, and will watch Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. BOOM!: Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams planned for the future? Jamie: One of my favorite places to visit is New Orleans, because of the city’s wonderful culture and music scene. I also love to visit my hometown of Mobile, where I can catch up with my high school and

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childhood friends and take in a Mardi Gras that is not overly intense. I enjoy the beach,

DSLR’s at work. I take a lot of personal snapshots with my phone and like to shoot video on my phone at music events. BOOM!: If you weren’t in the photography business, what kind of work would you be doing? Any dream jobs?

Adult Swim

particularly Orange Beach, the Keys and just about any Caribbean Island. I made my third trip to Jamaica in January.

Jamie: I would like to be a college professor. That was what I really aspired to do when I finished my Masters. I thought I would work for a few years, go back to school somewhere, get a PhD in Communication, and perhaps get lucky enough to teach at my Alma Mater. But, life got in the way. I worked for a few years, got married and had a couple of kids. I was able to teach some classes as an adjunct professor at Alabama State University when I was a freelancer. I taught both public speaking and photography, and really enjoyed teaching and the students at ASU.

North Alabama is absolutely beautiful. I have visited Florence a few times since my son has been in school at UNA. There are many great musicians and artists living in BOOM!: What is it about living in the the area. I have only been to Europe one Montgomery/River Region area that you time, a little more than a year before Dave like? died. I met him near the end Jamie: of the Summer Montgomery Olympics, seems like a which he was small town, covering for AP. but there are We stayed in a lot of big city London for a things going on. few days, then On any given went to Paris night, you can for a short see quality live trip. I would music, a great like to go back play at the and spend Shakespeare With close friend Mark Walheiser in Shell Point Beach (Photo/ Hal Yeager) Festival, the some time in the European Cloverdale countryside. And my biggest travel dream Playhouse, or another community theater, just might be to go to Vatican City. have dinner at a fine-dining restaurant BOOM!: Do you take a lot of photos with or find good casual fare. And it usually your phone…like the rest of us? only takes a few minutes to get to your destination without dealing with too much Jamie: I increasingly take more and more traffic. It is nice that the city is almost phone photos. The ease of using a camera centrally located in the state, making both phone is great, and it is instant. I would like the Alabama Gulf Coast and the North to experiment more with using my phone Alabama Mountains available for weekend for work, but we have several people in travel. our office that use their phones for press continued on page 24 applications, so I still mostly use my 35mm

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BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your ambitions changed? Jamie: I feel blessed that I am still working in a profession that I love. So many talented photojournalists have lost their jobs over the years because of the decline in the publishing industry, and the push toward digital publishing. I hope to be able to finish out my career working in photography, or at least in a position that uses photography to a great extent. I do see that I would like to be able to do some meaningful work in the community that involves using my cameras, which can be done now and in retirement. BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you? Jamie: Resilient, hard-working and creative. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Jamie: There are so many things I want to do, but can’t seem to find the time. I like to paint furniture, and play around with different finishes. I also like to garden, but I certainly haven’t gained much expertise in the field. BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives. How do you or your team use technology to do your jobs? Jamie: As a photographer for Governor Bentley, everything I do involves technology. The cameras are sophisticated computers. Once photos are shot, they are cropped, toned, improved and information is added using computer software. The digital images reach their destination via a computer and the internet. When I began in the business, cameras used film that had to be developed and edited using a magnifying device and printed on an enlarger, then processed in chemical baths. So the technical part is different. So much more can be done, although I am not sure more always means better. When a single photograph can tell an entire story, that is a great photo. Our press team at the Governor’s Office uses technology every day to spread Governor Bentley’s message via the web, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, a photo and video hosting website owned by Yahoo.

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With Steve Dodd at SliceFest in Birmingham, 2015

BOOM!: Your late husband, Dave Martin, died suddenly two years ago while working the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta as a photojournalist with AP. Dave was loved by everyone who knew him. Would you share with our readers what made Dave such a special man? How would you counsel others who have had such a devastating loss in their lives?

nuclear family. John David Mercer made sure our children did not find out their Dad had died via social media, and he got me home from Atlanta after spending hours at the hospital with me. Several of Dave’s lifelong friends, his original boss Gene Blythe, a retired Atlanta based AP Photo Editor, John Bazemore, a fellow AP Staffer, Tami Chappel, a good friend and wonderful photographer, and Curtis Compton, an Atlanta-Journal Constitution photographer who has been a close friend forever, Brant Sanderlin and Mike Stewart. And they keep coming around to check in and make sure we are okay. Jay Reeves of AP who worked with Dave for more than 25 years is like a father to our kids, and checks on me all the time. Mike Stewart who was Dave’s boss at the time calls and texts. And Dave’s closest friend, Bill Haber in New Orleans, stays close, as does Hal Yeager, Mark Walheiser, and a host of others. Because they loved him, and they love us—we are family. Several groups of photojournalists including AP Photos, USA Today Sports Photos and the Times-Picayune had a celebration of Dave’s life in New Orleans the July after his death. There was an incredibly large group that showed up to celebrate his life – one that was lived with great passion, energy and emotion.

Jamie: Dave really was larger than life and unbelievably giving of his time and talent. The man could walk into any room and somehow fit in. He loved to mentor young photographers by challenging them to work harder and smarter. When a young photographer would get to a certain level, he would invite them to just try to outshoot him at events, and would be proud of them when they did. They listened to him, because he was so good at what he did. He knew how to find beautiful light and use it in photos. He taught many photographers how to use studio lights. And no one could outwork him. His work ethic was second to none.

I wish I had some magic words to help people who have gone through a similar devastating experience. I certainly am still traveling that road, one that I would prefer not to be on. But, it is reality, and you have to move on. I know that my late husband would approve-he would want me to buck up, be tough, and go out and find a new life for myself. And that is what I am trying to do. And I think it is working. I have many new friends, one special one, and am very close to the same group of Montgomery friends that Dave and I spent many great times with. They helped pull me through the darkest days of my life. One of my best friends just lost her husband, and I will try to be there for her to lean on. She and her late husband certainly were there for me.

Although we were a very tight-knit nuclear family, he had another family. His “road family” covered events, week after week, year after year, with him. He started traditions with them that carry on today. He loved his road family and they loved him. He took care of them, and they took care of him. And when he died suddenly in a very public way, his road family took care of his

We want to thank Jamie for sharing some of her story with us this month, it was a fun way to reconnect. If you have any questions or comments for Jamie you can email her at jamie.martin@ As always, thanks to Kim Bethea from Total Image Portraits for her professional cover photo of Jamie, she makes taking pictures fun! If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to jim@

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A Little Hearing Loss Could Mean Big Problems As a Doctor of Audiology, I hear it all the time from patients: “A little hearing loss is no big deal.” And sure, when compared to vision loss, gradual hearing loss is easier to deal with, work around and put off. But make no mistake, untreated hearing loss can quickly turn into a “big deal” — which may have serious consequences to your physical health and overall quality of life. Search the Internet, and you’ll find many studies that support the negative impacts of hearing loss. Here are just a few you’ll find*: • Older adults with impaired hearing may have a shorter lifespan than those without hearing problems. • Adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia than those without. • People with mild hearing loss are three times more likely to have a history of falling. • Hearing loss negatively impacts the average household income up to $12,000 per year, on average.

Early treatment can keep risks at bay The good news is, treating hearing loss can help negate almost every risk. Even better? Hearing aid technology is more advanced than ever. But it’s important to act sooner rather than later, as science also shows that the longer hearing loss treatment is put off, the harder and less certain recovery is. Get a hearing screening If you’ve been putting off treatment — or think you may have hearing loss but aren’t quite sure — now is a great time to take charge of your hearing health. Casey Gonzalez received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University, and earned her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Louisiana State University Health Science Center. Casey holds a



Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.

Healthy Hearing By Casey Gonzalez, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA Montgomery Hearing Services

Come in for a COMPLIMENTARY Hearing Screening, consultation and demo of today’s latest hearing technology, and proactively keep the risks that come with untreated hearing loss at bay. Call (334) 651-0500. *Sources older-adults-hearing-loss-may-be-tied-to-earlier-death loss_and_dementia_linked_in_study loss_linked_to_three_fold_risk_of_falling impact-untreated-hearing-loss-household-income

Better Hearing Starts Here... With the most advanced technology. • Hear and understand better in noisy environments • Make loud sounds more comfortable while boosting soft sounds • Stream TV, phone calls, and more directly to Z series hearing aids For your FREE Hearing Screening, call: 334.651.0500

RIC 13

Call for an appointment: 334.651.0500 RIC 13

Located in the Park Place Building 1758 Park Place, Suite 101 • Montgomery, AL 36106 © 2016 SMPN. All Rights Reserved. 02/16 42952-16

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Beauty Buzz What we LOVE right now at RRFP NEW HA⁵ Delivers! Falling somewhere between a toner and a lightweight serum, HA⁵ is hitting the market with a big splash. Variations of this lightweight wonder have been a main stay of many facial routines; however, it has now been blended scientifically with 5 different forms of hyaluronic acid for greater plumping of the epidermis. Hydrating complexes are a very important part of a brightening, hydrating, and wrinkle-smoothing skin care routine. HA⁵ is also loaded with antioxidants to protect against invisible environmental aggressors. HA⁵ is the last step of your skin care routine before a moisturizer and sunscreen, and it has short term and long-term benefits. Maintaining use of hyaluronic acid (HA⁵) daily will continue to hydrate the skin up to 8 hours, and with continued use, HA⁵ will provide long-term benefits.

Kick it up with Kybella™ Since October, our physicians have been injecting Kybella™ to eliminate submental fullness, a.k.a. double chin. We are seeing fantastic results in as little as 2 sessions for moderate fullness. Our clients have tolerated Kybella™ injections very well. We often hear, “That was a breeze.” Swelling is the number one side effect we observe and it usually lasts anywhere between 3 and 5 days. Many clients $100 off instant rebate say that they notice the swelling more themselves but rarely does anyone for yourfirst treatment else. Injections are separated between 6 weeks and the fat removal is permanent. The injection takes less than 5 minutes to administer and an ice pack is used for a few hours after the injection. Bruising is very rare; however, tenderness at the injection site is occasionally reported. Give us a call to kick up your selfie game with Kybella™!

Love your Skin with Lytera® It’s a big word with BIG benefits, “Niacinaminde”. Quietly building for years, we expect to see the buzz about niacinamide reach an exciting state in 2016, and for good reason: There is growing research showing that it benefits skin in multiple ways, including improving elasticity, regulating pore size, evens out skin tone, and enhances skin’s barrier function. Niacinamide has a potential for helping with acne, which makes it a particularly great ingredient for those struggling with breakouts AND wrinkles (AKA “brinkles”), and, lest we forget, enlarged pores. Lytera®, the brightening complex in the SkinMedica’s® line, has replaced hydroquinone. Niacinamide is the chemical in Lytera® that evens out skin tone. We often combine Lytera® with a series of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments. Lytera® is the at-home portion of your in-office procedure. Say goodbye to brown spots forever with Lytera®. Lytera®, unlike hydroquinone, can be used annually without interruption. Get started “Bright Now” Please contact us via email at with your questions or comments!

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2016



Filmmaker Aims to Decrease Depression, Anxiety Among Seniors The moviegoers ate popcorn and laughed as they shared vivid childhood memories sparked by the short, seemingly simple 3-D film they’d just watched. Growing up near mountains. The freedom of childhood. Long ago summers. Yet the 22-minute film is anything but simple. It is the first immersive film made specifically to help residents of senior communities be less depressed, anxious and lonely.

By Erica Curless

about issues such as family relations and death. Or the films could provide a few minutes of joy and connection for viewers.

“I think it could be Canadian filmmaker Leah Iwaniuk of great,” said 3Scape Systems recently spent a week at Shereen Brookdale South Regal living on campus Anglin, the with the 160 residents, gathering ideas for executive Brookdale South Regal residents settle in to watch Leah Iwaniuk’s 3-D film new therapy films and getting feedback director of on the initial film, she also played bingo, Brookdale South Regal. “We can already residents in the cutting-edge idea. did Sit and Fit exercises and got her butt see the responses.” kicked at Wii bowling. The residents appreciated the Iwaniuk ended up in Spokane by a opportunity, evident by the full “It’s groundbreaking,” said Iwaniuk, 52, serendipitous Uber ride her 3Scape attendance at each of the numerous after showing the film to nine residents. partner Douglas Cole took with Andrew film showings during Iwaniuk’s visit. “There is nothing Smith, Brookdale’s director The residents also enjoyed talking with else out there that’s of innovation and strategy Iwaniuk, inviting her to meals and to similar.” who is based in Nashville. attend activities. Both men were attending a Other than a conference in San Francisco “I didn’t want it to be over,” resident conference in San where Cole presented the Helen Gillory said after seeing the film. “It Francisco, this was immersive film. Smith invited was wonderful.” one of the first times 3Scape to use its newly the film had been formed Entrepreneur in Pat Davey told how he was born in documentary film maker Leah Iwaniuk shown to an audience Residency Program and get Spokane but spent summers with of the very people it feedback for the film. relatives in Chesaw near the Canadian is intended to help. border in Okanogan County. Iwaniuk “We want asked if the film The Edmonton, Alberta, company has to support helped bring back done two clinical studies to help focus interventions for memories. the films and incorporate reminiscence seniors and their therapy, which is commonly used with families,” Smith Davey said yes, older people and those with dementia. said. “This is such but added, The idea is to provide residential an enormous “I remember communities an easy way to engage opportunity them frequently residents and improve their quality of life to make a anyway.” by sparking memories and encouraging difference.” talk. The film is Residents view a scene from Leah Iwaniuk’s 3-D film When the categorized as The idea is that activity directors and companywide email, Brookdale is the immersive because it is in 3-D and uses a social workers can show the films largest provider of senior living services high frame rate, which means it’s more and engage residents in discussions, in the nation, went out looking for a fluid and clear and lets the viewer feel like conversations that could uncover receptive Brookdale property, Anglin they are actually in the scene. It is also symptoms of depression and anxiety volunteered to involve her Spokane

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color corrected for aging eyes, and the sound is paced to keep people engaged and not dozing off to the soothing scenes. The shots are long and lingering, which adds a peaceful quality. This initial film highlights a girl remembering spending a summer in the mountains with her grandparents that included hikes on rugged trails, canoeing and a trip to a ranch. It also subtly refers to her grandfather’s death and the importance of memories. Cole shot the film in Banff and Jasper national parks. Most of the Spokane viewers were enamored with the beautiful scenery, trees close enough to touch and vivid sounds of rushing creeks and crickets. But Iwaniuk pointed out comments that had deeper meanings. For example, a resident noted that in one scene the grandfather should have stayed closer to the girl while they hiked a steep, rocky mountain pass. Another woman said she was raised in a large family and never had the ability to be alone in nature like the girl in the film.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Iwaniuk said the resident who worried about the girl’s safety could have anxiety issues that need addressing. She added the other resident needs to honor her craving for alone time and space. The facilitators would need training to identify these red flags. During a sample viewing in Canada, one of the residents was upset that the grandfather had died in the film, ruining the good feelings. A social worker talked with the woman’s family and together they helped the resident deal with the dying process and knowing that her life would be remembered. “This helps find out the causes and deal with them and not just take the Band-Aid approach,” Iwaniuk said. Eventually, the company hopes to have 30 films in its library on a wide range of topics from dancing and nighttime stargazing to travels to foreign countries. This afternoon group of Brookdale residents suggested a film on hunting wild animals with a camera, not a gun.

About five years ago, Iwaniuk, who has produced documentaries for the History Channel and Discovery Health, and Cole were working on educational videos. The pair also work for Image Works, a video production company. They both had family members in assisted living facilities and wondered how they could bring the outside world in to their family members. As filmmakers, the medium was obvious. That’s when they began working with the clinical doctors and turned the films into immersive 3-D therapy. Currently the research and films have been paid with grants and fundraising, but the company needs an angel investor to make the next three films reality. From there, Iwaniuk thinks the company can sustain itself. She is thrilled with the film’s reception so far and thinks it is already helping improving lives. “My hope is that lives become full,” she said. “That people fall into bed at night smiling. That’s what I want.” (c)2016 The Spokesman-Review Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

The Power of Berries We all know we should be eating a broad range of fruits and vegetables in order to maintain a healthy immune system and, therefore, protect ourselves against disease and viruses. How many of you though knew just how potent, as well as delicious, those smallest of fruits – berries – actually are? The vibrant, deep colors should really give the game away; mainly reds and deep purple blues and blacks. They are “the ultimate anti-aging superfood,” says registered dietitian Lauri Boone in her new book, ‘Powerful Plant-based Super Foods.’ “They top the charts with their high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals so to keep your brain young, skin glowing, and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.” Well, what more incentive do you need to add a handful (or more) of berries to your daily diet? I do hope that you all partake of the occasional strawberry shortcake, raspberry preserves or blackberry crumble. Delicious, all three, but also high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals (potassium and manganese). Of course, they are equally delicious eaten just as the fruit itself and, therefore, reducing the additional fat and sugar load of the whole dessert, but if there has to be dessert, choose the fruit based option! Blueberries are also an excellent and easily available berry, and so versatile! They are packed with manganese, an energyboosting mineral (approx. 4g per cup), and vitamin K, essential for healthy bones. Toss them over a salad or cereal; eat with yoghurt or ice cream; add to muffins or pancakes…you get the idea. There is strong research to suggest that a blueberry

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rich diet improves motor skills and helps fight cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Blueberry bushes actually grow quite well here; might be something to consider if they’re a favorite of yours.

and try to incorporate them into your daily diet. Of course you don’t have to stick to just one!

There are plenty of health-boosting recipes in the NYR Healing Foods book ($25 at Beauty Balls Ingredients (makes about 20 small balls): shop/tracybhalla). Almonds, 1 cup (great source of protein and energy boosting) You can also sign Chia seeds, 4 tsp (promote healthy skin cells) up to my NYR Coconut, desiccated, 4 tbsp (good source of healthy fats) newsletter, via the Cacao powder, 4 tbsp (good source of sulphur for beauty) site or by emailing Berries (your choice) 4 tbsp OR Organic Berry Complex (antioxidant rich) Medjool dates, 10 me at nyrbhalla@ Organic virgin coconut oil, 1 tsp (instant energy boost) Each month there are Directions tips and recipes and 1-Soak almonds in water overnight, allow to dry then grind in blender advice on eating 2-Chop dates roughly and de-pit and living well. Here 3-Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth and is one you can try sticky today, with berries 4-Roll into any size balls you desire and dust with cacao powder. in it: These will keep for a week in the fridge – if they last that long! A perfect on-the-go snack when you need an energy boost. Packed full of anti-oxidant, skin-loving goodness and slow energy release to keep you going all day long. (Recipe by Tipper Lewis, Naturopathic Herbalist at Neal’s Yard Remedies.)

Acai berries are another super berry that I’m sure you’ve heard of, but maybe not actually seen before as it’s most often available as a juice, in a pre-prepared smoothie or in powdered form. They are a small, very dark purple berry and grow in South America. They are packed with a host of amino and fatty acids, as well as cell-protecting anti-oxidants. As with all other berries they help boost your immunity system and help protect against chronic diseases. There is no actual scientific proof that eating a diet high in acai berries will be any more beneficial than one high in blueberries, for instance, so I would just recommend that you pick the berries that are most easily available

One other good thing about berries is that it doesn’t seem to matter whether you eat them fresh, dried (think Craisins!) or even powdered; unlike some other food types they do not lose any of their nutritional value whatever form they are served in. They are also fairly interchangeable, as shown in the recipe for Beauty Balls. You can usually switch one for another in almost any recipe, according to your own berry preference or availability. Berrylicious! Tracy Bhalla, Independent Consultant with NYR Organics, website: tracybhalla email: 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.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

Know When to Hold ‘Em When I was in college the No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em fad was sweeping its way through the dregs of ESPN2 and other cable “sports” networks. It even found its way into my circle of friends, which I found irritating since I wasn’t interested in having a seat at that table. Personally, I’ve always been a gambling agnostic—I don’t particularly have a problem with other people gambling if that’s how they choose to spend their money. I understand that for some, the competition and the little rush they get from winning a big hand is exciting. What I could never understand, what I will never understand, is the appeal of watching other people play poker on television. To each his own. Plenty of people have made analogies about life and card playing. Perhaps the best known example is the Kenny Rogers tune, The Gambler and it’s hook which I’m confident, after you read this article, will be stuck in your head for at least the next several hours: You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em / know when to walk away, and know when to run. / You never count your money, when you’re sittin’ at the table / They’ll be time enough for counting / when the dealin’s done. Since this is an estate planning and elder law column, I’ll do my best to see what we can learn about planning your estate from a classic country song. Know When to Hold ‘Em. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to do nothing at all. Consider this: leaving an inheritance to someone who doesn’t have the tools to manage it can lead to disaster. For example, leaving a teenager even a relatively modest amount of money, without any strings attached, can be a recipe for disaster. Likewise, loved ones may be ill-equipped to handle an inheritance due to substance abuse problems, or even gambling problems. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone you love is to leave them an inheritance in a way that benefits them, without giving them unfettered access to money that may only exacerbate

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their problems. Consider a testamentary trust provision to protect your heirs from themselves.

truth. We have no way to know who will be alive at the time we die, or what kind of property we will own at our deaths. We may have more property as the result of Know When to Fold ‘Em / Know When successful investments, inheritance, or even to Walk Away. Sometimes you’ve got a the lottery (in another state, of course). On bad hand, and you’re sitting across the the other hand, we may have much less table from someone you can’t bluff. Time property due to poor investments or due to to cut your losses and fold. In my line of the cost of a nursing home stay (currently about $6,000 per month) or some other Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop financial pitfall. As a Wednesday, March 30: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 result, your pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This estate plan educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins must include contingencies covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living for dealing wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, with these ups bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and downs.

Attend Free Workshop

and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at

business, I sometimes have to counsel clients who, after much angst and heavy thought, decide to disinherit one or more of their children. For whatever reason, the relationship between the parent and child has deteriorated to the point where the parent feels as though leaving that child an inheritance would not be appropriate. This is part of my job that I do not relish, but the fact is that sometimes it is the right thing to do under the circumstances. When a parent has tried everything they can to encourage a wayward child to change their ways, cutting their inheritance may be the last best way to get their attention. Don’t Count Your Money While You’re Sittin’ at the Table. Most people assume that everyone in their family will die when they are “supposed to.” That is, they assume that their children will outlive them, that their grandchildren will outlive their children, and so on. Most people also assume that they’ll die in pretty much the same financial condition as they are in on the day that they create their estate plan. Nothing of course could be further from the

Consider for example that the day you wrote your will you had $220,000 in the bank. Your will leaves a gift of $20,000 to your church, and splits whatever is left between your four children. Ten years pass, and your health declines. After a long stay in a nursing home, you pass away with only $15,000 left in the bank. In that case, your church would receive $15,000, and your children would receive nothing. While leaving it to the church is a good and noble thing to do, it probably wasn’t what you intended when you drafted your will. But, by assuming you know what you will have when you die, your children wound up with no inheritance at all. You never know what hand life will deal you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a strategy before you ante up and turn your cards over. You have to know when to hold ‘em . . . Raley L. Wiggins Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC 334-239-3625 | 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Play Your Cards Right. Plan Ahead.

Learn how to protect your loved ones at our


Estate Planning, Asset Protection & Medicaid Eligibility


Join local attorney Raley L. Wiggins to discuss wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting your assets, bankruptcy, divorce & remarriage, nursing homes, long term care and medicaid qualification.

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“She’s My First Wife” “She’s my first wife,” jokes Sam Johnson. “The only one I’ll ever have.” Wiloree throws her head back and laughs. “Oh my,” she says under her breath while looking at Sam. It’s his favorite joke, even after 67 years of marriage. Sam and Wiloree Johnson, both 91 years old, have a love story made for movie screens.

By Jill Knight

The pair met on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh the 1940s. Wiloree was with friends headed to the doughnut shop when Sam first saw her. He met them there and offered the girls a ride home, saving them the bus fare. The Johnsons’ children will tell you that “Momma pushed a friend out of the way” that day to make sure Sam was hers. She’ll laugh and tell you it wasn’t a push, but a gentle nudge. Sam, an N.C. State University graduate who had recently returned from serving in the U.S.

Air Force, had found the one that made his heart beat faster. After wedding in Bethel Hill in 1948, Sam and Wiloree raised a family in Raleigh. They’ve shared kisses on the Boylan Street bridge, held hands walking down Fayetteville Street and maintained a sewing machine shop in Raleigh for more than 50 years. In a small concrete building just a stone’s throw from Lake Wheeler Road, you’ll find Sam even today sitting in the bright window light of the Archie Johnson & Sons sewing machine shop. Wiloree jokes that Sam “loves those sewing machines more than me.” Each weekday, Sam walks a couple hundred feet to the shop to work on sewing machines. Wiloree works in the kitchen to prepare a big lunch for her husband and some of her grown children, who now lend a hand in the shop that was passed down to Sam from his father. They eat leftovers for dinner once Sam comes in from the shop and spend time watching TV together in the evening before bed. Would they change anything about their marriage? “When we lived out in the other house we had some kind of refrigerator that had a big old tank on it,” Wiloree said. “I would have liked to have had a better refrigerator.” Theirs is a love so sweet the only regret is the quality of the appliances in the house years ago. Almost. “Nothing is perfect,” Wiloree cautions. “Nothing is going to go good all of the time. But if you love each other like you’re supposed to love each other, you’ll put up with anything. “I can’t be right all of the time,” she says, laughing. “You just about are,” Sam adds. (c)2016 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

More Care, Not Less Now that Medicare is paying for end-oflife care discussions with patients and families, it is being acknowledged that a high quality death should be part of high quality care. Yes, we are talking about hospice care. Hospice may be the most misunderstood thing in American health care. The mere mention of hospice crosses a line. For many it’s synonymous with death or giving up. And, while hospice isn’t related to highly controversial concepts like euthanasia or assisted suicide, it’s sometime confused for these radically different things. Misunderstanding and mistrust of hospice leads to unnecessary suffering, quicker and uglier medical deterioration, and missed opportunities for better and occasionally longer lives for people with serious illness. Understanding the Philosophy of Hospice: First and foremost, hospice is a philosophy which recognizes death as a natural part of the life cycle. The philosophy is that of comfort, pain relief and symptom management through use of a hospice team which includes doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers. The same as if you would go to a heart specialist for cardiac care or an oncologist for cancer treatment; hospice provides specialized care by staff trained exclusively in care for dying patients. These teams know a lot about serious medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, and The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

they also have special knowledge in pain management, relieving anxiety, and helping stressed out families. They can address everything from difficulty breathing to constipation, from not being able to sleep to sleeping too much. Services are mostly provided in the home, while sometimes care occurs in hospitals and other facilities. Conversations about hospice often stop or get delayed because hospice requires you to have a life limiting medical diagnosis where survival is expected to be 6 months or less, and the stated goals of healthcare are more about comfort and quality of life than cure. These requirements are often conversation stoppers because they are misinterpreted by people who would have better and possibly longer lives with hospice. People erroneously see the decision as a black and white choice between fighting on and giving up. If you or anyone you know has advanced illness that isn’t

meaningfully getting better (or keeps getting worse) in spite of many treatments, hospital stays and doctors’ visits then you owe it to yourself to learn more about hospice sooner rather than later. This is especially true for more frail elders with serious illness because the

hazards of additional hospitalizations and certain treatment side effects are more serious and more common. Too many people elect hospice so late in their course of illness that they miss out on many of the benefits. What stands in the way of more Americans choosing hospice care is limited awareness of what services are offered and how to find it. It isn’t easy to talk about death, even with those who are closest to us. But, reluctance to think about the care we want at the end of life may rob us of the chance to choose, should we be faced one day with a terminal illness. Many individuals with life-defining illnesses are taken to the hospital, cut off from familiar people and comforts. That’s a terrible price to pay for not knowing about the end-of-life options available to you. Let’s Start Talking It is important to have a system in place to help you live as long and as well as possible. Hospice care is not limited to individuals with cancer. End stage heart disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, pulmonary disease and many other conditions qualify a person for hospice care. Talk to your doctor today or call Hospice of Montgomery to begin the conversation. For more information or to make a donation visit hospiceofmontgomery. org or simply call us at 334-279-6677. Hospice of Montgomery. It’s in our touch.

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Travel Trending with Kathy Witt

Grand Getaways

Grandparents & Grandchildren Multigenerational travel has been the buzz for a number of years, but a subset of this trend has grandparents and grandchildren bidding bon voyage to the middle generation and hitting the road for together time on their own. “Grandparents have so much to teach and so many stories to tell to their grandchildren, and holidays are a privileged moment to share all this and more,” said Magali Dechelette, founder of Family Twist, a one-stop shop for private luxurious family activities and packages in Europe. “When grandchildren spend a holiday with their grandparents, nothing should get in the way of their joy of being together.” Grand vacation, with a twist Dechelette believes that many destinations are grandparent/ grandchildren-friendly as long as there are adapted activities and services for all. That’s where Family Twist comes in, with a roster of more than 40 different activities designed for all members in the family and a goal to turn travel expectations into unforgettable experiences.

Take a treasure hunt at the Louvre in Paris, discovering 11 masterpieces as you solve clues and puzzles along the way, not to mention seeing art from the Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance and Ancient Egypt. Bake your own pizza in Rome under the tutelage of a real pizzaiolo (pizza chef). Learn the secrets of Italian pizza and, yes, how to toss the dough. In London, step into the shoes of Sherlock Holmes and help a real life Scotland Yard detective solve a criminal case. “A holiday is the perfect moment to share bonding experiences together,” said Dechelette. In addition to arranging fun and educational activities that are related to the culture of the given country, Family Twist handles everything from accommodations to ground services. The company selects family-friendly boutique hotels and guarantees connecting rooms or suites. Transfers are via Mercedes-Benz mini vans equipped with baby and booster seats and experienced babysitters can be provided just in case the grownups need a time-out. Growing up with grandchildren Why would a retired

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couple travel more than seven hours from Mississippi to North Carolina several times a year with one or more of their five grandchildren in tow? “High Hampton Inn is a big part of our family,” said Nancy Hargrove of the 1,400-acre resort located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. “It’s hard not to love it, there’s just so much going on.” Swimming, sailing, canoeing, rowing and pedal boating on Hampton Lake. Golf, tennis, fishing, hiking, climbing a rock wall. Children’s, evening and special holiday entertainment and programming. A hands-on falconry program with a chance to feed the birds and have a hawk fly to your glove. All this and more await, along with several dining options, a world-class spa and guestrooms, suites and cottages that are comfy havens overlooking mountains and the lake. “My husband and I first went to High Hampton Inn about 25 or 30 years ago and fell in love with it,” said Hargrove. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

“We took our first grandchild, Guy, when he was three years old (he’s now 19) and we’ve been going back ever since. It’s a wonderful family resort.” A favorite for all? Playing cards by the four-sided stone fireplace in the lobby. “The things the grandchildren want to do change as they get older and we’ve changed along with them, and still do everything together.” City of Presidents With 2016 marking the 75th anniversary of Mount Rushmore’s completion and the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service, timing couldn’t be better for a grandparent/ grandchild trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota and true Americana. Head to Rapid City and the awe-inspiring Mount Rushmore National Memorial to see George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln carved from a sky-skimming granite mountainside. Then head downtown to see life-size bronze sculptures of every past president of the United States. Life-size dinosaurs hulk along the top of Rapid City’s Dakota Hogback ridge: Five prehistoric creatures, including tyrannosaurus Rex, were constructed in the mid-1930s, a memorial to “acquaint the present generation and others to follow with a fair idea as to the appearance, size and characteristics of these, our earliest known inhabitants.” See real animals on a wildlife safari to Custer State Park, where free-roaming herds of bison sometimes cause traffic jams along the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. One of the largest publicallyowned herds in the world, the bison are joined by bighorn sheep and burros, pronghorn and prairie dogs, mountain The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

goats and mountain lions and more. Other area attractions: Bear Country USA, a 250-acre drive-thru wildlife park; Reptile Gardens, home of the world’s largest collection of cold-blooded vertebrates; and enchanting Storybook Island with its interactive fairy tale sets. ‘Have Grandkids, Will Travel’ You’ll feel like you’ve slipped off to summer camp at Lake Naomi Club and its Mountaintop Lodge _ but this family-oriented luxury retreat located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania is the very antithesis of roughing it. Cabin Jacuzzi suites and lodge and loft suites, gourmet country breakfast and membership to the facilities at this Five Star Platinum Club Community during your stay combine to create the perfect getaway. Club activities provide plenty of bonding opportunities: sailing, swimming, hiking, fishing, golfing, indoor tennis and a 277acre lake with non-motorized boating and two outdoor Olympic-sized pools, including the largest lakeside heated outdoor pool in the state. Additionally, visitors find a fitness center, game room, teen area and plenty of family activities. Through Dec. 31, 2016, Lake Naomi Club is offering a “Have Grandkids, Will Travel” getaway that includes two nights’ accommodations, complimentary breakfast, two lunches and two dinners for four, access to various child-supervised evening activities and a $60 activities voucher that may be used toward boat rental, golfing, supervised daytime camp activities, etc. Package starts at $775. Details: TRENDING S You know what they say, “When in

Rome” ... become a gladiator. Meet your gladiator teacher for a 2-hour private one-on-one family gladiator training session created by Family Twist. It includes an introduction in the gladiator museum and time for everyone to dress up in tunic and gladiator equipment. S Look for llamas to up the fun factor at High Hampton Inn on Thursdays and Saturdays for Hike-A-Rama with a Llama around Hampton Lake and Llama Olympics with the kids on the lawn. S For Rapid City, download the “Activity 99” sheet to compete for prizes while completing activities in the Black Hills – like taking a selfie with the Mount Rushmore sculpture. Details here: INFORMATION Family Twist Choose from 40-plus a la carte” family-bonding activities in Paris, the Loire Valley, London and Rome. High Hampton Inn Open from the first week of May to Thanksgiving weekend. Guest room rates include three meals a day. No tipping policy. Mountaintop Lodge All guests have access to the recreational facilities offered at Lake Naomi Club, Rapid City, SD Click “Plan your trip” then “Coupons” to purchase the 2016 Black Hills Coupon book ($20) for over $2,900 in savings on food, entertainment and more. Author, travel and lifestyle writer, and travel goods expert Kathy Witt feels you should never get to the end of your bucket list; there’s just too much to see and do in the world. She can be reached at or (c)2015 Kathy Witt Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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March Featured Artists

Moon Series: Rampant, Copper Sculpture Bradley Moon

Blue Lava on Saturn, Wood Sculpture, Ken Lever Bespoke, 48x60 mixed media, Carol Barksdale

Colorful Trees, 60x48 oil on canvas Anita Westerberg

Dance , 40x30 mixed media, Cecily Hulett

Twilight 10x13 charcoal on paper, Jim Sabel

Sunflowers in Glass Pitcher, 28x22 oil on canvas, Anne Hugghins

Pauly Never Got A Pony, 10x7 water color John Wagnon

As Seasons Change, 24x36 acrylic on canvas Shirley Esco

Vision Land, 24x20 acrylic on canvas, Jane Segrest

Model Boat Pond, 30x24 oil on canvas, Pamela Wesley Copeland

By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

Professor Angelo Granata’s work at Gallery One Fine Art About two years ago, I was invited to see a very large collection of artwork created by Angelo Granata. I met with his son, Gary, to discuss the possibility of marketing the pieces of this amazing collection. For those unfamiliar with Granata, the following was taken from a condensed bio given to me by Gary. It reads:

Untitled I, 16.5x13 wood sculpture

Angelo Granata was a prolific sculptor who worked in a variety of media in both two and three dimensions. He was born in Hoboken, NJ, to parents who had emigrated from Milan, Italy. Angelo’s passion for art grew from his fathers’ profession as a skilled tile mason. He studied sculpture, architecture and art history at the University of Iowa, served his country in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, he returned to Iowa and earned both his Bachelor and Master Degrees in Fine Art. Granata began teaching studio sculpture at the University of Alabama in 1949 in the Department of Art and Art History. He established the Sarah Moody Art Gallery in 1968 and served as Department Chairman from 1968 to 1981. He continued to teach studio sculpture and direct the gallery until his retirement in 1988 and then served the University of Alabama as Professor Emeritus of Sculpture until his death in 2009. He exhibited in every faculty art show at UA from 1949 to 2008. In 2011, his retrospective show was held in lieu of the faculty show. His work was included in many invitational exhibitions, notably in the Museum of Modern Art and Forum Gallery in New York City, the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Art, the St Louis Museum of Art, the Des Moines Museum of Art, the Davenport Museum of Art and the Birmingham Museum of Art. His works are also included in the permanent collections of Georgetown College in Kentucky, the Figge Art Museum in Iowa and UA’s Moody Art Gallery. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Untitled II, 16.5x16.5 Metal Sculpture

I asked the members of Gallery One who were students at the University of Alabama if they remembered Professor Granata and his work. Carol Barksdale says, “I do remember Angelo Granata and his work very well. He was head of the art department when I was working on my degree at the University of Alabama. His sculptures were on display in the art department. The clean, contemporary lines of his sculptures and beautiful abstract paintings were very inspirational to me.” His collegiate and early professional work tended to be more figurative, then transitioning towards the abstract and experimentation with geometric forms. Professor Granata once said: “Most often, for me, the idea or the

Untitled III, 20x20 Metal Sculpture

formation of the sculpture precedes the title. In this work the two are meshed. The sculpture evolving from the body of my work and eliciting the title from the antiquity, the nature of the sculpture and the spirit of the ancient them is confluence. The sculptural form is paramount; the theme is supportive.” Angelo Granata died in 2009 It is our pleasure to exhibit and offer for purchase architectural sculptures created by Angelo Granata. Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art A freelance writer living in Montgomery, AL or

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By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

“Heeeere’s Johnny! Again!” There’s a reasonable chance that some BOOMers reading this may have been created between 10:30 and midnight during Johnny Carson’s reign as host of the Tonight Show. Really. Among the many God-given gifts bestowed on us as humans is a natural block that prohibits us from even considering the notion our parents ever actually “did it”. It’s too much to contemplate. But I’m talking science and mathematical probability hereand you- yes, you- may have been conceived while Ed McMahon was handing envelopes to the Amazing Carnac. Ed made a career out of envelopes when you think about it. There was Publisher’s Clearinghouse of course. And, a station I worked at in Miami once paid Ed $50,000 to come to town and personally hand a winning listener an envelope with- $50,000 in it! I am wandering off point here which is de rigueur (French for “normal”) for this column. Johnny and Ed came back to TV in January when Antenna TV began rebroadcasting entire Tonight Shows for the first time since Carson retired in 1992.

Antenna (may I call them that?) was so excited they began promoting Johnny’s return to late night TV last July! Hard to believe a friggin’ quartercentury has passed since Johnny’s last show. Now, every night at 10, we hear the original Tonight Show theme...Ed’s familiar “heeeer’s Johnny” and we’re treated to an intact broadcast from the distant past (most of them from the 80s). Antenna puts the date of the original broadcast on screen before Johnny emerges from the tall, multicolored curtains that almost every American celebrity walked through at least once between 1962-92. Watching Carson all these years later has been fascinating, and has led me to some observations. 1. Carson was the star of that show, no matter who the guest (that’s why they call them that I suppose). Guests spoke when spoken to. 2. Ed McMahon was very underrated. Seriously. The guy had his niche carved out and Carson depended on Ed’s persona a great deal. 3. The best moments were often with nobodies, until Johnny made them famous. Who knew of Tiny Tim until

Johnny had the freaky falsetto singer on the show? When Carson hosted TT’s wedding to another unknown, Miss Vicky in 1967, those two “nobodies” helped Johnny achieve the highest rating in Tonight Show history (40 million viewers in 1967, almost ¼ of the entire country)! 4. We forget how we used to dress, but some of the 70s episodes show Carson reflecting the fashion of those times. Like the rest of us, Carson wore garishly colored clothes- plaid blazers with full bell bottomed pants, shirts with collars so wide they had wing flaps and ties that were, uh, ugly? For a time, his hair was long (for him) and he sported full sideburns. WARNING- be prepared to see an occasional LEISURE suit in some of the 70s reruns. Yeah, I had one. Powder blue. Christmas gift from Mom. 5. I recently saw what must have been one of Jerry Seinfeld’s first appearances. This was WAY before Seinfeld was SEINFELD and I almost didn’t recognize him. He had a full head of hair and his stand up act was OK, but extremely unpolished, compared to the Jerry we came to know years later. This is NOT a criticism- but he is one of many people who achieved great success and these old Tonight shows give us a glimpse of

Greg Budell's column is proudly sponsored by McDonald, Barranco & Hagen Wealth Management

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

their career’s Wonder Years. 6. The monologues are a (if you’ll permit a dated term here) trip. They were Weekend Update, before Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. While Carson sprinkled personal anecdotes into them, the monologues that opened the show were satirical commentaries on that day’s news. You’ll hear a lot of names and incidents long forgotten, making it fun to have your memory button pressed repeatedly. 7. Lots of smoking. Butts were banned from TV around the same time they were prohibited on flights. (You can’t smoke but you can drink until you see in triplicate and urinate on fellow passengers, or start a nice brawl. This is why my next flight will be from my deathbed (up or down remains to be determined). Johnny and guests light up with frequency. One recent Tonight show rebroadcast was from May 22, 1974.

Johnny’s guests that evening were Charlton Heston, author Normal Mailer, and comic David Brenner.

time left (just 2 weeks from passing) and was a HUGE Brenner fan. “Would you-“. David cut me off and said “give me the number. I’d be honored”. That evening I phoned Mom and she said “David Brenner called me today! We talked for almost 45 minutes!”. The personal value of David Brenner’s kindness is beyond my calculation.

While all 3 would eventually find themselves in my radio studio years later, seeing the late Brenner in his prime really touched me. David came to my Miami studio in late January, 1990, to promote a concert. He was high energy fun at 7:30AM and hung with us for an hour. As he was leaving, I took him aside and asked a favor. My mother, I explained, had little

So, Children of Johnny, take time to Tiptoe Through The Memories. And try not to think of what your kids or grandchildren might be doing while watching Jimmy Fallon. ;-) Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, children and dogs. He’s a 25 year veteran of radio who hosts the Greg & Susan morning show 6-9 am and Happy Hour 3-6 pm on NEWSTALK 93.1, Greg can be reached at

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2016



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March 2016

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The real reason a man dumps you after the second date Dear Lisa, I have been seeing a man for almost 3 months. He is very nice, treats me good, and would do anything for me. Basically what I am looking for. My problem is I am not all that attracted to him. Looks wise, he is not my type at all. I know looks aren’t everything but it sure does help. I am very confused as to what to do. I like him but don’t think I will fall in love with him. I am 51 so I know what I want in a man. It’s just finding the whole package. Any advice? _ Dorothy

Jackie, I’m sorry you fell for this man so hard and so quickly. This often happens when you sleep with a man before you really get to know him. Your heart ends up getting attached based on this physical connection with a man you don’t even know yet. Every woman needs to have boundaries in her mind when it comes to sex and when she will choose to sleep with a

Dear Lisa, Recently a retired man found me on We met. He was charming. He then insisted on seeing me 2 days later. We made love. It was wonderful. He then insisted on seeing me 2 days later again and the sex was wonderful. The next morning, he sent me a message telling me he could not continue with this relationship because it’s moving too fast. Lisa what did I do wrong? And how do I get him back? My heart is broken. _ Jackie

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Joyce, Make sure you are posting good pictures of yourself that show you are of Asian descent so the fact you are from China isn’t a surprise. “It seems like the men I am interested in, are not interested in me.” I hear this same line from both men and women. This happens because we get stuck in thinking we will only date a certain type. The problem is you are not necessarily your type’s type.

Dorothy, The answer depends on what your priorities are in the men you want. Is the fact that he doesn’t look like your usual type holding you back from getting close to a man who is good to you? Another question to ask yourself is... How did my type serve me in the past? Being treated well lasts a lifetime. Looks fade as we age. If you’re having fun and enjoying his company, it might be worth trying to find the cuteness in him. If you can’t, then let him go so he can find someone who will appreciate him as the whole package he is.

of their education level and occupation. I also tried Our Time and Chemistry for a short time. It seems like the men I am interested in, are not interested in me. I want to give up now. What is your suggestion for me? Thank you. _Joyce

man. What this man did was literally charm the pants off you for sex. Men don’t bond. It’s very easy for them to walk away and that’s why you want to get to know a man before you end up in bed with him. I encourage you to go back on Match or another dating site and find a man who will honor you and treat you like the treasure you are. Dear Lisa, I am 53 years old and divorced. I went on Match about 8 months ago. In the beginning there were some emails and I picked the men I was interested in. But after several emails they stopped writing because I am from China. As time goes by, I receive less email, and I am not interested in the men who write because

This is why you want to date different types of men. Maybe they won’t become your next husband, but they might make a great friend to hang out with. Don’t give up. Take a break and recharge yourself doing the things you love. Get dating help while you’re recharging. Dating is a numbers game and it takes going out with a lot of guys to find the one for you. Some will be great and some not so great. But I do promise, with every single one, you will learn more about yourself and the man you want to be with. Lisa Copeland, “The Dating Coach Who Makes Dating Fun and Easier after 50!” Find out more at (c)2014, Lisa Copeland, Distributed by MCT Information Services

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March 2016



March 2016

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


On Golden Pond Prattville’s Way Off Broadway Theatre March 3-20, various times

Prattville’s Way Off Broadway Theatre is excited to announce its production of On Golden Pond. This well-known play by Ernest Thompson focuses on long-time relationships, mending relationships, and unexpected new relationships. The production will be directed by Jason Morgan, who recently directed WOBT’s production of Godspell. The play will open on Thursday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. and other performances will be held weekends through March 20. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door and may be purchased on line by credit card. For tickets and info contact the Special Events Office at 334.595.0854 or visit the website at

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA White Lightning ASF Through May 7th, various times

White Lightning takes the stage at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, March 3 - May 7. White Lightning is a story about moonshine, racing and adventure that takes a snapshot of the1940s South and the rough and tumble origins of NASCAR. This is a new Southern play by Gee’s Bend playwright Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder. For more information, call 334.271.5353 or visit

PIKE ROAD, ALABAMA 5th Annual Art Market Pike Road Town Hall Saturday, March 5th, 10-4 pm

On Saturday, March 5th from 10 am to 4 pm, Pike Road Town Hall, 9575 Vaughn Road, Pike Road, AL, will be filled with unique artwork from all over the State of Alabama, as the Pike Road Arts Council hosts its 5th Annual Art Market. This year’s

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Art Market will feature award-winning artists whose talents range from traditional painting to soap making, jewelry crafting and much more. There will also be a new addition to this year’s Art Market - a local British Car Club will be outside showcasing dozens of authentic British cars. This unique event offers something for everyone from art enthusiasts to those simply looking for a fun Saturday activity. This event is free and open to the public. For more information call 334.495.4109 or visit


Taste of the River Region Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa Sunday, March 6th, 6-8 pm

The Junior League of Montgomery and The Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance would like to invite you to the 2016 Taste of the River Region on March 6th from 6pm-8pm! Come and enjoy many of the delicious dishes of the River Region’s best restaurants! Sample food and beverages from local establishments, dance to live entertainment and win fabulous door prizes! General Admission Tickets are $30 or you can purchase a table for $500, which includes 10 tickets reserved seating and signage recognition. For more information, call 334.288.8816 or visit


SupportSight Seminar on Age-Related Macular Degeneration Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Wednesday, March 9th, 1-3 pm In partnership with The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, International Retinal Research Foundation & Alabama Vision Coalition If you or someone you know has macular degeneration, please register to learn more on the latest research, prevention, treatments and low vision strategies. Check-in and Product Demos begin at 12 Noon. Presenters include: MVRF Executive Director Dawn Prall George, UAB Department of Ophthalmology – David Neely, MD, Community Services For Vision Rehabilitation Medical Director Joe Fontenot, MD, UAB Psychological & Neuropsychology Clinical Research Services – Laura Dreer, PhD, International Inspirational Speaker Charlie Collins and Mons International – Wendy Mons. For more mail Lynn@, or visit or call 866.462.2852.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine



Join Fleet Feet Sports Montgomery at Leroy in Old Cloverdale for a FUN RUN on March 17th. Wear your green! Fleet Feet will have shoes for you to test ride and Leroy will have specials. For more information, call 334.356.5412 or visit

The Newsboys will be making a stop in Montgomery on their “We Believe...GOD’S NOT DEAD” Tour on March 31st at 7:00 p.m. Renowned for their high-energy live performances, Newsboys will once again showcase a string of iconic hits during the tour, including their longest running #1 single to date, “We Believe.” Tickets are $25 - $45. For more information, call 334.356.6866 or visit

St. Patrick’s Day Fun Run Leroy, 2752 Boltier St., Cloverdale Thursday, March 17th, 6 pm


The Official Blues Brothers ™ Revue Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center Thursday, March 17, 7 pm “The Official Blues Brothers™ Revue,” presented by Dan Aykroyd, Judith Belushi and Music Director Paul Shaffer. The show combines the comedy and hits from the original movie and pays homage to Chicago’s rich history of blues, gospel and soul music. Performers Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty capture the infectious humor and unbridled spirit of the Blues Brothers like no one since John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd walked the stage. Backed by a powerhouse band, they’ll give you a show to remember, packed with classic hits from the Blues Brothers catalog, including “Soul Man”, “Rubber Biscuit”, “Sweet Home Chicago”, “Raw Hide” and “Gimme Some Lovin’”. For a night of laughter, dancing, and foot-stompin’ fun, be sure to attend this performance! For information/tickets, call 334.406.2787 or visit

CLOVERDALE, ALABAMA IRISH VOICES 2016 Edition Cloverdale Playhouse Saturday March 19, 7:30-9pm

Back by popular demand, with some new additions, an evening of readings from some of the glorious writing of Ireland. From Friel to Heaney to McCourt to O’Casey to Yeats, the wit and wisdom, poetry and power of this grand isle will make for an en- chanted night wellspent. Who knows- you may even hear a tune or two. For more info visit or call 334.262.1530


Max Capital City Classic, Alabama vs Auburn Riverwalk Stadium Tuesday, March 29th, 6:30 pm The rivalry between The University of Alabama and Auburn University continues! The Montgomery Biscuits, along with the City of Montgomery, have announced that the two schools will play the eighth annual MAX Capital City Classic on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm at Riverwalk Stadium. Gates will open at 5:30 pm. For tickets and more info visit

The Newsboys Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Drive Thursday, March 31st, 7 pm

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Autism Crawfish Boil Rock Bottom Cafe Saturday, April 2, 12-5 pm

The BEST crawfish boil in town, along with live music and cold beverages! This is always the best party in The Gump! All the proceeds are donated to assist with Autism programs provided by Easter Seals Central Alabama for families in the River Region. All you care to eat Crawfish Boil with all the fixings. Plates include Fresh cooked Crawfish, red taters, fresh corn, Kelley’s sausage and the delectable baby mushrooms and who could imagine cooking without Zatarains seasonings, the only way to get perfect flavor. We will have live Music provided by local Bands who donate their talents and play to support the Event. And what would a Crawfish boil be with out something to cool you off like an ice cold BAMA Budweiser beverage. For more info visit


April Walking Tours Montgomery Area Visitor Center Saturdays in April, 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 10 am Experience the culture and history of Alabama this spring with April Walking Tours. Twenty-two towns across the state are offering free guided walking tours each Saturday morning in April. Each tour begins at 10am and is approximately one hour long. Community leaders will escort you through the historic districts or courthouse square areas of their hometowns, sharing their personal remembrances and some tall tales from the old days. Tours for Montgomery will begin at the Montgomery Area Visitor Center. For more information, call 334.262.0013 or visit

Read Digital & Interactive BOOM! at and click thru to every link :)

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2016



By Denise Crosby

Grandparents “Taking Care of Business”

When it comes to grandparenting, I like to think I do OK, especially coming off a long stint babysitting the year-old twins that left me alternately exhilarated and exhausted. But on recently, the day after turning diaper duties back to Mom and Dad while congratulating myself on a job well done, I got to meet a remarkable grandpa who truly knows how to take care of business.

Bill Murphy and wife Patti, in fact, started a company Finley Grace for one reason only: to help pay for the present and future care of their Aurora granddaughter who was born 10 years ago at Rush-Copley Medical Center with a rare chromosomal abnormality called cri-du-chat, (also known as five P minus syndrome) that is characterized by speech and physical development complications. After doctors told the family Finley Grace would likely never walk or talk, much less function without assistance, the Murphys knew they had to provide more than love and emotional support. Out-of-pocket expenses were running their son Ryan and wife Jill up to $50,000 a year, much of it going to therapies that would give the little girl the best shot at a good life. Fundraisers are OK for a while, Bill noted, adding that the first golf tournament for baby Finley brought in over $45,000. But he realized early on “you can’t continue going back to the same well,” especially as infants grow older and people get caught up in their own lives. The only way to help, especially living in a state that ranks at the bottom for services to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, was to get down to business, literally. It’s something the Murphys knew well. Bill and Patti Murphy, living in Cary, Ill., at the time, operated a giftware showroom in the Merchandise Mart for close to two

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decades. And after moving to Galena in 2005, the couple opened a home decor store in the downtown tourist area.

his daughter continues “to work hard” on speech-building patterns that will allow her to express herself in nonverbal ways.

A couple years after Finley Grace’s birth, Murphy, knowing he had to think “big picture” when it came to her future needs, purchased a wickless soy candle company from a former client who had lost the business, renamed it Finley Grace Promotions and began manufacturing these popular room fresheners on the second floor of their Galena shop.

“Having a special needs child defines your life, but also inspires us,” insisted Ryan Murphy, who says his entire family, including Finley’s 8-year-old brother Mack, has become advocates “for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

“It’s just the kind of guy my dad is,” said 40-yearold Ryan Murphy, a computer specialist who lives on Aurora’s far East Side.

But it’s his parent’s commitment to Finley through this company named in Finley’s honor that’s “been a lifesaver,” not just from a financial standpoint, but in terms of emotional support. The business, he added, has also been a plus in promoting awareness about this rare disorder.

While some money has gone to pay down While Patti massive medical does most bills, the profits from Bill and Patti Murphy of the day to Finley Grace are day running of the retail shop, Ryan said his going right back into the company, said Bill dad puts in the “countless hours” it takes Murphy. to grow a business. Today, Finley Grace soy candles are in hundreds of stores across “We need to look down the road at what the country, and they continue to develop will sustain her when we are long gone. To new product lines that include perfumed do that, we need to reach a dollar amount, candles, potpourri and natural soaps. and we aren’t close to it.” In addition to some 500 retail stores, Murphy says a growing number of not for profit groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts are selling the Finley Grace line for fundraising. The grandfather is also looking to open a Finley Grace store in Galena, and doesn’t rule out the possibility of additional shops in Illinois including Geneva and Naperville. All for the future of a beautiful little Aurora girl. Finley Grace was diagnosed with the disorder around 9 months of age, after she’d missed so many milestones, said her dad. Ongoing physical and speech therapy is critical, he added. She began walking about five years ago; and although she can speak only a few words, Ryan says

Which is why, even as he closes in on 70, Murphy has no plans to slow down. And he insists on downplaying this admirable commitment to his granddaughter. “Anyone else would do the same thing,” he said. I respectfully disagree. Change diapers, yes. Babysit, of course. But start a company and keep it growing? “My dad is a man of action,” said Ryan. “He also is my hero.” (c)2016 Chicago Tribune Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

If you would like to help Bill and Patti Murphy care for their special needs granddaughter visit their website 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

March 2016



BOOM! March 2016  
BOOM! March 2016  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine