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May 2018

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Getting To Know You CAPITAL CITY ACE HARDWARE As your local Ace Hardware, our store is a member of the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. Every Ace Hardware store is independently owned. Each Ace Hardware is unique and tailored to meet the needs of its local community. We are committed to being “the Helpful Place” by offering knowledgeable advice, helpful service and quality products. As the helpful hardware folks in your community, we promise that, “helping you is the most important thing we have to do today.”

“The Helpful Place”

We’re family owned and operated. Owners David Fichtner and Eli Tuggle have been a part of the community for years, and are excited to serve the Montgomery, Alabama area. We strive to bring you the best hardware experience possible and pride ourselves on outstanding customer service. Come by and visit us and get the part you need from our knowledgeable staff. We’re happy to open your neighborhood Ace Hardware every day,

something, we’ll stock more. We can special order millions of items from our huge warehouse, and we pick up the shipping. You can use to order just about anything, have it shipped to our store, we’ll call you when it arrives, and again, we’ll pick up the shipping. We also offer the Ace Rewards program so you can receive money saving coupons, sale reminders, helpful tips and instant savings. Sign up for Ace Rewards on your next visit to our store.

and we’re always here to help. We have a wide selection to offer in plumbing, electrical, paint, garden supplies, tools, and the list goes on. In fact, our goal is to help you turn your “to-do” list into “todone” list. One of the best things about ACE is we can customize our inventory to meet the needs of the community. You need us to carry an item for your business, we’ll stock it. If we don’t carry enough of

We welcome our neighbors in Montgomery! Capital City Ace is a local family owned hardware store ready to meet all your needs in any area of improvement in your home or property. Come see us today, we are just a few miles from your Montgomery neighborhood. Our Hours are: Mon - Sat: 8 am - 7 pm and ​Sun: 11 am - 5 pm CAPITAL CITY ACE 3215 Taylor Road, Montgomery, AL 36116 334-239-9500,

ONLINE REVIEWS-GOOGLE & FACEBOOK “I’ve never been here when someone hasn’t met me at the door to ask if I need help. Someone is always available to take you right to the thing you need. And they’re not only willing to help, but they’re actually knowledgeable about the things they sell.” “Most helpful and friendly people there. So glad we got ace here in Montgomery. No more lowes and Home Depot for me!” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

“It’s like a mom and pop hardware store but with a big inventory and competitive prices. To top it off, they have free popcorn which is a huge help when I have my kids with me.”

“I was in need of screws and washers to hang a TV and I just want to say Hunter was extremely helpful. Thank you SO much, Hunter!! YOU’RE AWESOME!!!”

“The best customer service. I had just left a competitor due to the fact that noone would wait on me. I had four people ask me if I needed any help within 40 minutes of being here.”

“The staff wins the day here: friendly, knowledgeable, super helpful, and present! I can’t stress enough how nice it is to walk in, be greeted promptly, and then escorted to whatever you need.” R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

May 2018





May 2018

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

May 2018



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

Founded Upon God’s Word

Liturgically Joyful

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

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

Warm and Loving

Committed to Mission

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

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

8800 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36117 334.387.0566

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


May 2018 Volume 8 Issue 9

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

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

Carl Bard

3 Getting To Know You 10 Publisher’s Letter 12 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) 14 Gardening: Potatoes Mary Wisdom page 16



16 Weekend Getaways... 22 Full Bladder, Big Storm... Reigniting the Spark

Departments 24 This and That

Getting You “In the Know”

18 Exercise Is Medicine Leigh Anne Richards

Old Man on the Flying Trapeze

44 {12} Things

Special Events for Boomers

40 Helping Aging Parents Finding a New Home

25 The Leisure Seeker 26 2018 Herb Day 26 The 3nd Annual River Region Disability Expo

42 Greg Budell

THE OWL AND THE GOOSE (The Wedding!, Part 2)

27 Celebrating America's Heroes 28 Mint Juleps, Bourbon, Horses and Hats, Hats... 30 3 Common Estate Planning Mistakes Ask an Elder Law Attorney 32 BOOM! Cover Profile

page 46

page 14

page 26 page 42 page 23

36 Landmarks Foundation "Golden Anniversary" 39 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: EGGS, Myth Busted 46 Marion Ross Writes of ‘Happy Days’

page 40 page 21

page 32

Happy Mother's Day!

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

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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May 2018



Publisher’s Letter

What an important person our mothers are. They determine so many of our attitudes and outlooks about life. Some good and some bad. Fortunately, all of mine are good. At least that’s how I choose to remember my mom. She’s been gone for many years now, but I think about her often. She suffered with Alzheimer’s, so I lost her sooner than her time, but my memories of her remain clear and inspirational. She taught me to listen and to nurture; to persevere and to think; to love and to be happy. My mom’s legacy lives on through me, thanks mom.

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

Contributing Writers Jeff Barganier Austin Barranco Tracy Bhalla Kimberly Blaker Jean Bradley Greg Budell

Sandra Nickel Leigh Anne Richards Nick Thomas Raley L. Wiggins Mary Wisdom

Cover Photography Jeri Hines Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

My Mom

This month's Cover Profile is a one of a kind woman who has invested her life into the Montgomery community. One of her joys is helping people find their next home by helping them sell or buy. Sandra Nickel knows about homes...and hats! Sandra trademarked her hat wearing image into Jim Watson, Publisher a successful real estate company call The Hat Team. She and her team know real estate, but they have a special love for the historic neighborhoods of Montgomery. Sandra has been involved with the Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery for many years and continues to strive to help these neighborhoods grow in value. I think you'll enjoy getting to know Sandra this month, she has made an important contribution to the quality of life in the River Region. May will also bring some good reads from our friend Jeff Barganier who spent some time in a hammock and things didn't turn out like he expected. Jeff also gives us his thoughts on finding a place for his mother to live as she requires a little more care in her aging life. For those of you who have been married a while and may need a spark to start a fire, Kimberly Blaker has a few suggestions that may help, hopefully you can take the advice and get things back to where they used to be! Greg Budell ends his journey as the “Father of the Bride" this month and from all accounts there were plenty of tears and joy to go around, Greg shares a few special moments I'm sure you will appreciate. Leigh Anne Richards explains exercise in a way that makes more sense when you stop to think about the value of exercise compared to medicine. She may be changing your mindset about the importance of exercise. We have a new client advertising in BOOM! beginning this month. The most helpful store in the River Region, Capital City Ace Hardware. I have experienced their customer service and helpful problem solving first hand and they will do the same for you. I highly recommend their services and tell them the BOOM! man sent you. I hope you enjoy this month's reading experience, it's designed for you. Please share your thoughts to my cell/ text or email, I love to listen and learn. Also, if you haven't started getting BOOM! to your email inbox each month it's a fun way to read the latest issues, convenient too! Please sign up for your free subscription to the Digital BOOM! online at Thanks for being part of our BOOM! Community.

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text

Digital & Interactive

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

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

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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

May 2018



Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Auburn University at Montgomery 2017 -2018

This year the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University at Montgomery (OLLI @ AUM) has been successful in every way success can be statistically measured: • 291 members • 111 new members • 58 total workshops (classes) in the four terms • 32 instructors • 511 total enrollment in the workshops • 2 summer workshops for grandparents and grandchildren offered for the first time A list of statistics, however, cannot convey how successful the program has been. Stating that 32 instructors have taught a total of 58 classes does not note that all instructors are volunteers, donating their time and knowledge to lead these classes.

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Such a summary does not mention other people who help account for the success of the classes. Routinely volunteers join instructors in leading classes. One class that meets at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts involves docents on a regular basis. Master gardeners in the River Region attend the gardening class to share their expertise in a variety of areas. Guest speakers, on occasion, meet with a class. Anthony Ray Hinton, whose book, The Sun Does Shine, released in April 2018, talked to the class on capital punishment about his thirty years on death row for a crime he did not commit. Writer Daphne Simpkins talked to the class on leisure reading about her novels about her fictional church lady Mildred Budge. And every class has a volunteer facilitator. The workshops also move outside the

classrooms at the Center for Lifelong Learning. In addition to the art appreciation class that meets at the Museum, Carol and Randy Alford take their Introduction to Birding Class on expeditions to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and trails at AUM. The fall class on capital punishment went to the Equal Justice Initiative and toured the museum in its early developmental stages (officially opened April 26, 2018). There was a trip open to all OLLI members: the trip to Camden for lunch at Gaines Ridge and Christmas shopping for unique handmade gifts at Black Belt Treasures. This trip attracted OLLI members from Auburn and Selma in addition to members of the Montgomery chapter. In the summer of 2017 OLLI @ AUM

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

experimented with summer classes for the first time. A group of grandmothers and granddaughters read and discussed Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory and then watched and discussed a movie version of the story. With this background each one then wrote her favorite Christmas memory, which resulted in published Christmas booklets for family Christmas gifts.

Twice a month OLLI members meet in a friendly competition based on the College Bowl television show. Questions

All OLLI members have access to Bonus Opportunities, including informative lunch presentations, Brain Bowl, and the book discussion sessions. This year’s lunch presentations included: overviews of the theater seasons at AUM and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, musical opportunities in Montgomery, marble sculpture Craigger Browne talking about his Helen Keller sculpture at Keller’s home in Tuscumbia, quilting, collecting oriental rugs, MANE (therapeutic riding program), Alabama Goodwill Ambassador Program, opera performances, and members’ world travels.

cover the arts and humanities, sciences, mathematics, and political science. Meeting the same first and third Tuesday of each month during a term, the members of book group meet to discuss the book designated for that session. Since each session focuses on a different book, OLLI members may attend any one or all of these sessions.

Even these summaries and descriptions do not begin to capture the essence of the OLLI program. Discussions in the classes are lively and engaging, with every member feeling free to ask questions or offer opinions. Instructors also frequently comment on how much they learn in these sessions. In addition, there is the camaraderie before and after classes, as members share a laugh over a cup of coffee and make plans for lunches and movies. The schedules for the 2018 – 2019 terms are in development. Watch for the catalogue forthcoming in mid-summer and become part of lifelong learning with OLLI @ AUM. For more information about AUM OLLI or to request a catalog, contact: Brittany at 244-3804.

Live Well at Home with a Higher Class of Care We do home care differently • 24/7 Live-in and Hourly Care • Balanced Care Method™ to promote healthy longevity • Cognitive Therapeutics Method™ to boost brain health • Hospital to Home Care Call today!

334-593-3988 Changing the Way the World Ages

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Call Kristy today for your free in-home consultation!

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May 2018



By Mary Wisdom


“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” ― A.A. Milne When I was growing up, my mom, and sometimes my dad, cooked breakfast every morning, went to work, and then cooked dinner every night.

Adirondack Red

We didn’t have take-out meals available, there was no pizza delivery (yes, I am 71 years old, and survived with NO food delivery services at all), and no one liked frozen TV dinners! What we DID have was potatoes! Lots of potatoes! Not for every meal, of course, but, often, boiled, fried, mashed, potato salad, baked, just lots of potatoes. Really, there was only ONE potato: the large, brown-skinned, lumpy potato we all called “Irish” potato. Nowadays, we call them Russets. If I was sent to the grocery store for potatoes, it was an easy pick. There were Irish potatoes, in 5-pound string bags, not a difficult choice. On rare, special, occasions, we had what we called, “new potatoes,” the tiny, almost round, red-skinned ones. Small and tender, but only served one way - boiled, skin-on, served covered in a cream sauce containing lots of parsley. Yum, I still cook and serve these the same way today. Today in a good supermarket or grocery store, you can find dozens of varieties of potatoes. For the home gardener, the choices are even wider! There are hundreds of colors, shapes, and sizes available as certified seed potatoes. I recommend growing your own potatoes at home. They take up very little space, you can grow potatoes of different colors and properties that you won’t find in the local grocery, and it is FUN! There is nothing in gardening more satisfying than digging in the soil with your hands, burrowing down to find those lovely tubers in the soft earth.

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King Harry Potatoes are a cool-weather crop, so in Alabama, you should plant the seed potatoes in early spring. Even if there is a light frost after the leaves appear, the plant is hardy enough to survive and thrive. You need a light, fertile, well-drained soil for potatoes to thrive. If your soil is less than perfect, you can grow potatoes in a large container, whiskey barrel, 5-gallon drum, or even in special available “potato sacks,” fabric containers actually made for growing potatoes. Just fill the container with a good quality growing mix, and you are ready to grow. Generally, potatoes you buy from the grocery store do not grow and produce as well as certified seed potatoes, but you might want to plant a few, just to see what results you get. Certified seed potatoes are available from some local gardening stores, from many on-line nurseries, and occasionally even from local big-box stores. Last year, I planted three small “All Blue” potatoes from a big-box store. I harvested 36 good-sized tubers, a very rewarding effort. Potatoes also prefer an acidic soil, with a pH in the range of 5.0 to 5.5. Be sure to have your soil tested before you plant, so you can make a good growing space for the baby potatoes. If your soil is too alkaline, your soil test report will give you recommendations for lowering the pH to make it more suitable for potatoes. On each seed potato, there are “eyes,” the very sprouts we don’t want on the potatoes we are cooking for supper. Each seed potato can be cut into pieces of about golf-ball size and should contain at least two eyes. Let the cut pieces sit in a well-ventilated area for three or four days to allow the cut surfaces to dry and heal.

Plant your seeds in the well-prepared soil, about three inches deep, about a foot apart. You will see leaves sprouting above ground in two All Blue to four weeks. Because the tubers develop on the underground roots of the plant, it is critical to keep the growth covered, either by hilling up soil around the stems as they grow, or by applying a heavy layer of mulch. Potatoes exposed to the sun develop a green color, which is basically chlorophyll, but this color also indicates the presence of increased quantities of solanine. Solanine is part of the flavoring complex that accounts for the potato’s taste, but large quantities will give the flesh a bitter taste. To avoid this, simply keep hilling up the soil or adding mulch as the stems and leaves grow larger. When the leaves turn yellow and start dying, you can start the fun part of growing potatoes. Carefully dig into the soil (I like using my bare hands) and gently locate the tubers, pulling them off the roots. You can do this over several days, up to several weeks, depending on the variety, so you don’t have to harvest a bushel at one time! It is very satisfying to dig into the warm, soft earth, locate a lovely potato, and pull it out of the soil. If you have children to help you, they will think it is a treasure hunt. And they will be correct! I strongly suggest you plant some potatoes in the early spring. They are so much fun, give us such sustenance, and are very rewarding. By the way, this spring, I planted three varieties: Adirondack Red, which has red skin and dark pink flesh; King Harry, a round brown-skinned variety with lovely white flesh; and All Blue, which has dark skin and deep blue-purple flesh. Early in the summer, I will make red, white, and blue potato salad! Mary Wisdom, an intern in the 2018 Master Gardener Class, lives in Montgomery. For more information on becoming a master gardener, visit or email 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

May 2018



Weekend Getaways... Regardless of your age or how long you've been married or in a relationship, nurturing it is necessary to maintaining and strengthening your bond and keeping the romance alive. So consider some of these fun weekend getaways for reigniting the spark. Great escape weekends Regardless of where you live, you can find plenty of escapes within a half day’s drive or less. Or consider hopping on a short flight for more choices. Get your wheels spinning with these ideas. A Dude Ranch – Spend a weekend cowboy style at one of the many dude ranches offering accommodations around the country. Enjoy horseback riding, wagon rides, hiking, fishing, cowboy cookouts, dancing, relaxing in a hot tub, and plenty of western charm. Bed and Breakfast – Find a romantic bed and breakfast in a quaint town with old-time charm. While you’re there, stroll through a historical neighborhood, window-shop, dine in local cafes, enjoy oldfashioned ice cream, take a riverfront walk, and visit local historical sites. A Trip Down Memory Lane – Remember those carefree days early in your relationship? Make your reservation at a hotel in the area where you met. Then spend the weekend revisiting your past. Eat at the restaurant of your first date, visit parks you once enjoyed, or even reenact some of your favorite dates. Lover’s Lane Delight – Make accommodations with an in-room Jacuzzi, then dedicate your first evening to a mini-shopping spree at Victoria’s Secret or Frederick’s of Hollywood. Choose items for each other to try on to discover what your partner likes. Purchase something you each found appealing on the other. Then spend the weekend savoring each other, having breakfast in bed, and catching up on movies. Don’t forget to bring fragrant candles, a portable stereo, your favorite music, and fun stuff for your weekend. A Weekend of Culture and Class – Select a top-notch hotel with fine dining and a luxurious room. Reserve tickets in advance to an area play, musical, or event. Be sure

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By Kimberly Blaker

Re-igniting the Spark

to bring along your best attire. Mystery Weekend –Try out a mystery weekend adventure. Search online or call your local travel agent for upcoming mystery events. But be prepared. If you’re not the murderer, you could wind up the victim yourself. Amusement Park Fun – Get in touch with your inner child. Make your reservation at an amusement park resort so you can take breaks and come and go as you please. Music Lover’s Weekend – Buy concert tickets then plan a weekend of musical merriment. Reserve a room near the concert hall. Then catch a cab for a guaranteed designated driver. Festival Fun – Contact your visitor’s bureau, chamber of commerce, or visit an online event directory to discover upcoming festivals, and book a reservation in the area. Camping and Canoeing – Enjoy a weekend of water fun, sunshine, and sleeping under the stars. Find a canoe rental facility that offers riverbank camping and overnight trips. Second Honeymoon – Renew your vows, and take a second honeymoon. Write your own promise to recite to your partner. Each of you bring a gift of your appreciation for the other to serve as a future reminder of your renewed commitment to each other. Don’t forget the honeymoon suite. Make it a surprise – Pull this off, and you’ll have your partner eating out of your hand. Concoct a story about going to dinner, to an out-of-town furniture store that

you’ve been dying to visit, or whatever it takes to get your spouse on the road with you. When you reach your destination, act confused, and explain you got your directions wrong. Pull into a hotel parking lot (conveniently where you’ve already made reservations). Then say you’ll run in and ask for directions. After you’ve checked in, see how far you can drag your partner along before he discovers the surprise. Weekend tips Research and plan your weekend so it isn’t over before you get started. Discuss your expectations with your partner beforehand so you don’t arrive with different ideas that'll lead to disappointment. Come to a mutual agreement that meets both of your needs so you’ll both come home feeling renewed. Discuss costs and spending in advance to avoid arguments that could ruin the weekend. Leave your cell phone or pager at home to avoid unnecessary interruptions. Finally, keep in mind some things might not go as planned. Take it in stride, and be flexible because it's just about renewal and each other. Kimberly Blaker is a lifestyle and parenting freelance writer. She also writes a blog, The Young Gma's Guide to Parenting at

Copyright © 2018 Kimberly Blaker, All rights reserved.

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Is Medicine The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) started a campaign back in 2010 to educate health care providers regarding the benefits of exercise for a wide variety of diseases and chronic conditions. As I read through certain magazines such as Geriatric Medicine in the Feb and March 2018 issues, there were articles in both about exercise as medicine. The more I read and research, the more I see the importance of medicine as preventive and treatment. How is exercise like medicine? It is prescribed, in a specific dosage, formulation to each individual patient diagnosed with a disease. The prescription needs to be very specific for the individual regarding type of exercise, the frequency, intensity and the time (FIT principle). Most healthcare providers tell the patient you need to exercise without any guidance and specifics. You would never say to a patient “just take some pill.” There is much work to be done in this area with our health care providers. The right dosage is also critical to its success. We all know the dosage of our medicine has to be the correct amount

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- too much could be toxic and too little there would be no benefit. Comparing the dosage to exercise- one must know how much exercise must be absorbed by the patient to receive the wanted benefit. When an exercise program does not result in any change in aerobic capacity, strength, or by flexibilitythe patient has not had the correct dosage prescribed. It is critical to understand how to prescribe the correct dosage for the disease or the condition for it to be effective. Exercise can also be harmful if given “too much.” Musculoskeletal injuries, cardiac events, electrolyte abnormalities, soreness, shortness of breath are some of the side effects with exercise. A healthcare provider would always give the correct dosage to “treat the condition”, so just telling a patient to exercise regularly does not provide safety for any complications. Side effects of exercise need to be discussed also.

The formulation of a drug also affects the absorption. Exercise is the same. It is very important the exercise be formulated according to what the goal is for the patient. Is it general physical activity or specific exercises needed for the

Fitness over Fifty Leigh Anne Richards

condition? We must also consider each person’s level and where they are in their fitness before “throwing them on their own.” Prescribing exercise for a patient to perform that the patient perceives as impossible is like prescribing a pill for a patient that cannot swallow. The activity prescribed must match what the patient can accomplish successfully. We must give the exercise dose slowly and add as the person gets more fit- prescribing enough to be effective for what you are trying to

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achieve. Patient motivation is imperative and equal partnership between the “prescriber and the receiver” of the exercise must exist. If a patient refuses to take the medicine (exercise), no benefits will be received. Dr. Danie Corcos, PhD and Margaret Danilovish Phd, professors at Northwestern University in the department of physical therapy and movement sciences say the following about the ingredients of any exercise program being prescribed: • It is regularly performed through the lifespan • There is a balance of endurance and strengthening exercises • Exercise must be properly dosed. Other key factors to exercise adherence are enjoyment, the knowledge and understanding of the benefits of exercise, and having a social network. All these factors need to be considered when prescribing exercise. Health care providers can point out that their older adult patients have 3 choices in life ( Dr, Corcos, Dr. Danilovish) 1. Be sedentary and passively allow time to take its inevitable toll 2. Exercise in a way older adults enjoy the most. This may or may not provide older adults with the optimal health benefit. 3. Follow the exercise regimens that have been clearly shown to have the best health related benefits. Supervision may or may not be needed to help reach higher exercise intensities. We now have devices that monitor heart rate and has simplified keeping watch of our heart rate in a certain zone for our safety. It is always advised to seek help from a professional in the fitness field. Exercise Is Medicine!! * Cardiopulm Physical Therapy Journal, Anne K Swisher, PhD, 2010 Dec * Today’s Geriatric Medicine, March/ April 2018, p.34 Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General ManagerMetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at

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May 2018




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

Grab your sunglasses -- summer's here, and it's time to kick back and relax. If only it were that easy. It would be great if all your worries disappeared when summer arrived, but that doesn't happen. Actually, if money is stressing you out and you're planning to take a vacation, summertime may be extra stressful.

Financial Thoughts

with Austin Barranco

Financial stress can strike at any time. If you're worried about money and your solution is to wait for things to get better, you're making a mistake. The best way to tackle money troubles is to take control and make some changes. Find Your Inner Money Manager You can't get a handle on your finances until you know where your money is going. And you can't manage your cash until you control your spending. Bottom line: Set up a spending plan (budget) that covers your expenses and frees up money to put toward your short- and long-term goals. Deal With Your Debt If you have outstanding credit card balances or loans, paying down your debt will free up extra cash. The less you pay in interest, the more money you'll have for other things, like saving for retirement. Credit cards generally carry high interest rates, so that's a good place to start. To get a handle on credit card debt, stop using your cards for new purchases. Focus on the credit card account with the highest interest rate and pay off that Weekly Plan Contribution

$10 $20 $30 $40

Once you see how much of a difference small amounts can make, you just might look for another $10 a week to contribute. And the next time you get a raise or bonus, you might decide to increase your contribution again.

balance. (Note: Always pay at least the minimum amount due on all outstanding balances and loans.) Once that debt is zeroed out, go on to the account or loan with the next highest interest rate. Eliminate Any Penalties When money is tight, every penny counts. You can't make every penny count if you have to pay late fees on your credit card accounts, loans, or other bills. Get into the habit of always paying on time. Try paying your bills as soon as they arrive or arranging for automatic payments (as long as you keep an eye on your bank balance to avoid overdraft fees and/or interest charges). Reduce Stress Later, Too Taking control of your finances can help improve your situation now -- and likely later. Let's say you eliminate a few splurges and free up $10 a week. Since saving for retirement is a big goal and a top priority, you increase your contribution to your employer's retirement plan or other retirement savings account by that amount. Over time, that extra money could make a substantial difference in your balance, as illustrated in the hypothetical example below.

Weekly Contributions 5 Years 10 Years $3,102 $7,500 $6,205 $15,001 $9,307 $22,501 $12,409 $30,001

20 Years $22,573 $45,147 $67,720 $90,294

30 Years $52,865 $105,731 $158,596 $211,462

May 2018

Austin Barranco, Financial Advisor Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager Direct comments and questions to or 334.387.0094 The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principle. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized legal or tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific legal or tax issues with a qualified legal or tax advisor.

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor, and separate entity from LPL Financial.

Paying Off Credit Card Faster 40 Years $113,742 $227,484 $341,226 $454,968

Source: DST Systems, Inc. These are hypothetical examples involving participants who consistently make weekly contributions over various time periods and earn a 7% average annual investment return compounded monthly.

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Look at the Difference The faster you pay off your credit card debt, the less interest you'll pay and the sooner you'll have more money to save for other things. Look at a hypothetical example that illustrates the difference between paying $100 a month and $350 a month on a $5,000 credit card balance.

Monthly Payment Number of Months Number to Pay Off Balance of Months

$100 $350

73 16

Interest Paid

Total Payments

$2,240 $461

$7,240 $5,461

Source: DST Systems, Inc. This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. Your results will be different. It assumes an interest rate of 13%.

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

May 2018



Travel Experiences with Jeff Barganier

Full Bladder, Big Storm & an Old Man on the Flying Trapeze

If two years in the Army taught me anything at all, it was the importance of training and experience. So, when I purchased a new tarp to go over my hammock, I was naturally compelled to test it in a local park before heading off into the wilderness. In June of 2017, Hurricane Cindy blowing up from the Gulf provided the perfect opportunity to check out my equipment in high wind and heavy rain. I hate mosquitoes! So, I used a bug net that completely enveloped me as I reclined upon my Eno hammock’s super-strong parachute-like material. Negotiating any hammock, in and of itself, is a chore, the difficulty of which depends on whether it’s low or high off the ground. A bug net further complicates entry and exit somewhat as one has to constantly zip and unzip the darn thing. I wanted as little room as possible between me and the tarp in order to avoid blowing rain. So, I hung the hammock and net high off the ground. My long legs allowed me to sort of vault backwards, hopping slightly up, then over into the sling. The disadvantage of this maneuver is that the centrifugal force of my body slamming into the hammock causes me to swing back and forth violently for several seconds. I could have hung the tarp and hammock a little lower, but then the bug net would have dragged the ground. Plus, I didn’t want to be eye level with prowling critters that might have decided to visit during the night. Been there, done that.

For future reference, please note: Consuming a great quantity of water and a large bottle of Snapple—I like the Mango—is not exactly how an older man should prepare for a stormy night zipped inside a bug net upon a highhung hammock. Several times during the night, my bladder affirmed this truth. By early morning, I was somewhat bereft of mental agility due to the exercise of exiting and entering my wilderness Shangri-La for the purpose of relief. And that’s when calamity struck.

rain water, urine, and prairie muck, swinging like a Great Wallenda—i.e.: a daredevil stunt performer. When I finally realized my error, I tried desperately to pull myself up and over the hammock. But that proved futile. It quickly became obvious that the only direction out of my dilemma was down into the miry clay. So, lifting my legs, I plunged head first, inside the bug net, which dutifully adjusted its bindings, depositing me in the muckcocktail to which I had unwittingly contributed only moments before.

Storm Cindy descended upon me in all her fury. But with the old bladder flashing red-alert, I was forced, yet again, to unzip the bug net, reach below me and grab my boots, pull them on one at a time, then struggle out onto the soggy ground. Rather than step away from the hammock and “go” in the driving rain, I chose to go then and there, adding to the already substantial puddle directly below my swinging bed. Once relieved, I then positioned myself for the notso-well-practiced hop-vault maneuver back into the dry security of my bugnet-sanctuary. However, having at first stretched the hammock apart, I then thoughtlessly let go of it with my left hand just before my hop; whereupon, the hammock immediately closed to little more than a thin rope of material. A milli-second later—for poetry lovers—I was hanging topsy-turvy by my knees like a silly old man on a flying trapeze.

Lying there, I couldn’t help but laugh; and, for a moment, I thought I heard laughter in heaven. Ironically, I’m forever telling my elderly mother to be careful not to fall. She never does. It then occurred to me that there are good reasons why hammocks come with labels warning not to hang them over hard objects like stone or logs. It’s sound advice to always hang your hammock over grass, soft wet ground—preferably clean water—and/or muck. Hang it low enough—NOT HIGHER THAN 18 INCHES—to avoid having to somersault over into it. And keep one hand on the far edge of the material to keep it spread out enough to catch you as you drop bottom-first into it.

It takes an old man several seconds to ascertain his predicament in darkness at 3:00 a.m., in a raging storm, upside down, inches from a toxic mixture of

I’m happy to report that the new tarp worked beautifully throughout the night. Of course, I managed to get soaked nonetheless! Test your equipment before you go off into the wild. Remember: there is no substitute for training and experience. :)

Jeff S. Barganier is a freelance writer and business manager of Cindy Barganier Interiors LLC. He travels far and wide upon the slightest excuse for something interesting to write about. Contact Jeff at Follow him on Instagram: #jeffbarganier.

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GREENVILLE NATIVE TO SIGN LATEST BOOK AT CHAPPY'S DELI Jeff Barganier Tells How Prayer Transitioned Him from a Life He Despised to a Life He Loves

His candid and entertaining memoir entitled, “How Prayer Helped Me Escape the Corporate Rat Race and Live Life by Design Not by Default,” chronicles his journey from burned out stockbroker to writer. Trusting in divine guidance, Jeff abruptly sold his company in 2003. He told his wife, “I just sold the company and I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do now.” Today, he’s a freelance writer who also occasionally designs and builds products and hangs heavy mirrors for his designer wife, Cindy, whose interior design firm he manages. He explains how they capitalize on a successful marriage of 38 years to achieve an enviable lifestyle based on trust in God and devotion to each other.

Jeff Barganier

Today he travels far and wide upon the slightest excuse for something interesting to write about. He visited a fourth-generation “roof thatcher” in Holland to learn the ancient art of roof thatching, once that land’s primary industry. According to his Dutch friends, Jeff’s engaging story about roof thatching and the Dutch people in “a land of modern marvels” made him famous in the Netherlands. Later, he invited Cindy along on a writing assignment to Oregon where the couple mastered fly-fishing on the swift green waters of the world-famous Rogue River. “Life doesn’t get any better than this. It sure beats watching your law client escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs or enduring a vicious bear market in the securities business!” He says. The couple sold their home two years ago completely furnished. They moved in to Jeff Barganier Book Signings, 10:45 – 1:30pm Cindy’s design studio located in the “traditional neighborhood development” known as Chappy's Peppertree: Tuesday, May 15 “The Waters” in Pike Road, Alabama. “We sold our furniture, art collection, draperies, Chappy's Perry Hill: Wednesday, May 16 rugs, everything. It was downsizing on steroids,” says Cindy. They no longer cook meals, Chappy's Prattville: Thursday, May 17 preferring to eat at the restaurant next door or catch a bite on the run. Their laundry is picked up twice a week by the back door and returned on hangers. “We’ve created a lifestyle that allows us to go directly from work to play. Consequently, we are super productive in what we love—writing and design. We farmed out 90 percent of life’s mundane tasks, freeing us to create and travel. Now we live life by design not by default,” Jeff says.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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May 2018




This & tHAT

Sunday Spring Concert Series in Cloverdale, Free Admission :)

Blue Yonder

The 2018 Cloverdale-Idlewild Spring Concert Series continues in May. This is the neighborhood’s most anticipated event of the year! It is always fun and a great way to meet your neighbors and visit with friends! Everyone is welcome, so bring all your friends and family!! Leashed dogs are also welcome, so bring your furry babies as well!! Hope to see y’all there!!! Cloverdale Bottom Park, Intersection of Cloverdale Road and Ponce de Leon Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106. Enjoy a few hours in the park, starting at 4 pm! May Concert Dates: ● May 6 - Federal Expression ● May 13 - Fibergrass ● May 20 - Blue Yonder, The Marvtones on May 27. ADMISSION IS FREE! Bring your chairs or blankets (or both), coolers, snacks. Plan to sit under the beautiful oak trees in the park setting and enjoy the music. For more info visit the Facebook Page/Cloverdale-Idlewild-Association

Capital City Master Gardener Association Presents Free Lunch & Learn 2018 Capital City Master Gardener Association presents Lunch & Learn 2018 the 1st Wednesday of Every Month from 12-1 pm. We meet at the Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Avenue, Downtown Montgomery. Mark your calendars May 2nd, Dabbling with Daylillies Terese Goodson, Master Gardener and June 6 Butterfly Gardening in the South, Jane Mobley, Adv Master Gardener. For information, please contact the Montgomery County Extension Office 334.270.4133. Also visit FREE GARDEN HELPLINE: Can’t find the answer to a home gardening question? Call our Free Help Line for the general public. 1-877-252GROW (4769), Mon-Thurs 9am-1pm I March-August. The help line is operated by Master Gardener Volunteers who use research-based information to best answer your gardening questions.

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

Support Meetings for Cancer Patients and Caregivers

Support Meetings for Cancer Patients and Caregivers. Includes monthly education series, encouragement from cancer Survivors, caregiver support and sharing common experiences and solutions. May 15, Jun 19, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9. All meetings held in Education Conference Room, Montgomery Cancer Center, 4145 Carmichael Road. Education series starts at 12N; Support meeting starts at 1pm. Call 334.273.2275 for more information.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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The Leisure Seeker @ The Capri Theatre John has Alzheimer's. Ella has cancer. They fell out of love years ago, but they've always wanted to see Ernest Hemingway' s house in Key West. They decide to drive their RV, nicknamed The Leisure seeker from Boston to Key West, and on the way, they fall in love with each other all over again. Funny and heartbreaking, Leisure Seeker shows that you're never too old to live a little ­or a lot. Cast: Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland, Christian McKay, Janel Moloney. Showings: May 11-17. For more info call 334.262.4858 or visit Capri Theatre 1045 E Fairview Ave. Montgomery (Cloverdale)

Farmers Market Grand Opening

May is Skin Cancer Month

The 14th Annual Farmers Market is set to open on Saturday, May 12 with a Grand Opening celebration from 7 AM - Noon. Since opening in 2004, The Shoppes at EastChase Farmers Market has grown every year and is now one of the top five largest markets in Alabama. Several popular farms are scheduled to make their return with locally grown products, including Aplin Farms, Oakview Farms, Penton Farms, and Leatherwood Nursery and many more! The Grand Opening will feature live chef demonstrations, live music by the Blackbird Pickers and children's activities, all starting at 9 AM. The very popular 'Garden Cart Giveaway’ is back with prizes from featured vendors and the winner will be selected at 11:30 AM. This year’s Farmers Market will run through September 29th. For more information about The Shoppes at EastChase Farmers Market, contact Suzanna Wasserman at 334.279.6046 or or

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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May 2018



This & tHAT



2018 Herb Day Sponsored by the Old Alabama Town Herb Society The 21st annual Herb Day, Saturday, May 12, 2018, 8:00 am –3:00 pm, sponsored by Old Alabama Town Herb Society, will be held in the ‘Living Block’ at Old Alabama Town, 301 Columbus Street, Montgomery. The annual ‘Herb Day ’festival is a free, fun-filled, public educational event for the entire family: lectures/demonstrations featuring experts on identifying, growing, and using herbs – including a cooking demonstration. There will be music, children’s activities and the opportunity to find that perfect Mother’s Day gift in the open-air market. A variety of vendors will sell their garden related wares including a huge selection of herbal and other plants, crafts, herbal teas, goat cheeses, and various and sundry yard art. “Happy Humble Hops” is the Herb Day theme this year recognizing the attributes of the herb Hops, as designated Herb of the Year by the International Herb Association. For more information go to

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute opens ‘Foot Soldiers’ exhibit The silent heroes of Birmingham’s human rights struggle during the 1950s and ‘60s included cooks, drivers, trainers, guards, strategists and hundreds of other people from all walks of life. These “foot soldiers” who helped make possible the civil rights movement are being honored by former New York Times photographer and Alabama native Chester Higgins Jr. in a photographic exhibit called “Foot Soldiers: Profiles of Courage Then and Now.” The exhibit fills the Odessa Woolfolk Gallery at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) through November, after which the exhibit will travel to other cities such as Memphis. “This exhibit gives praise to the Birmingham foot soldiers for making a difference when it was dangerous to do so,” Higgins said. “These portraits honor the brave, committed souls who as young teenagers exhibited a remarkable sense of character in a most difficult time in their lives and in our nation’s history. Fueled by the belief Photograph by Billy Brown that all people are entitled to the full rights of citizenship and justice, their struggle has enriched and enhanced all our lives.” For more info visit

The 3nd Annual River Region Disability Expo The 3nd annual Disability Expo is designed to empower people with disabilities, and of all ages, with the information, resources and technology to enhance their lives. This event is free, open to the public and will be held on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at Eastmont Baptist Church, 4505 Atlanta Hwy, between 1-6 pm. This is a free event. "We find families need to know about services that can help them when a baby is born with a disability, a child that may begin to have some difficulty in an area of their development, a teenager or adult who may need some intervention because of a disability, or as a mature adult who acquires a disability as they begin to age," states Rachel Hughes, organizer of the event. "Last year's vendors were eager to return and we had requests from so many new ones, we had to expand our space! Having so many resources in one location will provide a great benefit to the individuals and families that attend." There will be exhibitors set up from a variety of programs, services and products. Some examples include: independent living, technology, children's services, recreation, advocacy, education, transition services, social skills, life coaching, employment and more. Many of the exhibitors presented at the Disability Expo do not charge for their service. For more info visit or call Rachel Hughes, 334.293.7236 or Varina Mead, 334.380.8156

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Memory Cafés at the Whole Foods Market in Montgomery Whole Foods and Dementia Friendly Alabama have partnered and are delighted to announce they will be hosting Memory Cafés at the Whole Foods Market in Montgomery. The next Memory café will be Friday, May 11th, 10-11 am. with a special live performance by Montgomery Symphony’s “Montgomery Music Project!” Memory Cafés are social engagement opportunities for people with dementia and their care partners to come together and just have some fun. We will provide an engaging sensory tour where they will experience tastes, touch and smells from all over the world. At any given café, organizers encourage attendees to not focus on the disease and have fun with the group. Please call 334.240.4680, ext 105 to let us know you’re coming. For more information visit events/183062925761705/

Celebrating America's Heroes @ ASF

The majestic Alabama Shakespeare Festival for an evening celebrating American air power as we hear stories of courage, innovation, and resiliency from three aviation pioneers. Join the featured speakers Gen. Lori Robinson, astronaut Dr. Guion Bluford, and Operation Enduring Freedom hero CMSgt Calvin Markham in an intimate setting Wednesday, May 30, 7:3010:30pm, where they will share their inspiring stories of service and sacrifice. Afterward, all are welcome to attend a dessert reception and shake the hands of all ten “Eagles.” It’s a night for the River Region to honor and celebrate the airpower heritage that it has been supporting and forging for more than 100 years! Proceeds support the Gathering of Eagles Foundation efforts. Tickets are $30. For more info call (800) 841-4273 or visit

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

May 2018



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Agape Run for a Mom Agape of Central Alabama will hold its 8th annual Run for a Mom 5k and Fun Run on May 12th at Vaughn Park Church, 3800 Vaughn Road in Montgomery. This event is an effort to bring people together to honor the role of mom, featuring family friendly entertainment, food, and games. All proceeds from Run for a Mom will directly benefit Agape of Central Alabama and its mission to support women, children, and families through foster care, adoption, and crisis pregnancy counseling. Please go to to register, volunteer, or to get more information.

Mint Juleps, Bourbon, Horses and Hats, Hats, Hats, Hats... Get ready for horses, hats, and bourbon! Join Hospice of Montgomery as they bring Millionaire’s Row with a casino twist to the River Region. The Kentucky Derby Annual Benefit will take place Saturday, May 5th from 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., at Montgomery Country Club. Dress in your “Derby” best, and take part in the 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 144th Run for the Roses! Attendance at the annual benefit supports Hospice of Montgomery, which is the River Region’s ONLY independent, nonprofit hospice care provider. Funds raised through this event help provide medical care for the seriously ill, bereavement and grief counseling for families, as well as caregiver support. Be sure to reserve your tickets today for the most exciting two minutes in racing! $50 General Admission. Sponsorships are also available. Tickets can be purchased at Hospice of Montgomery, 1111 Holloway Park, Montgomery, and online at For more information contact Hospice of Montgomery at 334.279.6677. The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports!


There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Delbert McClinton and those who haven’t heard him yet. Delbert is always working on that second group. Lyle Lovett has said, “If we could all sing like we wanted to, we’d all sing like Delbert.” The multi-Grammy Award winning artist is at the top of his game with his 19th studio album, Prick Of The Litter (Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers). The new offering captures the balance of soulful energy and restraint that the legendary performer has been delivering in his live performances for decades all over the world. Prick Of The Litter blends Delbert’s signature rhythm and blues sound with a newer jazz-influence inspired by Johnny Mercer, Nat King Cole and other legendary crooners. He includes some upbeat traditional blues (“Don’t Do It”) with a romantic take on Tony Bennett’s San Francisco (“San Miguel”) while “Skip Chaser” paints a vivid picture of the perils of the profession. A highlight is the album’s closer, the gentle and hopeful “Rosy.” McClinton's road band, Self-Made Men provide a harddriving rhythm section, powerful guitars and innovative piano, accented by punched-up horns. Delbert’s definitive vocals and distinct harmonica licks bring it all together. Delbert will be appearing on Saturday May 12, 8-10 pm at MPAC Downtown Montgomery. Tickets range from $37 to $23 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Call 334.481.5100 for more information or visit or

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Jeff Barganier New Book Signing

Jeff Barganier Book Signings, 10:45 – 1:30pm Chappy's Peppertree: Tuesday, May 15 Chappy's Perry Hill: Wednesday, May 16 Chappy's Prattville: Thursday, May 17

Montgomery Botanical Gardens in Oak Park Receives $2600 Donation The Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park (MBG) is excited to receive a donation of $2600 from the Montgomery Rotary Club for 5 trees (2 magnolias, 1 crepe myrtle, 1 willow oak, 1 Chinese Pistache). These trees will be placed in the Southern Garden of the Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park. MBG is planting over 1000 plants from 30 different species of Southern trees, shrubs and plants in this Southern Garden. A full list of plants needed to complete the gardens can be found at For more info contact Jacque Foshee 334.462.0434 or email L-R: Barry Cavan, Deb Crook, Skip Dotherow, Clare Weil, Jannah Bailey, Ethel Boykin, Richard Bollinger

Combat Cancer Jubilee Run

Women of Hope

Breast Cancer Support Group Tuesday, May 8th, 5:30 p.m. Frazer UMC, Room 8114 6000 Atlanta Highway Enjoy fun and fellowship with your breast cancer “sisters” and friends!

The program will be: My Continuing Breast Cancer Journey Presented by Annie Franklin, Breast Cancer Survivor

Everyone is Welcome!

For information please call 334-220-4599 or email


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This will be the 40th year for the Jubilee Run for Cancer!! The race will be held Saturday, May 19, 2018, 7:30-12 noon. Both courses: The 8K Combat Cancer Jubilee Run and the Peggy McLendon Lanier Memorial Mile will start/finish on Columbus Street at Old Alabama Town. Friends and Family members are encouraged to cheer you on at the finish line. Benefit: All net proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. For more information visit or contact Kathy Wood @ 334-5586587 or email

Sandra Nickel Receives Robert Daniels Historic Preservation Award The Montgomery Historic Preservation Commission is proud to offer the Historic Preservation Awards program. The awards ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, May 8th as a local observance of National Preservation Month. With this special event, the Commission will recognize contributions and activities and celebrate historic preservation efforts and cultural resources that promote Montgomery’s rich history and architectural heritage. The goals of the Historic Preservation Awards program are: To encourage excellence in the planning, design, and execution of projects affecting the City’s historic resources and heritage and to raise greater public awareness and understanding of historic preservation efforts and their benefits to the City of Montgomery. Sandra Nickel will be receiving the Robert Daniels Historic Preservation Award for her long time and continuing support for the historic preservation movement in Montgomery and, in particular, historic neighborhoods. Award ceremony will be Tuesday, May 8th, at 5:30 in City Hall auditorium. R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

May 2018



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

3 Common Estate Planning Mistakes In our practice, we commonly see the same mistakes being made time and again. Sometimes we see the client early enough to correct the mistake before any harm is done, but not always. Read on to learn about three of the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them.

“everything” they may need to address. Instead, you have to specifically state that your agent has the power to handle certain kinds of transactions. That’s why it is important to include expanded powers in your power of attorney, particularly for clients over age 65.



People are living longer than ever before. If you need proof, just look around at the number of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and similar organizations that care for the ever-growing senior population. The longer we live, the more likely it is that we will deal with a period of disability late in life during which we will need others to help care for us.

I regularly teach an educational workshop on estate planning to members of the public, and one of the topics that tends to get people’s attention is the discussion of how you own your assets. You see, the way your assets are held or titled can have a significant effect upon whether your estate plan “works” the way that you hope it does.

The starting point in disability planning is to be sure that you have, at a minimum, a durable power of attorney and an advance directive in place. Note that not all of these documents are created equal. For example, most advance directives focus on end-of-life scenarios in the event that we are in a coma, or require machines to keep us alive. They often fail to adequately address a more common scenario—one in which we require nursing home or other long-term care for an extended period of time.

Attend Free Workshop

at the the Archibald Archibald Senior Senior Center Center (MACOA) (MACOA) in in Montgomery. Montgomery. This This at educational workshop workshop presented presented by by local local attorney attorney Raley Raley L. L. Wiggins Wiggins educational covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate probate administration, administration, protecting protecting assets assets from from creditors, creditors, wills, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid Medicaid qualification. qualification. Registration Registration is is required. required. and Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register register online online at at Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or

Under the new Alabama Uniform Power of Attorney Act (effective January 1, 2012), granting your agent the power to do “everything” you could do yourself, doesn’t actually mean that the agent can handle May 2015 May 2018


This mistake is not true in all cases, but consider the increasingly common second marriage. When each spouse has their own children, this can be a source of hurt feelings when one spouse dies before the other. The children of the deceased spouse often resent step-parent Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop their for spending “their” Wednesday, May May 20: 30: Hosted Hosted by by Red Red Oak Oak Legal, Legal, PC: PC: 1:30-3:30 1:30-3:30 pm pm Wednesday, inheritance.

While the advance directive deals with health care issues, a durable power of attorney grants a person of your choosing (your agent) the authority to handle your business and financial affairs. Importantly, however, the law is clear that your agent only has the powers which are granted to her in the power of attorney. The problem is that just reading the terms of the POA won’t necessarily give you the complete picture of what powers your agent does or doesn’t have.

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Assume John jointly owns a house with his wife, Jane. He has a 401(k) that names Jane as the death beneficiary, and a life insurance policy that names his son, Billy as the beneficiary. At John’s death, his wife Jane will own the house and get the money in the 401(k), while Billy gets the life insurance money. Even though the will leaves “everything” to Sally, she won’t actually inherit anything at all.

For example, many kinds of jointly owned property will automatically become the sole property of the surviving joint owner upon the death of the other owner, regardless of what the deceased person’s will says about who gets the property. Similarly, beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other accounts will determine who actually gets the money in those accounts after the owner’s death. For an average middle class family, the bulk of their estate’s value will consist of three types of assets—the home, retirement accounts, and life insurance proceeds. Consider John Doe, whose will leaves his entire estate to his favorite niece, Sally.

The better choice is to leave those assets in trust. For example, John and Jane get married. They are both in their 50’s, and each have their own children from prior marriages. John dies first. His will leaves the bulk of his estate to Jane, in trust, to make sure her basic needs are provided for. The terms of the trust, however, prevent Jane from leaving John’s money to her new spouse (if she remarries) or to her own children. Instead, whatever is left will pass to John’s children after her death. In conclusion, I’ll leave you with a question: Do any of these examples sound familiar to you?

Raley RaleyL.L.Wiggins Wiggins Attorney Red Oak Legal, PC PC AttorneyatatLaw, Law, Red Oak Legal, 334-239-3625 | 334-239-3625 | 312 Catoma Street, Suite 150, Montgomery, AL 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104 36104,

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

ARE YOU MAKING A COMMON ESTATE PLANNING MISTAKE? Not planning for disability Not knowing how you own your assets Leaving assets outright to your spouse

Sound Familiar?

We can help.


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.

Seats fill up quickly! Reserve your seat today:

(334) 625-6774 31

“No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.”


Sandra Nickel, She Knows Homes & Hats This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is none other than Sandra Nickel. Sandra is well known in our community because she has trademarked her look into a successful real estate company called, Sandra Nickel, Hat Team, Realtors. Her leadership in real estate is driven by a high standard of professional excellence which her Hat Team also possesses. Another unique quality is her emphasis on the Midtown area and historic neighborhoods. It's a love she developed as a young girl while visiting her grandparents who lived in an 1890's Queen Anne home. Sandra has become the expert for Montgomery's historic homes and she serves on the board of the Landmarks Foundation encouraging historic preservation. She also has a heart for the homeless of Montgomery and values the sensitivity it has provided to her life's experiences. We recently spent some time getting to know Sandra and hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have.

We have fun in the office at Halloween and our late Cha Cha joined in!

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?

One year the Hat Team sponsored a gingerbread house decorating contest

how you got started in the real estate business? You are a Certified Residential

BOOM!: As founder and CEO of “The Hat Team” Realtors would you please share

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Specialist, what does that mean? What is your business philosophy and how do you encourage quality results from your team? Why do you call yourself a “rainmaker”? Sandra: During our five years back in St. Louis, I was lucky to land a job as Direct Marketing Manager for a publishing house. It was a rewarding job that paid really well. And when we moved back here, I could not find anything close to comparable. Friends of ours, a married couple who both were in real estate, encouraged me to explore it. I did, and I guess it took because that was almost 37 years ago!

Sandra: I was born 100 miles outside St. Louis, MO, and grew up in the St. Louis area. Attended (but did not finish) Washington University on a journalism scholarship provided by THE ST. LOUIS GLOBE DEMOCRAT, owned by Newhouse which for years also owned the MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER. My husband Jim and I moved to Montgomery when he as young Airman was assigned to Maxwell AFB. We did return to St. Louis for a 5-year period and very quickly decided that we preferred Montgomery for its easy lifestyle, generally pleasant weather and race relations that felt to us a great deal better than in the Midwest.

The biannual changing of the hats, from attic to closet

Sandra's a true believer in all things local

My former broker believed strongly in professional education. Thanks to him, early in my career I did all the coursework and sales volume required to earn the Certified Residential Specialist designation. Fewer than 4% of REALTORS nationwide have achieved that level of expertise. All but one of my salespeople (and she’s only a few The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

months in the business!) have the credential as well because they are all committed to being the very best they can be. It’s in their DNA—nothing for which I can claim credit.

Sandra with her brother, Frank Piatt

My “rainmaker” title comes from the field of law, where one or more partners in a firm is charged with business development. And that’s my role on the Hat Team: to make the phone ring and internet sing with leads. Then those terrific salespeople take over. BOOM!: Many of our readers know you like old houses and historic neighborhood living, why do you get so “jazzed” about these two lifestyle choices? Please share some of your journey with the historic preservation movement in Montgomery? How would you encourage future generations to value and preserve Montgomery’s unique history? Sandra: I grew up in a family of 6. And until I was 10 years old, we were all in a tiny post WWII 2-bedroom, 1 bath reminiscent of Levittown. My father used to get up long before dawn just to have private time in the bathroom!

And it must have been on one of those visits that something inside me clicked and I became a cardcarrying old house nut. So, when I got into real estate I really had no choice but to follow my heart down

the historic home pathway. BOOM!: Your husband, Jim is an important part of “The Hat Team”, what’s his role and what’s it like working with your husband successfully for so many years? What’s the secret to working together?

BOOM!: Many people over 50 are experiencing a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, even in retirement. How would you describe this sense of renewal in your life? Any advice for the rest of us seeking renewal? What do you think about retirement? Sandra: Some years ago, I discovered the joy of volunteerism and now devote about a thousand hours a year to nonprofit service. Fortunately, my passions (historic preservation, affordable housing, homelessness, neighborhood revitalization) dovetail perfectly with my profession. So, I’m not really aware when I am working and when I am volunteering.

Retirement doesn’t sound at all attractive to Sandra: My me because husband Jim is our Chief Family reunion February 2017 with siblings and spouses (and furbabies!) I so love what I do. Financial My “game plan” is to live to be 125 Officer. I’m pretty good at making money and die at my desk. And I am creating but not good at all at keeping it. In fact, a “transition plan,” should something left to my own devices I’d probably give happen to change things. That said, Jim virtually all of it away. So, he controls the and I are beginning to travel more. purse strings and keeps us in business.

Our partnership is But going successful to visit my because we paternal have a clear grandparents division of was a duties and complete respect one change. another’s They lived abilities. in a grand I’ve also 1890’s known him Queen Anne Jim Nickel, Sandra, and friends Sandy Roland and her late husband John since we with huge rooms, high ceilings, four big were 13, so we’ve learned to accept one bedrooms, 2 full and two half baths… another’s shortcomings and weather the plus an extra shower and toilet in the full storms when they come. basement. It was heaven!

BOOM!: What brings joy to your every day?

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

Sandra: I love making a difference in the lives of others, be it through homeownership or my other interests. BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work? Sandra: While my computer is backing up, I enjoy a game or two of online Solitaire. When I get home, it’s the WSFA news and a glass of merlot. Weekends when there’s time, I lose myself in a book: most often non-fiction but not always. Always I love on our two

May 2018



Sandra: Proud to center for blankets, coats, etc., to be say I was among distributed to the homeless shelters. the founding board members of the For the past 8 or so years, I have been BONDS organization heavily involved with Landmarks BOOM!: You (originally a Foundation, Montgomery’s preservation have traveled nonprofit, now a education and advocacy organization. extensively, department of the Love this line I read somewhere: “We what are City), whose mission preserve old buildings not simply some of is to strengthen because they are beautiful artifacts, your favorite neighborhood and because they tell us who we are by travel groups and train showing us where we have been.” experiences? up neighborhood Sandra says, "You get nowhere by blending in!" Favorite leaders and equip BOOM!: What is it about living in the vacation spot? Any travel dreams them to become politically active. Montgomery/River Region area that you planned? like? Helped to Sandra: Hands down my favorite place is organize Sandra: I love Montgomery’s New Orleans. There’s something about my own pace and her people. They are it—no doubt the architecture plays a neighborhood the best! major role—that speaks to my soul. We organization, go as often as time allows. And I’ll go the Garden BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how anywhere I can travel overnight in a District have your priorities changed? sleeper on a train. Preservation Association, Sandra: This summer Jim and I will do an Alaskan and have Time was, river cruise. An extensive immersion trip served in I was all to the British Isles and Europe is on my some capacity for well over 30 years. about bucket list. It’s been a joy to see the “seedier” making areas be improved and restored. money. BOOM!: Sandra, you have given back Now I’m your time and resources to many Service on the board of the Midall about non-profits in the River Region, please Alabama Coalition for the Homeless making a share with our readers some of these has helped to sensitize me to the needs difference. Sandra's Hat Team office is a collection place organizations and what it means to you of that population. As a result, each to be able to serve them? winter we use our office as a collection for the annual homeless program and for sweet female Beagle rescues, BB and Molly.

Montgomery Humane Society

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Sandra: Words on paper are like a drug to me—I just cannot get enough. I read voraciously! BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you? Sandra: Passionate, persuasive, focused BOOM!: Would you share your “pet family” with us and your love of homeless animals and finding “furever” homes? Sandra: My parents raised Cocker Spaniels, and I think I grew up on a steady diet of dog hair. As a result, I adore four-footed things. Both our Beagles are rescues and we devote a lot of our corporate charitable giving to the Montgomery Humane Society. Our office serves as a drop-off point for newspapers, cans and linens that we collect and send to the shelter to help them meet their budget and the physical needs of the dogs and cats in residence. As a result, you’ll most often find a pile of stuff right next to my desk. Not pretty but appreciated! BOOM!: If you weren’t doing what you do, what dream job would you want?

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Sandra: I would love to head up a community development corporation with the mission of depressed neighborhoods’ revitalization through historic property rehab and architecturally appropriate affordable infill housing.

the internet and social media have levelled the playing field for a small company like ours. We can be as available and competitive as “the big boys,” and our marketing can be just as sophisticated at a fraction of what it once cost. I LOVE technology as a tool.

We want to thank sandra for helping us put together this month’s Sandra, bringing a little New Orleans BOOM! Cover Profile. If BOOM!: to Montgomery you want to sell or buy Technology is a home reach out to rooted in almost sandra at or give her every aspect of our lives. What’s your a call at 334.834.1500. You can also vist her relationship with the digital world? website at We want Does technology help you run a smarter to thank the portrait team at Total Image organization? Portraits for their quality work. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating Sandra: The mobile telephone “set someone, please send them to Jim Watson REALTORS free!” We used to carry rolls at of quarters for pay telephones and were

loathe to leave our desks for fear of missing an opportunity to speak with a prospective buyer or seller. Email and texting allows us to communicate with our clients and prospects when it is convenient for them. It has also done away with the need to rush from point A to point B then point C to obtain signatures and share documents. And

Read all of the BOOM! Cover Profiles at

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free subscriptions

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May 2018



by Jean S. Bradley

Landmarks Foundation

Old Alabama Town,

Celebrates Golden Anniversary History comes alive six days a week at Old Alabama Town, a living history museum of nineteenth century Alabama, and that’s perfectly fine with Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery, the nonprofit organization that maintains it. Founded 50 years ago by James Loeb, Milo Howard and other concerned citizens, Landmarks Foundation has a mission to preserve, interpret, and present Central Alabama’s architecture, history, and culture. It began with one building and a passion to preserve our community’s history. "For half a century, Landmarks Foundation has led the preservation movement in Montgomery through its effort to protect and revitalize historic homes, schools, churches, and commercial buildings." Executive Director Michael Panhorst, Ph.D.

Six blocks stretch through Old Alabama Town with over 40 restored buildings offering a peek inside the lives of those who lived over 100 years ago. Meticulously restored, there is a grist mill, tavern, blacksmith, cotton gin, drug store, print shop and even a church and school house even an antebellum townhouse. Guided tours are available as well as self-guided tours. Visitors on

self guided tours will probably not see a costumed interpreter, usually here for school tours by reservation.“How will we know it’s us without our past?” from John experience Steinbeck’s The the past Grapes of Wrath and, aptly conveys hopefully, the message learn from of Landmarks it. Adults, Foundation and its too, benefit effort to project from the the past through many preservation, diverse special programs programming, offered. An and advocacy. evening Landmarks of original began with the Landmarks Executive Director, Michael Panhorst, Ph.D. music by preservation of the OAT Revue in the church as well as the Ordeman-Shaw home (c. 1853). the annual Herb Day (May 12, 2018) This antebellum home on the corner of hosted by OAT’s Herb Society mean Jefferson and Hull features rare original there’s something for everyone. slave quarters in the back allowing visitors to see, touch and perhaps feel "Since historic preservation is the what life was like for whites and blacks. ultimate recycling, restoring historic structures is the best way to be friendly Over 30,000 visitors, mostly to our environment!" Carole King, curator schoolchildren, visit Old Alabama Town each year and return home sharing the Events such as Renovators’ Open House knowledge they’ve gained from restored shares projects either underway or buildings, costumed interpreters and completed in area buildings or private guides. Through these tours, they can

Original site of Old Alabama Town

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Ordeman House Today Ordeman House Late 1960s

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homes. Trekking Through the Past offers walking tours through historic cemeteries and downtown streets during which notable historians offer their interpretations and knowledge of the rich history of our community. Annually, Landmarks hosts a tour of historically-significant homes such as those from World War I, mid-century or Lockwood-designed houses coupled with historical information and insight into their unique importance to our community. Tavern Fest in the fall brings the finest breweries together for some fun centered around Lucas Tavern (c. 1820), one of the oldest buildings in Montgomery, on the corner of Jefferson and Hull. Music and special tastings make for an exciting evening. Lucas Tavern hosted French General Lafayette during a visit in 1824 when the tavern stood east of Montgomery. Landmarks moved the tavern to its present location where it now opens its doors to visitors from around the world. "Landmarks Foundation, through education and advocacy, champions the preservation and appreciation of Montgomery’s historic resources." Sandra Nickel, Landmarks Executive Board Member Landmarks Foundation saved the Ordeman-Shaw House (c. 1853), Lucas Tavern (c. 1820), and Rose House (c. 1840). Dedicated members helped save the railroad station and train shed, the Murphy House/Water Works Building, and numerous other structures around Montgomery. "Landmarks has made a significant contribution to today's downtown renewal because no downtown renewal in the United States has been successful without a firm foundation in historic preservation". Jeff Benton, local historian and Landmarks member

Under a cooperative agreement with the City of Montgomery, the 48 historic structures in the North Hull Historic District are managed by Landmarks Foundation. Half of the buildings are leased to generate revenue while the rest operate as Old Alabama Town. Over the past decade, reduced funding from the City of Montgomery created a deferred maintenance backlog of more than $1 million. Grants and ticket sales for Old Alabama Town have held steady, and an effort is underway to create both funding and awareness of Landmarks Foundation. Landmarks Foundation celebrates its first half century of service this year. Programs continue to be developed to share and teach Central Alabama’s rich history. The past is alive at Old Alabama Town as Landmarks Foundation looks to the future! If you would like to get involved with Montgomery's historic preservation, give us a call or drop us an email. Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery/Old Alabama Town 301 Columbus Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-240-4500

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May 2018



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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla


Too many healthy foods have had a bad rap in the no-so-distant-past and unfortunately once the mud has been slung, it is very difficult to unsling it. This has certainly been the case with eggs, butter, coconut oil, to name but a few. It is my firm belief that ANY food item that is a pure unadulterated piece, no matter what it is, HAS to be better for you – in moderation – than man-made substitutes. So, always choose butter over margarine or other “spreads”; choose whole milk yogurt over low or no-fat substitutes. You only have to look at the label to see that they are adding in a whole plethora of chemicals and artificial flavorings and sweeteners in order to try to recreate the flavor of the original. Eat the real thing and your body will thank you for it.

than I encourage you to do it at least once, just to see and taste the difference. Free range eggs are heavy, have a nice strong shell (won’t crack at the slightest tap) and the yolks are large and a vibrant yellowy orange color. Beside the fact that hens kept in cages where they can barely move is incredibly cruel, the eggs that they produce are bound to be inferior in quality to those hens that are allowed space to roam and forage. Just like you, a varied diet means a healthier hen. Hens fed on corn by products every day produce a particular kind of egg (pale watery yellow yolks, lacking in nutritional value).

another myth busted

There was a widespread belief that eggs were unhealthy because they contain cholesterol and therefore must contribute to heart disease (since proven false, but cholesterol is a whole other article.) True, eggs DO contain cholesterol – a large egg can contain about 212 mg, which is a lot compared to other foods, BUT eating cholesterol DOES NOT adversely affect cholesterol levels in the blood. This has been proven time and time again. Eggs do, in fact, RAISE the “good” cholesterol (HDL) AND they also change LDL -the “bad” cholesterol- from small, dense LDL to large LDL, which changes it from being BAD for you to being BENIGN. So, if we can get to what the amazing benefits of eating eggs are: 1) Eggs are particularly rich in the two antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Both HUGE in the business of protecting against the eye diseases macular degeneration and cataracts. In one study, supplementing with an average of 1.3 egg yolks per day for 4.5 weeks increased blood levels of lutein by 28-50% and zeaxanthin by 114-142%. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

2) Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients. One large egg has only 77 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids. They are rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium, vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 and Choline (important for the brain). They also include small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body... including calcium, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Folate and many more. An allround superfood! 3) Eggs can help you lose weight! Eggs score high on a scale called the satiety index, which means that eggs are particularly capable of making you feel full and eat fewer overall calories. They also only contain trace amounts of carbohydrates, which means that they will not raise blood glucose levels. Numerous studies have shown that eating eggs, instead of carbs, for breakfast can result in: • 61% greater reduction in BMI. • 65% more weight loss. • 34% greater reduction in waist circumference. • 16% greater reduction in body fat. Of course, as with all foods, eating organic is always the best option as they are much more nutritious than battery hen eggs (regular supermarket eggs), however if you don’t have access to local farm eggs or have your own hen, then buy omega-3 enriched or pastured (free range if possible, failing that “cage-free”). If you have never tried a free-range egg

A comparison of nutritional data for caged versus free range eggs found, on average, the free range eggs had: • Twice as much omega-3 fatty acids. • Three times more vitamin E. • Seven times more pro-vitamin A betacarotene. • A quarter less saturated fat. • A third less cholesterol. Other tests have demonstrated that pastured eggs have up to six times more essential vitamin D than regular supermarket eggs. They have also been shown to have significantly more B vitamins than a factory egg. One last point to make is that (and here I apologize to all you egg-white omelet eaters out there) you MUST eat the WHOLE egg in order to get all the benefits. The egg white just contains protein, ALL the other vitamins and minerals and found in the yolk! And let’s face it, it’s the yolk that tastes so yummy – and it’s in the yolk that you can see and taste the difference between caged and free-range hens. Tracy Bhalla, Independent Consultant with NYR Organics, website: tracybhalla email: You can also visit Tracy’s blog at, Continuing my obsession with all things organic, I have been working with NYR for two years now, using their skincare products myself for over 25 years! Your skin is the body’s largest organ, it deserves to be well looked after. I am here to answer any questions you may have. R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

May 2018



Caring Thoughts from Jeff Barganier

Helping Aging Parents When my motherin-law had a stroke a few years ago, we were immediately faced with caring for her every need, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Initially, the only option available to her was to move in with us, which we were happy to provide. However, my wife Cindy is an only child. She owns and operates a business; but when it comes to medical care, she is extremely intimidated. With no siblings to help make decisions or “take a turn,” the stress level in our home was unhealthy for all of us. With the help of an awesome caregiver, Linda Warren, we managed to care for her in our home for about nine months while she attended rehabilitation classes at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital. We quickly learned that finding a permanent place where she would receive proper and compassionate care—we were only slightly adequate for the job—takes time, effort and prayer. Fortunately, we were lucky to determine early on that Wesley Gardens was the best possible establishment for her. While it took months on the waiting list before she

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could be admitted, her peace and joy today are such a blessing. We have an extended family that we know we can count on and Cindy visits almost daily. Determining the best place for a disabled parent is a complex decision. Much depends on his (or her) personality, lifestyle, mental and physical

condition, and financial status. Other crucial issues include whether or not the parent is capable of self-medicating, whether or not medications must be crushed, whether or not he or she can communicate needs, and overall attitude. For parents who are not

necessarily disabled but, nevertheless, need help with the daily chores of living, lesser, albeit important, concerns

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include: the extent of social life they desire, how active they want to be, and can they drive? Depending on the answers to these questions, facilities differ in their mission from “independent living” to “assisted living” to “dementia facilities.” From our experience, the surest way to find the best place for your parent is to go visit and interview the staffs. But also, do not hesitate to “sniff around.” Talking with the families of residents and with residents themselves can be most enlightening. Generally speaking, does the facility have a good reputation? What kind of “vibes” do you get when you visit and observe? Before we finally convinced my mother to hang up her car keys and move from her drafty home of fifty years to a place where she didn’t have to worry about a yard, cooking, making repairs, changing light bulbs, and the like, we visited a number of Montgomery facilities. One such visit, I’ll never forget. Cindy and I drove up, parked in the parking lot, walked through the front door and nodded at a dozen or so residents having lunch. We continued down the hall looking for a staff person to speak with. Seeing none, we took a right turn and walked down another hall, passing resident rooms with open doors, even pausing to look at rooms. We basically took a self-guided tour through the whole building and never once were stopped, greeted or questioned by anyone. We departed through another door, returned to our car and were preparing to drive away when a lady

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

shouted from the entrance door, “may I help you?” Talking about bad vibes… Over several months, we visited others. I recall interviewing one manager only to realize that I had interviewed him before at another facility! He had changed jobs and had the most interesting comments about his previous place of employment. The moral of the story is: the more you visit, ask questions, and “sniff around,” the more likely you are to gain an understanding of motivations and other factors absolutely critical to making the best possible decision for your parent. I highly recommend talking directly with residents, if possible. One nice lady told me that she had lived in three facilities and then gave me a critique on each one! Another lady I spoke with had been a resident of the same facility for almost thirty years! These are priceless witnesses. Find them and listen to what they have to say. Lastly, just stand around during a visit and watch the operation. Do you see peace, harmony and organization? Or do you see chaos and confusion? Do the residents appear content or are they anxious and irritated? Why or why not? Also, inquire about staff turnover. If turnover is brisk, consider that a red flag! But if employees have been there for years and seem happy and content with their work, that’s probably a pretty good sign. I remember going to visit my mother at the family home when she was still

living there. She rarely complained about anything, but I couldn’t help but notice that she appeared distraught at times, especially when the weather was cold. She looked to be losing weight and generally seemed fatigued. Most of the day, she stayed indoors and rarely drove her car. She had virtually no social life. I’m happy to say that we found her the perfect place to live, closer to her children, and under the watchful eyes of great people who go beyond the call of duty in caring for their residents at CaraVita Village. She looks and sounds better than she has in years. She has many new friends and speaks glowingly of her new home each time we visit her—a huge blessing! This is certainly not an exhaustive analysis—just a few off-the-top-of-myhead thoughts on this subject that the Boom Editor asked me to address. You still have much to learn. However, suffice it to say, there are caring, gifted people in the River Region willing and able to help you with the special needs of aging parents. We hope and pray that you will have as much success as we have had in finding them! Jeff S. Barganier is an author, freelance writer, and business manager of Cindy Barganier Interiors LLC. He travels far and wide upon the slightest excuse for something interesting to write about. Contact Jeff at jeffbarganier@ Follow him on Instagram: #jeffbarganier.

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May 2018



By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

THE OWL AND THE GOOSE (The Wedding!, Part 2)

I did it!

for weeks before April 7. Most of my contribution to the planning was taking care of deposits, but I did get to participate in the cake tasting on my Christmas time visit to South Florida. As we (Janelle, Ryan and Janelle’s Mom, Michele, me) sampled one incredible cake treat after another, Michele made a gentle joke about Ryan getting cold feet. Without skipping a beat Ryan said “I’ll be the first one there”. I loved that response. I knew then- not that I ever had any doubts- I’d have the best son-in-law on the planet.

We did it! My daughter Janelle’s wedding to the handsome Ryan Martinez was flat out the best wedding I ever attended. To the surprise of everyone, including friend and ceremony Officiant Ron Magill, I smiled and walked Janelle to the altar, eyes stinging but over a huge smile- kissed her on the cheek, hugged her husband to be and took my place in row 1 to watch a most memorable wedding. When the kids chose April 7 as their wedding date last year I liked it immediately. It just sounded right. 4 + 7 (lucky) = 11 (lucky). The numbers in 2018 add up to 11 (lucky). Sure it’s crapolabut good crapola. If you’ve put on a wedding or other large event, you know the mental torture of realizing all the things that can go wrong. We left Montgomery a day early so if we wrecked, we’d have an extra day to rent a car or spend the night in the hospital for observation before calling Alexander Shunaraharahha.

I have yet to address my shocking- even to me- display of emotional control during the ceremony. Credit for that actually began the night before. Ryan’s Mom and Dad, Ken and Jill, threw a spectacular rehearsal dinner at their home.

Father of the Bride and his little girl, "Goose"

Suppose the dance-floor rental company went belly up a day after they cashed my check? What if the car carrying the wedding cake gets rear-ended and we’re scraping cream cheese frosting off the inside of a windshield? Suppose suppose suppose. I was fighting suppositional obsession

The Martinez family is large and charismatic. I’ve gotten to know them over a couple Christmas gatherings, and was happy to see them on Wedding Eve. My daughter has married into what we call a “salt of the earth” group.

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

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Ken and Jill went all out to treat the bridal party and guests to a memorable evening.

Towards the end of the rehearsal dinner, I was sitting with Roz and the Harbins chatting when Janelle came up and gave me a gift bag.

Two in attendance were our Here’s a friends Alan picture of and Jane what was in Harbin, who it and make made the 650 no mistake, mile trip. On when I read October 18, the message 2014- my new on the card wife Roz and I attended their The "Honeymooners" wedding at St. Bede’s in Montgomery. Jane (known to my and cuff links, I listeners as “Fun Size Jane”) was such a lost it and lost stunning bride I choked up in the pew. it good. Later, she told me that she saw that from the corner of her eye and had to Janelle knew look away so she didn’t tear up and that was spoil her wedding make up. I kept that coming, in mind for my role as Father of the and smartly Bride. Look ahead! Smile! Make eye gave me this contact with NO ONE! precious gift when we were At 6PM, the next day at Flamingo away from the rest of the party. Gardens, a bird sanctuary we visited when Janelle was still in a stroller-it That was NOT the end of it. was warm but thankfully rainless. Peacocks were walking about, As we walked to the car, Ryan came squawking as the kids hoped. The running up and said “here’s a little giftbridal party took their positions, the open it when you get home”. music soared, and I looked at my stunning daughter and said, “are you Once home, I opened the bag and ready?”. removed a beautifully carved wooden owl, with a handwritten note. “At first, I We began the walk over grass, slowly, was going to give you a sculpted goose, so those in attendance could get a full but when I thought about it, I chose look at Janelle as she walked towards this owl. They are one of nature’s great the altar. protectors- a bit bad-ass, not unlike me. Please take this as a sign that I will Miracle! I’d made it to my seat without always be protecting your precious spraying tears on the guests. Some in “Goose”.” Yeah, I lost it again. Big time. attendance thought I’d turn it into a What future father in law ever received Gallagher concert, requiring a plastic a better gift? I got all the tears out the drape over the first few rows. Nope! night before! And I owe it all to the cuff links I was After taking my seat, Ron Magill, The wearing. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Guy, at Zoo Miami, where he, Janelle and Ryan all work- told our story. He spoke of our friendship, my “iconic” status in Miami radio and how we became friends 7 years before Janelle was born. He recalled taking her on her first zoo tour at age 3. He talked of Ryan as someone who could succeed him one day, a helluva compliment considering Ron’s accomplished career. He led the kids to their vows, and a most magical moment. When it was time for the rings, Ryan slipped on a large leather glove and made a birdcall. About 30 second later a LARGE horned owl landed on his arm, bearing a small black bag with the rings. It was a moment unlike any other at any wedding I’ve ever seen. Those in attendance gasped. For three people dedicated to the care, conservation and public education about animals, it was the perfect moment. They exchanged vows. My Goose married her Owl, and into a great family. They have launched promising careers and have chosen rock solid friends- everything a Dad wants for his grown up-all-too-fast little girl. It was a dream wedding for the Father of the Bride, too!

Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, Roz, and dogs Hershey and Briscoe. He’s been in radio since 1970, and is marking 12 years in the River Region in 2017. He hosts the Newstalk 93.1FM Morning Show with Rich Thomas, Jay Scott & Emily Hayes, 6-9AM Monday-Friday. He returns weekday afternoons from 3-6PM for Happy Hour with sidekick Joey Clark. Greg can be reached at

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May 2018

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Break Glass Exhibition Rosa Parks Museum Summer Exhibit

The Rosa Parks Museum is excited to announce the opening of our summer exhibition, "Break Glass: A Conversation to End Hate" by artist V.L. Cox. The End Hate Project is a narrative body of work that looks at our history of discrimination, gender issues, and social culture. The powerful pieces convey messages that are aggressive, violent, disturbing, irreverent, and even humorous, but all show us as a society where we’ve been before and where we cannot allow ourselves to go again. The Rosa Parks Museum's mission is to honor Mrs. Parks' legacy and that of the boycott by providing a platform for scholarly dialogue, civic engagement, and positive social change. For more information, call 334.241.8615 or visit or events/1546615035436086

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Grandparents Event

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts’ Flimp Festival MMFA Saturday, May 5th, 10–2 pm

The 29th annual Flimp Festival will be held at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Saturday, May 5, 10 AM to 2 PM, complete with hands-on art activities for children, music, dance, theatrical performances, a treasure hunt in the galleries, a sidewalk-art competition, food, and more. This is one of the most anticipated events of the spring in the River Region. This year’s theme is “Gulf Coast Jubilee,” inspired by our current exhibitions Journey of the Islander: The Life and Art of Walter Inglis Anderson and Natural Wonders: The Art of Jacqueline Bishop and Douglas Bourgeois. These exhibitions can be seen in the galleries during Flimp festivities and regular Museum hours until Sunday, June 10. For more info visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Caymus Wine Dinner The Taste Restaurant-Hampstead Tuesday, May 8th, 6-8 pm

Caymus is a Cabernet Sauvignon specialist in the Napa Valley, and although relatively small, it is much larger than the so-called “cult” wineries in its immediate vicinity, and its wines are widely available. It is the flagship winery

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of the Wagner family, which has been involved in California winemaking for five generations and well over a century. They have several other facilities and opened the Caymus winery in 1972. As a result, today’s vintages include grapes from vines more than 40 years old. And, their wines are phenomenal! Please call to make reservations for this extraordinary wine dinner at 334.676.4333 or visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Taste of the Gardens 2018 Southern Homes & Gardens Thursday, May 10th, , 5-8 pm

Southern Homes & Gardens (SH&G) and the American Red Cross present Taste of the Gardens, a benefit for the American Red Cross, held annually at SH&G on Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL. Taste of the Gardens will be held Thursday, May 10th, from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. The event includes a silent auction featuring works from local artists; tastings from the River Region’s finest restaurants & caterers; wine and live music. Also, during the Taste of the Gardens event, SH&G will offer 20% off all non-sale items in the store. Event tickets are $25 and may be purchased at SH&G or from the American Red Cross of Central Alabama. For more information, contact Kelly Hodges, 334.260.3981 or mail


In The Pines - Fitzgerald Annual Gala & Silent Auction The Fitgerald Museum, 919 Felder Ave., Montgomery, AL Friday, May 11th, 7-10 pm

We are 'In the Pines' and back on the museum grounds as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of F. Scott & Zelda's meeting in Montgomery in 1918. Your ticket purchase goes directly toward preserving and restoring the only dedicated museum to F. Scott & Zelda in the world. Montgomery was the home of Zelda Fitzgerald and the setting for her & Scott's infamous meeting that sparked the beginning of the 'Jazz Age'. This year, we'll take a step back to 1918 and celebrate the history of our city and Cloverdale (or 'the pines'). Take a walk through the galleries with gin in hand, bid on auction items, and dance the night away to the sounds of Gypsy Cornbread! Tickets are $50 for general admission and $75 for VIP. Call 334.264.4222 for more information or visit events/2052509945074744/


Taco Libre 2018 The Yards at Western Rail 801 N. Perry Street, Montgomery Saturday, May 12th, 2-10 pm

TACOS: We are bringing Alabama's Taco Festival back to Montgomery on Saturday, May 12, 2018! Alabama's 3rd Annual Taco, Beer and Music Festival, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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f re e su bsc r i pt i on s at w w w.rive r re gio n b o o m celebrating taquerias, restaurants and food trucks from all over the state and featuring Cerveza Modelo, Corona Light, Victoria, Corona Premier, and Pacifico. This is a multi-tiered designed festival that features entertainment and activities for all ages and is family friendly. As the evening progresses the music ramps up from 8pm to 10pm. Follow the Facebook event for the most up to date information. Get your tickets at or visit events/727572344107860/


David Phelps to host “Hymnal” Tour Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery Thursday,May 17th, 7 pm

Eastmont Baptist Church is proud to announce that GRAMMY® award winning and classically trained tenor David Phelps will be in concert on May 17th at Eastmont Baptist Church. Phelps a solo recording artist is also known for his vocal talents with the Gaither Vocal Band along with appearances in Gaither Homecoming videos. Phelps will bring his "Hymnal" tour to Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery. Based on his most recent project Hymnal: A Journey of Faith Through Hymns, he will share a collection of new and old hymns that have been woven together by Phelps. He composed, arranged, wrote and produced his recent project. To learn more, or to purchase tickets visit or

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA The Moth ASF Friday, May 18th, 7:30-9:30 pm

The Moth is coming to Montgomery! Come to ASF for a night of true, personal stories told by five wildly divergent raconteurs who have developed and shaped their tales with The Moth’s directors. About The Moth: The Moth is true stories, told live and without notes. The Moth celebrates the ability of stories to honor both the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection. It seeks to present recognized storytellers among established and emerging writers, performers and artists and to encourage storytelling among communities whose stories often go unheard. General admission is $30 and tickets may be purchased here project/the-moth-in-montgomery/ For more info all 334.271.5353 or visit


Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA Friday, May 25 – Sunday, May 27

Kick off Summer with a splash! Come see the world’s greatest athletes in watersports competing at the 59th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament. Celebrate all weekend with beach activities, live music, kid The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

zones, great food and drink specials, fireworks and so much more! The Masters is known throughout the world as the most prestigious watersports tournament. Established in 1959 at Callaway Gardens, the event features the best-of-the-best athletes performing thrilling stunts on sparkling Robin Lake all weekend long. The festival-like atmosphere includes a merchandise plaza featuring stateof-the-art watersports equipment, clothing, and demo models. For more information, visit or

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Clint Black in Concert MPAC Friday, June 1, 8pm

Clint Black has one of the most storied careers in modern music. Clint Black surged to superstardom as part of the fabled Class of '89, reaching #1 with five consecutive singles from his triple-platinum debut, Killin' Time. He followed that with the triple-platinum Put Yourself in My Shoes, and then a string of platinum and gold albums throughout the '90s. Clint Black is back. The multimillion selling country mega-star is releasing On Purpose, his first full-length album of new songs in a decade and he’s doing it on his own terms. For more info visit or


Hydrangea Fest Alabama Wildlife Federation, 3050 Lanark Rd, Millbrook Saturday, June 2nd, 9-1 pm

On Saturday, June 2nd from 9 - 1pm, attend the annual Hydrangea Fest to discover more about the unique, natural history of hydrangeas. Maria Pacheco-West, Lanark Grounds Specialist, will do a Hydrangea talk, beginning at 10:00 am, and afterwards a tour of the Heirloom garden and Hydrangeas around the pond. Bring your hydrangea gardening questions for expert advice! Lanark Gardens will also have a plant sale with proceeds benefiting the gardens at the Alabama Wildlife Federation. The Alabama Nature Center & NaturePlex will remain open for you to enjoy the trails until 5:00 pm. For more info call 1.800.822.9453 or or visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Grandparents Event

Annie ASF July 4, 2018 – August 5, 2018

“One of the best family musicals ever penned” – Chicago Tribune. The sun will come out tomorrow! No one can resist the optimism of Annie – a little orphan girl who refuses to give up hope. The delightful cast of this feel-good musical will get toes tapping with memorable song-and-dance numbers, such as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” and “Tomorrow.” Recommended ages 4+ Runtime: approx. 2 1/2 hours with intermission. For more info and tickets visit R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

May 2018



Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

Marion Ross Writes of ‘Happy Days’ and More in New Memoir From 1974 to 1984, TV audiences knew Marion Ross as the sitcom mom dispensing patience and wisdom during the 11-season run of the ABC hit series “Happy Days.” But Marion’s days were not entirely happy.

(his wife) was in the production. Can you imagine being a young actress doing that on a Sunday? I just loved it!”

In her March memoir, “My Days: Happy and Otherwise,” her ‘otherwise’ reminiscences include a bad first marriage and the challenges confronting an actress and single working mother.

“Some actors just have an aurora and Gable did. It was Easter, so I colored some eggs and on one wrote ‘M.R loves C.G.’ I gave it to his assistant, a suave fellow who protected Gable from everyone. Gable eventually just said ‘Thank you very much’ to me.”

Ross’s film career began with Paramount, 3 years earlier with Ginger Rogers in “Forever Female.” She would later work with other movie legends including Clark Gable in “Teacher’s Pet.”

Marion Ross in a recent photo

Even her early years on “Happy Days” weren’t always cheery thanks to TV hubby Tom Bosley. “Tom didn’t particularly want me to play his wife, so he was tough on me for a while,” recalled Ross from her home in Woodland Hills, California. She says the rough treatment lasted the first few seasons. “Eventually, I won Tom over and learned to love and admire him even though he had picked on me. That wasn’t really who he was, and I came to realize he was a fine man.”

didn’t get all the attention. I secretly decided I’d better become rich and famous!” she laughed. “I read all the arts and theater magazines and saw acting as a way to achieve that. At the library, I’d look up famous actors in books like ‘Who’s Who?’ I wanted to learn how they became successful.” She recalls reading “Present Indicative,” the first volume of Noël Coward’s autobiography.

It was, says Ross, a great time to be an actor. “All the stars ate in the studio’s dining room. Marlene Dietrich would come swooping into the room and a hush would fall over the place. Those early days in Hollywood were just so thrilling, almost more than I could bear.” Though she has no future acting plans, she says working on the book brought back many

“He began on the stage as a child, so by 13 I was planning to be successful too,” said Ross, whose family moved 3 The entire cast soon developed a bond that years later to California where Marion Ross and cast of Happy Days lasts to this day. “We really she graduated memories. were like a family growing college and began to realize together. I saw the kids grow her dream in theater. But it “I had to be talked into writing the book by up, get married, and have soon evolved into film and my family but now I’m having fun discussing their own babies. We’ve all television. it,” says Ross who turns 90 in October and remained close.” is planning some book signings in the Los “At 25, I landed a role in the Angeles and New York areas. “I’ve certainly Raised in Minnesota TV version of Noël Coward’s had more happy days than ‘otherwise.’” (Watertown, Albert Lea, ‘Blithe Spirit’ and actually and Minneapolis), Ross was got to work with Noël Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at determined to act from an Coward!” she recalled about Montgomery, Ala, and has written features, early age. the 1956 production. “The columns, and interviews for over 650 newspapers and magazines. first reading of the script “I was a middle child and my was at Humphrey Bogart’s Cover of Marion Ross's new book brother was very sickly, so I house because Lauren Bacall My Days Happy and Otherwise

46 BOOM!

May 2018

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

May 2018



BOOM! May 2018  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! May 2018  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine