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November 2017

for Boomers and Beyond

Take Charge of Your Health, Guys: Top 5 Health Tips for Men


hances are, you took good health for granted as a younger man. One of the manliest things you can do now is to take charge of your health. Being proactive now will pay off big in the future. Here are some tips to incorporate into your life for good health: 1. Exercise Regularly Regular exercise of any kind is always a good idea. And as we age, staying active becomes even more important. Physical activity can help stave off a variety of serious illnesses. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, weekly.

4. Watch Your Weight Obesity is a killer. It can lead to a host of health issues, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and stroke. Know your ideal weight, and strive to reach or maintain it. If you need help with a weight loss plan, see your doctor.

2. Quit Smoking You already know that smoking is bad for you. It can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer and heart disease. If you smoke, stop. If you need help, talk to your doctor.

5. Find a Physician Schedule (and keep) regular checkup appointments. Your doctor can help you keep an eye on your weight and check your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and prostate health. They can help you with the necessary lifestyle changes you need to make to achieve optimal health.

3. Eat Healthy If you’re trying to eat healthier, stick with it. And if you’re not? Get with it! First things first, eliminate processed foods from your diet. Also, limit salt, and add more leafy greens to your plate each day. Remember that what you’re eating can help you …

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

For a regular checkup, or to see a specialist, call The Jackson Clinic to make an appointment at 334-293-8888.

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November 2017



Having diabetes is not a piece of cake.


UAB Medicine Endocrinology Is diabetes taking a toll on your life? Central Alabama’s newest Endocrinology clinic is the UAB Medicine Multispecialty Clinic at Baptist Medical Center South. Our specialty-trained UAB doctors and compassionate staff from Baptist South offer the latest treatments, therapies and procedures to alleviate your discomfort from Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. We know living with diabetes is a challenge. And we’re here to help.

Vaishali Thudi, M.D. Now Accepting Patients

Specializing In Thyroid disease | FNA | Pituitary disorders | Adrenal disease Lipid disorders | Gonadal disorders | Metabolic bone disease | Pump therapy Continuous glucose monitoring

SPECIALISTS Manisha Garg, M.D.

Knowledge that will change your world

Rajasree Nambron, M.D. Nina Jo Hibbard,



MULTISPECIALTY CLINIC BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER SOUTH 2119 East South Blvd, east of the Emergency entrance at Baptist South


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


November 2017

Volume 8 Issue 3

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 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 8 Publisher’s Letter 10 Tim Arnold, “The Silhouette Man” 11 OLLI at AUM, Diversity of Study at AUM

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26 If You Want To Be Happy... Departments 20 This and That

Getting You “In the Know”

12 A Small Southern Version of an English Garden Christy Anderson 14 What the Nose Knows Leigh Anne Richards

38 Friendsgiving and Solitary Celebrations

40 Carnival Cruise Line, What's New...

16 Brush Up On Your IRA Facts McDonald Hagen 19 Dementia Friendly Alabama

44 {12} Things

Special Events for Boomers

20 Christmas Clearinghouse

42 Greg Budell


23 St. John's Annual Bizaar 24 Caring for the Caregiver, Alzheimer/Dementia Support Group



28 BOOM! Cover Profile

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33 How Jimmy Buffett Turned 'Margaritaville' Into a Way of Life page 46

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34 THANKSGIVING Ask an Elder Law Attorney 37 Unexpected Lessons from DNA Testing 39 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Coconut oil

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46 Valerie Harper Tackles Alzheimer's page 45

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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 2017 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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November 2017



Publisher’s Letter

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 Christy Anderson Austin Barranco Tracy Bhalla Kimberly Blaker Greg Budell

Leigh Anne Richards Jake Rossen Dr. Margaret Rutherford Gary Savoie Nick Thomas Kathy Witt Raley L. Wiggins Chris Vaughan

Grateful Hearts

As many of you know, I have found someone to share life with again. Her name is Sandy Scott Watson... now, because we were married on September 5th in the beautiful city of Victoria, British Columbia. It was a wedding far removed from tradition, all made possible by the loving efforts of Linda and Steve Gold, who have been Sandy's friends for many years. Linda arranged for us to use her friend Jillian's beautiful garden for our wedding ceremony, performed by Bishop Charles Dorrington of the Anglican Church in North America. The Bishop is a friend of Linda and Steve's. There had to be photos, so Linda arranged for Jillian's friend, Michael to bless us with his photography skills. Finally, Linda and Steve shared their home with us as we began our new journey as husband and wife. Being cared for and loved on by this small group of new friends was a tremendous blessing for Sandy and me. She and I see life through God's Lens, and we know His hand orchestrated our new beginning. We have grateful hearts for all our new friends in Victoria and a special love for Linda and Steve. Thanks for loving us. Our Cover Profile this month is Chris Vaughan and when it comes to creating a feathered nest, as Sandy and I are doing, she can deliver! That's because she owns one of the River Region's most unique specialty stores called, Christine's Feathered Nest. Chris has a unique story to share and I think you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have. There’s plenty more interesting reads this month and I hope you’ll sit back and enjoy the best reading experience for the 50+ community in the River Region. Please share BOOM! with your friends and your comments with me. I love to listen. Please Like us on Facebook and sign up for the free subscription to the Digital & Interactive BOOM! online at Thanks for being part of our BOOM! Community!

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text

Cover Photography Jeri Hines Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

“The best reading experience for the 50+ community” 8 BOOM!

November 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2017



Tim Arnold, “The Silhouette Man” Will Be Appearing at Jan Beale’s, You Name It Tim Arnold will be appearing Wednesday and Thursday November 15th & 16th at You Name It, 5350 A, Atlanta Hwy. Tim will make silhouettes for you and your family during these two days, reservations are required by calling 334.272.9878. Tim Arnold has been cutting silhouettes professionally for over 30 years. Considered America’s premier silhouette artist, Tim has become known for his accuracy and beautiful interior detailing, prized by collectors. Silhouettes containing these delicate inside cuts are referred to as “European embellished style”. Tim currently tours 18 states appearing in children’s specialty shops and leading department stores as the “Silhouette Man”. These events are always advertised in the newspaper and are by appointment only. Silhouettes can also be done from profile photos sent to Tim. The quality is just the same. The art of silhouette cutting was learned from his multi-talented mother, Garnett Arnold of Hamilton, Ohio. In 1990, Tim was invited to the White House to collaborate on a children’s book with Sharon Bush. Tim had the honor of meeting the former President George Bush and cutting silhouettes of 3 of his grandchildren, a birthday gift for his wife Barbara. Those silhouettes hung in the White House. Tim and his lovely wife Tina make their home in the rolling hills of central Tennessee. Tim has 3 daughters, 2 sons, and 7 adorable grandchildren. Tim Arnold considers his talent as a gift from God and is quick to give Him all the credit and glory! “Every good and perfect gift is from above...” James 1:17 . To learn more visit

DEC. 10 4 & 6:30 P.M. Contemporary & Traditional Sunday Worship 8, 9:30 & 11 a.m. A family of faith for everyone • Spanish, Korean & Chinese Services November 2017 BOOM! 10 6000 Atlanta Hwy. in Montgomery 334.272.8622

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Diversity of Study at AUM In the past seven years AUM OLLI has increased its membership from 22 members in 2010 to 230 in 2017. This remarkable growth creates a new demand for number and diversity of courses and an increased number of instructors. Since everyone who teaches for OLLI is a volunteer, the advisory committee must work to find individuals who have knowledge and expertise, passion for their subjects, and generosity of spirit. The number of courses offered in the first two terms of 2017 - 2018 reflects the success of the recruiting efforts. Diversity of subjects is essential for the varied interests of the OLLI audience; courses fall generally into categories of discussion, hands-on, or activity. Subjects of discussion classes are quite varied. Literature, history, film, and architecture are four popular areas of study. In the past few terms OLLI members have read and studied novels by Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Fredrick Backman, and Helen Keller, among others. Sometimes the discussion classes are multi-media, with the participants reading the book and watching a film version for comparisons. Or the film courses may be composed of viewing one or two films, followed by instructor-led analyses. A few of the discussion classes have also resulted in the participants’ writing their own works,

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

whether Christmas memories or spiritual autobiographies. History courses often focus on studies of wars – World War I, World War II, Vietnam – through the lenses of historical texts, literary works, and film. Architecture studies cover from ancient and medieval to modern and contemporary. Many OLLI members are pursuing artistic interests – painting, pine needle basket weaving, jewelry making, creation of pop-up books. The results of their work are on display at the Open House held prior to the beginning of each term. The Open House (and artist exhibition) for Winter Quarter 2018 will be November 2, 2017, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at Auburn University Montgomery’s Center for Lifelong Learning. Not only can people tour the exhibition but they can also meet the instructors of classes in the up-coming term and discuss plans for the courses. Activity classes are becoming quite popular with OLLI members. Again, there is variety, from exercises (with aerobics, jazz, and ballet), ballroom dancing, Chinese folk dance, and line dancing. One original course, offered in June 2017 as an experiment at Pike Road Founders Station, illustrates the diversity of the courses

offered. Advertised for grandparents and grandchildren, a group of grandmothers and granddaughters read and discussed Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory, watched and discussed a film version of the story, made zentangle Christmas ornaments, and wrote their own favorite Christmas memories. Their work resulted in unique Christmas booklets for gifts for their families. OLLI members often find ways to draw their work in different courses together. For example, individuals who were studying Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and taking a zentangle course decided to create zentangle mockingbirds.

Join AUM OLLI and take a course, or recommend a course, or offer to teach one. For more information about AUM OLLI or to request a catalog, contact: Brittany at 244-3804.

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November 2017



by Christy Anderson

A Small Southern Version I am an architectural historian by training an Anglophile by volition when it comes to gardens. I live in a 1912 bungalow. My garden design Available at is influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement. A wonderful book available as a reprint is called California Gardens of the Arts and Craft Period by Eugene O. Murmann (1914, 2008 reprint), which illustrates the gardening ideal for house lots ranging from quite small to large estate lots. Living on a smaller lot in an older part of Montgomery, the book helped me adjust by frame of reference away from thinking, “I don’t have enough space to do…” The plans largely encourage elements of a garden design that is common today—the creation of garden “rooms”—different spaces for different functions. My space has structure, my plant selection, well, I am a notorious “ooh pretty” gardener.

of an English Garden

have an upper, formally more formal clipped terrace edged or like with boxwood topiaries, and bounded by with some a shady grotto rooms planted to give decidedly the dogs their more own cool space formal designed so than that it would others. be difficult for I took them to get in pictures trouble; a middle of garden One of Christy's Garden Rooms orchard terrace features, with apples, olive, blueberries and a plants, plant tags, bought the plant wonderful naturalizing species tulip guide that detailed which plants were Lady Jane (Tulip clusiana); and a lower planted in which garden and came pond, garden house, vegetable garden, home to do my research. Only to face woodland garden and lower patio disappointment. Most of the plants I’d terrace. You had no idea you could oohed over would not grow in Alabama. While England offers a humid climate, it doesn’t give plants a dose of heat to go with it, except for the acanthus (Acanthus mollis), everything I wanted to plant would only grow to zone 7. Back to the drawing board.

The structure One of the more and function magnificent examples of the garden to the English Arts and offered the Crafts garden design greatest take can be found at Hidcote away from that Manor Garden outside first trip, and Chipping Campden, we began partitioning England. Hidcote our 50’x100’ back yard Manor Garden was into “rooms”. With the created by an American California Garden book horticulturalist, Major in hand, we took a Lawrence Johnston after large idea and thought his mother acquired small. We started the property in 1907. with a reclaimed Our first visit to the Christy's Water Garden Room brick patio partially garden was during the enclosed by a concrete rubble planter month of October, the wet season, and wall—reminiscent of the stone walls it was raining sideways! But the gardens with planters we saw in England. were gloriously in bloom and we were Success number one! Our backyard also prepared for rain. Hidcote is a series of slopes down toward the rear property (very large) garden rooms with various line. Slopes equal terrace opportunity functions and focal points. Many rooms equals natural rooms! Success! We are separated by large yew hedges,

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An Overview of Christy's Garden

get so much in such a small space, did you? And where will you find me on a hot summer day? In the shade near the pond with a gin and tonic, of course! Cheers! Learn More: Hidcote Manor Garden Christy Anderson, an intern in the 2017 Master Gardener Class, lives in Montgomery. For more information on becoming a master gardener, visit or email

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


What the Nose Knows

A friend and client of mine, at MetroFitness, knows I love to read new research and interesting articles related to aging and brain health. Janice Jackson sent me this fascinating article that I wanted to share with you from Web MD. I could not say it or summarize it any better so I am giving you the article in full with all credits going to Sonya Collins. I was especially interested in this article since I have become involved with the Rock Steady Program and working with Parkinson’s patients. It speaks of Parkinson’s’ Disease in the article and the loss of sense of smell. I decided to ask our Rock Steady group about losing their sense of smell and if the specifically remember. There were 14 in attendance and 5 told me they remember not being able to smell very well before they were ever diagnosed. One lady said she just “thought she had a bad sniffer.” One man, 48 years old, said he remembered smelling chemical fumes all the time before his diagnosis. I realize my polling of the class is not very scientific, but I did find it quite interesting to the point I wanted to share that information.

Enjoy reading this well-done article and use your nose to know how it might affect your brain health

What the Nose Knows May

researchers are just starting to figure out how and why.

In a recent study, researchers found that a simple smell test may predict your chance of having dementia. “Ability to smell is a window into parts of the brain related to core functions, like pleasure, emotion, and memory,” says Jayant Pinto, MD, author of the study and an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon at University of Chicago Medicine. The smell test, he adds, allows doctors “to see, a little earlier, a sign that problems are happening.”

of other parts of the brain. In fact, it happens with many conditions, known as neurodegenerative diseases, in which brain health declines over time. Obesity, which can raise you odds of having Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, might also dull the sense of smell. Studies show that exercise lowers the chance of losing this sense. But what is the connection between how well you detect and identify smells and your overall health? Doctors and scientists are trying to sniff out the answer to this crucial Richards question.

Fitness over Fifty by Leigh Anne

The Nose Is a Window to the Brain In the study, researchers visited the homes of more than 2,900 adults ages 57 to 85 to test how well they could recognize five different odors: peppermint, fish, orange, rose, and leather. Five years later, researchers followed up with the older adults to find out if any of them had gotten a diagnosis of dementia since taking the smell test. Those who couldn’t identify at least four of the five odors on the test were twice as likely as others to have dementia 5 years later. Can You Smell It? Oranges are one of the items researchers used to test brain health.

Affect Your Brain Health How well you can smell could be a sign of overall brain health. A growing body of research suggests that the two are strongly linked, though

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The lower their score on the smell test, the greater their odds of having dementia. This decline in memory and thinking skills comes in several forms, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and Lewy body dementia, among others. Pinto’s is not the only study to link a waning sense of smell -- also known as olfactory function -- with the breakdown

Your nose may provide a direct path for harmful substances from the environment to reach your brain. “Your olfactory nerve is sitting out there sampling air,” says Pinto. “That’s what it’s supposed to do, but it’s at risk for viruses, bacteria, whatever’s in your nose.” That’s especially risky since cells in the nose transmit directly to the brain. Neurons capture odors and send signals to the smell center at the base of the brain, known as the olfactory bulb. The signals then go to different areas throughout the brain, says Marie-Elyse Lafaille-Magnan, who researches the link between the sense of smell and the odds of Alzheimer’s at McGill University in Montreal. Some of the areas the olfactory bulb transmits signals to are related to thinking and memory. In fact, on autopsy, researchers have found brain tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease, known as tau, in the olfactory bulbs of people who had Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other forms of dementia linked to smell loss. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The nose’s direct line from the environment to the brain could mean that pollutants, viruses, and bacteria travel through the nasal passages to set the wheels of brain disease in motion. Some viruses, which researchers consider a possible cause of Parkinson’s disease, could reach the brain through the nose. Studies show that children and young adults who live in areas with heavy air pollution, such as Mexico City, have brain inflammation and buildup in their brains of some of the same proteins seen in older adults who have Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. These tiny particles that get into the brain through the nose may actually start the disease process, says Richard Doty, PhD, director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Smell Test Sensonics International produced this 40item smell test. It has already been shown that people who carry the APOE e4 gene mutation have a higher chance of getting Alzheimer’s. And notably, this study suggests that these people have an even higher chance of Alzheimer’s if they also live in a highly polluted area. Maybe it’s because the nose is so likely to be invaded by viruses and bacteria that olfactory cells can regenerate, even into old age, constantly repairing the sense of smell. “It’s possible that when that regenerative process peters out, when we get older, it’s a sign that [brain cells] can’t regenerate, and that reflects what’s going on centrally,” says Pinto. That petering out of both sense of smell and thinking skills associated with dementia might result from damage to a single part of the brain called the basal nucleus of Meynert. This damage could be due to harmful substances reaching the brain through the nose, or it could be an unrelated process. Doty’s research found a strong connection between low scores on a 40-item smell

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

test and damage to this area of the brain. His recent article in The Lancet outlines possible ways that sense of smell and overall brain health could be linked and “may be the genesis of many neurodegenerative diseases.” A nose that doesn’t work so well gives the brain less information. Some research suggests that this lack of stimulation may weaken other systems. “As your hearing declines, as your vision declines, as your sense of smell declines, you’re getting less information,” Pinto says. The circuits that usually bring this information in, he adds, might then stop working as well, which can lead to problems elsewhere in the brain. “Call it the ‘sensory deprivation hypothesis.’” Weight seems to play a role, too. Obesity is known to make brain disease more likely. People who are obese might have a weaker sense of smell than others. Researchers suggest that one possible explanation is that adipokines, chemicals given off by fat tissue, could weaken the sense of smell. The relationship could also be indirect. Weight gain can lead to diabetes and heart disease, which hurt blood flow, including to the brain, says Pinto. “We know that vascular disease is a risk factor for dementia. So that is one way that all these things could be linked.” Regular exercise, which improves blood flow and burns fat, helps the sense of smell in older adults, according to research. What’s in a Test? Although a smell test can tip doctors off that something serious might be going on, it’s not a tool for diagnosis. While the test does a very good job of identifying the type of smell loss that can lead to brain diseases, the results won’t suggest a person has one condition rather than another.

But the results could prompt doctors to investigate more. There’s not yet a cure for Alzheimer’s, no matter how early it’s detected, but there’s value in knowing. First, finding people who are more likely to have dementia but don’t yet show symptoms could direct more people to clinical trials to find treatments to slow the progress towards Alzheimer’s. Can you smell it? Scientists also said the ability to smell peppermint plays a role. “Maybe one reason these trials aren’t working is because we’re getting people in which the dis-ease has already manifested, so it’s too late,” says Pinto. In the 5 to 10 years between the loss of smell and possible signs of dementia, lifestyle changes -- such as exercise, more social interaction, and brain stimulation through puzzles -- might make a difference, Pinto adds. Earlier detection can also help families and caregivers prepare. But before you go trying to sniff out your own risk for dementia, don’t be alarmed. Not every-one who loses some sense of smell goes on to develop dementia. “As we go through life, the smell ability diminishes,” says Doty. “Between the ages of 65 and 80, half the population has smell loss. After 85, three-quarters do.” What’s more, while you might think you’re losing your sense of smell, you probably aren’t. “Self-perceived sense of smell doesn’t correlate well with objective sense of smell,” says Pinto. Still, Pinto hopes to see the sense of smell get a little more attention in preventive care. “It has really important relationships with overall health, and we ought to test more people for it.” WebMD Article Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on Oct. 11, 2017

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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November 2017



Brush Up On Your IRA Facts

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.

If you are opening an (Individual Retirement Account) IRA for the first time or need a refresher course on the specifics of IRA ownership, here are some facts for your consideration. IRAs in America IRAs continue to play an increasingly prominent role in the retirement saving strategies of Americans. According to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), the U.S. retirement market had $25 trillion in assets as of September 30, 2016, with $7.8 trillion of that sum attributable to IRAs.1 In mid-2016, 42.5 million -- or 34% -- of U.S. households reported owning IRAs.2 Traditional IRAs, the most common variety, are held by 25.5% of U.S. households, followed by Roth IRAs, which are held by 17.4% of households, and employersponsored IRAs (including SEP IRAs, SARSEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs), which are held by 5.7% of households.2 Contributions and Deductibility Contribution limits. In general, the most you can contribute to an IRA for 2017 is $5,500. However, if you are age 50 or older, you can make an additional "catchup" contribution of $1,000, which brings the maximum annual contribution to $6,500. Eligibility. One potential area of confusion around IRAs concerns an individual's eligibility to make contributions. In general, tax rules require that you must have compensation to contribute to an IRA. Compensation includes income from wages and salaries and net selfemployment income. If you are married and file a joint tax return, only one spouse needs to have the required compensation. With regard to Roth IRAs, income may affect your ability to contribute. For tax year 2017, individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $118,000 or less may make a full contribution to a Roth IRA. Married couples filing jointly with an AGI of $186,000 or less may also contribute

Financial Thoughts

with Austin Barranco

fully for the year. Contribution limits begin to decline, or "phase out," for individuals with AGIs between $118,000 and $133,000 and for married couples with AGIs between $186,000 and $196,000. If your income exceeds these upper thresholds, you may not contribute to a Roth IRA.3 Deductibility. Whether you can deduct your traditional IRA contribution depends on your income level, marital status, and coverage by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. For instance:3 • If you are single and covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, your traditional IRA contribution for 2017 will be fully deductible if your AGI was $62,000 or less. The amount you can deduct begins to decline if your AGI was between $62,000 and $72,000. Your IRA contribution is not deductible if your income is equal to or more than $72,000. • If you are married, filing jointly, and the spouse making the IRA contribution is covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, your 2017 IRA contribution will be fully deductible if your combined AGI is $99,000 or less. The amount you can deduct begins to phase out if your combined AGI is between $99,000 and $119,000. You may not claim an IRA deduction if your combined income is equal to or more than $119,000. • If you are married, filing jointly, and your spouse is covered by an employersponsored plan (but you are not), you may qualify for a full IRA deduction if your combined AGI is $186,000 or less. The amount you can deduct begins to phase out for combined incomes of between $186,000 and $196,000. Your deduction is eliminated if your AGI on a joint return is $196,000 or more. • If neither you nor your spouse is covered

by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, your contribution is generally fully deductible up to the annual contribution limit or 100% of your compensation, whichever is less. Keep in mind that contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible under any circumstances. Distributions You may begin withdrawing money from a traditional IRA without penalty after age 59½. Generally, previously untaxed contributions and earnings are taxable at the then-current regular income tax rate. Nondeductible contributions are generally not taxable because those amounts have already been taxed. You must begin receiving minimum annual distributions from your traditional IRA no later than April 1 of the year following the year you reach age 70½ and then annually thereafter. If your distributions in any year after you reach 70½ are less than the required minimum, you may be subject to an additional federal tax equal to 50% of the difference. Unlike traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs do not require the account holder to take distributions during his or her lifetime. This feature can prove very attractive to those individuals who would like to use the Roth IRA as an estate planning tool. This communication is not intended as investment and/or tax advice and should not be treated as such. Each individual's situation is different. You should contact your financial professional to discuss your personal situation. Source/Disclaimer: ¹Investment Company Institute, "Retirement Assets Total $25.0 Trillion in Third Quarter 2016," December 2016. ²Investment Company Institute, "The Role of IRAs in U.S. Households' Saving for Retirement, 2016," January 2017. ³Internal Revenue Service, "IRS Announces 2017 continued page 18

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Pension Plan Limitations; 401(k) Contribution Limit Remains Unchanged at $18,000 for 2017," October 27, 2016.

Austin Barranco, Financial Advisor Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager Direct comments and questions to or 334.387.0094 Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or others' use of the content. LPL Tracking# 1-580499 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.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Dementia Friendly Alabama:

Building partnerships to create communities where those with dementia can live and thrive! Every 66-seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease, the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., is the only cause of death in the top 10 that can NOT be prevented, cured or slowed. That said, Central Alabama Aging Consortium (CAAC) is partnering with key community leaders to generate awareness, and build an action team to drive and sustain our initiative to help the State of Alabama become dementia friendly. Who…can contribute to a dementia friendly community? In a dementia friendly community, every part of the community plays a role and works together to create a dementia friendly culture. It’s all about “partnerships.” Our goal is to foster partnerships with those diagnosed with dementia, partnerships with those caring for loved ones with dementia, partnerships with religious organizations, partnerships with schools and partnerships with businesses and

the community to promote awareness of dementia. How…can Alabama become a dementia friendly community? Central Alabama Aging Consortium (CAAC) is the Area Agency on Aging for a three county region in Central Alabama. The Alabama Department of Senior Services has awarded CAAC a grant to help initiate a dementia friendly community within Montgomery that can be replicated throughout the state. Current programs to help promote dementia friendliness include: I Dementia Friendly Business Training I Dementia Friendly School Education I Dementia Resource Guide I FREE! Memory Screenings I Project Life Saver/Tracking Technology for Individuals with Cognitive Disorders I Speaking Opportunities I Support Group Resources I Virtual Dementia Tours

With 47M people worldwide living with dementia and that number expected to increase to 76M by 2030, the “dementiafriendly” concept is unchartered but certainly necessary. We are excited to be involved in this state-wide effort where individuals with this disease can live and thrive. Let’s not forget to fight for those who can’t remember! For more information about our dementia friendly programs, please contact Stephanie C. Holmes, Dementia Project Coordinator at 334.240.4680 or

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

SIDEbySIDE singers singers

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

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2416 W. Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106 334.834.8990

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This & tHAT Christmas Clearinghouse

Every year, during the holidays, families gather together to celebrate with festive decorations, feasts of all flavors and varieties and often also an exchange of gifts. What’s very easy to forget during these times of feasting and celebrating is the fact that there are so many families in our community struggling just to put food on the table for the kids, that holiday gifts and elaborate parties just aren’t in the picture for them. HandsOn's Christmas Clearinghouse is the River Regions' largest Christmas charitable giving program. We partner with over 40 social service and faith-based organizations to ensure the area's most needy families are screened for eligibility, checked for duplication and registered for assistance. Then the fun part begins - Families in need are matched with families and groups that want to help. It's that simple. We cross cultural and economic lines to spread JOY, HOPE, and PEACE for donors and recipients alike. Approximately 10,000 individuals in the River Region including more than 8,000 children - are registered annually with the Christmas Clearinghouse. The Christmas Clearinghouse keeps families from being overlooked and makes sure that all donated resources are used wisely. You can ADOPT A FAMILY...MAKE A DONATION...BUILD A CARE BASKET. Visit to learn how you can help or call 334.264.3335

300th Anniversary Celebration of Fort Toulouse Visit Fort Toulouse Saturday, November 4 during the annual Alabama Frontier Days and help celebrate the 300th anniversary. The Fort Toulouse site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, and the Alabama Historical Commission gained possession of it in 1971. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., special activities will include the unveiling of markers outlining a portion of the original 1717 fort. Also, a short dramatic presentation will bring to life the moment French marines first met the Alabama Indians. Using Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park as its historical backdrop, Alabama Frontier Days focuses on demonstrating frontier life in the southeast during the period 1700-1820. The public can experience this living history as frontier trades and crafts are demonstrated by living historians in period clothing. The event takes place over four days, November 1 to 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for children (6-18 years old) and free for children under six. More Information on Website: Ft. Toulouse 2521 West Fort Toulouse Road Wetumpka AL

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Montgomery Veterans Day Celebration Come to Riverwalk Stadium on Friday, November 10th, 10:30-1:00 pm for the City of Montgomery's Veterans Day Celebration. This event will honor our veterans and active duty service members and their families with music, pageantry, flags, bands and tons of special guests! Many vendors, static military displays, and historic vehicles will be on-hand at Riverwalk for the celebration. There will be a small parade/procession with some Veterans, boy scout troops, JROTC’s at 10:30, followed by a program with the national anthem, a flyover, music from the 151st Army Band, comments from distinguished military guests, plus special guests - Representative Martha Roby, Marine Master Sergeant Tommy Davis (Pearl Harbor survivor), and the keynote speaker will be Central Alabama VA Director Dr. Linda Boyle. There will also be recognition and acknowledgement of Vietnam Veterans, who will receive their pins and there will be a reading of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Proclamation. The program will close with a musical performance by the 151st Army Band. There will also be 12 historic military vehicles on display. After the program, there will be a Health and Benefits Fair with over 50 vendors along the concourse for all the people to visit, ask questions, receive information. It will also feature a kids play area. SPECIAL NOTE: All Veterans, plus three of their family member will receive a free meal provided by CAVHCS. There will also be full concessions available. For more information, call 334.241.4400. More Information on Website:

Fall Tree Giveaway Join Montgomery Trees Thursday, November 9th from 11-2 pm as we give away hundreds of 3-gallon live oaks just in time for fall planting! Look for our tent near the Home Depot Garden Center on East Blvd, Montgomery. Come learn more about Montgomery Trees involvement in the community and about proper planting techniques. Russell Stringer, the City of Montgomery Urban Forester, along with representatives from the Alabama Forestry Commission and Alabama Power will all be on hand to answer any questions you may have! Trees are to be given out on a first come, first served basis and are limited to one per customer. For more information, contact More Information on Website:

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November 2017



This & tHAT



Paul Nelson Band at the Capital City Oyster Bar Paul Nelson is recognized as one of today's top guitarists/ songwriters and producers not only having the distinction of being the handpicked fellow guitarist to the legendary rock/blues icon Johnny Winter but he has toured the world over performing and or recorded alongside an endless who's who list of top artists from Eric Clapton to Joe Walsh and more...Nelson received a Grammy award for his work performing on and producing Winter's "Step Back" release on Megaforce/Sony winning "Best Blues Album of the Year" highlighting his already long list of Grammy Nominations. As well as the BMA "Blues Music Award" for "Best Blues/ Rock Album" reaching #16 on the Billboard Top 200 and staying at #1 on the Billboard Blues Charts for weeks. He is also a recipient of the Blues Foundation's KBA "Keeping The Blues Alive Award". He will be appearing Sunday, November 12th, 3-6 pm at the Capitol City Oyster Bar located at 617 Shady St, Montgomery. For more info visit or or call 334.239.8958

Blanket Drive for the Homeless

On any given night, there are more than 700 homeless men, women and children in shelters and on the streets in Montgomery. As the winter cold settles in, the MidAlabama Coalition for the Homeless (MACH) is planning its annual Blanket Drive to help meet the needs of Montgomery's homeless population. During the month of November, MACH will place PODS storage containers to serve as collection points for new and gently used blankets, coats, hats, socks and other winter wear. PODS storage containers will be located at: Festival Plaza Shopping Center at the intersection of Taylor and Vaughn Roads and Cloverdale Playhouse at 690 Cloverdale Road. The PODS will be open on three Saturdays in November (November 4, 11, & 18) from 10am until 2pm to accept donations from the public. Volunteers are needed to accept and tally donations and prepare donation receipts. Lunch will be provided for all donors and volunteers! Visit website to sign up! If you'd like to make a donation at another time, call 334.261.6182 and MACH personnel will be happy to schedule a convenient drop off time for you. Thanks for helping keep our homeless warm during the upcoming winter months!

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Family Supper on Low Dex

This family dinner will be unlike any you have ever attended! For every ticket that is sold, a ticket will be given to a person in need. Dinner will be prepared by area chefs Ban Stewart with Kowliga, Janet with D'Road and Miguel with Amsterdam Cafe. Lower Dexter will be lined with a family style table that will seat 200! The evening will begin with a cocktail hour from 4-5 PM. The group will be seated at 5 PM for a dinner prepared by Chefs Ban, Janet and Miguel. Tickets are $150/couple and $100 individuals. Tickets may be purchased through Eventbrite. For more information, go to The dinner will take place Sunday, November 19th, 4 – 7 pm

St. John's Annual Bizaar The Annual fund-raising bazaar sponsored by the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of St. John’s Episcopal Church will be Wednesday, November 15th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, 113 Madison Avenue on the corner of Perry Street in downtown Montgomery. Each year, the bazaar features a variety of handmade items including holiday crafts, hand sewing and decorations; local Kent Jenkins, center, is surrounded by, from left, Betsy Cannon, Cindy art; a pantry stocked with frozen Seibels, Debbie Wakefield, Florence Young and Seibels Marshall while preparing chicken casserole for the bazaar pantry in St. John’s kitchen and refrigerated casseroles and breads, pies and cakes; silent auction items; a Treasure Attic full of homewares and decor, books and garden items and an area designated for artwork created by the children of the church. Lunch, prepared by the ECW, will be served in the Parish Hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at a cost of $12 per ticket. Tickets may be purchased in advance from the church office but will also be available on the day of the event. This year’s menu includes Pork Tenderloin with Ornament made from partially melted altar candles poured into Apricot Sauce, Green Bean antique candy molds and hand Bundles, Sweet Potato painted by women of the church Crisp Casserole, homemade yeast rolls and Pecan Pie from Tucker Pecan served with tea and coffee. Funds raised from the bazaar allow the ECW to donate to a variety of local projects, especially those which benefit women in the community. For further information contact the church at 334.262.1937, Pillows made from vintage 1950’s tablecloths

Get Your Affairs in Order, FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop Wednesday, November 29: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Call 334.625.6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at

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This & tHAT

More Caring for the Caregiver, Alzheimer/Dementia Support Group Meeting the 2nd Wednesday of each month (Nov 8th), 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.

Christmas Parade & Fireworks

Kick off the Holiday Season with The Shoppes at EastChase Lights Up Christmas Parade and Fireworks Show. This year, will also include live music by Jason Givens and The Wanderers, followed by the magical parade and fireworks show! The event is Saturday, November 18 from 6 - 8 PM. For more information, call 334.279.6046. More Information on Website:

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Lucky @ The Capri Theatre Lucky is 90 years old, an atheist, and he's out-smoked and out-lived all his friends.He's a man of habit, same clothes, same food, same people, but he finds himself forced to confront his mortality and seek some sort of meaning to it all. Harry Dean Stanton's last - and some would say finest - film, Lucky was a movie meant for him to shine, and one that shows just how much he had to give us. Loaded with great supporting actors, too, including director David Lynch in a rare acting role. Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston. Director: John Carroll Lynch, Showings Friday, November 10th through the 15th. For more info call 334.262.4858 or visit or

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Old Cloverdale Christmas Tree Lighting

Join us in Cloverdale Park! Sunday, December 3, 2017, 3:30-5:30 PM at the annual Old Cloverdale Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Party. Enjoy carriage rides around gorgeous Cloverdale Park (in front of First United Methodist Church) a bouncy house and crafts for children, tree lighting, sweet treats, hot chocolate, apple cider, and awesome live music with Deb Bowman! Bring along a blanket and/or chairs and Experience the Cloverdale Community!

Wednesday Wine Down

Wednesday Wine Down, a free wine tasting on Wednesday, November 15, 5pm – 7pm. Presented at CaraVita Village 4000 Fieldcrest Drive, Montgomery, AL 36111. For more info call 334.284.0370 or visit

Capital City Master Gardener Association Presents Lunch & Learn 2017 Capital City Master Gardener Association presents Lunch & Learn 2017 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 November 1st, Papercrete – Carla McCune, Master Gardener and December 6th, Houseplants, Barbara Witt, Master Gardner. For information, please contact the Montgomery County Extension Office 334.270.4133. Also visit

First Assembly of God Dedication Service The dedication of the new sanctuary at First Assembly of God on 135 Bell Rd will take place on Sunday, November 12 at 10 am. The new sanctuary will now accommodate twice as many people for Sunday worship. Everyone is welcome to experience this new sanctuary and meet Senior Pastor Greg Kelley. For more info call 334.277.2670 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2017



5 Things To Give Up Right Now

If You Want To Be Happy! by Gary Savoie

“I just want to be happy” How many times have you heard someone say those words to you? Maybe you’ve said them to yourself a few times too. The truth is: we’re all on this constant search for happiness; however, when we do find it, it’s often short-lived. So why is that something that is so important to us is also so hard to get?

The short answer is that when you try to achieve happiness by obtaining it, it’s often temporary. Far too often, we look for quick fixes that provide temporary moments of joy such as a new car, a bigger house, or our much desired promotion. What if I told you that you could gain a more permanent state of happiness by giving things up rather than obtaining them? Giving things up that cause stress, anxiety, feelings of uneasiness and other factors that can contribute to a sense of unhappiness is a key component in creating long term happiness. Here are five things that you can give up if you want to be happy: 1. Complaining: Complaining can be an easy way to blow off steam; however, too much of it can be damaging to yourself and those around you. Complaining is one of those behaviors that feeds itself. By constantly talking about how bad things are, you reaffirm your negative beliefs. While expressing your concerns once in a while can be viewed as a healthy and therapeutic outlet, a constant display of your frustrations will only fuel your unhappiness and drive others away. 2. Limiting beliefs We often assume that happy people never have limiting beliefs – that they’re always happy – and never struggle with their decisions or confidence. The truth is no matter how happy you’re, there will still be moments where you experience thoughts of uncertainty.

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The difference is that those that experience happiness often handle their limiting beliefs better than others. Bring awareness to your limited beliefs, embrace them, and use them as an opportunity to grow.

3. Dwelling on the Past When you think about past events, chances are they’re not healthy or positive. Negative thoughts are the quickest way to kill your happiness. Dwelling on the past will keep you focusing on the “what ifs” and “how comes.” Living in the past will not only tamper with your happiness, but also induce feelings of anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. The past, present, and future are all temporary states and should be treated as such. Instead of wondering what could have been, focus on creating the change now. 4. Blaming Others Unhappy people find no shame in blaming others when something goes wrong. Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they point the finger in the opposite direction. They find it difficult to believe that the situation they are in is due to their own choices. It’s okay to be wrong. In fact, most people find it admiral when you choose to “fall on your sword.” Being able to accept responsibility for your actions is a clear indication that you’re comfortable with however the outcome turns out, which can also be interpreted as a sign of happiness. 5. Resistance to Change One of Ben Franklin’s most famous quotes is “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Although true, there is one more certainty in life: that’s change. Change is inevitable and being willing to adapt to change is a critical factor in determining your happiness. People who resist change focus on the problem, not the solution. Instead of embracing change they revolt, which only fuels more negativity – making the situation worse – and making themselves even more unhappy. Life is all about change. The sooner you learn to embrace it, the happier you’ll be. After overcoming a medical trauma, Gary has been inspiring others to overcome their challenges. For more inspiration and to learn more about his story, visit This story first appeared at

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Help Alabama


The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is a joint research project between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alabama Department of Public Health. Its purpose is to determine why some babies are born healthy and others are not in order to aid in the development and assessment of programs designed to identify high-risk pregnancies and reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes. New mothers are randomly chosen from the state birth registry to participate in PRAMS. Surveys may be returned by mail or completed over the phone. Let your voice be heard!

“Happy to be part of this survey.”

“Thank you for checking on us!”

Actual comments from survey responses.

Moms who complete the PRAMS survey receive their choice of a cooler bag, diapers, or manicure set! Responses are kept confidential to the extent of the law. For more information, please call us at 334-206-2923 or go to

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ADPH does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, age, religion, disability, genetic information, and other federal, state, or agency regulations and policies. Inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies may be directed to Civil Rights Coordinator: ADPH CRC, RSA Tower, 201 Monroe Street, Suite 1010, Montgomery, AL 36104, Tel. 334-206-5226, or email


Chris Vaughan, Feathered Nest & More oddly enough we did not meet due to in your love for fine household linens, This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is our chosen professions. His sister and I which eventually led to your Cloverdale Chris Vaughan. She is the owner of one of were high school friends and she set us business, Christine’s Feathered Nest. the River Region's most unique specialty How did your mother influence your stores, Christine's love of fine linens? Would you please Feathered Nest. share with us how your love of fine As the name linen led you to start your business? implies, Chris What are some of the challenges of is the kind of opening a specialty retail store? What woman that has been the greatest reward? Any understands lessons you can share with other the importance aspiring entrepreneurs, especially, of "feathering" women? one's nest with style and Chris: My mother has a natural comfort. She ability to create beauty in a home offers many with everyday items. She inherited beautiful items a treasure trove of linens from her for sale to do just that but one of her real loves are the fine luxury linens available Chris and friend Rhonda Bentley touring Capri at her Cloverdale store. We're proud to have Chris as our up on a date when I was 16 and he November Cover Profile, she was a joy to was just graduating from high school. get to know and we think you'll feel the Wally completed his residency in same way, especially if you need your Otorhinolaryngology (Translation: nest feathered! Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon) in 1987. We moved to Montgomery with our 6-month-old son, Wallace, BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, because of the opportunity to join i.e. where you’re from, education, what a 2-man private practice that gave brought you to the Montgomery area, Wally the practice environment that did you raise your family here, schools, he wanted. He joined the practice married, family, etc.? of Dr. William J. Knox (Bill) and has enjoyed a successful medical career Chris: I was born in Lubbock, Texas- my in Montgomery. Wallace is our only parents are both native Texans. I am child and while I may still claim to a cradle Catholic and consequently Chris and husband, Wally in Tablerock Missouri be an Arkansan, he is definitely an the oldest of 5 children. We moved Alabamian. He attended Montgomery aunt and used them throughout our to Little Rock, Arkansas when I was 12 and that is the place I still consider Academy and the University of Alabama. house. Everything was well cared for and served a purpose. Linens were not “home”- meaning that if you ask me He currently lives in New York City stored away, but enjoyed in our everyday where I am from I will tell you Arkansas. working for Ernst and Young. While he life. Mom knew that textiles are an I attended University of Arkansas, first loves living in New York he misses many important part of a warm welcoming in Fayetteville and then the Medical things about the south and is looking home. When we moved to Montgomery Sciences campus in Little Rock where I forward to moving closer to home in the I became a stay at home mom. As I said, completed a BS in nursing and later a next year. His career requires him to be Wallace was 6 months old and I had Master of Science in Nursing. I married located near a major airport, so Atlanta the freedom to make that choice. That Wally Vaughan in 1979 when he was in will most likely be his landing spot. choice also allowed me to get involved medical school and I had just completed in the community and begin to set our my BSN. Wally is a native Arkansan and BOOM!: Your mother was instrumental

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anchor here. The medical community midtown area. I enjoy both the feeling that you don’t have to go to Birmingham embraced us, and Donna and Bill Knox of establishment and the diversity or Atlanta to find what Christine’s has to went to great lengths to help us establish that Old Cloverdale has to offer. The offer. My competition has always been relationships and newer areas in East Montgomery have outside of feel at home in a lot to offer and I enjoy that part of MontgomeryMontgomery. Montgomery. However, I am more of course We settled in and comfortable in the quaintness and the flip side after some time relative calm of Cloverdale. It’s just a of that is I found myself better fit for me and Christine’s. a positive wanting a way thing for me! to express my BOOM!: Many Boomers are experiencing Christine’s creative energy. a renewed sense of purpose, new has definitely Working with goals, new careers, especially if they’ve been a labor linens was a experienced the empty nest syndrome of love. The natural for me of their kids moving on. How would you biggest and it could be describe this sense of renewal in your reward has very part time. I life? Any advice for the rest of us seeking been the selfstarted out doing renewal? expression home shows in the business collaboration Chris: I don’t ever seem to lack for a provided. with a friend new challenge or project. Just when I My advice and neighbor. think things might get boring something to anyone Chris's labor of love specialty store Mom and I went unexpected to the Dallas Trade Center to buy the presents itself. I considering this path first “collection” for Christine’s. She am certainly not is be prepared for the Came from Little Rock to help with the slowing down! In unpredictability of the first show that I had in my home. As fact, in the last 6 market- there are lots of Wallace grew, my involvement with months I added ups and downs that are Christine’s grew. I went from operating the additional hat out of your control. That out of an armoire in my entry hall to of managing my can be very frustrating a shared retail space in the Mulberry husband’s medical for some one that is selfdistrict. Eventually through a series of practice. It seems motivated and in charge circumstances I ended up in my own to be working out of their own path. space in the 5 points end of Cloverdale well for us- he and when the A&P lofts were developed hasn’t threatened BOOM!: Your business is I recognized that it was a perfect spot for to fire me yet. located at 501 Cloverdale me. My parents and sister were all on I am enjoying Road, in the A&P Lofts Chris with her son, Wallace in New York City hand to help move Christine’s Feathered having a foot area. What do you like Nest into that space. There have been back in the medical arena. Some fancy about being part of the Cloverdale a number of footwork has been required but so far all Community? challenges of the plates are still spinning. but each time Chris: I am I thought BOOM!: What are you most passionate drawn to the it might be about? history of time to give places. I am it up a new Chris: I am passionate about home, an “old house” opportunity family, friends. I find that other things person, presented that I am passionate about vary with not a “new itself. Retail in my life circumstances. When I was house” person Montgomery a practicing nurse I was passionate (much to the is a bit of about nursing for example. I was pretty dismay of my a different passionate about politics last year! I husband!) animal. My ran my first and last marathon when I Our first biggest was 40 and I had to be pretty passionate home in Wally, Chris and Wallace in New York City challenge has about that training! A few years ago, Montgomery always been maintaining an awareness was in Cloverdale and we still live in the The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Chris: I have to admit that my civic involvement has been curtailed by the growth of my business. I try to contribute through Christine’s with donations, events, and promotions of charitable events. The one organization that I have continued to be involved with is Gift of Life. I have served on that board for a number of years. Gift of Life was created over 25 years ago to address a raising infant mortality rate in Alabama. Montgomery should be extremely proud of sustaining this very Chris getting lost in Greece... effective program.

I undertook working with my sister, who is an attorney, on Social Security disability appeals and became passionate about the problems I could see in that system. Generally, I tend to throw myself into any project of my choosing. I do have a passion for beautiful decor and an organized life. Mind you, that doesn’t mean my home always reflects that… BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work?

Chris: I could say that I wind down with herbal tea and yoga, which would be a good answer, but a total lie! It’s much more likely that you will find me with a glass of wine, playing a few games of Spyder solitaire or Sudoku. That’s if I’m not involved in a good book, which could be in any number of genres. BOOM!: We saw where you went to the Fiji Islands a number of years ago, can you share that travel experience with our readers? Any travel dreams planned for the future? Chris: I planned the Fiji trip for my husband’s 50th birthday. We had been on a number of dive trips in the Caribbean, so I wanted to go someplace unique for that particular birthday. The three of us, along with two other families spent seven days on a live aboard, the Nai’a, traveling between the Fiji Islands diving 2 or 3 times a day. The dives included a shark dive. It was spectacular. The crew did an outstanding job. One of the most memorable things was spending New Year’s Eve on one of the many small islands with the locals, sharing in a traditional Fijian celebration. My dream dive trip would be to the Maldives. BOOM!: As a busy entrepreneur, do you have time to be involved in community, civic or other activities?

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BOOM!: If you weren’t operating a unique specialty store...what kind of work would you be doing? Any dream jobs? Chris: I would most likely return to nursing in some capacity if I didn’t have Christine’s to occupy my time. Truthfully, my involvement in Wally’s practice is right up my alley. It combines my health care background with my experience running a small business. BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/ River Region area that you like?

BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your priorities changed? Chris: My priorities have shifted in a pretty typical manner. Family has become even more important to me even though I don’t have dependent children. My parents are still amazingly healthy and independent and spending more time with them is more important but difficult because they are an 8 hour drive away. I do value and enjoy social events, but I enjoy my time at home much more these days. (Gee- that sounds boring, doesn’t it?) My days are just so full that when I finally get home, often between 6:30 and 7:00 I just want to have a simple meal and tuck away in our “den” with my husband. I do not have grandchildren yet and I expect another big life shift when that becomes a reality. BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you? Chris: This may be the most difficult question of all! I found myself coming up with words that reflect my feelings. Then I realized that I also described myself by relationships. Lots of angles here…I asked a close friend what three words she would choose, and she came up with loyal, savvy, and kind which was flattering but maybe a little too generous. My husband said, “The Best Ever” because he is a smart ass. I finally settled on persistent, optimistic, and openhearted.

Chris: I like the size of BOOM!: Do you have the city, the any hobbies or other stability of activities that grab your Wallace, Chris and Wally in Tablerock Missouri a capital attention? city, and, of course, the climate. I would much Chris: I do love to scuba dive and a trip rather be hot than cold! The proximity of is long overdue! Diving is a great sport the beach is a decided plus. We spend as you get older because you become most weekends there in the off seasons so weightless in the water- no joint when it isn’t quite so hot and crowded. pressure! I have always been a pretty I love the history of Montgomery. The avid exerciser. I don’t run as much as I development downtown has taken used to. I find that variety is important advantage of that and added so much to now. I have been going to exercise the city. I have wonderful friends here classes conducted by Michele Olson for and while I do have strong attachments over 5 years. She earned a doctorate in to Little Rock, Montgomery is home.

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Research Physiology with a special focus on how physiological systems respond to exercise versus disease. Her classes are quite challenging and effective. BOOM!: Most successful businesses require a team effort; how would you describe your leadership style in putting together a successful “Christine’s Feathered Nest” team? Chris: Christine’s is a very different environment than a hospital which is where I developed most of my leadership/management skills. However, in both settings I find that interacting as colleagues rather than as boss/ subordinate works best. I welcome all input from my staff, identify their strengths and give them room to use those strengths. Not every work setting can function that way, but it is ideal for Christine’s. It is very important for the atmosphere in the shop to be warm and welcoming. That means my staff needs to feel comfortable and happy! It does get hectic at times and mistakes are made but we aren’t dealing with life and death here. I know what it means to work in life or death situations and that alters my perspective on what I do now. My staff knows that I am not going to overreact to mistakes. I may not be thrilled but very few things can’t be corrected. We work together to fix it and move on. I am fortunate to have a staff

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

with varied talents and two of my staff members have been with me for 15 years or more. That makes it easy. BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives. What’s your relationship with the digital world? Does technology help you run a smarter business? Chris: Like many of my friends I have had to learn how to be comfortable and take advantage of all of the technology available to us today. Once I learned patience it got a lot easier! My cloud based point of sale program makes operating my business immeasurably easier. However, the initial set up took a lot of time and patience. I finally realized that there is a significant investment on the front end of implementing any new program but it more than pays off. I can’t imagine returning to a manual inventory control system for example. However barcoding and the initial data entry was a big task. I am a very small business, so I am the IT department! What I can say about that is I have developed pretty decent skills in that arena. If it gets too complicated I have outside resources, but I really don’t have to call on them very much anymore. BOOM!: Many of us may think about retirement but we’re not sure how to define it…how do you think about

retirement? What would be your purpose when you finally retire? Chris: Retirement? I guess I already retired from one career- and just built another one. I never seem to have a problem filling my time. I am sure that when Wally retires our life will be different, but I don’t expect either of us to be idle. We are leaving our options open. I don’t know if my purpose will shift to grandchildren, volunteer work, or supporting someone younger who is establishing their own business. Quite possibly, all of the above. I am well known for taking on just a bit more than seems reasonable. Why change now? We want to thank Chris for helping us put together this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. If you want to learn more about Chris and her unique store, Christine's Feathered Nest, drop by at 501 Cloverdale Road. You can also check her out at where you can find special discount coupons. If you have a question you can email Chris at .We want to thank the portrait team at Total Image Portraits for their quality work this month. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to Read all of the BOOM! Cover Profiles at

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

By Jake Rossen

How Jimmy Buffett

Few songs have proven as lucrative as “Margaritaville,” a modest 1977 hit by singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett that became an anthem for an entire life philosophy. The track was the springboard for Buffett’s business empire— restaurants, apparel, kitchen appliances, and more—marketing the taking-it-easy message of its tropical print lyrics.

Turned 'Margaritaville' Into a Way of Life

After just a few years of expanding that notion into other ventures, the “Parrot Heads” of Buffett’s fandom began to account for $40 million in annual revenue—and that was before the vacation resorts began popping up. “Margaritaville,” which turned 40 this year, was never intended to inspire this kind of devotion. It was written after Buffett, as an aspiring musician toiling in Nashville, found himself in Key West, Florida, following a cancelled booking in Miami and marveling at the sea of tourists clogging the beaches. Like the other songs on his album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, it didn’t receive a lot of radio play. Instead, Buffett began to develop his following by opening up for The Eagles. Even at 30, Buffett was something less than hip—a flip-flopped performer with a genial stage presence that seemed to invite an easygoing vibe among crowds. “Margaritaville,” an anthem to that kind of breezy attitude, peaked at number eight on the Billboard charts in 1977. While that’s impressive for any single, its legacy would quickly evolve beyond the music industry's method for gauging success. What Buffett realized as he continued to perform and tour throughout the early 1980s is that “Margaritaville” had the ability to sedate audiences. Like a The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

hypnotist, the singer could immediately conjure a specific time and place that listeners wanted to revisit. The lyrics painted a scene of serenity that became a kind of existential vacation for Buffett's fans: Nibblin' on sponge cake, Watchin' the sun bake; All of those tourists covered with oil. Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing. Smell those shrimp — They're beginnin' to boil. By 1985, Buffett was ready to capitalize on that goodwill. In Key West, he opened a Margaritaville store, which sold hats, shirts, and other ephemera to residents and tourists looking to broadcast their allegiance to his sand-in-toes fantasy. (A portion of the proceeds went to Save the Manatees, a nonprofit organization devoted to animal conservation.) The store also sold the Coconut Telegraph, a kind of propaganda newsletter about all things Buffett and his chill perspective. When Buffett realized patrons were coming in expecting a bar or food—the song was named after a mixed drink, after all—he opened a cafe adjacent to the store in late 1987. The configuration was ideal, and through the 1990s, Buffett and business partner John Cohlan began erecting Margaritaville locations

in Florida, New Orleans, and eventually Las Vegas and New York. All told, more than 21 million people visit a Buffettinspired hospitality destination every year.

Margaritavillebranded tequila followed. So, too, did a line of retail foods like hummus, a book of short stories, massive resorts, a Sirius radio channel, and drink blenders. Buffett even wrote a 242-page script for a Margaritaville movie that he had hoped to film in the 1980s. It’s one of the very few Margaritaville projects that has yet to have come to fruition, but it might be hard for Buffett to complain much. In 2015, his entire empire took in $1.5 billion in sales. As of late, Buffett has signed off on an Orlando resort due to open in 2018, offering “casual luxury” near the boundaries of Walt Disney World. (One in Hollywood, Florida, is already a hit, boasting a 93 percent occupancy rate.) Even for guests that aren’t particularly familiar with his music, “Jimmy Buffett” has become synonymous with comfort and relaxation just as surely as Walt Disney has with family entertainment. The association bodes well for a business that will eventually have to move beyond Buffett’s concert-going loyalists. Not that he's looking to leave them behind. The 70-year-old Buffett is planning on a series of Margaritavillethemed retirement communities, with the first due to open in Daytona Beach in 2018. More than 10,000 Parrot Heads have already registered, eager to watch the sun set while idling in a frame of mind that Buffett has slowly but surely turned into a reality. This article first appeared on

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November 2017



Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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


memory loss that disrupts daily life, or November is here, which means the holiday get something from the kitchen. My confusion with time or place. season is in full swing. To me, Halloween grandmother looked at us, with a puzzled is like a warm-up for the “real” end-oflook on her face, and said, “Steve? His It was the third warning sign on their list the year holidays. Gorging myself on my name’s not Steve.” that caught my attention: “Difficulty with kids’ Halloween candy is just a preview of the upcoming battle against the We quickly figured culinary temptations of Thanksgiving, out she wasn’t Christmas, and countless holiday joking. In fact, she parties in between. Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop couldn’t name a single person in Wednesday, November 29: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 Of course, the holiday season is the room. What pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This ultimately about spending time with was particularly educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins the people you care about the most, strange is that and people go to great lengths to she knew who we covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living do so. Thousands of Americans will were—her daughter, wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, suffer through the monotony of a son-in-law, and her bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care long drive, the mild humiliation of an grandchildren— just and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. airport TSA security screening, or even not what our names Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at the unique odor emanating from a were. seat partner on a long-distance bus trip, just to be home for the holidays. A trip to the hospital ultimately provided a completing familiar tasks at home, at work In my line of work, the holiday season is a diagnosis—vascular dementia, a condition or at leisure.” They provide examples as busy time. It’s the time of year when adult with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms caused by having trouble driving to a familiar location, children take time off from the distractions a series of small strokes. In the short-term managing a budget, or remembering the of their everyday lives, and everyone is back she did improve and remembered all of our rules of a favorite game. It’s the last line in town to see Mom, Dad or Grandma. names. However, over the course of the that really spoke to me. It states: “What’s next ten years, her memory slowly slipped typical? Occasionally needing help to use This is the time when many families begin away. the settings on a microwave or to record a to notice, to suspect, and even to discuss, television show.” the fact that a loved one may be showing This year, pay attention while you’re home signs of cognitive decline. for the holidays. Ask questions and talk In the mid-1990’s, no one on earth could with your family if you think a loved one operate a VCR as well as my grandmother, As a lawyer, I typically use the term may be experiencing diminishing capacity. who lived with my family during childhood. “cognitive decline” rather than “dementia” If they are, the time to plan for their future She had a true skill for deciphering VCR or “Alzheimer’s.” These are closely related is now. Talk about who they would want recording instructions clearly written by medical issues, of course, but I feel that to care for them or manage their affairs if someone with only the faintest grasp of cognitive decline more accurately addresses they are no longer able to do those things the English language. She always managed the legal consequences of these conditions. for themselves. Encourage them to have a to record all of “her shows,” as she called good power of attorney, advance directive, them, and has a vast library of reruns to It is rare for someone to suddenly become living will, and last will and testament in choose from. incompetent (to use the legal term) place. overnight. Instead, it is usually a gradual We didn’t know it then, but looking back process in which a person’s cognitive This can be a tough conversation for now it’s obvious. Gradually, she began to function slowly declines. The difficulty children to have with their parents. Just struggle to operate the VCR the television. is distinguishing between ordinary, old remember that you’ll be the one picking up In hindsight, this was a sign of things to age forgetfulness, from something more the pieces, whether your parents do any come. serious. planning or not. The best time to get their affairs in order is now, while they are still in A few years later, on Christmas morning, The Alzheimer’s Association ( relatively good health and spirits. we finally learned that her cognitive lists 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s on Raley L. Wiggins decline was neither minor nor attributable their website. The complete list is worth Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC to old age forgetfulness. I recall my reviewing if this is a topic that concerns 334-239-3625 | mother calling for my father, Steve, to you. The warning signs on their list include 312 Catoma Street, Suite 150, Montgomery, AL

Attend Free Workshop


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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

By Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Unexpected Lessons from DNA Testing

Well I did it. I ordered 23 And Me, the genetics and health testing kit that can let you in on your ancestry, potential future health issues and other things based on your DNA.

what you’re experiencing in the now – and actively working through painful emotions that are in your awareness — is the way to go. If not, you’re setting yourself up for anxiety.

You send your saliva in, they do their magic — and voila. You get a picture of who you are, where you’ve come from, and who you’re likely to become. Past, present and future – all from a test tube full of spit.

And anxiety can be crippling.

I’d been pondering the choice for a while. Did I really want to know about potential Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s? Would it make me anxious, peering into every little nuance of change in my behavior for signs of trouble? And how much does genetic expression truly govern what happens to us anyway? Would I just plain freak out? Would I want my child to know? Would that cause undo worry for him? Or would I keep the info to myself, and if I received not great news, would I do my best to prevent those things from happening, or would I tend to collapse into resignation of a deteriorated state? Would I tell my husband or the rest of the family, or keep that info tight to the vest? I’ve long felt that the hardest part of aging was facing more and more ambiguity about the future. Not that earlier in life, the future is calculable or predictable. Not at all. But somehow, rounding into this decade, I’ve thought more about the future. I’ve buried my parents. I’ve buried friends. I got told by my concerned contractor the other day, “You have no business getting up on that stool. You need to get a step ladder.” Ouch. But he’s probably right. I want to be rooted in the present. I know after years of being a therapist that staying in the moment, enjoying The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) comes from focusing on the future, and predicting that horrible or worrisome things will happen, feeling out of control, hypervigilant and searching feverishly for what will prevent these things from happening. In severe cases, people with GAD can suffer actual visualizations of tragedy. They “see” planes crashing with loved ones aboard, or armed terrorists rushing into their home. The fears are mostly irrational, and can be triggered by real or imaginary events.

And dishes. Lots of dishes. It was a gargantuan task. I’d never listened to country music before. But I needed an emotional outlet. The last decade of my parents’ lives had been far from healthy, with my mother’s severe anxiety unintentionally ruling their life. She couldn’t tolerate change, and tried to create the same schedule every day. Occasionally, Dad would put his foot down. But it had been very sad to watch. Rolling down the highway, I’d listen to songs like Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You’re Dying” or Miranda Lambert’s, “The House That Built Me” and tears would fill my eyes. I’d loved my parents so much, yet aging had not been their friend.

And then there’s panic disorder itself, which involves an abrupt invasion of fear, with episodes where your heart races, your chest tightens, you get sweaty and feel like racing out of room for air. You basically feel as if you’ve been invaded by an alien, your body and mind not your own.

If I can, I want to save my own child from that experience.

I already experience performance anxiety. Am I just “asking for it” if I read the results of such a test?

I think.

The answer is, “I don’t know.” I started listening to country music back in 2007, when I was driving back and forth from my home to my parents’ house in southern Arkansas. They’d both died, a week apart, and we were cleaning out a home that had been lived in for almost 60 years, seemingly with little going to Good Will or The Salvation Army during that time. It was stuffed to the gills. We found honeymoon luggage back in the far reaches of an attic. Letters that my mom had written my dad when he served in the Philippines. Pieces from my mother’s trousseau that I recognized from old pictures.

I’m hoping that I will relish the present — to live fully and completely until I no longer can. If the assessment suggests I have something to grieve, then grieve I will. I’ll do better having the information.

You can hear more about anxiety and many other topics by listening to Dr. Margaret’s new podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Dr. Rutherford hasn’t received any compensation from “23 And Me” for this post. Margaret Rutherford Dr. Margaret Rutherford is a clinical psychologist, who has practiced for over twenty years in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Since 2012, her writing has been found on her own website, as she writes about mental health, with a special focus on Perfectly Hidden Depression, midlife and relationship issues.

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November 2017



Friendsgiving and Solitary Celebrations to Make the Most of Thanksgiving Day by Kimberly Blaker

The long-held tradition of the family gathered around the table for a savory Thanksgiving feast carries fond memories for many Americans. Still, many will spend the day alone either out of circumstance or by choice. Whichever the case, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday without family. Consider one of the following ideas for going it alone, or celebrate a Friendsgiving instead. Solitary Celebrations The upside to spending Thanksgiving alone is it's your day to do whatever you want. But do plan ahead so you don't waste it away – unless wasting it away is exactly what you'd like to do – which is perfectly okay too. One of the benefits of spending it alone is that you can feast on exactly what you want. If you enjoy cooking, it's the perfect day to pull out your favorite recipes and treat yourself to a gourmet meal. If cooking isn't your thing, you can still indulge by eating out. A few restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving, and some will serve a special Thanksgiving dinner. Just be sure to make your reservation a week or so in advance because restaurants book up early for the holiday. One thing that doesn't shut down on Thanksgiving is the movie theater. So it's a great day to catch a flick and treat yourself to hot buttery popcorn. If weather permits, get some fresh air and exercise by going for a hike. On the other hand, you might just want to stay in where it's cozy and warm. If so, why not bask in luxury by giving yourself a home spa treatment? Do a manicure and pedicure, give yourself a facial, and try out a new hair color. It's also a good day for a trip down memory lane. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some music from your past, pull out your photo albums, and reminisce.

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enjoy dinner out. If so, be sure to make reservations well in advance.

Thanksgiving is also a good reason to call friends you haven't spoken with in a while. So give them a ring.

If you have several friends, a potluck is the best idea. The key to making it a success without a ton of work and stress on your part is to plan ahead. As the host, do the Turkey or meat yourself. Then ask each person to bring one or two specific types of dishes. For example, ask two or three friends to bring a vegetable dish. But have them to tell you in advance what specifically they plan to bring to avoid multiples of the same vegetable. Assign two other guests dessert, and another could be in charge of dinner rolls and snacks.

If you'd really like to do something good for the soul and for others, offer to help in a soup kitchen. Another idea is to take up a coat collection in advance. Then on Thanksgiving deliver the coats to a shelter or distribute them in areas populated with the homeless.

For the beverages, you might offer to supply soda. But ask everyone to bring their own alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, if you know everyone likes beer or wine, ask each person to bring something to share so guests can enjoy tasting and variety.

Friendsgiving Even if you don't have family around for the holidays, it doesn't mean you have to spend it alone. In fact, many people choose to avoid the hot political climate that all too often erupts at family Thanksgiving gatherings.

Additional items to consider asking guests to bring include ice, coolers, tableware, serving utensils, folding chairs, folding tables, and tablecloths. In addition to the day's main event – the mouthwatering food – plan for some form of entertainment. If it's music, put together a variety to fit everyone's taste. You could also play cards or games. If all your guests are football fans, that may be just the ticket.

Plus, don't forget about that good book you've been dying to read.

There's a good chance you have friends, co-workers, neighbors, or acquaintances who'll also be spending the day alone. So why not have a Friendsgiving? Even for those who will spend Thanksgiving with family, Friendsgiving has gained so much popularity, many people are now holding a Friendsgiving on Friday or Saturday so they can jump in on the action. There are many ways to do a Friendsgiving. It may depend in part on the size of your guest list. If there'll be only a couple of you, split the grocery list and then plan to cook together. Although you might prefer to skip the hassle and

If any of your guests have children, have a clean childproof room available where they can play away from the adult ruckus. However you choose to spend your day, just remember to relax and enjoy it. Whether or not all goes as planned, know you're in good company – may it be friends or the company of yourself. Kimberly Blaker, of Michigan, is a freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 250 women's and parenting magazines among other publications throughout the U.S. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Coconut oil

Like many other foods – eggs and butter to name but two, - coconut oil has had a rather checkered past. Once castigated for its high saturated fat content, coconut oil has in recent years, been given a second life as a healthy fat. And while drinking it by the tablespoon still isn’t a great idea, (back to my motto “everything in moderation”) you definitely should consider adding the oil to your diet. When saturated fats were deemed as “bad for you” there was no defining any differences between them. That is to say that coconut oil and lard, for instance, were lumped in the same category! All types of saturated fats were considered to be bad for your health. More recent research has shown that that is just not true.

Coconut oil IS almost 90 percent saturated fat, but we now know that not all saturated fats are created equal. “The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products,” says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. When you consider the parts of the world where coconut oil is the staple oil used, such as Sri Lanka, and compare their heart disease records to ours, you would wonder why we aren't all switching immediately! Their rates of heart disease are significantly lower than in the US and coconut oil seems to be a significant factor in that. Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that breakdown fats. It seems that these medium-chained fats are metabolized more easily into energy in the liver, ultimately meaning that they are less likely to end up as stored fat on your thighs! Unfortunately, simply adding coconut oil to your diet is not enough to ensure weight control and heart healthy gains, you must actually use it as a replacement The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

for other, less healthy items and incorporate it into an overall healthy diet. However, lauric acid does have antibacterial properties, and studies show that the tropical oil (particularly the virgin varieties) contains a bounty of antioxidants that may help knock out those pesky cell-damaging free radicals that are thought to accelerate aging and disease, including cancer and HIV. It is also a great skin moisturizer and hair conditioning treatment and, due to its antibacterial properties, can be used directly on skin to help heal wounds, abrasions, dry skin issues, etc.

You can purchase coconut oil pretty much everywhere now, usually in a tub of solidified oil – it looks white when solid, but melts at 76 degrees and becomes a clear liquid. It does not require refrigeration and do not worry if it does melt, if you need to solidify it again (for substituting for butter for example), just place in the fridge for a while. Turning liquid does not mean it has gone rancid. For most cooking, however, you will be melting it anyway. Both cold-pressed and expeller-pressed versions have a long shelf life (about 2 years without refrigeration), meaning there is less worry about coconut oil going rancid than there are about more delicate oils such as flax or extra-virgin olive oil. Unlike many other cooking oils, coconut oil is very stable and can withstand high cooking temperatures. It has a high smoking point of 350°F; higher than olive oil, which makes it perfectly suitable for sautéing, baking, roasting, and even frying. Coconut oil that is labelled “virgin” or “extra virgin” is extracted from coconut meat using delicate methods such as cold-pressing. This type of oil will have more antioxidants as well as a stronger

coconut flavor and aroma; something to bear in mind when making your choice. My mother loves coconut in anything so she sautées all her vegetables in it as well as using it in cakes and crumbles. I prefer to pick and choose. If you don't want the coconut flavor to be detected then try a refined coconut oil (some of these are already liquid), sometimes labeled “expeller-pressed”. As always, do your homework and find out which brands do not use harsh chemicals to do the refining. Refined oils also have an even higher smoke point, around 450F, so great for stir fry’s, etc. Personally, I would choose a virgin oil for a curry to get that hint of coconut, but in a cake I would probable choose the refined. To sauté and stir-fry with coconut oil, simply use it in place of the oil called for in your recipes and you’ll be able to kick up the heat a bit higher than if you were using olive oil. Even more so with the refined than with the virgin. You can also use coconut oil to replace butter or shortening in baking recipes. When substituting coconut oil for butter, use 25% less oil than the butter amount called for, as its density is higher. To compensate for the bit of moisture that butter normally gives off when it bakes, you may need to add just a dash of additional liquid (water is fine) to balance out the moisture content overall. Experiment a little, live a lot! 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.

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November 2017



Travel Trending with Kathy Witt

Carnival Cruise Line what's ship, culinary come-ons, Cuba, more

Already the world's largest cruise operator, carrying thousands and thousands of adventure-seekers aboard its 25 Fun Ships, Carnival Cruise Line is about to get even bigger. Besides welcoming a new cruise ship to its fleet, Carnival is adding new destinations to its itineraries; new excursions _ including swimming with whale sharks _ to its shore tours; and, to its menu of culinary offerings, a new Japanese grill plus a smokehouse/brewhouse combo from a celebrity-chef and member of the Barbecue Hall of Fame. On the horizon Fun Ship number 26, the Carnival Horizon, makes its debut in April 2018. Those who have experienced Carnival Vista _ the reigning newest ship _ will be familiar with its high-profile entertainment lures: SkyRide, the bike-ride-in-the-sky; IMAX Theatre, showing both first-run blockbusters and documentaries; and WaterWorks aqua park.

beloved children's authors ever.

Carnival Horizon joins the Carnival fleet in spring of 2018. (Carnival Cruise Line)

Cuba is famous for its vintage American cars, all made with used parts and all in pristine condition. (Kathy Witt/TNS)

Also following in Vista's wake will be luxe accommodations options, including spa cabins adjacent to Cloud 9 Spa and attendant exclusive access and privileges; Family Harbor staterooms with lots of elbow room, concierge and entree to a family lounge for games and movies; and the tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites, taking things up a notch with private pool (not for children under age 12) and Cuban-themed bar for evening drinks and dancing. A number of innovations are unique to this seafaring playground. Fans of Dr. Seuss will instantly recognize the red and white stripes made famous by The Cat in

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Dr. Seuss WaterWorks aboard Carnival Horizon. (Carnival Cruise Line)

the Hat, now coloring the tube slides of Dr. Seuss WaterWorks. Located on Deck 12, the water park will feature statues of The Cat and the Grinch and the full-on whimsy and artistry of one of the most

The water park complements existing Carnival/Seuss at Sea collaborations: Dr. Seuss Bookville reading/play areas, character meet-and-greets, Dr. Seuss parade and the much-loved Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast. Families wishing to enjoy this meal, which includes an appearance by and photo ops with The Cat and high jinks aplenty by Thing 1 and Thing 2, should make reservations as soon as possible. And yes, the eggs are green. Other Carnival Horizon enhancements include Bonsai Teppanyaki, featuring dinner and a (culinary) show right at your table and a chocolate Bento Box for dessert, and a full-service restaurant that combines the star power of one of the Food Network's most popular chefs, Guy Fieri, with the come-hither delights of the Red Frog Pub microbrewery, brewing beer just a few feet from the tables. Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-BQue Smokehouse|Brewhouse presents the perfect pairing of Guy's Smokehouse faves (brisket custom-smoked for 12 hours, Memphis-style baby back ribs, dry-rubbed and grill-finished chicken, pulled pork and cedarsmoked salmon with apricot glaze) and four distinctive micro-brews crafted under the supervision of Colin Presby, the only brew master in the North American cruise industry.

Carnival Horizon will have its coming out in Europe on April 2, 2018. After four Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona, it will then go to New York for Caribbean The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

and Bermuda sailings before repositioning to Miami for year-round Caribbean service beginning in September. Hemingway's haven Carnival began sailing to Cuba in June of 2017 for the first time, calling at the capital city of Havana. Twenty shore excursions give visitors exceptional opportunities to mingle with the islanders and learn about its culture and history, so beloved by author Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway lived just outside of Havana for 20 years, drank mojitos at La Bodeguita and daiquiris at El Floridita (both featured on a shore excursion) and fished the waters of a fishing village whose setting inspired him to write The Old Man and the Sea. Another shore tour instructs visitors on the sanctity of the "Cuban Marriage." Learn how to sip Cuban rum and coffee and smoke a Cuban cigar like a local while enjoying live music and singing. Relax over a delicious 3-course lunch in a private restaurant. See how local artists are revitalizing their community at the Muraleando art space, where you can cool off with sangria and learn some Cuban dance steps while a live band performs. Overnight visits in Havana are featured on more than a dozen four- to eightday cruises aboard Carnival Paradise. Depending on the length of the itinerary, stops are made at one or more other Caribbean idylls: Cozumel, Key West,

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Grand Cayman. Aboard ship, guests enjoy an array of amenities and a full schedule of daytime activities and nighttime entertainment, including newly added Cuban-themed entertainment and activities, including music, dancing and lectures on the island's history and culture. Super-sized port and tours Carnival is developing the largest purposebuilt cruise facility ever constructed in The Bahamas on Grand Bahama Island. It will have a mile-long stretch of beach; food, beverage and shopping outlets; and an array of water-based amenities and other recreational facilities. In Cozumel, Carnival has enhanced its shore tours to include swimming with whale sharks, visiting the centuries-old ruins of Chichen Itza, swimming in hidden caverns and snorkeling the turquoise waters of Xel-Ha. 10 reasons to book a Carnival Cruise: I Carnival's shore tours in Havana, Cuba, are outstanding, authentic and highly personal. I Cruises are affordable and a solid value for the money. I Activities galore: cooking demos; mixology competitions; art seminars, exhibitions and auctions; bingo; trivia; Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea; sports of all sorts; dance classes, pool parties and more. I The magic of Dr. Seuss. I Foodie fabulousness _ barbecue and craft brews, sushi and steak, pizza and

pasta, Asian, Italian, Mexican and more. I A Carnival cruise is an ideal multigeneration vacation with activities and spaces geared to all ages, like the adultsonly Serenity retreat and the kid-centric Camp Carnival. I High-velocity Fun Ship staff brings bring everyone into the fun and games. I Top-notch country music entertainers, including multi-platinum and Grammynominated recording artist and awardwinning songwriter Nick Jonas. The recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame's prestigious Hal David Starlight Award will perform two shipboard concerts this fall: Nov. 17 aboard Carnival Liberty and Nov. 18 on Carnival Victory while the ships are docked in Nassau. I Local entertainers like Steve Hite, who boards in Skagway on select Alaska sailings to bring authentic flavor and fun aboard with his show, "North to Alaska." I Carnival continues to play a major role in hurricane relief efforts, delivering critical supplies and the most immediate necessities (food, water, clothing, diapers, generators) to affected islands and donating money to support the relief and rebuilding efforts to organizations, including Save the Children, Houston Food Bank and Operation Homefront. For more information: Carnival Cruise Line, Author, travel and lifestyle writer, and travel goods expert Kathy Witt feels you should never get to the end of your bucket list; there’s just too much to see and do in the world. She can be reached at or (c)2017 Kathy Witt Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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

November 2017



By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

REMEMBERING A LEGEND Nothing makes one feel more like an old relic more than browsing old relics at an auction and finding yourself featured on the cover of the old relics available for a price. It’s an odd way to regain your youth for a price.

Rick once told me during our decadeplus together (@ WAXY 106) he owed his success to one thing- “staying alive”. He echoed Dick Clark’s wordshis presence on the radio kept people in touch with their youth. Greg hanging out with Dick Clark

We had gathered at a memorial tribute to Rick Shaw, a man best described as the Dick Clark of South Florida radio. Dick, Rick and I co-hosted a fundraiser in 1994. Mr. Clark, truly one of the most humble, gracious people I’ve ever met, joked backstage that he owed his success to one thing- “staying alive”. He said “as long as I’m around I can help people stay connected to their youth”. Dick’s role in the on-stage event was to do “whatever I told him” over the course of the evening. I was somewhat numb realizing what he’d said. Me, local radio guy, telling Dick Clark what to do! That seemed so wrong. Rick Shaw began his South Florida radio career on the heels of “American Bandstand”, even hosting his own Miami version of AB called “Saturday Hop”. He was hugely popular, hosting evenings on WQAM AM. Shaw was picked to host The Beatles when they came to Miami in 1964. That’s BIG in anyone’s scrapbook.Ironically,

Both of these men were far greater than a continued heartbeat. Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve shows-Bandstand- game shows- and specials were the art of a man who put people in the spotlight, and not himself. When Dick Clark died in 2012, millions of Americans suddenly felt their age. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the gracious gentleman who hosted those shows with incalculable congeniality was every bit that man in person.

and sounded like a fun place to work. One year later I was sitting with Rick over drinks, talking about taking the WAXY morning show which had just opened up. “I’ll let you know” he said, after a meeting that seemed to go really well. The next day, I was walking out my apartment to go bowling when the phone rang. It was Rick! “We want you”, he said. “How does 25 grand sound?”. No kidding- I was so stunned at that staggering amount (I was making 17G in 1980 so this was an upgrade), I went speechless- long enough for him to come back and say “alright, we’ll make it 30 and throw in some bonuses”. The bowling ball slipped from my hand onto my foot. I

I was miles from arriving in South Florida for a visit discussed in October BOOM’s “Greetings from South Florida” when a text arrived notifying me that Rick had passed that day, and suddenly I felt my age, The WAXY team with Rick Shaw (wearing his signature hat), soothed by a flood of great and meeting Ray Charles- a lifetime goal of RIck's! warm memories that ensued in the NOTE- Randy Thomas, the woman pictured here, was the voice of the Academy Awards for many years! news of his death. I moved to Miami in 1979, and soon made it my goal to gain employment at Rick’s station. WAXY 106 played golden oldies

never felt a thing. “Sure!” replied in shock. It was the only time in my career I got a raise for saying absolutely nothing!

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

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November 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Our radio partnership worked. While a generation apart, Rick saw in me, what he saw in himself at the same age (26). A hot shock jock, with big ideas and a streak of Peck’s Bad Boy to keep things interesting. He let me be me and I celebrated his already-legendary status in South Florida. WAXY grew into a ratings monster. People took their cues from us- we were an effective social media long before the Internet. We were a fun, powerhouse group of personalities known for having, and creating good times. Our greatest collaboration though was the most serious show we ever did, the morning of December 12, 1986. A week previous, on an evening of personal self pity, a friend suggested I meet him to talk. The location was a humble house in Ft. Lauderdale, the home for Kids in Distress. My self-pity was immediately cured by the sight of beautiful young boys and girls sheltered there. It was the place they went after leaving ERs with broken bones, burns and other horrors inflicted by the person they trusted most- their mother, father or both. I stepped outside after the visit and cried

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

like I’d never cried before. Or since. Those tears came back to me at Rick Shaw’s Memorial tribute, a fundraiser for this same organization. I told the story of the morning of 12/12/86, as we hauled the truth of abused kids out of the closet.

on behalf of Kids, launched by that one show, turned into millions of dollars over subsequent years. It was a tribute to Rick, told by the caring, good people who were his fans and wanted to be part of his passion. As I spoke through my tears, one by one, my former WAXY colleagues walked on to the stage to be with me in a spontaneous show of support. We were Rick’s radio family coming together one last time, to thank him for the honor of working with him, for teaching us community service, dedicated to the example he set.

Many of us thought an abused child was a kid spanked too hard, or yelled at too loudly. We took the ugly truth to the air, 2 weeks shy of Christmas hoping to provide them with a decent visit from Santa. God took over.

It’s still hard to believe Rick is gone. Our mentor was a good example. Relic found this relic at the auction

In one morning, we raised $60,000, plus tens of thousands in toys, bikes diapers and other necessities. In one four-hour show. At the outset we hoped to raise a few thousand. I spoke to the gathered crowd near 37 years later and said Rick’s ongoing work

Good examples live forever.

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 MondayFriday. He returns weekday afternoons from 3-6PM for Happy Hour with sidekick Joey Clark. Greg can be reached at

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

November 2017



November 2017

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


The Montgomery Chamber Music Organization Presents: Schumann Quartett Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Join the Montgomery Chamber Music Organization for a performance by Schumann Quartett at 7:30 PM at the Wilson Auditorium at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. “The Schumann Quartett plays staggeringly well… without doubt one of the very best formations among today’s Quartet offspring.” —Süddeutsche Zeitung “Meet the Artists” Wine Reception following concert. For ticket or event information, please call 334.277.3505. For more info visit


The Agony and the Ecstasy MMFA Wilson Auditorium Thursday, November 9th, 5:30-8 pmpm Join the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts for the Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison film The Agony and the Ecstasy. “Charlton Heston stars as Renaissance artist Michelangelo, who begrudgingly paints the Sistine Chapel for imperious Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) in this epic adaptation of Irvine Stone’s novel directed by Carol Reed. While the novel covers Michelangelo’s life from birth to death, the film focuses on the battle of wills between the perfectionist artist and the impatient Pope who commissions (and eventually commands) him to paint the famed chapel.” Assistant Curator of Education Elisabeth Palmer will introduce the film and lead a brief discussion following. The Museum will provide complimentary popcorn, and beverages will be available for purchase. For more information, call MMFA 334.240.4333. For more info visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 8th Annual Artist Market MMFA

Saturday, November 18th, 10 am-4 pm The Museum Store is looking forward to the 8th Annual Artist Market on Saturday, November 18th from 10 am - 4 pm. Artist Market consists of local and regional artists who are represented in the Museum Store. There will be painters, potters, glass artists, jewelers, mixed media artists, a stone carver, and many more. Mark your calendar for this

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November 2017

great holiday shopping opportunity. BUY LOCAL, BUY HANDCRAFTED!


Fourth Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at ASF Blount Cultural Park Saturday, November 18, 4-6 pm

On Saturday, November 18th at 4:00PM, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) will hold its fourth annual holiday tree lighting. Santa will parade through Blount Cultural Park and light a beautiful 40-foot Leland Cypress Christmas tree on display in front of the theatre. Bring the whole family out for this fun event and enjoy pictures with Santa, festive carols, free carriage rides throughout beautiful Blount Cultural Park, free hot chocolate and donuts, and cast members of ASF's a Christmas Carol. For more information, call 334.271.5354 or visit


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ASF November 19, 2017 – December 24, 2017 A heartwarming must-see that will get you into the swing of the holiday season with Scrooge’s search for redemption and a spectacular, magical evening of ghosts, festivity, and goodwill. Under new direction this season, there are sure to be a few extra surprises in store for all who love Alabama’s favorite holiday tradition. “God bless us, every one!” Recommended ages 5+. For tickets visit ASF box office or

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA The Dixie Jubilee Center Dog Show Garrett Coliseum Friday, November 24th, 9-4 pm

The Dixie Jubilee Cluster Dog Show is Thanksgiving weekend at the Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Drive, Montgomery AL 36109. This is an opportunity to see the different breeds and be able to talk to exhibitors and breeders. The shows offer conformation, obedience and rally competition. These shows are a wonderful opportunity to see the various levels of dog training and to enjoy the beauty of a sound, healthy, well-bred animal. The public can learn about different breeds of dogs by visiting with the exhibitors and breeders at the show. Please come on out! Only cost will be $5 for parking. For more information, email or visit www.montgomerykennelclub. org/shows The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Digital & Interactive

f re e su bsc r i pt i on s at w w w.rive r re gio n b o o m ENTERPRISE, ALABAMA

Restless Heart and Freedom Quartet Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center Enterprise, Alabama Thursday,November 30, 2017, 7:00 pm Playing a pop-friendly brand of country-rock influenced by the Eagles, RESTLESS HEART was one of the most popular country bands of the late '80s and early '90s, scoring numerous hits on the country charts and a few major successes on adult contemporary radio as well. FREEDOM QUARTET, voted “Favorite New traditional Male Quartet,” has a vocal blend that is familiar and fresh. From rousing renditions of quartet standards like “Amazing Grace,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Rock of Ages,” “Hide Thou Me,” FREEDOM QUARTET is sure to take the audience on a musical journey rarely experienced. For more info visit


Little Women Cloverdale Playhouse November 30 - December 10 various times Based on Louisa May Alcott's early life, Little Women follows the adventures of sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March, detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood and their experience growing up in Civil War America. In a new “trunk show” adaptation, this production brings a fresh take to a familiar and heart-warming story just in time for the holidays. "Little Women [is] wonderful; despite being written almost 150 years ago, it still remains incredibly relevant.” For more info call 334.262.1530 or visit


be part of live drama that is set during the Roman Empire. As you make your way to Bethlehem, you will visit the field where shepherds received the angel’s message and news of the Messiah. Then visit the wise men as they journey in search of the New Born King. You too shall be counted. The 10th annual An Eclectic Christmas walking tours begin December 1-9 2017. This event will take place at the Falk Farm. Located at 1733 Claude Road Eclectic AL, 36024. It is just south of Eclectic on AL Highway 63. Reservations are suggested and may be made by: Calling 334.578.4846, Email: reservations@ Or, by visiting


A Chris Tomlin Christmas – Christmas Songs of Worship MPAC Friday, December 1st, 6-11pm The Baptist Health Care Foundation is pleased to present: A Chris Tomlin Christmas – Christmas Songs of Worship. This family-friendly event will take place on Friday, December 1, 2017 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. Tickets can be purchased through the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre box office (800-745-3000) or through Ticketmaster, GRAMMY award winning singer, Chris Tomlin has sold more than 7.5 million albums and 10.7 million digital tracks. After spending 15 weeks in the #1 slot, his song, “Good, Good Father” served as inspiration for his first children’s book. The book was among the top 20 books sold on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Tomlin has recorded 16 number one radio singles, but he says Christmas music will forever remain close to his heart.

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Humorist, Jeanne Robertson MPAC Friday, January 12, 8 pm

2017 Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Downtown Montgomery Friday, December 1st, 5-6 pm You're invited to the Alabama Sate Capitol Chirstmas Tree Lighting. The ceremony is Friday, December 1st at 5:00 p.m. on the front steps of the Capitol. There will be music from the Alabama National Guard band and Will & Janet McFarland will perform. The event will culminate with the lighting of the tree about 5:30 p.m. For more information, please call 334.242.3935.


10 Annual An Eclectic Christmas Falk Farm, Eclectic December 1-9, 6-8 pm It was the night that saved the world. The star shone so bright in the night sky. There was not room in the inn. Forced out into the cold night air surrounded with animals, Christmas was born in a stable. In the atmosphere of an outdoor walking trail, you and your guests will The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Jeanne Robertson specializes in hilarious humor based on her life experiences. Speaking to thousands of people annually, she utilizes her positively funny style to illustrate that a sense of humor is much more than a laughing matter. Jeanne Robertson is funny. Oh my, yes. She also knows that her job is far more than "being funny." Her message is that a sense of humor is an attitude, an approach toward working with people. She believes that this humor attitude can be developed and improved, and she outlines how to do so while she captivates her audiences with funny, original stories. For ticket info visit R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

November 2017



Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

Off-screen, Valerie Harper has been an inspiration to many following her optimistic defiance to a well-publicized life-threatening medical diagnosis in 2013. The star of the hit 70s TV series “Rhoda” now brings her indomitable spirit to the big screen to hearten families dealing with Alzheimer's.

Valerie Harper Tackles Alzheimer's in ‘My Mom and the Girl’

patients have told us that we have accurately portrayed what happens. So hopefully we can distribute the film to caregivers – not just of Alzheimer’s patients, but to families dealing with any debilitating disease.” This is another reason Valerie Harper can identify with the film.

Harper, Liz Torres, and Harmony Santana Valerie Harper in My Mom and the Girl - Tibrina Hobson Photography star in Susie Singer Carter’s short film “My Mom and the While some dramatic scenes of the Girl.” Based on Singer Carter’s own 20-minute film are drawn from mother’s battle with Alzheimer's, the the year Singer Carter and her writer, director, and co-producer wanted mother lived together, she crafted Harper to play her mother, Norma Holzer. the story around one incident when her mother, followed by her “I was giving a live reading of the script at caregiver, impetuously left home the WGA (Writers Guild of America) and late one evening. As she roamed was asked who I could see playing my the streets of LA, an encounter mother if I had to cast it immediately,” with ‘The Girl’ (Santana) led to an recalled Singer Carter from Los Angeles. interesting evening. “I said, Valerie Harper! We didn’t know each other, but she’s such a good role “This absolutely happened to my model in real life and turned out to be mother,” perfect in this role.” noted Singer Carter. Harper, too, saw the “Alzheimer’s part as an opportunity. was slowly stealing away her memory, “As soon as I read the but when she script I thought it was met this stranger wonderfully written,” crying on the said Harper from LA. street, it pulled her “But Susie’s script ‘mommy cord’ and was unusual because she continued to it introduced humor. be who she was, Not actual jokes, but despite the illness.” comedic moments that Cast of Rhoda, Valerie Harper, center CBS could be used to soften Incidents like this, a real life tragedy. When says Singer Carter, can give families humor is grounded in reality, it can stir hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. up a lot of emotion. That’s when comedy “Doctors who work with Alzheimer’s is at its finest.”

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November 2017

“My husband has been my wonderful caregiver for 5 years now, although I was only given 3-6 months,” she said, referring to her rare brain cancer diagnosis. “My thing is called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis and it affects the meninges (membranes surrounding the brain). It’s been difficult, but I’ve found the best way to get over your own tragedies is to focus on helping and supporting others.”

Valeria Harper and Susie Singer Carter provided by Susie Singer Carter

Already a multi-award winner at film festivals across the U.S. and overseas, “My Mom and the Girl” is still on the festival circuit ( “Awards are nice,” says Harper. “But any light we can shine on Alzheimer’s – or any other devastating disease – is a win for us.” Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 600 magazines and newspapers. Nick can be reached at 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

November 2017



When I grow up I want to be...

a mom a dad

I WON’T LET HPV STOP ME! The HPV Vaccine is a cancer prevention vaccine. Boys, girls, and young adults should receive the vaccine to defend against several different strains of cancers. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the vaccine begin at 11 to 12 years of age.

Don’t let HPV keep you from reaching your goals.

For more information, visit or

BOOM! November 2017  
BOOM! November 2017  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine