Page 1


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

April 2017




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


April 2017 Volume 7 Issue 8

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 11 Communicating with Seniors With Dementia 12 Mint Juleps, Bourbon, Horses and Hats, Hats, Hats, Hats... page 32

Features 32 Investing in Friendships

Their bond started 21 years ago with dollars toward Starbucks

38 Island Hopping

Georgia’s Historic Coast: Jekyll Island

15 Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives

46 Ed Asner

Don’t expect Ed Asner to fade from casting lists

16 Brush Up on Your IRA Facts, Brandt McDonald

Departments 20 This and That

Getting You “In the Know”

44 {12} Things

Special Events for Boomers

14 BOOMERS, Online Fitness, Leigh Anne Richards

19 It’s spring! (Doesn’t that sound nice?)

40 Greg Budell A Richmas Story

20 Sunday Spring Concert Series in Cloverdale


22 Seabreeze Jazz Festival


25 Alabama Book Festival 28 BOOM! Cover Profile

page 12

page 25

page 46

34 What to Tell The Kids About Their Inheritance? Ask an Elder Law Attorney 37 Gallery One Fine Art presents Art & Fashion 42 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Choice of Cookware?

page 20

page 44

43 Dating Coach: Are you training men not to help you?

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

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

April 2017



Publisher’s Letter

Our Weather Guy Who doesn’t love weather? I can barely think of anyone who doesn’t love to get some daily weather and who better to get it from than our favorite weather guy, Rich Thomas! Rich is in the house this month as our featured Cover Profile and he’s generous enough to share with his best buddy Bailey, his rescue dog. Rich is well known to almost everyone but his story this month may offer some new tidbits I know you’ll find interesting, I know I did.

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 Sandi Aplin Jeff Barganier Tracy Bhalla Greg Budell

Lisa Copeland Treva Lind Brandt McDonald Leigh Anne Richards Nancy Stein Nick Thomas Rich Thomas Raley L. Wiggins

Leigh Anne Richards is getting into technology with her readers and trying to discover how each of you use it to improve your fitness outcomes. She is seeking your input so please take a look at her column this month and share your ideas and thoughts with her, she is helping us all get better at fitness!

Cover Photography Jeri Hines Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

Jeff Barganier, our Pike Road neighbor and travel writer continues his IslandHopping adventure on Jekyll Island, Georgia. He and his wife Cindy know how to have fun and you can get a sense of their experience through Jeff’s words, enjoy the trip. Nick Thomas continues his Tinseltown Talks this month featuring Ed Asner, one of TV’s most enduring and sometimes controversial actors. Jim Watson, Publisher

Greg Budell shares a special bond he has developed since Susan Woody has moved on and you can thank Rich Thomas for that too. Raley Wiggins, our Elder Law Expert, explains what you should share with your children about their inheritance or not. Our Dating Coach, explains why it’s important for women to “need” men...I could add a little advice myself but I’ll leave that to the women to chew on this month. We have some new advertisers this month and I appreciate them choosing BOOM! and valuing you, our readers. I also want to encourage other businesses in the River Region to consider marketing your services to our readers - they have more money than Millennials and more reasons to spend it. Call or text me and I’ll share their story, 334.324.3472. There’s plenty more to check out this month, so enjoy the best reading experience for the 50+ community in the River Region. Please share BOOM! with your friends and your comments with me. I love to listen. Please sign up for the free subscription to the Digital & Interactive BOOM! online at Thanks for being part of our BOOM! Community.

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text

Digital & Interactive

When you read the Digital & Interactive version of BOOM! on your digital device you will be interactive with every website and email link in the magazine. You can click through to a writer’s source, an advertiser, send comments and suggestions, request more info and share your favorite reads on Facebook and Twitter. The Digital & Interactive version was built for the new you so go ahead and sign up for a free subscription at “BOOM!, the best reading experience for the 50+ community”


April 2017

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

April 2017



10 BOOM!

April 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Three Tips on Communicating with Seniors Who Have Dementia

Dementia is deeply troubling for everyone involved. It is an understatement to say that it is a cruel disease, stealing loved ones away and removing our ability to connect with them – at least as we used to. It is possible to converse with dementia patients and it is possible to enjoy time with them. However, it requires that you relinquish old assumptions and habits and adopt a new approach to conversation. If your loved one suffers from dementia, here are three tips on communicating with them. 1. It’s like riding a wave. The most important thing is to forget how you usually hold conversations with people. Dementia eliminates all sense of time and space, continuity, and streams of conversation. To enjoy time with a loved one who suffers from dementia is to meet them where they are mentally at any given moment in time. The disease changes mental focus in seconds or minutes, and you need to roll with it to enjoy time with them and not become frustrated. Your loved one cannot come to where

you are in a conversation; you must go to him or her. For example, It is not possible for your loved one to agree to discuss flowers. Rather, you must observe what he or she is doing and strike up a miniconversation about that. Is your mother eating? Talk about the food. Is your father watching TV? Talk about the people on the television show. As their interest and focus changes, change along with them. 2. Be calm, positive and reassuring. Dementia increases anxiety and uncertainty. The inability to make connections between everyday objects and events can be disconcerting and frightening for the person with the disease. As you sit with your loved one, be observant of their facial features and body language. If they become anxious or fearful, talk about things you know he or she always loved, their hobbies and interests, favorite places or people. It doesn’t matter if the memories connect, it matters that you are talking about things that are reassuring and friendly. 3. Speak in simple sentences and short simple conversations. Forget trying to

engage in complex discussions or long stories. Dementia steals the brain’s ability to make connections and follow long trains of thought. Do not expect to have a long conversation that includes many types of “He said, she said.” Your loved one won’t be able to follow the thread of the story and will drift off. Instead, talk about things in short paragraphs. Looking at a picture book, magazine, or interesting coffee table book with your loved one can be very helpful. You can look at the pictures together, and the conversation will change with every page. In fact, that is just about the perfect length of time for any conversation, with or without a book. It is never easy to lose a loved one to the slow decline of dementia. It requires special dementia care and planning for their safety well-being. However, it is critical to spend time with your loved one and to make it as enjoyable and memorable as possible. Learning how to converse easily will reduce your anxiety and increase the joy of being together for both of you.

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

SIDEbySIDE singers singers

Please contact Jack Horner at or Laura Selby at 834-8990 for more information. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine



2416 W. Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106 334.834.8990

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

April 2017



Mint Juleps, Bourbon, Horses and Hats, Hats, Hats, Hats... Get ready for horses, hats, and bourbon! Join Hospice of Montgomery as they bring Millionaire’s Row with a casino twist to the River Region. The Kentucky Derby Annual Benefit will take place Saturday, May 6th from 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., at Montgomery Country Club. Dress in your “Derby” best, and take part in the post-position horse draw, exclusive silent auction, “funny money” casino tables, “best dressed couple” and “best hat” contests, and much more, all culminating with the viewing of the 142nd Run for the Roses! Attendance at the annual benefit supports Hospice of Montgomery, which is the River Region’s ONLY independent, nonprofit hospice care provider. Funds raised through this event help provide medical care for the seriously ill, bereavement and grief counseling for families, as well as caregiver support. Be sure to reserve your tickets today for the most exciting two minutes in racing! $50 General Admission. Sponsorships are also available. Tickets can be purchased at Hospice of Montgomery, 1111 Holloway Park, Montgomery, and online at For more information contact Hospice of Montgomery at 334.279.6677




PREMIUM SEATING | $50 GENERAL ADMISSION | $25 SENIOR/MILITARY | $20 STUDENT | $10 Tickets will also be available at the door for purchase with cash, check or card.




12 BOOM!

April 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


BOOMERS and Online Fitness

More and more boomers are getting into the world of technology. Smartphones and IPads help active adults stay in touch with their families and friends through mobile social apps like Facebook and Instagram. Far from being afraid of technology, Baby Boomers are embracing their smart phones and IPads. Whether looking for entertainment, functionality, fitness support or socializing, active adults can find apps to support their lifestyle.

Health conscious adults can find a wide range of apps geared around fitness and nutrition. Some of the following apps are recommended by the AARP : • Lose It - offer different ways to track your caloric intake • Caloric - calorie counter • Jamie’s Recipes - healthy cooking • Simply organic - healthy recipes • IMapMyRun - helps plan and track routes • Get running - coaches you for the couch to running a 5K. There are apps for yoga, Pilates, biking, weight lifting and so many more. The baby boomer generation, because of its massive size and looming health care costs it represents, is a prime focus of the digital health market. For every “grandmother” that goes to a gym, eats well, and maintains a great social network, there are scores of baby boomers whose lifetime of unhealthy habits are catching up with them. Erin Billowits has spent the last decade trying to help the 55 and beyond crowd to get healthy. She has built a business model that focuses on solely training clients ages 55 plus at home instead of a gym. The name of her business is Vintage Fitness ( She felt there was a gap in the market for older adults and fitness in the home so she was the first to start that niche. In January of this year, Ms. Billowits launched Spirit50 (, an online offshoot of her personal training effort. With the interactive fitness website, she has created, she hopes to work through some of the challenges that have made it difficult for her clientele to stick to a

14 BOOM!

April 2017

An interesting component of her online training is through assistive playful technology that was developed by a team from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology to enhance the life of older adults. This team came up with an interactive gamification component that Ms.Billowits conducted a pair of research allows clients to collect points and gold, studies with Sheridan Elder Research silver, and bronze stars for each task that Centre (Toronto) to gauge how Seniors they complete. Other animated components, like a graphic that moves up based on progress reported makes it easy to track progress based on day, week, and by Leigh Anne Richards month. When people can see their points increase and maintain that visual record of their achievements, they’re more likely to keep up the good work. All about positive reinforcement that you can SEE. interact with technology and what their exercise habits and barriers looked like. Ms Billowits says, “I wanted to incorporate some fun and that’s where the gaming She found that 90% of the respondents element came in. I’ll ask people what their had planned to make positive changes to points are for the day during our Skype or their health, and 78% were prepared to phone call.” make small changes toward their fitness goal on their own. For many, this website, will be an experiment to gauge the effectiveness of Using the results of this study as a guide, self-directed fitness training. She believes she worked with a team to create an that people are likelier to complete their integrated database of 1200 varied daily exercises if they know there is routines with three levels of difficultysomebody holding them accountable, “It’s easy, medium, and difficult. Each of exciting and interesting to figure out how to the 7,000 exercises comes with a brief motivate people to move and not be right instructional video and after answering a in front of them”. series of intake questions such as “ Can you turn your head to see your blind How do you feel about your fitness and spot?” and “Can you put on your shoes your health being monitored online without sitting down?” Clients can tailor or coming from an app? This article their programs toward their specific needs, is one of a series of articles to follow whether it is a target like increasing muscle about Boomers and mobile technology tone in the legs, or preventive methods to concerning our health and fitness. Do you reduce join pain. use a fit bit, apple watch, or any other wearable technology? I really would like The question remains - How could Spirit50 to hear from you because next month replicate the experience of an in-person I will talk specifically to Boomers and trainer through an online medium? It the technology they are using for their can’t! The closest Spirit50 clients come health and wellness. Please e-mail me at to one on one training is unlimited access . YOU are part of my to e-mail support for $50 a month, $125 next column! I need your input for Skype or phone sessions. Between Vintage Fitness and Spirit 50 she currently *www.theglobeand has a roster of 80 clients she has attracted *Best Apps for Boomers According to Blog. Bill Ness through word of mouth, or search engine Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group optimization (SEO), and a weekly blog to Exercise Instructor, General Manager- MetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at LAMetrofit@ which she links both businesses. consistent routine. Many of the clients decided they could not afford it or they could not keep up with a regular schedule , but they still wanted to keep up with their fitness goals.

Fitness over Fifty

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives Mom’s move to assisted living facility...

Q: My mother, age 84, recently decided that she wants to move to an Assisted Living Facility. Together we have done a lot of “homework” to find a community that offered the type of activities and accommodations that she was searching for. It’s also within 30 minutes of my home, so our visits and family activities won’t miss a beat. A real bonus! She is scheduled to move in soon, but now she is having second thoughts and jitters.She didn’t make the decision easily and spent a lot of time finding the best place for her. I think it’s just nerves; any thoughts? _Ellen J., Orlando, Florida. A: Your mother sounds like a very strong and decisive woman. To make such a big change in her life took a lot of courage and planning and it’s understandable that as moving day approaches the reality of it is sinking in and she may be having second thoughts. As with any transition, at any age, easing into a new situation can help to lessen anxieties. Here are some suggestions for making the change go smoother for her: S In the next few weeks, arrange to have

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

a few lunches with her at the ALF and make an effort to help her meet some residents. The executive director should be able to facilitate these introductions with happy residents. Positivity is a good thing! S While you are there, go together to her new apartment and talk about how her own furnishings will fit and how she wants to decorate it. S Consider using a certified Senior Move Manager who is experienced in helping seniors through the emotional “downsizing” of their lives. She will work

with your mother to determine which furniture pieces will fit in her new residence, and make all the arrangements for the move so everything can be in place in a short amount of time. You can find a Move Manager on The National Association of Senior Move Managers Website ( S On moving day, once everything is delivered, help her put her personal items away and display her family mementos so it quickly feels like her home. Finally, when the move is complete, break open a bottle of champagne and, with your family, and siblings, share a toast to her new life. Nancy Stein, Ph.D., is the founder of Seniority Matters (, a caregiver advisory and referral service in South Florida for seniors and their families. You can contact her at (c) 2017, Seniority Matters, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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

April 2017



Brush Up on Your IRA Facts

IRAs are one of the most popular retirement savings vehicles in use today. If you own an IRA, be sure you are familiar with all the latest rules governing them, including contribution limits, tax deductibility rules, and distribution guidelines. IRAs continue to play a prominent role in the retirement saving strategies of Americans. Here’s a refresher course on IRAs -- how they work and how they can help you plan for retirement. If you are opening an IRA for the first time or need a refresher course on the specifics of IRA ownership, here are some facts for your consideration.

Financial Thoughts

with Brandt McDonald

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 $24.7 trillion in assets at the end of 2014, with $7.3 trillion of that sum attributable to IRAs.¹ Today, some 41 million -- or 34% -- of U.S. households report owning IRAs.² Traditional IRAs, the most common variety, are held by about 25% of U.S. households, followed by Roth IRAs, which are held by 15.6% of households, and employer-sponsored IRAs (including SEP IRAs, SAR-SEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs), which are held by 6% of households.² Contributions and Deductibility Contribution limits. In general, the most you can contribute to an IRA for 2015 is $5,500. If you are age 50 or older, you can make an additional “catch-up” 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, Internal Revenue Service guidelines state that you must have taxable compensation to contribute to an IRA. This includes income from wages and salaries and net self-employment income. If you are married and file a joint tax return, only one spouse needs to have compensation in most cases. With regard to Roth IRAs, income may affect your ability to contribute. For tax year 2015, individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $116,000 or less may make a full contribution to a Roth IRA. Married couples filing jointly with an AGI of $183,000 or less may also contribute fully, up to $11,000 for the year. Contribution limits begin to decline, or “phase out,” for individuals with AGIs between $116,000 and $131,000 and for married couples with AGIs between $183,000 and $193,000.

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 2015 will be fully deductible if your AGI was $61,000 or less. The amount you can deduct begins to decline if your AGI was between $61,000 and $71,000. Your IRA contribution is not deductible if your income is equal to or more than $71,000. • If you are married, filing jointly, and you both are covered by an employersponsored retirement plan, your 2015 IRA contribution will be fully deductible if your combined AGI is $98,000 or less. The amount you can deduct begins to phase out if your combined AGI is between $98,000 and $118,000. Neither of you can claim an IRA deduction if your combined income is equal to or more than $118,000. • If you are married, filing jointly, and your spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored plan (but you are not), you may qualify for a full IRA deduction if your combined AGI is $183,000 or less. The amount you can deduct begins to phase out for combined incomes of between $183,000 and $193,000. Your deduction is eliminated if your AGI on a joint return is $193,000 or more. • If neither you nor your spouse is covered by an employersponsored 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 can begin withdrawing money from a traditional IRA without penalty at age 59½. Generally, deductible contributions and earnings are taxable at the then-current rate. Nondeductible contributions are 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 will 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.

continued page 18

16 BOOM!

April 2017

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

April 2017



What’s New for 2015? Application of one-rollover-per-year limitation. Beginning in 2015, you can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period regardless of the number of IRAs you own. However, you can continue to make unlimited trusteeto-trustee transfers between IRAs because these transfers are not considered to be rollovers. Furthermore, you can also make as many rollovers from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA (also known as “conversions”). To learn more, see Publication 590-A.4 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. Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager Direct comments and questions to or 334.387.0094 Source/Disclaimer: ¹ The Wall Street Journal, “Battle Continues Over Fiduciary Rule for Retirement Investments,” June 14, 2015. ² Investment Company Institute, “The Role of IRAs in U.S. Households’ Saving for Retirement, 2014,” January 2015. ³ Internal Revenue Service, “Retirement Topics-IRA Contribution Limits,” January 22, 2015. ⁴ Internal Revenue Service, “IRS Publication 590-B, Distributions From Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). 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. © 2016 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful. 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.

18 BOOM!

April 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

It’s spring! (Doesn’t that sound nice?) Ahh, spring! Many people reminisce about blooming flowers, butterflies and bunnies, or mention “whistling,” “anticipation” and “rebirth.” What comes to mind when you think of spring?

proactive about their hearing health year round, spring does feel like a natural time to check “get my hearing tested” off your to-do list. Why?

We hear a lot from our patients and customers that spring signals a time of planning and renewal. It’s the season many hearing aid wearers bring their hearing aids in for a “spring cleaning” — and the time people who have been on the fence about treating their hearing loss finally decide to “do something about it.”

Healthy Hearing

Don’t miss out on the euphoria of spring! Across the country, people are opening windows for the first time all year, planning summer vacations, planting gardens, biking, hiking and going back outside. And they don’t want to miss a thing. Who can blame them? And while we encourage people to be

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Sponsored By

Montgomery Hearing Services • Spring sounds: The birds are back. Cool breezes are blowing through wind chimes. Parks, paths and playgrounds are filling with people and laughter. If these wonderful sounds aren’t as clear or meaningful as they once were, come in for a hearing consultation and let us help you hear — and enjoy — your favorite sounds again. • New technology: Spring is when many hearing technology manufacturers introduce updates and new features

to their hearing aids. This spring is no different with best-ever “Made for iPhone” compatibility, and technology designed specifically to make speech and music sound more crisp, clear and natural than ever. We have this new technology in stock and would love to give you a free demonstration. • Summer prep: Before you know it, summer will be here and you’ll be in the thick of vacations, family picnics, outdoor concerts, weekend sporting activities and more. Prepare now and be ready to enjoy every minute by getting all of your hearing concerns taken care of this month!

Whether it’s tuning up your hearing aids, upgrading to a new pair, or just starting the journey of treating your hearing loss, we can help ensure your spring lives up to your memories, hopes and expectations. Call us today! (334) 651-0500.

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

April 2017




This & tHAT

Sunday Spring Concert Series in Cloverdale, Free Admission :)

The 2017 Cloverdale-Idlewild Spring Concert Series starts Sunday, April 2nd. This is the neighborhood’s most anticipated event of the year! It is always fun and a great way to meet your neighbors and visit with friends! Everyone is welcome, so bring all your friends and family!! Leashed dogs are also welcome, so bring your furry babies as well!! Hope to see y’all there!!! Cloverdale Bottom Park, Intersection of Cloverdale Road and Ponce de Leon Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106. Enjoy a few hours in the park, starting at 4 pm! Concert Dates: ● April 2 - Federal Expression ● April 9 - John Bull and Ed Pickett ● April 16 Cotton Bird ● April 23 - Ziggy ● April 30 - Ed Pickett ● May 7 - Blackbird Pickers ● May 14 - Fibergrass ● May 21 - Blue Yonder, ADMISSION IS FREE! Bring your chairs or blankets (or both), coolers, snacks. Plan to sit under the beautiful oak trees in the park setting and enjoy the music. For more info visit the Facebook Page/Cloverdale-Idlewild-Association

Bark For Life, Sunday, April 30th The American Cancer Society Bark For Life is a fundraising event honoring the life-long contributions of our Canine Caregivers. It’s an opportunity for people to come together with their canine companions and to contribute to cancer cures. Our Canine Companions, with their owners, are joining the American Cancer Society as Relay teams. They participate to celebrate cancer survivorship, to honor people lost to cancer, and to fundraise in support of the American Cancer Society mission of eliminating cancer though research, education, advocacy and service. Canine companions demonstrate unconditional love, joy, security, compassion, and no judgments of cancer survivors abilities or appearances. The American Cancer Society Bark For Life is an irresistible way to partner with your canine best friend, smile, and make new friends canine & human. The Bark For Life starts at 1 pm, Sunday April 30th in Wynton Blount Cultural Park. For more info contact Gina Bitetti at 404-329-5113, or

All American Weekend Known as the “Best Hometown in the Air Force,” Montgomery’s Maxwell Air Force Base will host the “Heritage to Horizons” Air Show April 8 and 9 from 9 am - 4:30 pm. U.S. Air Force premier aerial demonstration team the Thunderbirds, French aerial demonstration team Patrouille de France and other exciting acts will fill the skies over the River Region in a show celebrating the Air Force’s 70th anniversary. The event is free and open to the public. For show updates visit

20 BOOM!

Digital & Interactive

April 2017

The Riverm Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine f re e su bsc r i pt i on s at w w w.r ive rre gio n b o o

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

Celebrate Spring...Azalea Season Each Spring, Callaway Gardens’ landscape explodes with one of the world’s largest displays of native and cultivated azaleas – more than 20,000 of them – plus fresh blooms of dogwoods, crabapples, daffodils, tulips and more. These sweeping floral vistas form the stunning backdrop to invigorating recreational pursuits, fascinating educational experiences and special events designed to celebrate the grandeur of the season. A series of themed weekends, known collectively as Celebrate Spring!, feature special activities and events for families and friends to share against the backdrop of these dazzling surroundings. For more information visit

Alabama Flora and Fauna Arts Festival Come enjoy nature at its best at the 13th Annual Alabama Flora and Fauna Arts Festival at the NaturePlex in Millbrook, Alabama on Saturday, April 8th. This artistic celebration of Alabama’s magnificent plants and wildlife will feature the original nature-themed works of Alabama artists in a variety of mediums and styles, to include ready-to hang wildlife and floral paintings, wood carved marine fish, photography, mixed media, gourd art, stained glass mosaics and much more! This year, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures and the Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center is also taking part in the Festival to showcase artists from the region. April 8, 2017 9 am - 5 pm in the NaturePlex at the Alabama Nature Center, 3050 Lanark Road, Millbrook, Alabama. For more info visit

All American Weekend All American Weekend continues with Stars in the Park, an outdoor concert on the beautiful grounds of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival featuring Grammy Award-winning country music artist Clint Black at 8 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. with music by opening acts. Tickets are $30 in advance or $36 day of at the gate. Active duty military are entitled to one free ticket with proof of identification through the ASF box office. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

April 2017



This & tHAT



Seabreeze Jazz Festival At the Seabreeze Jazz Festival -- the most unique element is not just the music -- but THE SETTING!! Just think of the ultimate jazz festival weekend combined with an exciting beach vacation in a coastal paradise. That’s the difference of Panama City Beach, FL as your smooth jazz destination. The only sound you’ll hear at The Seabreeze other than smooth jazz.... is the crashing of the surf on the beach! Looking for a jazz festival with “actual smooth jazz”? Then make your JAZZ ESCAPE to the 2017 Seabreeze Jazz Festival set for April 19th-23rd in Panama City Beach, Florida. Enjoy over 20 performances from top smooth jazz artists. Lineup includes: BRIAN CULBERTSON, BONEY JAMES, TOWER OF POWER, KENNY G, NORMAN BROWN, CANDY DULFER, RICHARD ELLIOT, RICK BRAUN, PATTI AUSTIN, PIECES OF A DREAM, SHEILA E. , MICHAEL LINGTON, DARREN RAHN, PAUL BROWN, ERIC DARIUS, DOC POWELL, KEN FORD, FOUR 80 EAST, ALTHEA RENE, MATT MARSHAK, JAKE SHIMABUKURO, ROMAN STREET, ADAM HAWLEY-Seabreeze Rising Star, JEANETTE HARRIS--Seabreeze Rising Star. Add to that Dinner and Lunch Jazz Cruises, nightly All-Star After Party Jam Shows, and a cool CD Release Party -and you’ve got an incredible weekend of music! See the lineup, get tickets, and book accommodations online at:

Capital City Master Gardener Annual Plant Sale

Capital City Master Gardener Annual Plant Sale Saturday, April 22nd, 7:00 a.m. - noon Frazer United Methodist Church Corner of 6700 Atlanta Highway/Burbank Montgomery, Alabama. The Capital City Master Gardeners are having their annual spring plant sale with terrific plants at bargain prices. Plants for sale include: heirloom plants, vegetables, herbs, annuals, perennials, ground covers, trees, shrubs, succulents, shade plants and house plants. Garden items and potted container gardens also available for purchase. Bring the kids for fun children’s gardening activities. Free gardening demonstrations will also be held during the sale. Beat the crowd and come early because the plants go quickly! For more information, go to our website:

22 BOOM!

April 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis at Hampstead Tipping Point Someone’s Grandchild Needs Your Support

Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. Each year, more than 125,000 people participate in hundreds of walks across the country to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research and drug development. Great Strides continues to gain momentum, as do our research efforts and the progress we’ve made in the search for a cure. The CF Foundation has raised and invested hundreds of millions of dollars to support the development of new CF drugs and therapies. But the lives of people with this disease are still cut far too short. We need the public’s continued support to fulfill our mission of finding a cure and improving the quality of life of those with the disease. This year’s Great Strides Event will be held at Hampstead Tipping Point on Saturday, May 6th beginning at 9am. Form a team, join a team, and serve those in the fight for the cure of Cystic Fibrosis. Get involved at

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

April 2017



This & tHAT



Celebrating Israel’s 69 Years of Independence, April 30th The Jewish Federation of Central Alabama (JFCA) invites you to join us for ISRAELfest69, an annual community-wide celebration, which will showcase Israeli life, culture & spirit. All are invited: Whether you carry an Israeli passport or you carry Israel in your heart and mind, we hope you will join us to celebrate the Jewish State. Israeli Independence Day, known as Yom Ha’atzmaut in Hebrew, commemorates the public reading of the Israeli Declaration of Independence by the first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, and its approval by Israeli leaders 69 years ago. In Central Alabama and communities across the United States, we celebrate Israel’s independence each year as a way to support one of our country’s strongest allies and to honor freedom and democracy throughout the world. The event will feature: a variety of traditional Middle Eastern food, a salute to outstanding leaders dedicated to Israel, inspiring words from special guest speakers, a performance by a well-known Israeli entertainer, a raffle, an 8 foot replica of Jerusalem’s Western Wall, craft activities and dancing for the kids, merchandise, exciting door prizes, and much more! At the center of the celebration is live entertainment by comedian Joel Chasnoff who will be joining us from Israel to make this year’s Central Alabama Independence Day Celebration a big success! He’s a former IDF combat soldier and author of the comedic memoir The 188th Crybaby Brigade, about his service in the Israeli Army.

Baptist Health and the Montgomery Cancer Center OPEN NEWLY RENNOVATED CANCER CLINIC IN PRATTVILLE Montgomery Cancer Center Prattville is now open in the newly renovated 15,000 square foot space at Prattville Medical Park, 645 McQueen Smith Road, 1st Floor. Patients will benefit from cutting-edge cancer care, a team of board-certified oncologists and highly trained oncology nurses. The brand new 15,000 square foot space holds 24 infusion bays for patients undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy along with 10 exam rooms, conference areas and support facilities. Other conveniences include: State-of-the-art laboratory, Chaplain services, Financial counseling, Dedicated pharmacy for specialty oncology medications, Nutrition services, Convenient access one mile off of I-65, Ground floor location, Ample surface parking. “For more than two decades, the Montgomery Cancer Center has provided support, hope and healing to its patients,” said Susan Reed, administrator of the Montgomery Cancer Center. “Bringing this convenience to our patients in Prattville is truly a better service to our community’s future needs. Both medical oncologist/hematologists Dr. Robert Avery and Dr. Naresh Bellam will be serving the Prattville location. However, patients who see a Montgomery-based physician are still able to receive treatment in Prattville.

Get Your Affairs in Order, FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop Wednesday, April 26: 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

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 24 BOOM!

March 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The lineup for the 2017 Alabama Book Festival April 22 in Montgomery includes a diverse list of best-selling authors that organizers say will appeal to a variety of ages and reading interests. The 12th annual event takes place in Montgomery’s historic Old Alabama Town at the intersection of Columbus and Hull streets from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scheduled to appear are the following: Rita Mae Brown -- Brown is author of the revolutionary coming-of-age novel “Rubyfruit Jungle,” which was her first book. More recently, she has published 25-plus books in the Mrs. Murphy cozy mystery series with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown, as co-author. Winston Groom -- Best known for writing “Forrest Gump,” Groom has also written several books in the historical genre. His first work of fiction in almost 20 years, “El Paso,” is his newest book. Cassandra King -- Native Alabamian and author Cassandra King is the recipient of Troy University’s annual Hall-Waters Prize. The award is presented to a person who has made significant contributions to Southern heritage and culture in history, literature or the arts. Her works include “Moonrise,” “The Sunday Wife” and “The Same Sweet Girls.” Jay Asher -- Asher is best known for his young adult novel “Thirteen Reasons Why,” which makes its debut as a 13-part Netflix series on March 31. The novel about suicide has resonated with millions of teenagers and sold more than 2 million copies over the past 10 years. Tayari Jones -- Jones is part of the festival through a National Endowment for the Arts grant to Troy University to host The Big Read, a program designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture. The book selected for Montgomery’s Big Read is “Silver Sparrow,” Jones’s novel about two teenage girls living in Atlanta in the 1980s. Brad Watson -- Watson is the 2017 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year. His novel “Miss Jane” has been heralded as a work of great beauty and empathy. Michael Knight -- Knight’s “Eveningland” is a thematically linked collection of stories that The Library Journal calls “essential for fans of literary fiction.” His novel “The Typist” was selected as a Best Book of the Year by The Huffington Post and The Kansas City Star, among other places, and appeared on Oprah’s Summer Reading List. Joining these authors at the book festival will be more than 50 additional writers. Panels throughout the day include Cozy Mystery, Children’s Picture Books, Biography, Poetry, Comics, Romance, Dark Mystery, Military History, Food and Spirits, Outdoors and more. For aspiring writers, workshops are scheduled throughout the day. Topics include fiction writing, cookbook and travel writing, memoirs, screenwriting, writing for young adults and songwriting. The workshops are free on a first-come, first-served basis, but registration is required online at Books by festival authors will be available for purchase courtesy of Barnes and Noble, and authors will be signing books immediately following their presentations. Publishers, authors, schools, libraries and literary and arts organizations will be among those represented at exhibitor booths. Several food vendors will also be onsite. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

April 2017




This & tHAT Walk of Life 2017, Saturday, April 22nd, Downtown Montgomery

The Joy to Life Foundation provides free mammograms and other breast cancer screenings, when necessary, to medically underserved women and men in Alabama, provides limited grants when needed, builds and supports breast cancer awareness among all Alabamians, and promotes over-all health, well being, and education throughout the state. We’re excited to celebrate our 16th annual Walk of Life this year! Thank you for supporting our mission. Because of your generous support/donations, we can continue to provide breast cancer screenings for women and men in every county in Alabama. Register today, and join us in the fight! Get your friends togeher and register at

26 BOOM!

April 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Feeling listless, I bought some expensive “brain-stimulating” pills at the health food store. But it wasn’t until I got home that I read the label. “This is just rosemary extract,” I complained to my husband. “I can’t believe I spent all that money for something that I have growing wild in the yard!” “See?” he said. “You’re smarter already.”

Neighbors In Christ We are a local faith based non-profit organization with a serious mission to minister to all families, elderly and individuals who have been a victim of crime through a burglary, robbery, assault, stalking or other crimes, just as in the Bible (Luke 10:25-37) the Good Samaritan ministered to the victim lying on the side of the road beaten and robbed. Also, We are looking for volunteers to help victims of crime in the Montgomery area with repairs. Victim Repair Services: Replace Locks, Rekey Locks, Replace Doors, Repair Doors, Replace glass. Give us a call if you want to volunteer or if you know someone we can help, 334.271.3313 or, visit

Digital & Interactive free subscriptions

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Photo by DiAnna Paulk

Those Smart Pills Work

MANE’s Course for Hope is an event held every other year at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club to help provide funding for the equine-assisted activities program for River Region children and adults who have physical, cognitive, developmental, and emotional disabilities. This year Regions Bank was the lead sponsor for the entire roster of events. Wynlakes Head Golf Pro Steve Cutler was the master mind and master of ceremonies for the golf portion of the day. Tournament Champions were Regions’ managers met a few MANE riders and team United Johnson Brothers’ Mark were given a tour of MANE’s therapeutic riding facility by Program Director Tiffany Atkinson. Mussafer, Keith Rains, Michael Gruber, and Kelcey Allison, who won 48” Vizio HDTVs. Runners-up were team D.R. Horton’s Andrew Hancock, Mike Finley, Steven French, and Kenny Anderson, who won 40” Vizio HDTVs. Third place winners were team Ready Mix USA’s Sid Coleman, Lee Barton, Jeff Kamykowski, and John Ives, who won Bushnell laser range finders. After the cocktail reception, participants made their way to the Ballroom for the delicious steak dinner sponsored by Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group’s Laurie Russell of Montgomery and Rod Westmoreland from Atlanta. Ms. Russell is a Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor, and Mr. Westmoreland is the Managing Director and Private Wealth Eric Hunter congratulations Tim Hendricks, the winner of the putting contest. Advisor. Live auction items included the use of the Regions Suite at a Biscuits’ home game; 2 horse themed in-home, non-wagering (for amusement only) slot machines; 100 level 50-yard line tickets to a Tennessee Titans home football game with rooms at The Thompson Hotel in Nashville; golf and hotel experiences at Ross Bridge and The Shoal golf resorts; a week in a stunning NC mountain home; three nights in a 3 masterbedroom villa in La Costa Resort Spa in San Diego; a week in a villa in Cortana, Italy including a truffle hunting adventure; a deep-sea fishing trip; a week in a 3 bedroom villa in St. Andrews, Scotland; a week in a private home in the Bahamas; a speckled trout fishing trip; and tickets to The Regions Tradition Senior PGA Golf Tournament with VIP tent access and dinner for 8 at Frank Stitt’s Highlands Bar and Grill; and a spectacular oil painting of Amen Corner by Becky Chrzanowski! The “Catch A Miracle” program garnered more than 150 rider scholarships, ensuring that more deserving families than ever before will have access to MANE’s services and resources. Visit MANE’s website for event updates and information about riding, volunteering and donating. MANE is located at 3699 Wallahatchie Road, Pike Road, Alabama 36064. The MANE number is 334-213-0909. Please mark your calendars for MANE’s “Raise the Roof” party hosted by Wintzell’s Oyster House at MANE’s therapeutic riding facility on Thursday, Granger Thaggard Auctioneers gets the October 19nd, 2017. Photo by Julie Reynolds

Thursdays: April 6, April 13, April 20, Aprl 27 10:30 am - 11:30 am Hospice of Montgomery Conference Room 111 Holloway Park Montgomery, AL 36117 For Information Call Winston Brooks 334.279.6677

MANE’s 2017 Course for Hope Golf Tournament, Dinner and Auction sponsored by Regions Bank

Photo by Lauren Kay

Grief Support Group Open to the Community

highest bids while entertaining the crowd

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

April 2017




Rich Thomas, Our Weather Guy year of brief, semi-retirement, I started This month’s BOOM! working for Bluewater Broadcasting in Cover Profile is Rich April 2016. Thomas, The River Region’s premier BOOM!: Rich, you are a legendary “Weather Guy”. Rich weatherman in the River Region, please has been in the public share how you got started and some of eye for 40 years, your journey in reporting the weather helping thousands and becoming the Chief Meteorologist at navigate storms, WSFA TV? Can you explain why so many receiving their daily people are fanatic weather watchers, weather forecast and what’s the appeal of weather? learning something about weather Rich: My Mom and Dad used to say my along the way. Rich interest in weather started as soon I is the consummate was old enough to talk. I remember an Meteorologist and he assignment a 3rd grade teacher gave has reinvented himself us. Each of us had to make a weather after leaving WSFA While I’m on the air in the morning, Bailey is right below me in the studio by my legs. instrument. My assignment was a TV in 2015. We asked homemade barometer. I think I only got Rich to share some of south. I received a scholarship a C+. No matter. his life’s story with us to the honor’s program at My interest in and we think you’ll enjoy getting to know the University of Southern the weather him as much as we have. Mississippi, majoring in intensified. Broadcast Communications My mentor, BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, and Journalism. Later, Cleveland TV i.e. where you’re from, education, what I majored in Broadcast Meteorologist, brought you to the Montgomery area, Meteorology at Mississippi Dick Goddard, schools, family, etc? State. Following a couple of who was the years on WHSY in Hattiesburg, longtime Rich: Born and raised on the shores of MS., Larry Stevens “drafted” weather Lake Erie, in Sheffield Lake, Ohio, about me to the company’s authority in 20 miles west of Cleveland, I’m the Montgomery station, WHHY, northern Ohio youngest of 4 boys. At a very early age in November 1977. This for decades, I developed a passion for meteorology. November will be my 40th Bailey, helping Rich in the studio encouraged At the age of me to pursue my interest. I wanted to 12, I became anniversary of be that guy. Broadcasting the weather the youngest broadcasting is the only job I ever wanted in my life. cooperative In My weather trek began back when I weather observer, Montgomery. was a rock DJ, at my first two stations, in the state of I spent almost including WHHY in Montgomery. I Ohio, for what 34 years at automatically came in to cover severe was, at the time WSFA, from weather, even in the middle of the night. the U.S. Weather 1981 to 2015, This got the attention of WSFA Program Bureau. Attending and I held the Manager Carl Stephens. He invited me Brookside High title of Chief in for an audition. I was immediately School, I was Meteorologist hired. I spent almost my entire adult class president for 32 of life at WSFA. It was an honor. I had all 4 years. After those years. the privilege to be the guy that people graduation, this The Bluewater Weather Center, 2 TV cameras, weather Following a turned to, and trusted, through countless Ohio boy headed computer, switcher, etc.

28 BOOM!

April 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, for over 3 decades.

Rich’s childhood home. Sheffield Lake, Ohio. Only home he ever knew for the first 18 years of his life. Only about 9 or 10 in this picture with his dog Tippy. His official “Weather Station” is in the back of the house.

BOOM!: With technology, people can access almost anything, including weather, what makes your approach and presentations on weather so popular? Do you have an app?

Thomas Weather Facebook group has exploded to well over 34,000 members. The morning video is available on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, on multiple web sites. Even the Montgomery BOOM!: After Advertiser uses it on their web site and leaving WSFA TV, Facebook page. And, conveniently to you launched most folks, it’s available in the palm of The Rich Thomas your hands on our Rich Thomas Weather Weather Network, Network App. Our App launched around you are a weather Thanksgiving, and has received quite celebrity with an amazing reception with over 17,000 thousands of downloads in its first 4 months. We’re Rich: Our lives fans throughout excited to offer this app to our many have changed the River Region. Why did you decide fans, it’s “one stop shopping” for all in this digital era, to launch The Rich Thomas Weather the weather information you need for people want their Network? What were some of the your day. It weather information “on challenges in launching your unique includes current demand “now instead of brand of weather? Any growth plans for conditions, radar, waiting until 10:17pm in your weather network? How can BOOM! future radar, the nightly newscast to readers receive your weather reports hourly and 10 find out about tomorrow’s each day? day forecasts. weather. Studies show, During severe one of the first things Rich: Rick Peters at Bluewater weather, you people check in the Broadcasting, came to me with a get watch & morning, usually on multi-platform digital approach. And, warning push their smart phone, is the the timing was perfect. He posed the notifications weather. Even during question, what if you could broadcast for wherever my brief hiatus between across several platforms at once: across you are. Plus, WSFA and Bluewater 8 radio stations, online, on social media my daily blog Broadcasting, people and Live on your own Weather App? updates and asked me to start posting We built a functional weather office/ videos are in weather information. TV studio inside the radio station. Now, the palm of So, I did. First, I started A snapshot from Rich’s WSFA Audition tape. during severe weather, our severe your hands, posting on Facebook and The audition that got me hired, age 25. weather coverage is not only available on the app. the membership numbers across the radio dial, it includes audio/ And, there’s access to our LIVE stream mushroomed immediately. Then, I video on all digital platforms. Using coverage during severe weather. You started making a daily weather video, radar, weather computer graphics, can download for both Apple or Android. in the pre-dawn hours, at my house. towercam and 2 cameras in the studio. Just search Rich Thomas Weather. It quickly became very popular and Simultaneously, it’s a radio stream and a For more info you can visit www. now, thousands of folks have a habit of TV stream. watching it, During with their toast recent BOOM!: Many Boomers are experiencing and coffee in tornado a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, the morning. coverage, new career, how would you describe this It’s a 2-minute folks were sense of renewal in your life? Any advice personal able to for the rest of us seeking renewal? briefing, watch covering my LIVE Rich: Interesting question. I had to everything you coverage on reinvent myself because of career need to know their smart changes. Using my experience in the about your phones & digital world I was able to produce weather for the tablets in and deliver what I did best, weather day. My alarm Rich in his familiar “Storm Center” at WSFA their safe reporting. I was willing to adapt to a goes off at 2am place, until we told them the danger had new way of producing a weather report and the video is online by 5am. The Rich passed. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

April 2017



and developing “Dad”, including my an audience to work at Bluewater experience it. My Broadcasting which advice for everyone is is a dog friendly to be ready to break environment. On out of your familiar our NewsTalk 93.1 and comfortable morning show, you mold, and begin will sometimes hear learning how to do Bailey’s bark on the things differently, air. As many dog especially using new lovers know, Bailey is technology if possible. great at helping me Reinventing myself I relax walking in Blount Bailey and Rich at their favorite place, at the Beach had to step out of my Cultural Park. She also comfort zone and try something new and travels with me on out of town trips as bold. much as possible. BOOM!: What are you most passionate about? Rich: People who have watched me for much of their lives recognize my passion for communicating the weather, especially severe weather. People tell me they can judge the severity of an approaching storm, by the tone of my voice, facial expression, body language. It is my number one mission to communicate and to forewarn folks about an impending severe weather threat. I’m passionate about getting their attention and inspiring them to prepare and take action. I’ve been rewarded over the years when somebody will stop me in public and say something like, “we are alive today because you told us when to go to our safe place”, you can’t imagine the powerful affect that has on me. It underlines how important my weather communications are too many people in the River Region.

BOOM!: Favorite vacation spots? Any travel dreams planned for the future?

always with me. You will still hear my forecasts on the radio, and I post my blog updates from the road, too. The weather never takes a day off. I’m a big fan of the beach, too. Bailey stays with me when I go to the beach. BOOM!: With a busy schedule operating your own weather network, do you have time to be involved in community, civic or other activities? Rich: I speak to several civic groups, as I have time to schedule, every year. Lots of Bark in the Park appearances. I also continue to make many school visits. In fact, I bet I’ve been to a hundred or more schools around central Alabama. I have no idea how many weather radios I have programmed in my life, but that number is multiple thousands!

Rich: I love to travel as much as possible. During my hiatus between jobs, I took a long trip around the eastern US. The trip had a Civil War theme. I’m a history buff, especially BOOM!: Do you Civil War things. The have any hobbies or centerpiece of my trip activities that grab was Gettysburg. I also your attention? visited the Petersburg battlefield, and a number Rich: It’s no of Civil War museums. surprise, I would I went to Richmond, have to say that Appomattox, and Ford’s weather is my Theater in Washington. hobby. My job is Rich, PM Magazine Co Host 1982 I also, visited Arlington so demanding, it with Sydnie Kohara National Cemetery where involves a lot of my brother Hal Marsolais the hours in my is buried. day. In Meteorology, you are constantly Last October, I met my brother Dennis checking new model data, and watching and his wife for the concert event of the radar. BOOM!: How do you like to relax and a lifetime, in the California desert. wind down from a It was the BOOM!: You have seen a lot of changes hard day’s work? Woodstock of in Montgomery, especially in the our generation downtown area, how would you rate the Rich: At the with The Rolling quality of life in the River Region? What center of my Stones, Paul do we need more of? universe is my McCartney, The dog Bailey. She’s Who, Bob Dylan, Rich: I am so very proud of the rapid a rescue dog from Neil Young and renaissance taking place in our city, the Montgomery Roger Waters. particularly downtown. I can remember Humane Society. a time, several years ago, when In fact, she’s my Even when I am downtown was decaying. Except for the second rescue on the road, government, itself, there was little reason dog. Bailey goes my traveling to go downtown. That all changed when everywhere with microphone is the Biscuits came to town. That started Hurricane Ivan coverage 2004 the renaissance, which has now taken

30 BOOM!

April 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Broadcasting… feast’s on during the especially morning show. I kid working with you not! Greg Budell. What’s it been We hit it off on every like working cylinder. He is the with Greg and ultimate professional his popular and friend. When radio shows? BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your you listen to Greg, I know Greg priorities changed? Jay and Emily Following the Enterprise tornado in 2007, NBC News loves his dogs, and myself in the came to interview Rich for Storm Stories episode which do you get Rich: I am now 61. I’ve learned, as I’ve morning, and it aired on The Weather Channel to share the aged, to try to appreciate each and every sounds like we’re spotlight with your dog Bailey? day. I think ambition, in our younger having fun…Guess what? We are. You years, where you’re always working can’t fake that. The chemistry is perfect! Rich: For one year now, I have been toward some future goal, robs us of the honored to call Greg Budell my friend. ability to realize that the true joy of life We want to thank Rich for sharing his time Our bond grows stronger every day. He helping us put together this month’s BOOM! is not arriving at one particular goal or said this first, but I echo his sentiments. Cover Profile. If you want to learn more about destination, but rather, it’s the ride along “He’s like my brother from another Rich and his new weather network visit, the way that we need to appreciate. mother.” We click. We have the same or his I’m thankful for my health, my friends work ethic. We both get up at 2AM. Rich Thomas Weather Group Facebook and family, my dog, and the amazing Since our age is close, within three years, page at opportunities I have been afforded in my we have shared common experiences. groups/1592955910950417/, you can email life thus far. I’m a lucky guy. He likes history and him at . As baseball, so do I. And, always, thanks to Jeri Hines and Haley Kintner, BOOM!: Give talk about our love from Total Image Portraits for the professional us three words for our dogs! He has cover photo of Rich. If you have questions, that describe two spoiled dogs, comments or suggestions about our cover you? Hershey and Briscoe, profiles, including nominating someone, please and he’s now like send them to Rich: a second daddy to Dependable, my dog Bailey. How trustable, The power team of all time… much so? He cooks dedicated. 1986 Rich, Bob Howell, Phil Snow Read all of the BOOM! Cover Profiles at chicken tenders in the middle of the night, which Bailey BOOM!: You are celebrating your first anniversary working with Bluewater on such an incredible momentum. I am so proud to so show visitors what is happening in our city. Montgomery has become quite an example, and a showplace in the South. I also give a lot of credit to Mayor Strange and the people he surrounds himself with.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

April 2017



Investing in friendships By Treva Lind

for two generations

Their bond started 21 years ago with dollars toward Starbucks. Not over coffee exactly, but what stocks to buy when 12 women first pooled funds for a Spokane Valley investment club called the Lilies. Members all loved coffee, so in fall 1995, their first investment ignored a financial adviser’s caution about an emotional buy in a then much smaller Seattle company. “Starbucks was our very first stock purchase; we still own it today,” said Marla Larson, 61, of the Lilies. “Our portfolio is an amazing value, but mainly, it’s about the friendships we’ve made.” Various investments later, the group grew both a strong portfolio and tight friendships. The Lilies, today at 10 members, are now investing time as mentors for a younger generation. In 2015, a few adult daughters of the Lilies began their own investment club, the Dandies, with women their age. The younger women hope to capture similar bonds and financial success, and they’ve taken some guidance from their elders, such as bylaws and how to develop a partnership agreement. “The launching of the Dandies has brought us so much pride,” Larson said. During the past two decades, the Lilies met once a month except in the summer to make investment decisions. After their portfolio gained value, they also grew closer while traveling together on occasion when members decided to pull out some cash for trips. Members visited the New York Stock

32 BOOM!

April 2017

The Lilies, in the front, are, from left, Kathryn Cooney, Karen Toreson, Marla Larson, Linda Uphus, Laurie Sheffler, Bunny Malmstad. The Lilies investment club has spawned their younger version, the Dandies, arrayed in the back of the photo. They meet regularly to plan their investments and socialize, this time at Marla Larson’s place in Liberty Lake. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Exchange in 2005. They toured Starbucks headquarters and met CEO Howard Schultz in 2013. Other trips took in Walla Walla, Wash., and Palm Springs, Calif.

Watchers and all the hoopla over Oprah Winfrey would be a fun one, but interestingly, it’s not taking off quite yet. We joke maybe we’ll meet Oprah one day.”

Larson’s daughter, 34-year-old Britney Calkins, grew up witnessing the club’s successes and how tight-knit the Lilies became. The Dandies group has 14 women as members.

The Lilies were all educators in the Central Valley School District. They gathered insights from the group’s financial adviser, Larson’s husband Steve Larson, who over the years has remained the Lilies’ stockbroker.

“It was inspiring just watching our moms over the years,” Calkins said. “For us, it was seeing the fun and friendships that evolved out of it. The icing on the cake was they made a little money along the way and have used some of the funds to travel and do a few little activities together.” “We also meet once a month to research and talk about a decision,” Calkins added. “We thought Weight

“When we started, we had curtain crawlers and were dodging between basketball practices and dance recitals,” said Lilies member Karen Toreson, 76. “Now we’re retired and many of us have grandchildren.” “It’s a rich group of women, not just with money but with experience, integrity, character and humor.”

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The Lilies range in age from 61 to 82. “The glue for this group and its acceleration are the friendships,” Kathryn Cooney, 82, said. “We’re diverse, independent, but we’re very bonded.” Early on, the Lilies decided they’d study the investment world and research companies, along with a commitment to meet regularly. Each agreed they would contribute a certain amount per month toward the club’s investments, starting with $35 a person. Then it went to $50. Today, it’s $75, said member Linda Uphus, 65, a former elementary school principal. They listened to each other and learned. “We all worked in the Central Valley School District, not all at the same school, but we knew each other,” Uphus said. “We thought it would be fun to get together and test our knowledge about investments, so that’s what we did.” “We watched our kids grow up, and we’re there for each other in the good times and bad, just like the stock market is up and down,” Uphus added. “They’re one of the first people we call if there’s trouble or a death. It’s a very close group.” Members created the name Lilies, for Lilies of the Valley, from their Spokane Valley and CVSD ties. The younger group’s members aren’t all educators, although a couple of them are teachers. Others are lawyers, stayat-home moms, managers, nurses and business owners. The youngest among the Dandies, which is short for Dandelions, is 32-year-old Nikki Calkins, another of Larson’s daughters and Britney Calkins’ sister. The sisters married brothers and share the same last name. The eldest Dandies member is Nicky Fredekind, 42. The Dandies are each kicking in about

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

$25 a month toward investments, Calkins said. Her husband, Mark Calkins, is serving as the Dandies’ financial adviser and is part of the same firm as Steve Larson. Once a year, Lilies and Dandies get together. The women met Feb. 16 at Larson’s Liberty Lake home for dinner and to socialize. Members among both groups hugged and shared a glass of wine. A few took turns holding 2-month-old River Risley, daughter of Dandies member Emily Risley, 33. “We wanted to follow in our moms’ footsteps and get this started with the younger generation,” said Risley, who is Uphus’ daughter. “Growing up, I remember the Lilies started pitching in about 35 bucks, but more than the financial part, it was just getting together with girlfriends while raising families.” “Our group hasn’t really made any money yet, but we’ve had fun. We’re starting off small with the hope we’ll get to share the same experiences our moms have. Outside the meetings, we’ve said, ‘Let’s go to a concert together.’ “ A conversation between two friends launched the investment legacy. Larson worked as a CVSD school counselor when Autumn Reed, another counselor, asked her about starting an investment club. “Autumn knew my husband, Steve, is a financial adviser,” Larson said. “I said, ‘Sure, I’ll go home and ask him.’ His response was, ‘Investment clubs just don’t seem to make it for whatever reason.’ I told Autumn that and I’ll never forget her response, ‘Doesn’t that just suck for them?’ “ “With that, we never looked back. We said ours is going to be different. As a group, we’ve always been told that common sense investing works. We invest in what we believe in and are passionate about, like coffee, wine and

medical devices that help people.” Reed remained a longtime Lilies member, and her death from cancer in 2008 was a blow to everyone, Larson added. Reed’s share of earnings went to her family. “We miss her dearly,” Larson said. “She was a character.” The Dandies have already gotten to know each other better, after Larson’s and Uphus’ daughters invited other women they knew as friends or acquaintances to form the younger generation club. “Everyone’s connected somehow _ elementary school, activities, college,” Jenny Bernard, 35, said. She went to the same college as Risley and heard the Lilies legend told by daughters. “In college, you could tell they admired what their moms had created and the fun trips. They didn’t even have to sell me when they called me. I said, ‘I’m in.’ “ Britney Calkins said her group’s members have planned dinners and skiing trips. They won’t draw out of their portfolio toward big outings for quite a while, so they can give investments time to grow. “If we make a few bucks along the way that will be a nice part, but really for us, it’s about investing in friendships,” she said. “That’s the premise or spirit behind our group, and I know that’s the same for our moms and the Lilies group that inspired us.” Risley echoed that sentiment. “Some of the Dandies I didn’t know at all, some I knew their name and wasn’t too close. Already in two years it’s been so fun to grow these relationships. We hope to have some fun adventures with the money we make, too.” (c)2017 The Spokesman-Review Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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

April 2017



Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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

What Should You Tell The Kids About Their Inheritance? Money is still a taboo topic in polite society. We don’t engage in small talk with someone we’ve just met by asking them “So, how much did you pull down last year?” Instead, we stick towards mundane and unoffensive topics like the weather.

parents—as much as $12 trillion overall. That amount will be eclipsed when boomers leave it to their children. Now, I don’t recommend that you report every penny of your financial situation to your adult children on a regular basis. But, I do think it’s a good idea to inform them, at least generally, about the nature of your assets, your investment and savings goals, and your ultimate estate planning goals.

members can squander a $15,000 inheritance just as foolishly as they do a $1.5 Million.

So prepare your heirs by educating them about what they may or may not stand to receive at your death. Help them to understand that their But, this social taboo may extend to our inheritance is not a sure thing, nor is it a families as well. At one time or another, panacea for a lifetime of poor financial parents with inquisitive school-aged decisions. Help them understand that children will have to address a “fair” division of the inevitable questions your estate among from their young ones about your heirs doesn’t whether their family is “rich” Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop necessarily mean that or “poor.” Parents generally it is a mathematically Wednesday, April 26: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 pm find a way to dance around the “equal” division. at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This topic while landing somewhere educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins in the “middle class” Talking about your covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living neighborhood. financial situation with wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, your adult children is bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care Even after children are grown just as uncomfortable and have families of their as it was to answer and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. own, many parents don’t want the questions of your Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at to discuss their finances or young and curious property with the kids—even children all those years if those kids are now in their ago. I realize that. If you intend to leave your kids some, 50’s. I think this is unfortunate. The But, a lot of things that are good for us but not all, of your estate, then it’s a fact is that most people want to leave are uncomfortable (I’m looking at you, good idea to tell them why you reached their property to their children one dentists). that decision. Billionaire Warren Buffet, day. If the kids are going to own it, who has famously decided to give why shouldn’t they know more about it Take some time, update your estate away most of his fortune rather than now? planning and financial documents, and leaving it to his children, thinks that the then have one nice long uncomfortable “correct” amount of money to leave Communication can go a long way conversation with your kids about it. the kids is “enough money so that they to smooth a transition from one would feel they could do anything, generation to the next. Consider Once it’s done, you’ll be relieved to but not so much that they could do the adult child who has to take over know you’ve finally gotten everything nothing.” And Buffet, who updates his managing a parent’s finances when the in order. estate plan fairly regularly, allows his parent can no longer manage on their children to read the latest version each own due to dementia. Clients often Raley L. Wiggins time a change is made. tell me that they don’t know where to Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC begin to look for their elderly parent’s 334-239-3625 | Most of us don’t have the kind of key financial information. 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104 “billionaire problems” that Warren Buffet has. Most of us hope that we As has been widely reported, the baby are in a position to leave our kids boomer generation have begun to anything at all. But, it is not the size of inherit the greatest inter-generational the inheritance that matters. Family transfer of wealth in history from their

Attend Free Workshop

34 BOOM!

April 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


April Featured Artists

Lavender Fields II 12x16 oil on canvas, Anne Hugghins

Expanse 48x48 mixed media, Cecily Hulett

Aw Shucks, 30x24 oil on canvas Pamela Wesley Copeland

On the Slopes of Mount Edna 30x30 oil on canvas, John Wagnon

Connections 36x36 mixed media, Carol Barksdale

Sunflowers, 60x12 copper by Bradley Moon

Whispering Leaves 20x16 acrylic on canvas, Shirley Esco

A Seriously Cereus Night 24x12 oil on canvas Trish Gober

Cooking Up A Storm 30x30 oil on canvas, Anita Westerberg

Gallery One offers a wide selection of original art by gallery artist members and is an Alabama not-for-profit cooperative gallery. Gallery Director Sandi Aplin,

Windsong II 22x15 watercolor, Clint Herring

By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

Gallery One Fine Art presents Art & Fashion Art and Fashion our quarterly trunk show of the Carlisle Collection, New York, will be in full swing April 7th continuing through the 22nd. We are so excited about the CARLISLE-PER SE TRUNK SHOW, Spring/Summer Collection. These designers are really in tune with the women of today. Today’s women are busy! Our casual to cocktail look fills the need for women enjoying exciting lives. This collection is shown by appointment, we try to give each customer at least an hour to see these beautiful designer pieces and process their orders. The two lovely pieces selected for our invitation are the Guava blouse (512924) which features a cool and comfortable look. This water washed 100% silk georgette blouse with palm leaf print front in colors of mosaic peach, wicker, white and riad brown which is semi-fitted. It has a camp shirt collar, short sleeves and turn back trim at the cuffs and the hemline. The front has exposed buttons in Italian marbled wicker resin with front and back shaped with side seams. A patch pocket at the left chest and is unlined center The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

peach, also in the Miramar Group. This garment is made of hand washed silk habotai, and features a wide leg pant, the waistline sits 2” below the natural waist. Shaped with darts with front fly zipper opening with hook and bar closure (interior poker chip button-and-tab closure. Beautiful top stitched front slash pockets and unlined leg openings. Sue and I are so excited about this show, they have even included a swim suit. For your convenience, we are here Saturdays from 10 to 5pm and Sundays 1 to 5pm.

back, the length is 24”. We have shown it with the Bellini 100% silk pant (509914) in mosaic

Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art A freelance writer living in Montgomery, AL or

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




Island Hopping

By Jeff Barganier

Georgia’s Historic Coast: Jekyll Island

As reported in last month’s issue of BOOM!, Cindy and I frolicked for a couple of days on Tybee Island near Savannah then headed south to scenic and historic Jekyll Island. Once an island paradise for America’s 19th Century super-rich, Jekyll Island offers today’s visitors a unique opportunity to step into history. The island was purchased for $125,000 by a hunting club in 1886 from descendants of French settler Christophe DuBignon. The hunting club was controlled by some of the wealthiest families in the world, notably the Morgan’s, Vanderbilt’s and Rockefeller’s. Throughout the Jekyll Island Club Hotel are beautifully framed photographs of these tycoons and their families during visits to the island back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Cindy actually visited the Jekyll Island Club in the early 80’s during a church retreat. At the time, it was boarded up and the most she could do was peek through cracks. She was excited to revisit the restored Club and see the fabulously detailed and luxurious interior. Concierge Sherri Zacher talked with us about the joy of her 17 years there. She speaks of the Club as a sister that she has adored from youth. “She’s the only place I have ever wanted to work,” Sherri said with emotion. Like me, Sherri is attracted to its history and loves to bring the past alive for guests. She also shared her favorite spot on Jekyll’s beach near a marsh. “It’s the most romantic beach in the world,” she said. Unlike the ghostly structure, Cindy saw back then, today the Club is beautifully reestablished

38 BOOM!

April 2017

competition. We met some of them down in the quaint pub over a beer and they laughed about how people stare at them as if they are aliens when they stop for gas all clad in white from head to toe. We also met a gentleman in the pub who was researching the Club for a proposed book—such is the fascination people have with this special landmark. and attracts people from all over the world. A couple from Washington D.C. were married there during our stay. And a number of courteous young Hungarians work there. One of them told us that, during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, he drove all the way to Montgomery just to find a hotel vacancy. The rooms are all different. We found ours quite comfortable and loved

our private windowed-balcony that looked out over the front lawn where professional croquet players dressed all-white were engaged in serious

We reveled in the enjoyment of eggs benedict for breakfast in the glass pavilion just off the grand dining room overlooking beautifully landscaped grounds with palm trees, pool, and the Jekyll River beyond. An oasis for architects and interior designers, the clubhouse features wide-plank oak / pine floors, open-raftered ceilings, brass etched-glass sconces, rich wainscoting, thick hand-carved crown molding, majestic columns, and large fireplaces. Handsomely crafted hand-rails and barley-twist spindles adorn staircases. Step outside to spacious, covered porches and you’re gazing through ancient live oaks whose lower limbs droop all the way to the ground then turn up again, inviting children to ride them. Look up, and hawks hover against the blue sky like motionless drones or kites. You might glimpse a period horsedrawn carriage passing in the distance along one of the many “tabby” lanes crisscrossing the expansive grounds. Tabby is a type of concrete made from oyster shells. Some of the spacious mansions flanking the clubhouse were constructed of tabby, too. The material was used by early Spanish colonists in North Carolina and Florida and later by the English in coastal South Carolina and Georgia. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The Jekyll Island Club’s wharf once received the largest and most luxurious pleasure yachts in the world delivering the Club’s mega-rich members along with their carriages, horses and hounds. When J.P. Morgan was once asked about the cost of one of his large Corsair yachts, he remarked, “If you have to consider the cost you have no business with a yacht.” In those days, one might look west from the clubhouse to see Pulitzer’s Liberty, Theodore Vail’s Speedwell or Andrew Carnegie’s Missoe anchored off Jekyll Island. As a writer and history buff, I relished the scene in my mind’s eye and contemplated the remarkable personalities that landed here and the events that took place. AT&T President Theodore Vail, for example, made the first transcontinental telephone call from the Jekyll Island Club. There’s a photograph of this very occasion. And the blueprint for our controversial federal reserve system of banking was secretly drafted here by America’s elite money men. My favorite pastime was simply walking the grounds amidst the surreal beauty of the place, reading the historic markers

and gazing upon the fabulous homes the barons left behind—it’s all a national landmark today. You can even enjoy dinner at the fabulous Crane House and watch the sun set over the Jekyll River. The Crane “Cottage” was built in 1917 by Chicago industrialist Richard Teller Crane. Built in Italian Renaissance style, the home has 20 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms and an exquisite garden on its south side. Its rooms are available for rent.

shopping village and beachfront hotels. Children will love the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The Center is walking distance from the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. When you enter, look up. Hanging above you will be a replica of an Archelon. The actual remains of this allegedly extinct, immense turtle were found in shale about 45 miles south of Rapid City, South Dakota and now hang in the National Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Lest I forget, Cindy insists that I mention the famous Tiffany stained-glass window signed by none other than Louis Comfort Tiffany himself in the charming Faith Chapel near Besides history, the Club. You visitors may need to add Jekyll enjoy golf, tennis, Seen left ro right, Welles Bosworth, S. B. P. Trowbridge, J. P. Morgan, Jr., William Rockefeller, Theodore N. Vail Island to your croquet, horseback bucket list. You’ll be glad you did! riding, trolley and boat tours. The island beyond the Jekyll Island Club Hotel is Jeff S. Barganier is a freelance writer and business well worth exploring, too. Bicycles are manager of Cindy Barganier Interiors LLC. He available for touring via excellent bike travels far and wide upon the slightest excuse for trails that encircle the whole island. something interesting to write about. Share your thoughts with Jeff at The east side of Jekyll has public beach access with picnic tables and restrooms. The east side also features a small

Digital & Interactive free subscriptions

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

April 2017



By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

A Richmas Story weatherman this market has ever known. But after a year sharing a radio studio, I’ve learned there’s much more to this man than mastering meteorological mayhem.

There are times when things work out just right.

A year ago, after scoring another Alabama Broadcasters Association Award for “Best The guy is a Morning friggin’ gold Show”, my mine! partner in that success I quickly (Susan Rich Thomas and Greg sharing the microphones with listeners on Newstalk 93.1FM realized Rich Woody) was and I had a talking about #1 media name in the River Region, I lot in common. BOOMers, both, we’d leaving the show- something about dubbed his first day- April 4 last year as escaped to the South from Midwestern “going out on top”. She had a better “Richmas”. cities with long, hostile winters. He’s money making opportunity outside from the Cleveland area, I’m from radio. Three days later, Susan moved on, Chicago. We grew up suffering the ending a week that for me was much same weather extremes; they just got I was distressed, admittedly, because more than a business shakeup. to my neck of the woods first. Our our radio partnership was easy. Put favorite baseball teams had treated us us in the studio and we fizzed. Susan On Richmas Day, Mr. Thomas walked in to years of heartache and heartbreak, and Greg was the easiest radio of my with 35 THOUSAND ardent followers of which made the Chicago Cubs – career. However, as her restlessness the Rich Thomas Weather Network on Cleveland Indians World Series of 2016 grew, the, fizz began to fizzle. Facebook! That is a staggering number an event that would end the suffering in a town our size, and it speaks for one of us. As her departure loomed, the ARRIVAL LOUDLY to the love and trust the locals gate at Bluewater Broadcasting swung have in Rich as their weather guru. Ahem. wide open to welcome Rich Thomas. When a star turned up in our corner of the sky, the Wisemen gathered the right gifts to sign him. Rich had spent a year in exile, sitting out a non-compete clause following 33 years at WSFA TV. Excited to get the

40 BOOM!

April 2017

Rich has been more than the go-to guy when the River Region is under assault from nature. He was a brand unto himself, something a media person builds only over many years of accurate, reliable performance. So, I knew we were getting the best

Rich Thomas came to Montgomery as a DJ at the behest of Rich’s radio equivalent- the legendary Larry Stevens. Stevens discovered great talents in his Montgomery radio days but Rich is the crown jewel. He brought Rich in as a jock, and Rich has reprised those skills on our Newstalk 93.1FM The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

morning show with the RTSOB- the Rich Thomas School of Broadcasting. During the daily “Timeline”, we dredge up an old hit record and he “talks it up” like an old school DJ. It’s one of many fun and screwy things we do daily on a show that reveals the one component of Rich Thomas that the rigid formatting of a TV newscast would never permit.

second or two before moving on. He recently marked the anniversary of the 2007 Enterprise tornado. His eyes welled a bit recalling the events of that day, learning on live TV, that students had been killed in that monster.

Rich cares. It is real. And it’s real tough when you’re the weatherman Rich Thomas has a wickedly quick wit, One of the benefits of friendship with Rich Thomas and the world is friendship with his beloved Bailey. She’s in the you’ve studied with the timing of Newstalk studio every morning- and it’s tough to with passion and a master comic. His resist that face when you’re holding a treat! fascination turns humor is dry enough, I deadly- and you care about people told him, to get the damp out of a load the way he does. Rich is a humble of laundry. guy, who’d never once take credit for the lives he saved during his amazing Did you know that about Rich? There’s career. None of us who experienced more. A lot more. the tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011 will forget that day, or the man who As the morning show morphed into warned and warned of the dangers. its new configuration, I realized Rich When Rich Thomas says “seek shelter” and I had more in common than bad people don’t ask questions. His work climates and baseball teams. in the weather studio gives him the chance to make a difference- and at We were born with second helpings times it’s a difference of life and death. of sentimentality. Rich is as real as the day is long and on occasion, his People have called our show, one man voice will catch and he’ll require a

recently recalling Prattville’s tornado of 4/15/11-to tell Rich exactly that. “You saved my life!”. He may not have saved my life in particular, but I’ll say this- he saved my show. With the recent addition of the acutely whimsical Emily Hayes, and outside contributors like LaDonna Brooks, Rusty Aldridge and others, it’s a brand new morning. With Nerd-in-Chief Jay Scott, Emily and the Affable Mr. Thomas I get to sit down every day at 6AM with 3 people I have come to love and enjoy, making mine the best gig in town. I never know what’s going to happen next but can offer (with permission from my Brother From Another Mother) a forecast.

Tomorrow could have a 40% chance of rain. The sun may or may not shine. But when I throw my legs over the side of the bed at 2:30AM, there’s a 100% chance I’m gonna have fun that morning and I’ll take those odds every time. Merry Richmas!

Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, children and dogs. He’s a 30 year veteran of radio who hosts the Newstalk 93.1FM Morning Show with Rich Thomas, Jay Scott & LaDonna Brooks, 6-9AM Monday-Friday. He returns weekday afternoons from 3-6PM for Happy Hour with sidekick Joey Clark. Greg can be reached at

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

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

April 2017



Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Is the choice of cookware important? Undoubtedly, yes! Particularly when you think about the traditional cast iron ware. Not only does it change the taste slightly, (for the better, in my view) it also gives the food traces of actual iron – which is incredibly useful as iron is one of the most common minerals that westerners are deficient in. Many people are completely unaware they are iron deficient, but if you have any of these symptoms, it is worth looking into further. Aside from the obvious anemia (looking pale of skin, lips and gums is a telltale sign) lack of iron can also lead to fatigue, anxiety, irregular or accelerated heartbeat, headaches, sore or swollen tongue, restless leg syndrome and hair loss. If you’ve been treating any of these with something else and it’s not working, it’s time for you to look at your iron levels.

Taking iron supplements is all well and good, but as with all supplements the body does not tend to absorb them as well as when taking them naturally – in your food! Plus iron supplements have a common side effect – constipation. To think that all this could be avoided just by cooking in an iron skillet 2-3 times a week seems almost crazy, but it’s not. Maybe this is why the French and the Spanish do not tend to suffer from these things as every household has cast iron cookware. It’s just what they use. There are other excellent reasons for using it too – evenness of heat distribution, so no “hotspots”; once it

42 BOOM!

April 2017

has been “primed” a few times (well-oiled before use) then it becomes naturally non-stick, without all the horrible chemical coatings. Besides cooking in cast iron for its health benefits, is there any other reason to be picky about what you cook in? I am sure your mother/grandmother has her “special” cake tin or casserole pot that she swears by, and there’ll be a good reason for that! Lately I’ve been ending up with so many bananas at the end of the week that it’s necessitated making two loaves of banana bread. I only have one silicone pan and a whole host of other metal and glass ones, but the one shown is my preference (of the metal options). By Cuisinart, it has silicone covered handles - bonus! It is a decent weight, not too flimsy, but not too heavy either. Also, it has curved edges, so the loaf doesn’t get stuck in tight corners. Very important. My usability preference is still the silicone, so simple, effectively nonstick, SO easy to turn out of, always a consistent result. However, this seems the perfect opportunity to do a direct comparison side by side. Both went in to the oven at exactly the same time, on the same shelf, side by side (not front and back). I love how the silicone one expands itself and the sides of the pan, making it look fit to burst right out of there. And see how cleanly it comes out of the pan. Zero effort required.

The metal pan I line with parchment as I don’t like greasing the pan, (a) I just don’t like adding more oil unnecessarily and (b) this way you are guaranteed to get it out in one piece. I think you can see from the coloring that this one has more crispy edges than the silicone one produces. Personally, I like the crispy edges, but that is a personal preference. So, I prefer the shape of the silicone pan loaf, but the crispy edges of the metal pan loaf. I guess the final test is in the tasting. It’s a tough call, but I think I may prefer the metal loaf pan after all. All metal pans are definitely not equal and they will all produce different results, but this

particular one gives a lovely crunch edge which I love. The silicone will always be my “go to” pan for consistency and ease of use, but I do like that bit of crispness all around the outside edges. The silicone will of course get crispy on the top, but the sides and bottom do not. Tracy Bhalla, Independent Consultant with NYR Organics, website: 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.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Are you training men not to help you? Recently, I was on a plane heading to California. I was struggling trying to lift my bag into the overhead compartment. A man standing behind me said, “Can I help you with that?” I looked at him, smiled with relief and gladly said YES! I was so grateful he came along because I was beginning to worry I might drop my overfilled suitcase on the head of the lady sitting right below the overhead bin. This kind man took my suitcase and lifted it up as if it was light as a feather. I thanked him and told him how much I appreciated his help. (I’m sure that lady was grateful to him as well because she’d been looking at me with fear in her eyes and her hands over her head before this man stepped up.) At this point of the story, magic happened as it always does when you thank and appreciate a man. His whole body puffed up with pride and joy and I truly believe if there’d been room in that aisle, he’d have strutted his stuff down to his seat in the way only men can do. And it’s all because a woman allowed him to help her and expressed gratitude for what he’d done.

Learning to balance the fine line of doing it all yourself and allowing someone to help you is one of the biggest problems my clients in high-powered positions face.

Over time, this exhausted them and they began dreaming of the Alpha Male who would come into their life and just take over.

Why? Because they’re calling the shots all day long and they think they’ll look weak if they let a man help them.

Not as easy as it seems.

The problem is when you don’t let a man help you you’re training him to do less for you and you lose his cooperation. And a man’s cooperation is something you need and want especially in a relationship. When I work with clients in a VIP experience, I always ask them to think about how they can make space in their lives to need a man. Men are wired to fix for you and to keep you safe, protected and provided for. This makes men feel needed. If there is one takeaway here I want you to really get, it’s that men need to feel needed. If a man doesn’t feel needed, he moves on. When I share this concept with my professional alpha clients they get silent because they can’t imagine what this would feel like. For so long they’ve had to do everything for themselves.

Before working with me, many of my clients with successful careers would have told this kind man, “No thank you, I can do it myself.”

They tell me they’re tired of doing it all alone and they’d love to have a partner who could do some of the heavy lifting both physically and emotionally.

And I guarantee that man’s whole body would have caved in from being pushed away from something he was wired to do and that is to help you.

In the past, many of them had been married to Beta males who expected these women to make all the decisions in their relationship.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

To make room for an Alpha Male to come into your life, you have to be willing to let men help you. It means allowing yourself to receive from men. That means making space in your life for a man to feel needed by you in some way. So, here’s your homework. _ Give some thought as to why you would need a man in your life ... not just why you want him. _ An easy way to learn to receive is to start asking men for their help on a daily basis whether it’s opening the door for you or picking up something you dropped _ Thank and appreciate men when they help you and watch their body language shift before your eyes. I want to share this quick note with you and it’s similar to many I’ve gotten from men who just want to make you happy. Thank you, Lisa, for giving women several important guideposts in breaching the gulf between women and men. It is so refreshing to see a relationship expert who has an understanding of what men want and need and writes it in a direct and understandable way that women can use. I find your blogs very helpful to me, and very sound advice to those of us trying to navigate the “mature” dating scene. _ John, Indiana Lisa Copeland, “The Dating Coach Who Makes Dating Fun and Easier after 50!” Find out more at (c)2017, Lisa Copeland, Distributed by MCT Information Services

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

April 2017



April 2017

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


Vann Vocal Institute’s 10th Anniversary Celebration! Ligon Chapel, Huntingdon College Friday, Saturday, April 7-8 This year marks the Vann Vocal Institute’s 10th Anniversary Celebration! Metropolitan Opera Principal Artist David Cangelosi, who serves as the Institute’s Artistic Director is bringing an all-star guest faculty of artists to join him at Huntingdon College. The Montgomery Symphony’s Vann Vocal Institute program will be held again this year at Ligon Chapel, Huntingdon College on Friday, April 7th and Saturday, April 8th, 2017. On Friday will be the acclaimed Celebrity Recital with accomplished singers from the Metropolitan Opera and the great opera halls of the world. For more info visit

SANDESTIN, ALABAMA Sandestin Wine Festival Baytowne Wharf Thursday-Sunday, April 20-23

The 31st Annual Sandestin Wine Festival will take place April 2023. The Sandestin Wine Festival has been named the “Best Annual Event” by Destin Magazine, and is known as the Best event in the Visit South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival area. The Sandestin Wine Festival at Baytowne Wharf brings an opportunity for discovery. Four days of unique events open up a wide range of experiences from attending wine dinners with celebrity chefs, participating in preview events throughout the year, and taking part in wine tastings that showcase hundreds of wines. For more info visit

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Barber Motorsports Park April 21-23

44 BOOM!

April 2017

In the world of motorsports, Birmingham and the state of Alabama have long been considered prime NASCAR country. But every April since 2010, the open-wheel racers of the Verizon IndyCar Series – the same cars and drivers that compete in the prestigious Indianapolis 500 – roll into town and transform the local sports scene. It will happen again this year from April 21-23 at Barber Motorsports Park with the running of the eighth annual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. For more info visit www.barberracingevents. com

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Annual Yard sale Pike Road Town Hall Saturday, April 22nd 7-noon

Spring cleaning? Us too! Our annual Community Yard Sale is the perfect chance to sell all that stuff you don’t need, and it’s the perfect place to find the things you really do need! Click the image to learn more. This year, the yard sale will be on April 22, from 7 a.m. until noon. Booths are $25 and can be reserved by visiting Pike Road Town Hall (9575 Vaughn Road). Contact Tosha at 334.272.9883 or tosha@ to learn more. Proceeds from booth reservations benefit the Pike Road Lions Club’s local charities. Don’t miss out on this year’s event! With a DJ and concessions from the Pike Road Lions Club, it’s more than just a place to shop.

PERDIDO KEY, FLORIDA The Interstate Mullet Toss FloraBama, Perdido Key, FL April 28-30 various times

The Interstate Mullet Toss & Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party is legendary. What started as just a reason to party has become one of the biggest beach parties on the coast. Those who participate in the Mullet Toss will throw a dead mullet over the state line of Florida and Alabama to see who gets the farthest. Hotel bookings are done months, if not years in advance for this event. People travel from across the globe to see what all the fuss is about here at the FloraBama; the memories are priceless. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Photography Workshop Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Saturdays, April/May, 2-5pm

In connection with the exhibition Technique and Vision, this class will focus on tips and secrets of using your camera, how to use Photoshop, and seeing the visual world in new ways. Whether you are a novice or seasoned behind the camera anyone will find useful tips and skills from this course. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras and laptops for this class. Class size is limited to 15 students. Instructor: Warren Simons, Time: 2 to 5 P.M., Saturdays: April 22, 29, May 13. Cost: $40 members/$60 non-members for the series. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Museum Dr Montgomery, AL 36117

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Flimp Festival 2017 MMFA Saturday, May 6th, 10-2 pm

The MMFA’s 27th annual celebration of imagination, creativity, and good humor will be held on May 6 from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. This year the Museum continues its partnership with Booker T. Washington Magnet High School to showcase the talents of the students in visual and performing arts. As usual, there will be fun for all ages in the many activities of Flimp! This year’s Flimp theme, Quilting at the MMFA, is inspiring a new interactive community component in cooperation with our friends at the Montgomery Advertiser. Visit


Taste of the Gardens 2017 Southern Homes & Gardens Thursday, May 11th, , 5-8 pm Southern Homes & Gardens (SH&G) and the American Red Cross present Taste of the Gardens, a benefit for the American Red Cross, held annually at SH&G on Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL. Taste of the Gardens will be held Thursday, May 11th, from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. The event includes a silent auction featuring works from local artists; tasting from the River Region’s finest restaurants & caterers; wine; and live music. Also, during the Taste of the Gardens event, SH&G will offer 20% off some items in the store (see store sales staff for discount details and applicability). Event tickets are $25, and may be purchased at SH&G, Caffco Outlet or at the American Red Cross, Central Alabama. Tickets also will be available at the door the day of the event. For more information contact Kelly Hodges at 334.260.4040 or email

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Boston MPAC-Downtown Montgomery Sunday, May 7th, 7:30pm

It’s been over 40 years since BOSTON’s self-titled debut album first hit the airwaves and turned the world on to a new kind of sonic experience. With over 31 million albums sold to date. The timeless songs of BOSTON appeal to young and old alike. Get ready to hear the classic songs you have grown to love, you will be treated to wild Hammond organ work, soaring guitars, and exceptional vocal harmonies, as well The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

as BOSTON’s unique visual stage presentation, from mind-blowing lightning bolts and spectacular lights to an interstellar “journey” from the cockpit of the BOSTON spaceship, along with plenty of extra-terrestrial sounds heard nowhere else on earth. For more info and tickets visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Huey Lewis and The News The MPAC, Downtown Montgomery Tuesday, June 13, 7:30 pm

Huey Lewis and The News are truly one of America’s great rock & roll bands. As they enter their 38th year together, their contagious brand of music has outlasted countless trends, and is as fresh today as ever. Formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979, they continue to thrill audiences worldwide, selling over 20 million albums in the process, earning them the right to mark their place on the pop history map. For more info visit www. or

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA National Kite Month Open Spaces Every Day

Every year in April Kite enthusiasts across North America celebrate the history and the future of the world’s favorite pastime by letting their kites fly. It is a month to celebrate the joy and happiness that comes from letting out the line, letting your kite catch the wind, and letting that kite soar high into the sky.


The Hills and Dales Estate LaGrange, Georgia Daily (except Mon.), 10-6 pm, Sunday 1-6 pm The centerpiece of the estate is a beautiful Georgian-Italian villa, designed by architects Hal Hentz & Neel Reid for textile magnate Fuller E. Callaway, Sr. Completed in 1916, the home complements the formal boxwood gardens planted earlier in the mid 19th century by Sarah Ferrell. The property has been lovingly preserved by two generations of the Callaway family and is now open for public visitation. Guests can explore educational exhibits and experience an engaging film that tells the story of the estate. Visitors are provided a guided tour of the home and given an opportunity to explore the historic Ferrell Gardens. Enjoy! For more info visit or call 706.882.3242 R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

April 2017



Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

Variety the Spice of Ed Asner’s Life Don’t expect Ed Asner’s name to fade from casting lists anytime soon. With a variety of current and upcoming projects, 87-year-old Asner remains as busy and versatile as ever.

likes of Boris Karloff, John Wayne, and Elvis Presley. And after working on the Mary Tyler Moore comedy series, Asner took the lead in his own show in 1977 – a rare network move to spinoff a 1-hour drama series from a half-hour comedy. But “Lou Grant” eventually found an audience and good ratings during its 5-season run.

It’s a trend that follows a lifetime of dedication to his craft, playing bishops, doctors, judges, cops, cowboys, professors, villains, and hundreds more film, television, and stage characters and voice roles.

“I didn’t base the character on any particular journalist,” noted Asner. “I looked to my older brothers for their largeness and for their teasing and doubting qualities. For the hour show that dealt with more serious issues, I began to look more into myself for inspiration.” Ed Asner today

“When I came out to Hollywood in 1961, I was determined not to be typecast,” said Asner from his office in Los Angeles. “My agent and I worked assiduously ever since to make sure that never happened.” Nevertheless, Asner is still widely recognized as Lou Grant, the TV news director and newspaper editor, respectively, on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoff series “Lou Grant.” In fact, five of his seven Primetime Emmys were awarded for the character. But Asner also collected the award for darker portrayals in “Rich Man, Poor Man” in 1976 and, the following year, “Roots.” Thirteen more Primetime and Daytime Emmy nominations came his way, too. Yet he modestly brushes aside any reference to his hefty collection of iconic goldplated figures that feature a woman with pointed wings holding an atom (representing the arts and sciences).

When the series was suddenly canceled in 1982, Asner believed it was due to his political views and activism, including a statement he made as the Screen Actors Guild president regarding U.S. policy in Central America at the time. And despite his left-leaning philosophy, he even managed to rankle liberal Hollywood.

Before arriving in Hollywood from his native Kansas City, young Ed found one of his first television jobs in the New York anthology drama series, “Studio One.” In 1957, he appeared in the episode “The Night America Trembled,” a recreation of the reputed panic caused to some listeners by an Cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. L-R, top, Valerie Harper, Ed Asner, Cloris Leachman, Bottom Orson Welles’ Gavin MacLeod, Mary Tyler Moore, Ted Knight radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” in 1938. “Imagine being in the studio with Welles for those broadcasts,” noted Asner of Welles’ “Mercury Theatre on the Air” radio dramas. “I’ve heard he would stay in bed and roll out just in time to make it to the studio so his voice would be as deep as he

“They’re Ed Asner and the cast of Lou Grant distributed throughout the house,” Asner said of his could get it.” statuettes. “Those prongs (on the wings) are really sharp. I just have to be sure I The 60s brought movie roles alongside the don’t sit on one.”

46 BOOM!

April 2017


“Even the liberal producers and directors were loath to employ me for a while because I could affect 50% of their audience and alienate some sponsors,” he

Today, Asner still speaks out on social issues of concern and has numerous film and TV projects lined up for the coming year. When asked to sum up his career, Asner offered a one-word description, “eclectic,” adding “I was always happy with the variety of roles I was able to garner. But I’m not through yet.” 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

April 2017



BOOM! April 2017  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you