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Brookwood Features LEED Home,

the Cutting Edge of Energy Efficiency Veteran Realtor Karen Davis has sold several homes in the development that now numbers about 100 families, she said.

Upgraded plumbing fixtures will create the savings on water bills, Davis said:

One of the selections on the market is an energy-efficient home built by Davis’ son, Matthew Davis of Davis Construction.

‘We used plumbing fixtures that had a less gallon per-minute rate than your average fixture,” he said. “We also upgraded our toilets to dual flush toilets. And the irrigation system is monitored by a rain gauge to control waste.”

The home is at 322 Natures Trail. Matt Davis said the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) was instrumental in helping Davis attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification on the home. “LEED is a third-party certification endorsed by USGBC and is recognized all over the world,” Davis said. “According to the USGBC director, this is the first LEED home in the Montgomery area. “The goal of building the home was to see the actual cost difference in building a LEED certified home, and to see if there was a market in this area for this product. It was to my surprise that it was not astronomically more expensive to build this home LEED certified.”

“When we had a blower door test performed to see how tight our seal was we were very pleased to find out that we. only had a 1.2 percent air leakage in the entire home,” he said. “Most new homes have an average of 18-20 percent air leakage.” Windows and exterior doors were upgraded to Low-E glass, which is more efficient, Davis said. Low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings on glazing or glass control heat movement through windows with insulated glazing, according to the federal department of energy.

“This is the first LEED home in the Montgomery area”.

He said the extra cost would be returned to the homeowner in a few years by savings on power and water bills. “You also will have a healthier home,” Davis said. Davis insulated the home using the Energy Seal method that included caulking and foaming every penetration, hole or crack in the walls and ceiling. Additional caulking and insulation also was done. Davis’ team caulked the top and bottom plates, and then used extra thick insulation in the walls and special blown insulation in the attic.

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“We upgraded our HVAC unit to a 14.5 seer unit making it more efficient,” he said. “We also upgraded our water heater to a Whirlpool heat pump water heater that is more than twice as efficient as a regular water heater. We used energy star appliances, exhaust fans and lights” A Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of 14.5 is considered an Energy Saver by the federal energy department.

Dual flush toilets allow the user to select the volume of water that is necessary. With the tighter sealing used in construction, Davis had to allow a way for fresh air to come inside the house. ‘We attached a mechanical damper to our return air system to the outside of the house so we could circulate fresh air into the home,” Davis said. The neighborhood connects to Scholars Drive, where the new Redland Elementary is located. “Having the school this close definitely adds an appeal to the development” says Davis. Brookwood also offers the clubhouse with a large gathering room and fitness center; a salt water pool, a covered pavilion with an outdoor fireplace, a pond and a paved jogging trail that runs around the perimeter of the pond. Brookwood sounds like its miles away but is less than 15 minutes from Gunter and 15 minutes or so from Eastchase shopping via the Emerald Mountain Toll Bridge.

Source: Realtor Karen Davis and Multiple Listing Service

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December 2011



THE BEST technology

in the hands of THE BEST people

means you’re back to YOUR BEST sooner.

December 2011 4 BOOM!

More experience with advanced technology means faster recovery. Using state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System robot, specially trained Jackson Hospital surgeons are performing complicated procedures with more precision, control, and dexterity than ever before. And they’re doing it with tiny incisions, dramatically less scarring, shorter recoveries and a reduced risk of complications. It’s literally changed the way some surgeries are performed. Our surgeons have more experience with the da Vinci system than any other hospital in the region. After all, we’ve performed hundreds of procedures benefiting local, active patients, getting them back to full health faster. That’s the Jackson difference.



for Boomers and Beyond

December 2011

Strong Bones, Healthy Life

Your bones are like a building’s foundation. They’re the crucial underpinnings of your entire body. But just as time can cause a building’s foundation to crack and erode, diseases can weaken your bones. One such disease is osteoporosis. Without notice, it can sap strength from your bones, making them brittle and more likely to break. Osteoporosis is a common disease, but there are things you can do to help prevent it. And if you already have the disease, there are treatments to slow or even stop its progression.

When bones weaken

Osteoporosis literally means porous bone. It occurs when bone mass is lost over time. Normally, the body creates new bone tissue to replace old bone as it wears out. But for most people, by about age 35 the body isn’t able to make enough new bone to replace all of the bone that’s lost. Bones very gradually get thinner and weaker. While osteoporosis can occur in anyone at any age, it is more common among women and older adults. In fact, women are five times more likely than men to get osteoporosis, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, compared with men, women typically have less bone tissue to begin with. Also, because of hormonal changes that take place around menopause, women lose bone mass faster than men as they age. Others at increased risk for the disease include people who: • Have a family history of osteoporosis. • Have a thin, small frame. • Have an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa. • Eat a diet low in calcium and vitamin D. • Are not physically active. • Smoke. • Are longtime users of certain medications, including some that treat hormone problems, seizures, asthma, arthritis or cancer. If you’re a man, your skeleton is most likely larger and stronger than a woman’s. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for bone disease. As men age, their bones gradually lose density, just as women’s bones do. In some cases, men’s bones become so porous that they easily break.

Bone basics

Bone is living tissue and is constantly changing. New

bone replaces old, with bone mass peaking by age 30. After that, bone density slowly starts to decline. For women, the decline in bone speeds up with menopause. That’s when women’s risk for osteoporosis increases. Bone loss in men is more gradual. But by about age 70, men lose bone at the same rate as women. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 2 million American men have osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk. Osteoporosis is more likely in people with a family history of the disease and those who take certain medicines, such as anticonvulsants, corticosteroids and chemotherapy drugs. Smoking, drinking alcohol and being inactive can also raise the risk for osteoporosis.

Bad breaks for men

Though men usually get osteoporosis later in life than women do, their outcomes are often worse. The problem hinges on one important factor: Most men don’t get screened for the disease and, therefore, may miss out on treatments that can help prevent fractures. The Men’s Health Network recommends that men 60 or older be screened for osteoporosis. The disease can be treated with medicines and healthy lifestyle choices.

Checking bone health

Most of the time, there are no signs that osteoporosis is developing. A person may become aware of the disease only after a fall results in a broken bone. But even if there are no telltale symptoms, your doctor can determine your bone health with a bone mineral density (BMD) test. The best BMD screening test, experts say, is a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test. It uses lowlevel radiation, similar to an x-ray, and it measures BMD at the hip and spine. The test is quick and painless. • • •

Keep in touch with your doctor Risks for a number of health problems increase as people age. By working with your doctor, you can better understand your specific risks. Just as important, you can learn how to head off those things that pose some of the greatest risks. For example, your doctor might recommend improving your diet, exercising and having recommended screening tests. In some cases, you might need medication. If you already have a health problem, it’s important to work closely with your doctor. Doing so can help you manage your condition. And that can help you live as healthfully as possible.

Sources: AGS Foundation for Health in Aging; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mental Health America; Pew Research Center

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2011



Reputation. Experience. Success. Doctors Hearing Clinic Helping People Hear!

Bettie B. Borton,

Au.D., FAAA, Board Certified Doctor of Audiology, Former National Chair of the American Board of Audiology

Celebrating more than 60 years of hearing healthcare service. Named one of America’s

Best of Hearing Healthcare

2011 by The Hearing Review

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View our educational video on hearing at 6 BOOM!

December 2011

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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


December 2011

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

Volume 2 Issue 5

Carl Bard

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

3 LEED Home-Enery Efficient to the Max 5 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 8 Publisher’s Letter 12 Cover Profile 17 Vintage Olive Message/Recipes page 18

18 Looking Forever Stylish

Features 14 Christmas Carols Stories behind the carols.

21 Reconnect

Using the holiday to get in touch.

Departments 10 This and That

28 {12} Things

Interesting stuff, FYI.

Just enough to do for Boomers and Beyond.

26 Icing the Grandkids A cool family getaway with the grandkids.

22 Healthy Hearing, Get in the Loop! 30 Art & Soul, Carolina Planters in Alabama

27 Sherry Debray

A Christian perspective The Gift




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page 26

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BOOM! magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 8637 Harvest Ridge Dr., Montgomery, AL 36116. The phone number for voice and fax is 334.523.9510. Copyright 2011 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2011



publisher’s letter

Commit to the Future 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.

December is a month where I try and slow life down, to take stock of my efforts, evaluate my progress and visualize my future. It’s a good feeling to know where you stand and where you’re going. The mistakes you’ve made and the lessons learned. No regrets please.


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

At our age, regrets can become like anchors, keeping us from moving and growing in new experiences, new challenges. Regrets keep you focused on the past when all you really have is the future. I strive each year to renew my commitment to just that, the future.

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Leslie Bailey

Dr. Bettie Borton

Sherry Debray Carly Gannon Sara Glassman Pat Holt Jann James Wina Sturgeon Kathy Witt

Cover Photography

Maria Wiggins, Reflections of Grace


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Monette Mottenon, 334.523.9510

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics


Network Delivery


Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

Jim Watson, Publisher

This Christmas give yourself the gift of commitment, to the future. The commitment to grow bolder, in your effort to learn new things and achieve new goals. Imagine if you decided to have 12 new experiences in 2012, one per month. What would they be? Sky diving? Pottery class? Guitar lessons? Travel? Something unique with grandkids? Read 4 books? Start a Facebook page? Go to a rock concert? Go camping? Run a half-marathon? Get out of your comfort zone? Write your life story? Go ahead and challenge yourself next year and discover “your” new experiences. I think C. S. Lewis was right when he said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” In this month’s issue of BOOM!, we are proud to feature the “leading lady” of events & catering, Ms Leslie Bailey. With an entertaining personality and a library of signature recipes, Leslie sure knows how to make us all smile. She recently traveled to a faraway land to discover what she had misplaced. It’s something we all need to keep track of and now that she’s found it again it’s time to get cookin’. She’ll share what she found in her Q & A beginning on page 12. We have some other goodies for your reading pleasure this month, like some new recipes from The Vintage Olive and an article about the only LEED home in the River Region, located in Brookwood on page 3. Ever wonder how those traditional Christmas Carols came about? Jann James shares some interesting history on how they got to us on page 14. Some people think when you reach 50, your sense of style somehow vanishes. But two women started a website called who have a different take on that myth.

There’s plenty more to read and if you find something worth sharing, please do. As always, I would like to know what you think and if you want to email or text or call I would appreciate your comments and suggestions. We have new advertisers again this month and they would love to see your beaming boomer faces in their businesses. Please give them your attention and money if they have what you’re looking for. I would appreciate it and so would they. I’m grateful for a wonderful year of getting to know the BOOM! readers and I especially value how many of you have shared your comments and stories with me. I have been moved with laughter and tears. Thanks for reading BOOM! and sharing it with your friends. I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and of course, a very prosperous New Year!


Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!


December 2011

In the future we can pursue new dreams and goals. Learn new skills. Reinvent ourselves. Accept new challenges. We can become bolder. Are you ready?

If you believe in the Boomer Market, drop me a note. 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Experience the warmth, hope, laughter, and love that Christmas cards bring, brought to life through stage and song. Features over 200 voice choir, full orchestra, soloists and ensembles in musical styles ranging from traditional, to big band, to contemporary. The program is free, and childcare is available for ages infant to three.

r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m December 2011 BOOM! The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine 9 FRAZER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH • • 6000 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery


This & tHAT BOOMERS “GET SMART” GIVEAWAY! Win the set of how to Have a Tasty Holiday: For Dummies® Gives Hosts the Information They Need to Prepare Memorable Food and Drinks for Guests of All Dietary Needs. Simply send an email to and tell us why you need this For Dummies® series.

Cruising with Santa & Grandpa

Harriott II Riverboat. Enjoy dinner and a cash bar as your kids get to enjoy Santa! Cruising with Santa - $39/ Adult with Dinner $19/Children with Dinner $1/Children (2 & Under) Call 625.2100,

AUM Holiday Market

Saturday, Dec 10th, 9 A.M.-3 P.M. Taylor Center, Room 230. Browse through handmade soap and body products, knitted items, jewelry, personalized gifts, baked goods, home décor, pet products and more! Admission is free.

An Eclectic Christmas

Dec 7,9,10,11 starting at 6 P.M. 1733 Claud Road, Eclectic. Come join in to experience the true store of the first Christmas. In the atmosphere of an outdoor walking trail, you and your guests will be part of live drama that is set during the Roman Empire. Reservations are suggested. 256.794.7789

Troy University Rosa Parks Museum

Holiday Open House, December 10, 2011 10am-2pm. Come join the Troy University Rosa Parks Museum as we celebrate the holiday season at our second annual Holiday Open House. At the open house you can find that special gift at our museum gift shop, enjoy holiday sounds from an area choir, and create a “renewed, reused, and recycled” holiday ornament and gift jar. Please be sure to bring a canned good because the museum will be accepting canned goods and nonperishable food items for the Montgomery Area Food Bank. If you would like more information on this event please contact Viola Moten at 334-241-8701.

Holiday Open House Free Family Event

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts invites you to an afternoon of holiday cheer at the 16th annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 3, 1 to 4 P.M. The day’s activities will include performances by local choral groups and festive studio activities such as making paint stick snowmen, computer label angels and hand-painted ornaments. In addition to these holiday treats, the Museum invites guests to explore the multiple exhibitions on view. Also, be sure to see the Kwanzaa and Hanukkah displays as well as the Museum’s Christmas tree, adorned with hand-made ornaments created specifically for the Museum by Alabama artists. There is no charge for Holiday Open House, but guests are encouraged to bring canned goods for donation to the Montgomery Area Food Bank or a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

Honor Someone with a Gift of Love The Jackson Hospital Foundation invites you to remember a loved one, or honor someone special during the holiday season by purchasing a light on the hospital’s Christmas tree. Jackson Hospital’s Lights of Love will take place Thursday, December 8, at 6pm in the hospital lobby, 1725 Pine Street. A towering Christmas tree will be on display in the main lobby, decorated with glittering lights, Moravian stars and angels. A large framed poster will feature the names of all honorees, whose lights will shine brightly throughout the month of December. For each contribution of $15, a symbolic light will be placed on our Lights of Love tree. To purchase lights, visit or call (334) 293-6940.

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December 2011

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

The River Region has a new directory. Residents of Montgomery, Prattville, Millbrook and Wetumpka Alabama will access and find their favorite local businesses and new adventures as well. "Over the next few months we will be filling the site with local attractions, " says Paul Evans, co-founder of "There is not full force business and attraction directory in our area. Anything that currently exists you have to pay for. TRR will be free for a basic listing. This allows all local businesses to have a listing regardless of how deep their pockets."

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival Announces First Annual WILL POWER 5K RUN, Dec. 10

The course will begin at the theatre, wind passed the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and through the beautiful Blount Cultural Park. The park will be closed to traffic during the run. For early registration visit and follow the links to the website. Information is also available by calling the ASF Box Office at 800.841.4273. This family-friendly event will also include giant inflatables provided by Space Walk of Montgomery on ASF’s front lawn. Various sport and food vendors will also be on hand. All proceeds will go to benefit the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Cloverdale Playhouse HOLIDAY GIFTS of WORDS and MUSIC

HOLIDAY GIFTS of WORDS and MUSIC: A Concert Performance to benefit the Cloverdale Playhouse and the Montgomery Chorale. The performance features the wonder-filled literature and music of many cultures from around the world. This holiday celebration will lift the spirits - a perfect compliment to your family holidays! 15 Dec15 & 16, 7:30 PM - 12:00 AM. Stay tuned for ticket sales in November. Adults: $25. Under 12 years of age: $10.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Get Sauced for the Holidays – and Earn $1 Million Dollars Does your family tussle over who’s got the best spinach-artichoke dip during holiday get-togethers? Can Mom’s secret ingredient kick Grandma’s salsa to the curb? To enter Dave’s Gourmet Recipe Challenge, submit your original recipe by Dec. 31 at

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December 2011




Leslie Bailey, Steel Magnolia This month’s BOOM! Cover 16th and barely got above Profile is Leslie Bailey. Many of 16 degrees. It was brutally you will know Leslie through her cold, but then it seemed a television and radio work in the bit poetic because I used to River Region. She currently hosts always tell people it would a cooking segment on WSFA be a cold day in you-knowfeaturing her unique recipes. what when I finally married! Leslie recently returned from an extended trip to Belize where As in many Baptist churchshe was exploring opportunies, lots of folks pick their ties and as she says, “to get her pew and by golly that’s mojo back.” Having spent a little where they are going to time with her, we can confirm, sit….there were two preher mojo is back! Leslie is now cious blue haired ladies that working to build her business, got there early to make sure Leslie Bailey Events & Caterthey had their “spot” to see ing, which offers many of her the big event. When my signature dishes along with a big helping of southern personality music played and I walked sure to please. She has published down the aisle, as I got a cookbook titled, Hey, Leslie! closer where they were sitWhat’s Cooking? which includes ting, I heard one lean over many of the recipes she uses in to the other and say “don’t her catering business. She often she make a beautiful bride!” says, “Good food doesn’t have And in a very loud whisper to be fancy or hard to make. the other lady leaned over However, when you are preparto her friend and said, and I ing a meal for a special occasion, quote: “well, hell, it’s about it is worth spending a little time time. She’s 35 years old!” to add a few extra touches”. Friend Andy Kim says, “Leslie’s Darling Paul and I were marsecret ingredient in all her recipes ried for 17 blissful years and is a sprinkling of romance. As a I have been changed for the matter of fact, she adds a very better, because I knew him. special touch to everything she His handprint will always be does—a cupful of love and joy.” Leslie is a Boomer who continues on my heart. to challenge herself to try new things and now that she has a BOOM!: As an entrepremojo back, there’s no telling neur, what are some of the Steel Magnolia, a southern woman who is strong and independant yet very feminine. what she’ll achieve! We hope biggest challenges in operyou’ll enjoy the recent conversation we had need to be. If we had not moved to Montating Leslie Bailey Events & Catering? What with Leslie. gomery, I would have never met the one true advice would you give to other Boomers

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Leslie: I was born a Georgia peach in Atlanta GA on December 29th, 1954. Now my daddy was not so rich but my momma was good looking! Bill Morris was a bank examiner and Bobbye Morris was the nurturer. I think I was either a late Christmas present or an early tax exemption! Six weeks after my birth I became an Alabama belle when daddy took a position with the long gone union bank and trust. It’s funny how god puts you right where you

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December 2011

love of my life, Paul Bailey, Jr.

wanting to start their own businesses?

I was the marketing director at WSFA when we met 24 years ago and he cut his “hi, I’m Paul Bailey and I’m Clay Bailey”, Bailey Brothers music commercials.

Leslie: I started my business because of Paul, Jr. Right after we married, I decided if he had his own business, I should have mine! The biggest advice I could share with other boomers wanting to start their own business…. seek wise counsel. I have always been rather strong-willed and marched to the beat of a different drummer. I did not listen to more experienced business owners when they tried to share advice.

He told me that it was love at first sight for him….me not so much! Why? Because I had gone to Jeff Davis school and he went to lee high school! But we married in 1989. True story about wedding: we got married at Morningview Baptist church and there were about 1000 guests .(I Imagine there were so many because they wanted to see if we’d really go through with it!?!) It was December

I did not do my homework or even have a business plan. But I should have.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Also, know your core strengths….I have discovered over 21 years of being in business for myself that math, paperwork and managing people are not my strongest suits, what I really excel in is the creative, meeting people, food end of the business.

BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work?

A lot of small business folks try to do everything all by themselves….wait…I’m singing to the choir on this one.

BOOM!: With your busy schedule, do you get to travel much? Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams for the future?

BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/River Region area that you like?

Leslie: I did spend a couple of months this summer in Belize. But like I mentioned earlier, it was to get my mojo back. But I hope to travel again. I love Cabo San Lucas a bunch. Anywhere there are tropical breezes, fabulous food and tall, dark, handsome men works for me!

Leslie: It feels like home BOOM!: Many Boomers are confronted with the idea of getting old. How do you embrace the art of aging?

Leslie: I don’t relax. Sorry. But I do love to work in the garden. It was gardening and music that helped me thru Paul’s death

around and sing Mack the Knife and ask everybody “did you take your pretty pill today!” And “how many folks are here from Alabama?!?” Oh and wear fabulous faux jewelry and amazzzzzing cocktail gowns. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Leslie: I think you have to know how to “relax” in order to have “hobbies.” Right???? BOOM! Are you a performer, an entertainer, a terrific host, a foodie or just a zany personality?

Leslie: I’m just me! I’m a sassy southern Leslie: Can you say Botox! And I try to keep belle who is a mix moving, even when my muscles are aching of all of that! And as and my feet are screaming, I still keep movChristopher Robin ing. BOOM!: Recording artist said to Winnie the Andy Kim described Pooh: “promise I believe that if you don’t you will die. I heard you this way “Leslie’s me you’ll always Leslie, on the beach in Belize, searching for her mojo that Katherine Hepburn climbed a tree just a secret ingredient in all remember…You’re few days before she died at 96! her recipes is a sprinkling of romance. As a braver than you believe, Stronger than you She rocked! matter of fact, she adds a very special touch seem, and smarter than you think”! Those are to everything she does—a cupful of love and the words I live by! But the best way to handle aging is to smile joy.” What did he mean? and celebrate joy! BOOM! As you’ve aged, how have your ambiLeslie: Andy Kim came to the Davis Theatre tions changed? BOOM!: Many Boomers are experiencing a for a concert and I was catering backstage for renewed sense of purpose, new goals, new him and I think it was Herman’s Hermits too. Leslie: I really want to work smarter not careers, especially if they’ve experienced the We started talking about music and I told him harder. empty nest syndrome of their kids moving how I did cabaret dinner shows at my little on. How would you silver spoon restauBOOM!: Give us three words that describe describe this sense of rant in downtown you? renewal in your life? Montgomery. The Any advice for the rest next thing I know is Leslie: I can do it in two…steel magnolia of us seeking renewal? he and his manager Wendy were there BOOM!: As a busy entrepreneur, do you have Leslie: Well, this is a to have lunch and I time to be involved in community, civic or very good question. ended up showing other activities? I recently traveled them our beautito Belize so I could ful town. From Leslie: After Paul Jr. died 6 years ago I sort of explore some opportuDr. Martin Luther went underground and did not get involved nities. During the few King’s church to as much as I had before. 2011 has been the months I was there I Hank Williams year of great challenges and great joy for me. discovered something grave, they were And it is now time for me to give back to all Leslie, kissing a frog in Belize far more important, enthralled with the the people who have truly prayed for me, my mojo! What I learned about my renewal is history. taught me and stood by me when things were sometimes you have to go around the world so rough. And folks, you know who you are. to get your mojo back! He’s kind of a renaissance dude and I guess that was just the way he envisioned me. Who If you have any questions for Leslie or would like BOOM!: What are you most passionate to check out her event and catering services give knows? Maybe he had gas? about? her a call at 264.1116 or email her lesliebevents@ We want to thank Leslie for sharing her BOOM!: If you weren’t in the event planning time and Jackie Maloy for sharing her home for the Leslie: Music and trying to be kind to business what would you rather be doing? photo shoot. If you have questions, comments or everyone. We can be kind, if we cannot be suggestions, please send them to jim@riverregionanything else. Leslie: Be a lounge singing lizard and just sit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2011



The Stories of Christmas Carols

By Jann James

“I have always thought of Christmas as a good time, a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year when men and women seem, by one consent, to open their shut-up hearts freely.” Charles Dickens

his friend the church organist, Gruber. It was arranged for the two voices of Gruber and Mohr, choir, and the guitar, played by Mohr in time to be performed that night. “Stille Nacht” has been translated into hundreds of languages and is now familiar to the entire world.

The first Christmas was ushered in with singing – the songs of angels heard by shepherds in the night. And ever since, Christmas time has been a time of song. In every age, people have sounded their yuletide carols to celebrate the Holy Birth that brought new hope to the world. Many of the carols that have been written and sung throughout the centuries celebrate the true meaning of Peace. Just what is a carol? According to Webster’s Dictionary a carol is, a song of joy or praise; esp. a Christmas song, a kind of circle dance. The word carol means “song of you”. Some people believe that carols came from the Bible. Others attribute the carol to St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. While others believe that the carols came from the pagan circle dances. Christmas carols have the longest history of all the customs practiced during the holidays. The tunes of these carols can be traced through the centuries. Many carols have their origins in folk music. The carol “What Child Is This?” is one example. The melody is from the Tudor tune “Greensleeves”, which had original lyrics filled with anything but holiday imagery. Many times Christmas words were laid on top of the folk tune later. ”The First Noel” originated from a medieval shepherd’s folk tune and first appeared in print in England in 1833. This carol had the original spelling “nowell”. Many believe that this stood for the phrase, “Now all is well.” The words of the spirited, popular, “O Come All Ye Faithful” were written in 1853 by Canon Frederick Oakeley, an English clergyman. It has been translated into more than one hundred and twenty different languages, which makes it a truly universal carol. Felix Mendelssohn is credited with the music

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composition of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” which is taken from one of his cantatas written in 1840. Charles Wesley wrote the words a hundred years earlier in 1739. The original words were: “Hark, how the heaven rings.” “The stirring words of “Joy to the World” were written by Issac Watts, a retired minister who devoted his life to the writing of poetry. He used Psalm 98 as the basis for this carol. Many were outraged that “Watts dared to take the psalms and try to improve them”! Lowell Mason, an American musician, set Watt’s words to the wonderful music based on Handel’s “Messiah”. “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” is a collaboration of two American Ministers, Edmund Sears, lyricist, and Richard Willis, musician. Each year finds this joyous carol growing in popularity. This carol is based on verses in Luke 2: 8-9 The story of the legendary king of Bohemia who lived in the 10th century and won fame for his generosity is the basis for “Good King Wenceslaus”. Reverend John M. Neale wrote the words to the music written by Martin Luther. Few carols have known such a curious history as “Silent Night”, one of the best known and beloved of all Christmas songs. It represents the combined efforts of Franz Gruber and Josef Mohr, musician-schoolmaster and assistant priest, respectively, of the tiny Bavarian village of Oberndorf. The common myth is that they substituted this original carol after the church organ had broken down. Mohr had actually written the poem in 1816. In 1818 on December 24, he gave the poem to

First heard in 1868, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was actually written as an unsigned poem by Philip Brooks in 1865. He wrote the five-stanza poem and gave it to the church. Lewis Redner, organist of Brook’s church gave the poem its musical background. It is now one of our favorite Christmas carols. The light-hearted air, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is believed to be the work of some 16th century English composer. Sir John Stainer, one-time organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, wrote the popular musical arrangement. This carol is heard in the play version of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”. No, Martin Luther did not write “Away in a Manger”. It bears no resemblance to Luther’s musical style. Actually, the words came from a poem found inside a Sunday school book published in 1885, in Philadelphia. James R. Murray wrote the music for this well-loved carol. Placide Clappeau wrote the words to “O Holy Night” in 1847 to the music by AdolpheCharles Adam. At the time this carol was presented to the public, it was frowned upon by church authorities who denounced it for lack of musical taste and “total absence of the spirit of religion”. Many people today feel this carol truly speaks about the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas Carols came from common people who wanted to express their ideas and honest feeling that were not expressed by the solemn music of the churches. Carol singing was firmly established throughout Europe by the 14th century. Carols originally were associated with dancing, which really explains why their melodies are lively and memorable. Hopefully learning about the background of some of the carols will bring new appreciation while you sing them this Holiday Season. Jann James is a local writer living in the River Region The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2011



looking forever stylish By Sara Glassman

To dispel age-relat(Tom Wallace/Star Tribune) ed fashion taboos, the women behind the website, Jean Ketcham, 71, and C. Suzanne Bates, 63, put on a fashion show.

PATTY HANDLER, 81 Wearing: Robin Kaplan top and skirt, $755; Teri Jo Summer belt, $330; Susan Green necklace, $715 and earrings, $325. All from Larue’s, 612-827-7317. Model’s own boots from J.C. Penney. Fashion tip: “I don’t ever want to dress matronly. My daughters, who are in their 50s, and I share our closets.” Secret to staying young: “Loving life! I’m a competitive ballroom dancer and that keeps me relevant.”

“We’re changing the way society perceives women over 50 by changing the way we perceive ourselves,” Bates said. The duo cast 30 models who prove that short skirts, leggings and red lipstick don’t have an expiration date. “There are so many rules that they say you can’t do over 50 and we’re sick of it,” said Ketcham. “We want to show how great women over 50 look.”

RENEE ELLE SCHISSEL, 52 Wearing: Marie Reberat cape, $349; Joseph Ribkoff dress, $329; MTM hat, $89; Acrylic bag, $188; and Vincent Pradier gloves, $92. All from C’est Chic, 612-3391600. Model’s own shoes from Target. Fashion tip: “A shopping

Tired of being told to act or dress your age? You’re not alone. Founders of Aging But Dangerous, C. Suzanne Bates and Jean Ketcham.

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trip to Paris is worth it because the fashion sense is ahead of ours.” Secret to staying young: “I hope to live to 120 and do it in a healthy body. I work out to keep my muscles strong.” DONNA CHICONE, 64 Wearing: Funktional cardigan, $168; Bella Dahl blouse, $88; and Engels by Design necklace, $36. All from Drama, 952-9200294. Model’s own Elle jeggings and boots from Kohl’s. Fashion tip: “You can take something expensive and mix it with something less expensive and pull off a fabulous look.” Secret to staying young: “Live your life 100 percent in the moment.” (c)2011 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Distributed by MCT Information Services

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Regular Soda 12 fl oz can

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December 2011



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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Use the Holidays to


By Wina Sturgeon

By the time you reach middle age, many people have passed through your life. A few stay as lifetime friends. Others get lost as time goes by. Occasionally you think of them, wonder whatever happened to them, and maybe even regret the loss of contact. The pace of life today is so fast and hectic that it’s hard to stay in touch when locations, jobs or other circumstances change. The greeting cards stop, the phone calls dwindle. Finally, you both lose contact. But often, when that happens, a little piece of your life disappears. As we get older, family and friends always become more important. They are the anchor that connects us to the mainstream of life. No mid-ager really wishes to disappear into a solitary existence where their major exposure to the outside world is only through television programs. But we often slip into that lifestyle without even realizing it. This year, make a decision to not allow that to happen to you. Reconnect with people who have passed out of your life; people that you genuinely would like to communicate with again. There’s a method to doing this in a way that will pay off by enriching your life. Don’t do it in attack mode, rushing to contact everyone with whom you’ve ever spent any time. Start first by making a list. If you’ve saved any old cards or correspondence, bring it all out and go through it (this is also a great opportunity to get rid of pieces of paper you no longer value). Go through these mementos, putting to one side those from people you’d really enjoy hearing from again.

at a bad time. A letter gives your old friend the opportunity to remember you and also decide if they wish to renew the relationship. In addition, a letter shows more of an effort than a phone call. One final bit of advice: Be careful about writing to old romances. They may be married or they may be bitter about your former relationship. The best thing is a simple holiday card with a line to the effect that you’ve thought of them often and hope they are well, along with your address and phone number. The response _ or lack of it _ will tell you everything you need to know. Wina Sturgeon is an active boomer based in Salt Lake City who skis, skates on both ice blades and wheels, lifts weights and runs to stay in shape. (c) 2011, Adventure Sports Weekly ( Distributed by MCT Information Services

Next, make a list of old friends who occasionally come to mind, especially every year as the holiday season approaches. Write down their names. It could be a former neighbor or co-worker, an acquaintance with whom you exchanged phone numbers but never contacted, or anyone else you’ve wondered about over the years. But be discriminating: Don’t wrack your brains for the names of everyone you’ve ever met. Only include those on your list whose names give you a memory of pleasure, a remembrance of a personal connection or bond. Don’t include “frenemies” with whom you had a relationship of one-upsmanship, jealousy or backstabbing _ not even to check out whether or not they’ve changed. That would be an extra hassle you don’t really need in your life. Next, if you don’t have current contact information, go online and look them up. Try first just entering their name and city in a search engine. If that doesn’t give you the information, look in local phone books to see if the person still has the same phone number and address. Don’t use “finder” services that say they are free, but actually demand money to find someone; they often don’t work and won’t refund your money when they don’t. If the person isn’t listed in the white pages, try Facebook, looking at the picture and location to make sure it’s not someone else with the same name. Next, instead of telephoning, write a letter. A sudden phone call out of the blue after years of silence is just too abrupt, and may come The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2011



Healthy Hearing

by Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

Want a Hearing Aid That Cuts Out All that Background Noise?????

Get in the loop!

Have you ever been to a movie or play, and had difficulty hearing? Most folks with any degree of hearing loss have had that experience. And sometimes, there are some cumbersome “devices” for listening – bulky hard wired Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. headphones or wired amplifiers found in churches, theatres, lecture halls, etc. Often, my patients comment to me that although they are not very easy to wear or cosmetically discreet, those types of devices sound GREAT! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could get that same sound quality WITHOUT the special headphones, using your own hearing devices? Listen up! That technology is available today! There are no special headphones needed. The words and/or music can be transmitted to a wireless receiver in your hearing aids with no cords, extra headphones, etc. This technology, recently featured in such periodicals as The Wall Street Journal, is just starting to make its way into public places in America and is known as a hearing loop. The technology, which has been widely adopted in Northern Europe, has the potential to transform the lives of tens of millions of Americans, according to national advocacy groups. As loops are installed in stores, banks, museums, subway stations and other public spaces, people who have felt excluded are suddenly back in the conversation. A hearing loop, typically installed on the floor or ceiling around the periphery of a room, is a thin strand of copper wire radiating electromagnetic signals that can be picked up by a tiny receiver already built into most hearing aids and cochlear implants. When the receiver is turned on, the hearing aid receives only the sounds coming directly from a microphone, not the background cacophony. “It’s the equivalent of a wheelchair ramp for people who used to be socially isolated because of their hearing loss,” said David G. Myers, a professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Mich., who is hard of hearing. “I used to detest my hearing aids, but now that they serve this second purpose, I love the way they’ve enriched my life.” After his first encounter with a hearing loop at an abbey in Scotland, where he was shocked to suddenly be able to understand every word of a service, Dr. Myers installed a loop in his own home and successfully cam-

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paigned to have loops installed at hundreds of places in Michigan, including the Grand Rapids airport and the basketball arena at Michigan State University.

“One of the beauties of this simple technology is that it serves me everywhere from my office to my home TV room to nearly all the worship places and public auditoriums of my community,” Dr. Myers said. The Midwest has been in the vanguard, but New York is starting to catch up. Loops have been installed at the ticket windows of Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, at the Apple store in SoHo and at exhibits and information kiosks at Ellis Island, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. Even in that infamous black hole of acoustics — the New York subway system — loops are being placed in about 500 fare booths, in what will be the largest installation in the United States. According to Ms. Schacter Lintz, head of the consumer group promoting the use of looping in New York, this technology transcend disability rights and really focuses on good customer service. “The baby boomers turn 65 this year,” Ms. Schacter Lintz said, noting that more than 30 percent of people over 65 have hearing loss. “That’s a big group of customers who won’t go to museums or theaters or restaurants where they can’t hear. Put in a loop, and they can hear clearly without any of the bother or embarrassment of wearing a special headset.”

The basic technology, called an induction loop, has been around for decades as a means of relaying signals from a telephone to a tiny receiver called a telecoil, or t-coil that can be attached to a hearing aid. As telecoils became standard parts of hearing aids in Britain and Scandinavia, they were also used to receive signals from loops connected to microphones in halls, stores, taxicabs and a host of other places. People in the United States have been slower to adopt this technology because telecoils were traditionally sold as an optional accessory for hearing devices at an extra cost of about $50, instead of being included automatically with a hearing aid purchase. But today telecoils are built into two-thirds of the hearing aids on the market as well as in all cochlear implants, so there are a growing number of people able to benefit from loop technology. Hearing loop systems are more complicated

to install than the assistive-hearing systems commonly used in theaters and churches, which beam infrared or FM signals to special headsets or neck loops that must be borrowed from the hall. Installing a loop in an auditorium typically costs $10 to $25 per seat, an initial investment that discourages some facility managers. But advocates for the loops argue that the cost per user is lower over the long run. The Hearing Loss Association of America, the largest group representing people with hearing problems, has joined with the American Academy of Audiology in a campaign to make loops more common in the United States. The technology is a costefficient way to provide benefits that even the most expensive hearing aids cannot deliver, said Patricia Kricos, an audiologist at the University of Florida and a past president of the American Academy of Audiology. “Audiologists have always had a lot of faith in new high-tech hearing aids and cochlear implants, which are wonderful, but we’re coming to realize that these work primarily in relatively quiet places without a lot of reverberation and noise,” Dr. Kricos said. “In many settings, like a train station, they can’t give you the crystalclear clarity that you can get from a hearing loop.”

In the pre-loop days at Dr. Myers’s church in Michigan, the assistive-hearing headsets were rarely used by more than a single person at any service. Other worshipers were dissuaded by the inconvenience and embarrassment, he said. Shortly after the loop was installed, 10 people told him they were using it, and the number has been growing as more people get hearing aids that work with the system. Looping systems can be individualized (i.e., small looped cushions for people to use while watching TV at home or on the go). So, if your home, church or business facility is home to those with hearing loss, talk to an audiologist about looping! This will open doors for those with hearing loss, and improve quality of life for everyone! References: New York Times, 10/23 article by John Tierney Dr. Pat Kricos, President, American Academy of Audiology

To learn more, visit or call for an evaluation at (334) 396-1635. Dr. Bettie B. Borton is a licensed audiologist in Alabama, was the first board certified audiologist in Montgomery, and recently served as National Chair of the American Board of Audiology. She and her husband, Dr. Tom Borton, are the only audiologists with ABA certification in the Montgomery area.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Contemporary Dentistry From Willis Dental Care

Cosmetic Dentistry

In generations past, dentistry was focused on dental health. Celebrities seemed to be the only people that had interest or the means for cosmetic dentistry. People basically settled for the smile they were born with. While a healthy mouth is still the foundation for a beautiful smile, we can now go beyond what God gave us – and choose the smile we want. Due to the technological advancements in dentistry, restorations are now stronger, better performing, and more cosmetically-appealing. With these advancements and the desire to have a beautiful smile, the popularity of cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry continues to grow. Here are some options available today. Tooth-colored fillings look more natural than the old metal (amalgam) fillings of the past. Bonding can be used to close gaps and recontour teeth, as well as repairing chips and hiding cracks. Bonding is quick and often more affordable. Porcelain ultra-thin veneers can be bonded to the natural surface of your healthy, teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers typically cover the entire surface of the tooth and can also be used to lengthen or change the shape of the teeth. Veneers along with all-ceramic crowns, onlays and bridges can often be done in a single office visit, using CEREC© technology. This mean fewer injections, less drilling, and less time out of your busy schedule. CEREC restorations look so much like your natural teeth, no one will know.

Invisible braces are comfortable – no wires or brackets needed. They make oral hygiene a snap. No one will even know you are straightening your teeth! Not all orthodontic conditions can be treated using the invisible brace technology, so check with a dentist who offers these services to see if you are a candidate. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Dental implants provide a strong foundation for replacing teeth. Implants help prevent bone loss and gum recession. In most cases, implants are the best longterm solution for tooth replacement, not only for the stability they provide, but because they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Implants can also be used with full dentures to provide comfort and stability and make them feel more natural. Even unsightly gums can often be recontoured to deliver a more natural, attractive gumline. Bleaching is a popular cosmetic choice to whiten your teeth. There are several options available from over-the-counter products, to in-office bleaching and takehome bleaching kits.

If you need a little help relaxing for your dental treatment – whether cosmetic or diagnostic, you might benefit from relaxation dentistry. With relaxation techniques, you can have your dental work done in an anxiety-free setting while you are deeply relaxed, though fully responsive. When you are ready to complete the entire esthetic dental picture, your smile makeover can be completed using nonsurgical cosmetic treatments. Dermal fillers can help restore facial volume lost as a natural part of the aging process. Botox® is used to smooth facial wrinkles. The most commonly treated areas are the forehead, between the eyes, and around the corners of the eyes. If you are ready to start with your smile makeover, your timing is perfect. From now until the end of the year, we are running a special on several of our cosmetic procedures including Invisalign®, bleaching, and BOTOX®.

Willis Dental Care offers complete dental care for the whole family. We are committed to the absolute best in dental technology and use the highest-quality and most precise modern solutions to give you the smile you have always wanted. Dr. Brad Willis and Dr. Hong Lao are now working together to provide you the convenience of expanded hours. Our office is conveniently located in East Montgomery in the Sturbridge community. For more information about Willis Dental Care, call our office at 334-260-2929 or visit our web site at

We can’t wait to give you a reason to smile!

Willis Dental Care Dr. Bradley W. Willis and Dr. Hong Lao Family and Cosmetic Dentistry 8161 Seaton Place, Suite A, Montgomery, AL 36116 334.260.2929

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December 2011



A Family Holiday for the Grandkids The Holidays on Ice. Frozen winter wonderlands is the theme of two heartwarming events this holiday season. Dollywood is adding a new show to its Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival, held through Dec. 30, at the premier theme park located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice is an original show featuring the Ice Theater of New York – the nation’s premier ice dance ensemble – spinning and twirling on an ice rink as a cast of six singers perform holiday classics, including “Jingle Bell Rock,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “O’ Come All Ye Faithful” and more. Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice joins a lineup of holiday shows and entertainment that includes “Christmas in the Smokies,” “Appalachian Christmas,” “O’ Holy Night,” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” plus a roving Scrooge and the “Carol of the Trees” – a “seasonal symphony for the senses.” All shows are included with park admission, along with more than 20 rides and attractions, lots of kid-friendly rides and the Polar Express™ 4D Experience. For lodging, Dollywood Vacations is offering a special 20 percent discount on a four-night or longer cabin stay. Cabin guests may purchase a new Holiday Pass for $118 per person ($81 ages 4-11) and receive unlimited visits to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival with free reserved parking and a holiday buffet with reserved seating at Dollywood’s Backstage Restaurant. For more information, visit

Dreaming of an Ice Christmas. Through early January, Gaylord Opryland in Nashville will present ICE! featuring the DreamWorks’ television holiday special, Merry Madagascar, with charming and colorful displays bringing scenes from the show to life – like Santa and his reindeer crash-landing on the island of Madagascar and Marty, Alex, Gloria and Melman hatching their mad scheme to save Christmas. The Gaylord Hotels’ ICE! event encompasses 2 million pounds of ice in 14 different colors and 1,500-plus specially designed light tubes that are frozen inside the ice to illuminate from within. The “cold room” structure built for this interactive attraction ranges over 15,000 square feet and is kept at a chilly nine degrees inside. It takes 40 artisans working 30 days to carve the ice and build the attraction. And there are several ICE! slides – with some soaring as high as two By Kathy Witt stories! This Christmas, new release Puss In Boots will be shown at the hotel. Gaylord Opryland will host a nightly street party with music, lights, dancing and, of course, the DreamWorks Animation characters. Packages including accommodations and tickets to ICE! are available at the Gaylord Hotel. For more information, visit Kathy Witt is a freelance writer and the author of The Secret of the Belles. Visit Kathy’s blog at (c) 2011, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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“An entertaining and heartwarming theatrical work that is just perfect for the holidays.“ -Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News

November 25–December 24 Book by Duane Poole | Music by Larry Grossman Lyrics by Carol Hall Based on the short story by Truman Capote

Comedy, Drama, Shakespeare. The best ASF membership!

Call the box office today for prices and benefits, or visit us online.

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AlAbAmA ShAkeSpeAre FeStivAl

montgomery, Alabama 1.800.841.4273 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

A Christian Perspective

Sherry DeBray

The Gift

A few years ago I was in Fairhope, Alabama for a book signing at Page & Palette. My husband and I love the quaint town with it’s picturesque views of Mobile Bay. Eager to reach our favorite spot, sitting at the bay to watch the sun set, we left a day early, unaware of the wonderful surprise that awaited us. The air was quite cool as we reached our bed & breakfast. For those of you who don’t know me, I love to go from shop to shop exploring. It didn’t take me long to unpack and hit the streets crowded with other shoppers. Before doing damage to the credit card, I couldn’t go without seeing the display of my book. This first time published author was a little excited. Okay, a lot!

It was there, at Page & Palette, I discovered the events of the evening and why there were so many people in town. Visitors from hundreds of miles away had made their yearly pilgrimage for the “Lighting of the Trees.” For my husband and I this would be our first time to experience the small town’s celebration.

As night fell, the air once cool now was biting cold. The streets downtown were packed with people anticipating the flipping of the switch. Walking down the middle of the street I couldn’t help but feel I had stepped back into a simpler happier time of life. A place where children ran freely, the old and young alike drank hot chocolate from the fudge shop and visitors felt as at home as the natives.

My heart must have skipped a beat as I thanked God for this moment. You see, I had just finished a new Christmas story about a boy at the age of seven who helps an old man find the Spirit of Christmas again. This boy, too, walked with the aid of a walker in much the same setting as where I stood that evening. It was if I was seeing my story unfold before my eyes. Reaching the young lad I knelt to my knees to greet him. Of all the wonders that evening nothing could compare to the smile of the child, an angel with a broken wing, reminding me of my own brokenness.

The Reason for the Season Let’s open our eyes to see the, “Light of the World”, it isn’t in the lights on the trees, but in a baby born in Bethlehem sent to us because we, too, are broken. It was because of the compassion of our heavenly Father that He sent His only Son to save us. It’s the greatest gift of love ever known to man. The gift… Jesus, the Messiah; God as man to make what is broken whole. Luke 1:78-79 Merry Christmas. Sherry DeBray

Author of The Teacher’s Gift & Desperate Christian Women Owner of It’Za Gift & Interiors

I took in the sounds of the band, from the local high school, playing holiday tunes atop the bandstand. Sipping on my own cup of the hot brew, that I was sure had been shipped straight from Santa’s own kitchen, I watched as the Mayor made his way to the podium. “It’s time,” he spoke loudly as the crowds around me cheered. “It’s time!” With a count down and a flip of the switch, rows of trees in a town rich in Southern Christmas hospitality lit up the night as twinkling lights rippled down main street. Darkness faded into brightness that bounced off the eyes of all of us who stood in wonder. Old eyes became young again and young eyes danced with excitement of what the lighting of these trees bring; the coming of Christmas.

The crowds broke out in song, celebrating the season and the stranger next to you became friend. Surrounded by the warmth of the Christmas Spirit, I no longer felt the cold. “How could it get any better than this?” I thought.

The crowds began to dispense opening up the pavement around me. There just to my left and up a short distance I saw him. It wasn’t in the perfectly lit trees, not even in the rich coca but in an angel with a broken wing that I saw the light of Christmas. Standing with eyes wide open was a small boy, not more than seven, inside a tiny walker that held him upright. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2011



December 2011

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


Christmas Lights Festival Montgomery Zoo Dec 1-4, 8-11, 15-31

Bring the whole family out to enjoy live entertainment, food and pictures with Santa. Admission fees charged. 240.4900, www.

PINE MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA Fantasy Lights, Callaway Gardens Through December 30

Nestled amidst wooded landscape of Callaway Gardens, Fantasy In Lights is the Southeast’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show with more than eight million twinkling lights celebrating the holiday season. This spectacular show has attracted almost two million visitors since it opened in 1992.  Fantasy In Lights has become an essential holiday tradition for many families, as much as a part of the season as caroling or attending “The Nutcracker.”  1-800.225.5292


Old Alabama Town Holiday Celebration December 1-31 The Fruitcake Expo featuring handmade gifts from local artists is December 2nd and 3rd in our reception center at 301 Columbus Street. Make sure to shop from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday. Artists include fiber, felt, wood turner, Cigar Box Guitars and more. Join us for our annual holiday open house on De-

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cember 12th from 5-8 p.m. “Traditions of Holidays Past” is a family friendly event featuring the Living Block decorated for the holidays. Make sure to stop by and see Father Christmas and The Temple Orr will have activities set up in Grange Hall. Their house museums will be authentically decorated for the holidays and for your enjoyment. Self-guided tours will be offered Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and guided tours are available by reservation. Fee for attractions only. 240.4500


ASF Presents: A Christmas Memory A Wistful Southern Premiere Christmas Musical Through December 24, 2011 The aroma of pecan pie and the flicker of candles in the window banish the December chill of a 1930s Alabama winter. This musical version of Truman Capote’s enchanting holiday tale follows the deep friendship and delightful shenanigans of cousins Buddy and Sook, who make the most of what may be their last Christmas together.


Montgomery Christmas Parade Friday, December 2, 6 pm Downtown Montgomery. Depart from Cramton Bowl and parade downtown from the Capitol steps to the Court Street fountain. 241.2726

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Governor’s Mansion Candlelight Tours and Open House December 5, 12, 19

Times vary. Governor’s Mansion. Tour the state’s executive residence while it is decorated in all its holiday grandeur. Tickets available at gift shop across from the Governor’s Mansion. 242.4665

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Lee Ann Womack Thursday, December 8, 7pm

With a Grammy, five Academy of Country Music Awards and six Country Music Association awards, singer / songwriter Lee Ann Womack brings a contemporary flair to old-fashioned country music, creating a sound that’s as refreshing as it is appealing. Following in the powerful vocal tradition of country greats like Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette, Womack has forged her own musical path, earning numerous awards and topping the Billboard charts with such unforgettable songs as “Last Call”, “Solitary Thinkin’”, “I Found It in You”, and “If These Walls Could Talk”. Womack had amazing success with her pop music crossover album “I Hope You Dance”, garnering her with a CMA Song of the Year Award for her number one hit single of the same name. 241.9567, www.montgomery.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Christmas on the Coosa December 10th, 10 am-8 pm The annual Christmas extravaganza with arts & crafts,street parade, food concessions, handmade quilt show, classic car show, entertainment and activities on the Coosa River culminating with a spectacular fireworks exhibition at dusk. 10a.m.-8:00p.m. 12K’s of Christmas Fun Run, Arts & Crafts Show, children’s Activities, Antique Car Show & Quilt Show, Street Parade, Christmas Concert - Gold Star Park, Boat Parade, followed by a Fireworks Grand Finale. Downtown Wetumpka. Admission Fee: Free. 567.1348.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN The Montgomery Symphony Holiday Pops Concert Monday, December 12th, 7:30 pm

Make a holiday memory with someone you love at Montgomery’s favorite Holiday Pops Concert. Join Thomas Hinds and the MSO for an evening of Christmas and Hanukkah music guaranteed to put everyone in a festive mood. Tenor Elias Hendricks will join the Orchestra as the featured guest soloist in favorite popular and sacred songs of the season. The Holiday Pops Concert will be presented on Monday, December 12th, at 7:30 pm at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center (MPAC). For tickets ($17-$30), please call the MPAC box office at 481.5100 or www.


Montgomery Ballet-Nutcracker December 16-18, various times A holiday classic the world over for 200 years, The Nutcracker, will be performed at The Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts on Friday, December 16th, 7:30p Saturday, December 17th, 2:30p and 7:30p Sunday, December 18th, 2:30. The performance is approximately 2 hours long, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

with a short intermission. The Nutcracker; story of a little girl’s dream of a Nutcracker Prince from a Fairy-Tale kingdom takes you on a magical journey with Clara as she travels with her Cavalier to the Kingdom of Snow and the Land of Sweets. This performance will feature the Montgomery Ballet Professional Company, the Montgomery Youth Ballet and students from the Montgomery Ballet School. The Nutcracker has been a holiday tradition in Montgomery for over 30 years. 409.0522

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN STYX Saturday, December 17, 8pm Tickets: $43, $35, $30

Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips (along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo), have performed more live since ’99 than all of the previous years of its career combined. Two Super-Bowl appearances, Pollstar Box Office chart-topping tours with Def Leppard, Journey, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Bad Company (to name only a few), two more studio albums and no end in sight, STYX continues to conquer the planet, one venue at a time. Spawned from a suburban Chicago basement in the early ‘70s, Styx would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late ’70s and early ’80s, due to a fondness for big rockers and soaring power ballads. For tickets www.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN New Year’s Eve Cruise Saturday, December 31, 10-12:30am

Harriott II Riverboat. Enjoy a two hour cruise with entertainment, hors d’oeurves, a cash bar, complimentary cham-

pagne toast, party favors and fireworks! $50 per adult. 625.2100

New Year’s Eve at Riverwalk Stadium Saturday, December 31, 9:30-12:30am Ring in the New Year at Riverwalk Stadium! Celebrate with drink specials, dancing, music by Fontaine Entertainment, concessions, commemorative photos and fireworks at midnight. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of. Call 334.625.2100 www.etix. com


Moonpie Over Mobile New Year’s Eve Celebration Three Dog Night Concert Fireworks, music and fun are usually found at most cities’ New Year’s Eve celebrations. This year Mobile, Alabama will take their celebration to a new level with the addition of a 600-lb electronic MoonPie, a treat synonymous to the city’s Carnival season. The city has partnered this year with Chattanooga Bakery Inc., the maker of the iconic MoonPie brand marshmallow sandwich, to enhance the New Year’s Eve celebration with a 600lb electronic MoonPie that will light up Mobile’s skyline at the stroke of midnight.

Appe-sert Party

Host: Women of Hope Phone: 334-220-4599 When: Tuesday, December 13 at 5:30 PM Where: Frazer UMC, Room 8114 You are invited to attend a special year-end celebration of HOPE! Join us for a festive evening of fun and fellowship, featuring appe-serts, surprise entertainment and a special commemoration of HOPE! Women of Hope will furnish a meat tray and you may bring a favorite Christmas appetizer or dessert. Thank you all for your continued support for Women of Hope! It ’s a Great Time to Be Booming! Please submit any events/pictures to

r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

December 2011



Art & Soul

By Sandi Aplin




I am pleased to share with you the first opportunity to see Edward Pattillo’s new book Carolina Planters on the Alabama Frontier: The Spencer-Robeson-McKenzie Papers. Eddie and I met some 25, maybe 30 years ago at an estate sale he was conducting on South Perry Street. He is a true intellectual especially when he gives his interpretation of oil paintings and other artifacts. I suppose this is why I respect and admire him for his commitment, knowledge and experience as an excellent art appraiser. He has been actively appraising for about 21 years, including the Blount Corporate Collections, the Blount Foundation Collections, the Fuqua Corporate Art Collections, Atlanta; The Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art for the University of Alabama (1000’s of pieces); all the donations to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, including all historic books and documents, just to name a few. In addition to writing articles for such publications as Alabama Heritage, this historian is currently at work on two additional books. Pattillo’s book chronicles an American family from the mid-eighteenth century through Reconstruction from New England to the Carolinas and finally to Alabama. He researched the papers of his extended family for many years in order to present their story, primarily through their own documents. The Spencer-RobesonMcKenzie family proved adaptable to a new environment in the plantation South, where, by merit, they rose rapidly, socially, economically, and politically. After having become rich, the family prospered by

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December 2011

momentum. After the Civil War and the loss of their wealth and the basis of making more, an astonishing number of men proved incapable or unwilling to adapt to a changed environment. A significant number of them literally gave up and died before their time. The women were of sterner stuff; they proved to be the survivors. Edwin Bridges, Director, Alabama Department of Archives and History said, “This is one of the most remarkable compilations of family records I have ever seen. Supported by extensive and thoughtful annotations, it tells a real and touching story of the planter South from colonial times into the late 1800’s.”

Carolina Planters on the Alabama Frontier: The Spencer-Robeson-McKenzie Family Papers is this rare book: Impeccably researched, it dynamically recounts the history of one family through which the bigger story of many families may be understood.

Robert Gamble, Historian, Alabama Historical Commission shares, “The migration of planter society from the south Atlantic states -- the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia— to the Gulf region—the Old Southwest—is

one of epic stories of antebellum America. As we continue to sort myth from reality regarding this period and planter life itself, previously unpublished materials like the papers of the interrelated Spencer, Robeson and McKenzie clans offer up fresh new insights.” Frequently, slaves are an invisible presence in studies of antebellum America. This book is a welcome exception. Pattillo states, “My book is also the story of the slaves, whose servitude made the planters affluent lives possible. They were the heart of the plantation world.”

Frazine K. Taylor, author of Researching Your African American Ancestors in Alabama: A Resource Guide says, “He makes good on this claim as readers may be surprised at how frequently slaves are mentioned in the numerous letters in the book. These lists, as well as the index which includes slaves’ names, will be valuable for those researching African American genealogy. If you are researching slaves in South Carolina or in Alabama, this book is a must have!” I will be there on the 8th, to have my copy signed. Hope to see you.

Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One, A freelance writer living in Montgomery, Alabama. Share your comments at jim@

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! December 2011  
BOOM! December 2011  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine