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February 2017

for Boomers and Beyond

Have a heart-healthy Valentine’s Day


n Feb. 14, hearts are the star of the show. Of course, they don’t look anything like the real deal--the hardworking muscle that sets the beat for life every day, all year long. To show your love for all the beating hearts you hold dear, why not plan a heart-healthy Valentine’s Day? These four ideas can get you started: 1. Roses are red…and so are strawberries. Dip them in dark chocolate for a delicious treat that provides flavonoids from the chocolate and fiber, phytochemicals and potassium from the fruit--all of which promote heart health. And for a meal that’s true to the day’s festive hue, include dishes that feature red produce such as apples, beets, cherries, grapes, peppers and pomegranate seeds. 2. Exercise is one key to a healthy heart. So plan an active date with your heartthrob. Skate hand-inhand around the local ice rink. Try something new together, like hitting balls at an indoor batting cage. Chop and stack wood for the evening’s romantic fire. Dance the night away. And make a pact to exercise together regularly.

3. Valentine’s Day gifts can be both from the heart and for the heart, especially if they help reduce stress. Although stress hasn’t been directly linked to heart disease, it can cause heart-related health issues--like higher blood pressure and damaged arteries. Good gifts for reducing stress include: • A gym membership. • A gift certificate for a massage. • Some scented soap to use in a soothing bath. 4. Kids are sweethearts too. To set a healthy example for your little valentines, take them on an active family outing every Feb. 14. For classroom parties, help kids choose healthy tokens of affection, like whole-wheat pretzels (the heart-shaped ones, of course!) or mini boxes of raisins decorated with seasonal stickers. Valentine’s Day comes just once a year. But it’s a great reminder to strive for a lifetime of healthy hearts. Heart Screening: February 25, 8-11am $20 – results will be reviewed by a cardiologist. Space is limited, call 334-393-8805 to register or go to

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2017



Montgomery’s Annual Jewish Food Festival Sponsored by Temple Beth Or to be Held on Sunday, February 26, 2017. ~We look forward to coming every year. I get excited when I see the signs around town announcing the date.~ ~Love, love, love the food. I wish they would hold it every month!~

Comments by past visitors of Temple Beth Or’s Jewish Food Festival

Over the years thousands of men, women and children have enjoyed the Jewish Food Festival, including sampling the food; visiting the Treasure Market, with many rooms of top-shelf bargain-priced items donated by our members; and stopping by our Temple Beth Or Gift Shop, which has a wonderful selection of jewelry and other gifts. Many also take the opportunity to attend a short session in the Temple’s sanctuary with Rabbi Elliot Stevens to learn about Jewish customs. The central attraction, of course, is the Jewish Food Festival food that may be purchased and most of which have been handmade by Temple members. They include pastries such as rugelach, strudel and mondel bread; plates of

New York are New York cheesecakes, direct from the famous Carnegie Deli and sold by the slice or cake.

brisket or corned beef; matzo ball soup; potato latkes; and quajado (spinach pie). “Imported” from

Temple Beth Or’s Rabbi Stevens says, “I always enjoy the authentic Jewish cooking and the variety of wonderful dishes, but for me the best part is reconnecting with neighbors and friends from across our community. It’s so gratifying to see the role our Festival has played in terms of interfaith relations and understanding. I look forward to continuing this tradition for years to come.” What: Jewish Food Festival Where: Temple Beth Or 2246 Narrow Lane Road Montgomery, AL 36106 When: Sunday, February 26, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Additional info: Admission and Parking Free


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


February 2017 Volume 7 Issue 7

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

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

Carl Bard

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 8 Publisher’s Letter 10 Dating Coach: The fastest way to love after 50 page 18

Features 34 Walking Dead Guy

And just over a year ago, he had quadruple bypass surgery.

38 RV Life

Owners forge clubs, friendships, snowbird mini-communities.

46 M*A*S*H’s Loretta Swit

She amused TV audiences as feisty nurse Maj. Margaret Houlihan.

Departments 18 This and That

Getting You “In the Know”

44 {12} Things

Special Events for Boomers

40 Greg Budell

12 Heart Healthy Habits Leigh Anne Richards 13 Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives 14 Delaying Retirement May Provide the Financial Boost You Need Brandt McDonald 17 Healthy Hearing Casey Gonzalez


18 Chonda Pierce


20 The Wine Guys Big Wine Bash


22 The Old Alabama Town Revue CD 26 BOOM! Cover Profile

page 46

page 40

page 18

32 How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... Ask an Elder Law Attorney 37 Gallery One presents Art & Fashion 42 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Cooking from Scratch

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BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 3966 Atlanta Hwy, Box 266, Montgomery, AL 36109. The phone number is 334.324.3472. Copyright 2017 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

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February 2017



Publisher’s Letter

Love the One You’re With 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 Carl Barker Tracy Bhalla Greg Budell

Lisa Copeland Casey Gonzalez Melanie Halvorson Treva Lind Brandt McDonald Leigh Anne Richards Nancy Stein Nick Thomas Raley L. Wiggins

Cover Photography Jeri Hines Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

Jim Watson, Publisher

February is a special issue for me because we try to feature a couple who has created a beautiful partnership through years of experience or maybe they just discovered each other and all of their baggage just fits together. I started to feature couples who discovered their love at the advanced age of 50+ in February 2014. That was the month I featured myself and my late wife, Jackie. We seemed to be that rare couple who found something so great about each other, that we couldn’t resist building a life together. Unfortunately, Jackie passed away a year ago, but the beautiful memories of that rare love continue to spark my thoughts from time to time. If you’d like to read more about our love story visit www.

Our Cover Profile this month is another example of love found later in life. The couple is Carl Barker and Melanie Halvorson. I first saw them at the annual Derby Day fundraiser for Hospice of Montgomery in 2016. They won the best dressed couple of the day and I could tell then they had a special kind of relationship, kind of like newlyweds. They were married in August 2015 so they’re probably still feeling like newlyweds today! I think you’ll enjoy getting to know them in this month’s cover profile, I certainly have. There are many other good reads in this month’s issue including a feature on RV life that may give you a sense of just what these people do with their time. They’re basically rolling retirees, just because they can. Another article features a very fit man who exercised regularly but ended up going in for emergency heart surgery all due to his hereditary condition and not his lifestyle. It’s called Walking Dead. We have a new feature beginning this month called Tinseltown. It may not be new to some of you because the author, Nick Thomas, was writing this feature for a local magazine called Prime. Prime publisher, Bob Corley decided to stop publishing Prime to spend more time with family and especially, grandkids. I understand Bob’s motivation and want to wish he and his wife, Sandra, all the best in sharing their extra time with family. Nick writes about Loretta Swit in this month’s issue and we look forward to sharing his work with BOOM! readers in the future. Greg Budell shares his man crush from years gone by, he knows a legend when he sees one. Of course, we have our usual quality columns from Leigh Ann Richards about keeping your heart healthy and from Tracy Bhalla about cooking from scratch. 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. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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”


February 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2017




The fastest way to love after 50

It’s a new year. A new beginning and it’s your chance to find love with a good man this year. How’s that feeling to you? Do you feel hopeful like yes, this can happen this year? If so great! Love your positive attitude! Or are you feeling like you’re not sure it’s ever going to happen for you? I get it. Dating can be tough. Whether you feel inspired or feel like you need a little help, I’d like to share this little secret with you ... The fastest way to attract a good man into your life in 2017 is by having a dating plan in place filled with baby steps for making your dream come true. You might be thinking a plan? Really aren’t plans for business not for my personal life? Putting a plan in place is the greatest motivator there is because you can see forward movement happening and that is what will keep you inspired and moving towards your dream. Did you know that most people put goals in place right about now but by the end of January, their goals have gone by the wayside? Why is that? Because they were missing the steps needed to make it happen for them. And they were missing ways to measure their successes. And they were missing the little successes along the way because they only saw the end goal as a way of measuring their accomplishments. This is why gyms are crowded on January 2nd. Everyone is so excited to lose 10 pounds.

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February 2017

Yet by February 1st, most gyms are empty because the people huffing and puffing away on the machines in those first few weeks only lost two pounds. Instead of celebrating the two pounds they lost, they’re feeling like a failure because it should have been more. This happens in dating too. You go on a great date and the guy disappears. Or he asks you out for a second date then disappears and you start feeling like something has to be wrong with you when this keeps happening. With a plan in place, you always know the next step you can take. And its why coaches can be a game changer in your life. Whether it’s about losing weight or finding love, having someone in your corner who can motivate you with steps that will inspire you to keep moving forward can make a huge difference in achieving your goal in the fastest way possible. Make sense? Ok, so let’s get you started on creating a basic “3 Step Dating Plan” for you. Step 1. Set an intention for what you want. Are you looking for a friend, a lover, a companion, a boyfriend, or a husband? Once you have the answer, ask yourself are the actions you’re taking getting you closer to what you want or pushing you further away from your dreams? This is a huge mindset shift that we’ll be talking more about in these blogs over the next year. Step 2. Listen to your heart about the type of man who will truly make you happy. I had a private client that kept insisting that a man with Mensa type intelligence was the only one who could make her happy. Nothing else mattered.

In the past, she’d pretty much dated only men that had this quality and not one had worked out for her. I took her through an exercise where she connected to her heart and asked the question, what about a man would make my heart sing? The answer surprised her because her heart said a man who could make her laugh and who could bring out the best in her would make her heart sing. This exercise made her realize she’d been dating the wrong men for years and once she allowed her heart versus her mind to lead her, true love came into her life. Step 3. Clean up your baggage. Most of us know we carry some baggage to the table but do you know what yours is and how it’s holding you back from finding love? Dating tools and skills work once you can identify your baggage and heal the wounds it’s created. A great start for figuring out your baggage is to take a look at all the men you’ve dated who’ve been wrong for you. There are reasons you’re dating them over and over again that you want to figure out. This type of deeper work is going to be the fastest way to love in 2017! This 3 Step Plan is a great place to start your love journey in 2017. We’ll be adding to it as the year goes on. 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


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February 2017



Heart Healthy Habits February is designated as heart health month. This is a good time to reflect on how to keep our hearts healthy. Many seniors believe that heart disease risks are just inevitable as we age. There are many ways to keep your heart in great shape. We all have learned over the years that lack of exercise, poor diets, and other bad habits take their toll on us. People at any age can benefit from simple steps to keep the heart and brain healthier for enhanced senior living. The American Heart Association has developed Life’s Simple 7. Anybody, at any age, can make these changes. These 7 steps are not difficult or expensive to take to improve your health. The following is a 7 step list developed by the American Heart Association to help people live longer, more productive, healthier lives. • Get active • Eat Better • Lose Weight • Stop Smoking • Control Cholesterol • Manage Blood Pressure • Reduce Blood Sugar Heart disease is a major threat to senior health. In fact, 84% of people ages 65 and older die from heart disease. The right lifestyle and heart healthy diet can help protect you. Approximately 80% of Americans do not get the physical activity they need. Living an active life is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give to yourself and those you love. Aerobic activity and strength training is a must to maintain quality life. Older adults need 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 times a week or more vigorous activity 20 minutes 3 times each week. The definition of moderate and vigorous activity is going to vary from person to person. For some older adults moderate intensity would slow walk, and for others it is a brisk walk. It all depends on your level of fitness and what you have been February 2017

What about weight? If you have

too much fat, especially a lot around your waist, you are at high risk for heart problems. It is quite astounding to know that 71.6% of adults 60 and over are overweight and 35.4% are considered obese. We know that obesity is now recognized as a major risk factor for developing so many chronic diseases- not just heart disease.

Fitness over Fifty

Imagine carrying around a 30 pound pack all day, every day. That would be a huge strainjust like the extra body weight. Sometimes, I ask people in class to grab a 25 pound weight and carry it around the track one lap. That activity is demonstrating how hard it is to carry an extra 25 pounds on your body. Shedding extra pounds can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes and many other chronic conditions.

by Leigh Anne Richards

in heart rate and breathing. That would be considered vigorous activity. It is important to do what is right for you so you get the benefits of exercise but also preventing injuries. With sufficient skill, experience and training, older adults can achieve high levels of physical activity.

Six important steps to increase physical activity:

Why do I need to be active?

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doing. Moderately intense activities and vigorous activities can be based on a 10 point scale. On the scale, a zero would be like sitting, a 5-6 on the scale would produce an increase in heart rate and the breathing rate. Using the same scale, a 7 or 8 would produce a large increase

1. Reduce the sedentary behaviorRemember “sitting is the new smoking.” 2. Increase moderate activity. 3. Take gradual steps that work for YOU. 4. Engage in all recommended types of activity including muscle strengthening and flexibility. 5. Focus on opportunities within the community to increase your activity level. 6. Have a plan to prevent injury. In our last month’s column, we focused on the nutrition aspect. Let’s just make sure we note that good nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle to combat heart disease and stroke. As we age, our body needs less food as our metabolism slows down. It is still important to feed your body well so that it gets a variety of foods supplying your nutrient needs. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and good fats. We need to limit foods high in sodium and added sugar.

• Know your calorie needs for your age, sex, and level of physical activity. • Track your calories- Now easy to do with all the fitness apps or devices such as the Fitbit or Apple watch. • Monitor your physical activity. This now has become easy with mobile devices/apps and tracking monitors. Take time to assess your heart health. How are your numbers- blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, body fat/ weight? Take responsibility to improve quality of life along with longevity. It takes work, but it’s all worth it. As always, consult your physician before starting any new physical activity and a licensed nutritionist before starting a new eating plan. SOURCES: heart-habits-for seniors health Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General ManagerMetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives

My advice on choosing the best assisted living facility Q: I live in California and have a formerly independent, elderly father in Florida, who is deteriorating following a mild stroke and is becoming an increasing burden for his partner, who lives with him. He has an extensive support network of friends in South Florida and doesn’t wish to relocate to California, where my brother and I could more easily support him. I need to find an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) for him in the Tamarac area. I certainly intend to travel to Florida and inspect the facilit(ies) personally, but it would help me a great deal to have a starting point. Is there an online resource where I could read reviews of the available facilities and then obtain as much advance information as possible; so that my trip to Florida would be as fruitful as possible? _ Lawrence W., Los Angeles, CA.

A: I would strongly advise you not to rely upon reviews that are posted online nor websites that aggregate listings of ALFs. This is too important a decision to base on others’ opinions that may not be authentic, or are written by someone whose parent’s needs and personality is completely different from your fathers. Also, you should be aware that some online resources display only those ALFs that they have contracts with stipulating

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

your father. You’ll also have a chance to observe and talk with current residents. Their comments will be certainly more meaningful to you than anonymous postings online.

payments for placements, or qualified leads. Thus, the facility that is best suited for your father may not even be included in their lists. Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) vary in the types of services they offer and the residents served. That’s why it’s important to begin your long-distance research by talking directly with the manager of each facility you have identified in the area you are targeting. After describing your father’s health status and care requirements, they will let you know if and how they can accommodate him with the level of attention that he needs. Once you have pre-qualified these facilities, the next step is to make an in- person visit, which will quickly reveal if a particular facility is a good fit for

If you don’t have the time or inclination to research ALFs as thoroughly as is necessary, I suggest working with a trusted resource in the area, such as a Geriatric Care Manager, or a senior placement professional who is familiar with all the facilities and who can guide you objectively to the one best suited to your father. One caveat: make sure you understand their relationships _ if any _ to the facilities. If you think your due diligence is completed at this point, you are mistaken. You must confirm that the facility is licensed by the State and has performed well on state inspections. Once you’ve done this, you will have graduated to the second level of considerations in choosing an Assisted Living Facility, which is to make sure that the ambience of the community and the daily activities and services offered will make this a successful move for your father. 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

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February 2017



Delaying Retirement May Provide the Financial Boost You Need Whether you look forward to staying active in your later years or simply need the income, delaying retirement has many perks worth considering. Many people welcome the opportunity to extend an enjoyable career, maintain professional contacts, and continue to learn new skills. Will you still need me, will you still feed me -- here are some advantages to delaying retirement.

Financial Thoughts

Americans are living longer, healthier lives, and this trend is affecting how they with think about and plan for retirement. For Brandt McDonald instance, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the age at which workers expect to retire has been rising slowly over the past couple of decades. In 1991, just 11% of workers expected to retire after age 65. Fast forward to 2014, and that percentage has tripled to 33% -- and 10% don’t plan to retire at all.¹ Working later in life can offer a number of advantages. Many people welcome the opportunity to extend an enjoyable career, maintain professional contacts, and continue to learn new skills. A Financial Boost In addition to personal rewards, the financial benefits can go a long way toward helping you live in comfort during your later years. For starters, staying on the job provides the opportunity to continue contributing to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. And if your employer allows you to make catch-up contributions, just a few extra years of saving through your workplace plan could give your retirement nest egg a considerable boost, as the table below indicates. A Few Extra Years Could Add Up Year 2015 2016-2020

Maximum Annual Contribution $18,000 Indexed to inflation

Catch-Up Contribution for Workers Age 50 and Older $6,000 Indexed to inflation

Total Annual Contributions $24,000 $??,???

Delaying Distributions In addition to enabling you to continue making contributions to your employer’s plan, delaying retirement may allow you to put off taking distributions until you do hang up your hat. Typically, required minimum distributions (RMDs) are mandated when you reach age 70½, but your employer may permit you to delay withdrawals if you work past that age. Keep in mind that if you have a traditional IRA, you are required to begin RMDs by age 70½, while a Roth IRA has no distribution requirements during the account holder’s lifetime -- a feature that can prove very attractive to individuals who want to keep their IRA intact for a few added years of tax-deferred investment growth or for those who intend to pass the Roth IRA on to beneficiaries. A Look at Social Security Your retirement age also has a significant bearing on your Social Security benefit. Although most individuals are eligible for Social Security at age 62, taking benefits at this age permanently reduces your payout by 20% to 30% or more. Waiting until your full retirement age -- between 66 and 67 -- would allow you to claim your full unreduced benefit. And for each year past your full retirement age you wait to claim benefits, you earn a delayed retirement credit worth 8% annually up until age 70.² Consider researching your options to continue working past the traditional retirement age. By remaining on the job, your later years may be more secure financially and more rewarding personally. Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager Direct comments and questions to or 334.387.0094

Source/Disclaimer: 1-Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey, March 18, 2014. 2-Social Security Administration. The benefit increase no longer applies when you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay taking benefits. 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.

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February 2017

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2017



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February 2017

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February is heart month. When better to discuss matters of the heart? This article focuses on the heart’s connection to hearing and hearing loss. Studies show there is a connection — hearing health and cardiovascular health impact each other. Let’s boil it down.

Hearing and Your Heart

The Heart’s Effect on Hearing The key to good hearing is having a healthy auditory system. And the key to a healthy auditory system is sufficient blood flow to critical areas, particularly the cochlea. When circulation to the cochlea is impeded for whatever reason — whether from cardiovascular disease, hypertension or other factors — it can be deprived of vital elements needed to maintain its health and function, like oxygen and glucose. When consistently deprived, it makes sense that hearing loss may result. A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Audiology proves it. Looking at various research conducted over 60 years,

experts from Wichita State University noted that “impaired cardiovascular health” negatively influenced hearing health and concluded there may be “a positive relationship between cardiovascular fitness/health and the function of the … central auditory system in adults.”

medical referrals for adults diagnosed with low-frequency hearing loss to assess potential heart-related risks.

What You Need to Know Regardless of which affects which, it’s important to know that hearing health and heart health are intertwined. More importantly, if you’re concerned about either, make a priority to seek medical advice. Visit your medical provider for issues related to your By Casey Gonzalez Tusa, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA heart, and contact Montgomery Montgomery Hearing Services Hearing Services for a hearing evaluation.

Healthy Hearing

Hearing’s Effect on the Heart Another study, published in the medical journal The Laryngoscope, found significant association “between lowfrequency hearing loss and cardiovascular disease and risk factors.” What’s interesting about this study is the possibility that low-frequency hearing loss can “predict the presence or potential development of cardiovascular disease.” The study’s authors suggest appropriate

Fact: HEART Health

Links to HEARING Health February is Heart Month! Help a Loved One With Hearing Loss! Make an appointment before February 28th to receive special offers!

Casey Gonzalez Tusa received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University, and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Louisiana State University Health Science Center. Casey holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.

Free Hearing Screenings

In honor of heart month, Montgomery Hearing Services is offering FREE hearing screenings all month! Call us to schedule an appointment: (334) 651-0500.


Hearing Screening Is it hearing loss? Or just wax? Call Today: (334) 651-0500 Expires 2/28/17

TRADE IN SPECIAL $500 Trade In Credit

Bring in your current hearing aids and we will give you credit towards a new set of premium aids!

Call Today: (334) 651-0500

Expires 2/28/17

Located in the Park Place Building 1758 Park Place, Suite 101 • Montgomery, AL 36106 © 2017 SMPN. All Rights Reserved. 01/17 50823-17

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February 2017




This & tHAT

Mary Ellen’s Hearth at Nellie Burge Center Presents An Evening with Chonda Pierce Mary Ellen’s Hearth will present an Evening with Christian comedian, Chonda Pierce. Proceeds from the event will go to support homeless women and their children. Mary Ellen’s Hearth offers hope, help and healing to homeless women and their children throughout the River Region and is a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible. They are privately funded and rely almost completely on the generosity of churches, businesses and individuals in the River Region. Because they are a Christian ministry, we are not eligible for many types of government grants. They are a United Way agency so you can rest assured your money is spent wisely to provide needed services to our families. Emmy® -nominated and best-selling comedian Chonda Pierce or “the country comic” as Billboard Magazine dubbed her, has been making audiences laugh for more than two decades with her winning combination of fierce wit and southern charm. Pierce is fresh off an incredible year after debuting her movie “Chonda Pierce: Laughing in The Dark,” to rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. The show is February 23, 7:30 pm at Saint James United Methodist Church, 9045 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery.Tickets are $25-$45. Visit or call Brenda Dennis, 334.239.1971 Central Alabama Aging Consortium has a NEW WEBSITE, check it out! w w

Open House Event - OLLI Spring Term What is AUM’s Lifelong Learning Institute? We provide a relaxing environment in which those who are 50 and over or retirees can learn and meet new friends. Courses have no entrance exams, prerequisites, grades, or homework. LLI classes are designed for lifelong learners who love the sheer joy of learning. Help the LLI grow and continue to positively impact the River Region. Invite family, friends, and neighbors who qualify to take classes with you. Our Mission: Our mission is to provide a relaxing environment in which those who are 50 and over or retirees can learn and meet new friends. Courses have no entrance exams, prerequisites, grades, or homework. LLI classes are designed for lifelong learners who love the sheer joy of learning. Help the LLI grow and continue to positively impact the River Region. Invite family, friends, and neighbors who qualify to take classes with you. Most courses meet for 90 minutes weekly over an eight-week period. Courses meet during the day at the Center for Lifelong Learning. There are three terms offered per year (fall, winter and spring). Members pay a $42 membership fee per term and may take as many courses as their schedule will permit. Open House Event: Drop by Thursday, February 23rd, between 9-10:30 a.m. at the AUM Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) located at 75 TechnaCenter Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117. Come find out what OLLI at AUM is offering this spring! You can learn about upcoming classes, meet the instructors, tour the Center for Lifelong Learning, and meet OLLI participants. For info call, 334.244.3804 or email

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Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash The Wetumpka Depot Players are walking the line to kick off their 37th Season with Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. A celebration of the legendary “Man in Black” the musical plays on the Depot stage February 9-25. From the songbook of Johnny Cash comes this unique musical about love, faith, struggle, success, home and family. More than two dozen classic Cash hits-including “I Walk the Line”, “A Boy Named Sue”, “Folsom Prison Blues” are performed by a multitalented cast who paint a musical portrait of the one time “Country Boy”. The experience created by Richard From left front row....Jimmy Veazey, Jenny Whisenhunt, Cindy Veazey, Rebecca Ivey and Maltby, Jr. promises to be a foot-stomping, crowd pleasing Kim Mason From left back row....Jonathan Yarboro, Gavin Fuller and Tom Salter salute to a uniquely American legend. “The show is the journey of Cash’s incredible life told through his songs,” said director, Kristy Meanor. “While there is no Cash impersonator, the cast sings his story through his award winning songs. The iconic music is all there, but so are several lesser known songs that showcase the struggles, highlights and humorous side of the legendary Country star. This show will be hit with anyone who cherishes home, back porches and nostalgic memories of listening to the Grand Ole Opry!” The multi talented cast not only sings their way through the music, but they all play various instruments as well. The cast is composed of Gavin Fuller, Rebecca Ivey, Kim Mason, Tom Salter, Donnie Tomlin, Jonathan Yarboro, Cindy Veazey, Jimmy Veazey and Jenny Whisenhunt. The Wetumpka Depot Theatre is located at 300 S Main Street in historic downtown Wetumpka. Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 334.868.1440 or online at

Prattville Way Off Broadway Theatre Presents To Kill A Mockingbird Prattville’s Way Off Broadway Theatre announces its production of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted by Christopher Sergel, which will be produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois. The play will be directed by Sam Wallace, who last directed The Curious Savage at WOBT. To Kill a Mockingbird will open on Thursday, February 9, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. and there will be a reception to meet the cast and crew following the play. The production will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays February 10–26, 2017, with a special performance on Valentine’s Day. For further information, please contact the Cultural Arts and Special Events Office at 334.595.0854 or visit the website at

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February 2017



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The Wine Guys Big Wine Bash Historically, this event has been anchored by Oregon Pinot Noir and has always been held on a Wednesday evening. The event has been moved to a Friday and the focus of the tasting will change to include wines of all types....Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel, Blends, Spanish/Italian/French wines, as well as the Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay attendees are accustomed to seeing. Also, you can purchase ticket sales for The Big Wine Bash online! Yes, they’re still selling them at the store, but some might find it more convenient to purchase them on the internet. If you’re so inclined, go to and search for The Big Wine Bash in Montgomery, AL. The event is Friday, February 24th, 2017. 6:00 to 8:00 PM at 129 Coosa St, above the Central. Tickets: $33 in advance, or $45 at the door. Price includes tax. Tickets on sale now at Ted the Wine Guy, or online at (online prices are slightly higher). The following wineries have agreed to participate: Hahn Family Winery, Pali Wine Co., Juan Gil, Halter Ranch, Vino del Sol (Spanish wine importer...Black Cabra, Lamadrid, etc.), Foley Family Wines: Roth, Lancaster, Lincourt, Kuleto, Black Stallion...What to expect...there will be 14 tasting tables. Some will be populated by the wineries listed above. Others will have a mix and match of wines from several of our top suppliers. On average we have in the neighborhood of 120 wines open for tasting, and there will be some light snacks available.

Get Your Affairs in Order, FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop

Wednesday, February 22: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Call 334.625.6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at

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The Montgomery Chamber Chorale presents “Love Is in the Air!” Treat your sweetheart (or yourself!) to an evening of fine wine, food, and art this Valentine’s Day atop the RSA Tower, overlooking the heart of Downtown, as the Montgomery Chamber Chorale serenades you with songs of love. Tuesday, February 14th, 2017, 7:00 PM at the Capital City Club. A Valentine’s event featuring the Montgomery Chamber Chorale, $75 per person. Seats are reserved and limited, so get yours today! For more info visit

Dragons, Dancing, Music and More Auburn University at Montgomery’s annual Chinese Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival Celebration will take place Feb. 11, and guests can enjoy Chinese culture, food and entertainment. The celebration, hosted by AUM’s Confucius Institute in partnership with the Central Alabama Association of Chinese (CAAC), will feature numerous performances of traditional Chinese arts followed by a dinner. The event is Saturday, Feb. 11, at 2:30 p.m. in the Alcazar Shrine Temple, 555 Eastern Blvd., Montgomery, AL 36117. Admission: Non-CAAC member, $12; CAAC member, $8; students with ID, $8; children ages 3 to 10, $5; Children under 3, free. To attend, RSVP by Feb. 6, 2017, to confucius@ or 334.244.3012 for registration and ticket information. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2017



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Jackson Hospital Photo Contest Do you have a great architectural or landscape photo that you would love to share? Why not submit it for the Jackson Hospital Photo Contest? Jackson Hospital needs some great imagery for a new medical floor. You can submit digital files to Total Image at 909 Forest Avenue. Email us at with questions about editing your photos.

Know an Outstanding Volunteer? Nominees for the Volunteer of the Year awards run the gamut from high school students who read to children at Common Ground Montgomery to seniors answering phones at Jackson Hospital. None of them seeks the spotlight, but all of them are contributing to their community through time given to others. HandsOn River Region is accepting nominations for the 2017 Volunteer of the Year through March 16. All nominees will be recognized and receive a certificate and gift during the ceremony on April 27 at Trinity Presbyterian Church. For more than 40 years, the awards has become the region’s largest volunteer recognition event, honoring individuals and groups who give their time and talent to improve their community and the overall quality of life. HandsOn River Region and the Junior League of Montgomery host the awards celebration each year during National Volunteer Week in April. Awards are presented to outstanding individuals and groups whose efforts have made a positive impact on the River Region. Through community sponsors, a $300 cash contribution will be made on behalf of each recipient to the nominating nonprofit agency. The categories include: Adult Group, Adult Volunteer, Lifetime Achievement Award, Senior Volunteer, The Arts, Youth Group, Youth Volunteer. Don’t delay! Go to and nominate an outstanding volunteer today!

CC’s Daiquiris Celebrates Grand Opening CC’s Daiquiris celebrated its grand opening in downtown Montgomery back in December 2016. Officials from the City of Montgomery and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce joined owner Candy Capel for a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a reception. “We’re so happy to be able to bring an authentic taste of New Orleans to Montgomery,” states Capel. “It’s exciting to be part of all of the growth in downtown, and our entire Krewe couldn’t be more pleased with the reception that we have already received from our wonderful customers.” A native of New Orleans, Capel is grateful for all of the assistance that she received as she worked for over nine months to bring to life her vision of the “Big Easy” in the River Region. “This is my baby,” she jokes, “and it did not arrive without a lot of labor.” She credits Liberty Bank, the City of Montgomery, the Small Business Development Center at the University of West Alabama, and all of her service vendors for making her dream a reality. But most of all, she’s thankful for finding the perfect manager to implement her plan. “Qiana James, our Krewe Manager, is a non-traditional student who recently graduated at the top of her class from the College of Business Administration at Alabama State University,” explains Capel. “In checking her references, I couldn’t find a previous employer who had something bad to say about her. Who wouldn’t snatch her up?” CC’s Daiquiris is located at 213-A Commerce Street, directly across from the front entrance of the Renaissance Hotel. The shop will be open during its regular hours of 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and happy hour is observed every day between 5 and 7 p.m. More information is available at 334-676-3535.

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The Old Alabama Town Revue CD

in his domain to a contest. The winner won the hand of Lady Elizabeth in marriage; the loser lost his head! In 2015 Karren Pell issued the Song Challenge to the Old Alabama Town Revue Crue to write new songs for every show and this CD. As far as is known, neither head nor heart was lost.

The Old Alabama Town Revue is the creation of singer-songwriterauthor Karren Pell who describes it as “a deep-south Prairie Home Companion.” Each show has a theme which is explored through original songs, old faves, informal commentary, guest artists, and a monolog titled “Planet Karren,” which features local characters, and further muses on the themes of the shows. The OAT Revue Crue consists of Karren Pell, Tim Henderson, Toni Wood, Stephen Bray, Larry Gobrecht, Anthony Castaldo, Marty Martin, and the Pellets, Tom Huber and Katie Pearson. The Old Alabama Town Revue Crue now has a Facebook page, OATrevue Check it out! The Old Alabama Town Revue Crue will premier their first cd, “The Song Challenge,” on February 2, 2017 during the Old Alabama Town Revue at 7:00. The show will feature songs from the cd. The cd will be available for purchase after the show. For more info contact Karren Pell, 334. 322.3510


Experience the inspiring story of

Katherine & Jay Wolf








The Old Alabama Town Revue Crue will premier its first cd, “The Song Challenge,” during the Old Alabama Town Revue on February 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the church in Old Alabama Town on Columbus Street. The cd, “The Song Challenge,” features 11 original songs written by the Old Alabama Town Revue Crue. In each case, the writer delivers the lead vocal. Instrumentation includes guitars, bass, drums, mandolin, fiddle, and ukulele. The cd title takes its name from a medieval legend about a group of songwriters in Germany in 1207. The inside of the cd explains as follows: In 1207 the Lord of Wartburg Castle invited the songwriters

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of Hope Heals Ministry AGAPE of Central Alabama’s 3rd Annual Connecting Hearts Fundraiser to Help Children Katherine, a survivor of a near-fatal

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6:00-6:30 pm VIP Meet and Greet

Alley Station Warehouse, downtown Montgomery

6:30-7:00 pm Book Signing 7:00-8:00 pm Featured Event

For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, visit The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

brain stem stroke, and husband Jay have overcome major trials with God’s grace. Come hear their story of triumph while helping AGAPE bring hope to families. R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2017




This & tHAT Holy Men and The Bear

A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Rabbi all served as Chaplains. They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop. One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard, a real challenge would be to preach to a bear. They decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it to their religion. Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences. Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on his body and limbs, went first. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and he became as gentle as a lamb. The Bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.’ Reverend Billy Bob the Baptist, spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip. In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he exclaimed, ‘WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we Baptists don’t sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God’s HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus. Hallelujah! The Priest and the Reverend both looked down at the Rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. He was in really bad shape. The Rabbi looked up and said: “Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”

Mardis Gras Celebrations in the River Region The Millbrook Revelers Hosting Annual Mardi Gras Parade The Millbrook Revelers will be hosting the annual Mardi Gras Parade and Festival February 18th at the Village Green Park in Millbrook. There will be over 60 vendors from all over the South with lots of different food and fun for everyone. The festivities begin at 9 am with the parade starting at Noon sharp. This is a family fun event so bring all of the grandchildren and catch the trinkets! Also, anyone can enter to be in the parade. To learn more visit

The City of Prattville Hosting Annual Mardi Gras Parade The City of Prattville will let the good times roll with its 13th Annual Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration on Saturday, February 11, 2017, in Downtown Prattville. This family-friendly celebration will begin at 11:00 a.m. with food and arts and crafts vendors, specialty products, and children’s activities. The parade will roll out from the Autauga County Courthouse at 2:00 p.m. with floats, music, dancers and more and there will be lots of candy and beads tossed to the crowd. Families, businesses, civic and community organizations and others are invited to take part in this parade. Dress up your float or other entry with your most festive Mardi Gras decorations and compete for Best Float, Best Individual Entry or Best of Parade ribbons. The route will start in front of the Courthouse at 4th and Court Streets and follow Main Street through the Downtown area, turn right on Northington Street, then left on Doster Road and end at the Stanley Jensen Stadium. For more information or a parade application, contact the Special Events Office at 334.595.0854 or visit

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Digital & Interactive

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John F. Kennedy’s assassination and much of its public aftermath was televised; the country mourned with his widow, Jackie Kennedy. Jackie, famously shy and private, was publicly a pillar of grace and dignity, and this film goes behind closed doors to show how hard the facade could be to maintain. Jackie deals (or tries to deal) with her grief as she strives to protect her husband’s legacy, the only part of him she can still protect, from political vultures. On top of that, she has to contend with matters of State, like being kicked out of her and John’s last home to make way for the next administration. Jackie shows the human side of an incredible woman, making her even more impressive. Friday: 5:00 PM and 7:30 PM Saturday: 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM and 7:30 PM, Sunday: 3:00 PM, Monday Thursday: 7:30 PM. Call 334.262.4858 or visit Capri Theatre, 1045 E Fairview Ave Montgomery, AL 36106.

VALENTINE’S COUPLE COOKING EXTRAVAGANZA Celebrate Valentine’s Day together cooking a beautiful meal. We’re kicking it up a notch for this event and will have a special menu for you to make together. Work together as a team, and spend some quality time making food for two. In this relaxed fun class we will create a multiple course menu catered just for you and your sweetie. Then sit and enjoy your creations with a tasty beverage and take away recipes for two and an experience you shared. This special menu class is $95 per person. For more info call Montgomery Super Suppers at 334.277.2433, 8105 Vaughn Road, In the Peppertree Shopping Center, Montgomery, AL 36116 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Carl & Melanie, Love is Something We Do

This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is Carl Barker and Melanie Halvorson. Carl is the President of ServisFirst Bank Montgomery and Melanie is one of the team of doctors practicing at Renal Associates of Montgomery, specializing in kidney disease. Probably more important is the fact that they are husband and wife, married in August 2015. They may still be considered newlyweds! It seems love will find you no matter your age and it may be a little sweeter when you bring some of that experienced wisdom with you. Carl and Melanie shared some of their journey with each other, their careers and their involvement with our community. We think you’ll enjoy getting to know this beautiful couple as they embrace the art of aging!

Melanie and Carl, wedding day

Carl: I’m from Selma, AL originally and graduated from Huntingdon College here in Montgomery. I came back to Montgomery in 1996 as President of The First Alabama Bank of Montgomery. My two oldest children went all the way BOOM!: Carl through school in and Melanie Selma and I have please give us a a daughter who brief biography, graduated from i.e. where Carl and Melanie, newlyweds Montgomery you’re from, Academy. I have 5 grandchildren education, what brought you to the ranging in age from 2 to 13. Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, family, etc.?

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Melanie: I grew up in Montgomery a block from where we live now. I graduated from Montgomery Academy, then went to Auburn (War Eagle!). Medical school was at UAB, then up to the University of Virginia at Charlottesville for my medicine residency - which was an amazing experience. Then, to MCG in Augusta for my Nephrology Fellowship. I moved back to Montgomery with my son, Michael, in 1996 and have been working at Renal Associates of Montgomery since then. Michael graduated from LAMP and is currently attending Auburn University where he is finishing his double major in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Spanish - so very proud of him - the light of my life! The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM!: Carl, you are the Montgomery president of ServisFirst Bank, would you share some of your banking journey with us? What makes ServisFirst Bank unique to the River Region?

responding quickly to the needs of our clients. BOOM!: Melanie, you’re a physician who specializes in Nephrology, which focuses on Kidney disease. How did you choose that field of medicine to practice? Melanie: It was difficult choosing what I wanted to do with my life because I enjoyed most everything. I knew I wanted to specialize, I actually interviewed for positions in Nephrology and

cases of kidney disease and first in the nation for diabetes, which is the leading cause of kidney failure. One in eight people have kidney disease and do not realize it - so ask your doctor about your kidney function! BOOM!: Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner would you share with our readers your love story, how you met and some of the secrets to marriage success at the 50+ age?

Carl: Melanie and I originally met at a fundraising function for the Jackson Carl: I started Hospital Foundation at Central out in banking Restaurant. We at the First were introduced National Bank Carl offering a toast and talked briefly. of Birmingham Endocrinology, but Later in the on the management-training program chose Nephrology. I evening she came and worked in Birmingham for about love what I do. Even up and pulled 10 years. I then moved back to my though Nephrology me out on the hometown of Selma and worked specializes in “kidney dance floor (she for the City National Bank of Selma, disease,” one has to is an excellent then became President of the First know how to take care dancer!). As I Dallas County bank and later became of the whole patient, was leaving later President of the First Alabama Bank not just their kidneys, I loaned her $5 of Selma. In 1996 Wilbur Hufham was because kidney disease to get her car kind enough to bring me over to be affects all parts of the at the valet. I the President of the First Alabama body. We take care of was extremely Bank of Montgomery (which became over 500 attracted to her Regions) and dialysis and thought I will always patients several times be grateful to traveling to about calling him for that. Melanie and Carl, celebrating wedding Greenville, her but was ServisFirst is Troy, Brundidge, Prattville somewhat intimidated and reluctant somewhat and Tallassee as well to call a gorgeous physician. Then, one unique in as seeing, patients in day I got a note in the mail from her that our three dialysis units offering to repay the $5 and asking focus is here. We staff all the me out. I was thrilled and the rest is on being hospitals in the areas history (and, I was very mad at myself a bank for and HealthSouth. We for not having called her sooner)! businesses take care of transplant and patients, hypertension, Melanie: We met at the Jackson professionals. electrolyte disorders and Foundation Benefit at Central We are many other things. We Restaurant. I had gone downstairs made up of Melanie and Carl, New York City stay very busy, but kidney to listen to the music and saw Carl a group of disease in Alabama is rampant. The there talking with someone. We were dedicated professionals who work state ranks 5th in the nation in new introduced and there was an instant hard to provide outstanding service

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February 2017



yet as I am still working full time, but this sense of renewal in your life? “spark” - I know that sounds corny, I try to volunteer anyway I can. I was Any advice for the rest of us seeking but that is what it was. I saw him able to go on a medical mission trip renewal? again about a month to Honduras with St. James United later and did not Methodist Church and Forgotten Carl: I love my profession hear anything from Children Ministries. This was one of and what I do every day; him for a couple the most heartbreaking as well as there is always something of months, so I spiritually fulfilling things I have ever new to learn. I talk all decided to write him done and would jump at the chance the time to the people I a little note. I had to do it again. It is very important work with about the fact borrowed $5 from to support the arts and community that, no matter what you him at Central for efforts of Montgomery. There is a do, you should consider the valet, of course, wealth of talent here. yourself a professional I had to pay him and work hard constantly back. Well, I wrote BOOM!: Carl and Melanie, what are at getting better at what a letter and only you most passionate you do. halfway addressed about? Why? it, so it never got I’m still very to him. I thought Carl: I’m passionate ambitious it was strange not about my work and, and always hearing back, from of course, my life looking him, so I rewrote with Melanie. I’m for new the letter with a also very passionate opportunities. proper address this about the future of We started time and the rest Montgomery and a ServisFirst as is history. I do not number of important a new bank think there are any organizations in this 10 years secrets to marriage. area. I’m very involved ago, which Keys to a good in the Chamber has been an marriage include Melanie with her son, Michael of Commerce, the exhilarating keeping God with Melanie with children from Huntingdon College experience. us, communication, Honduras Board of Trustees You trust, love, patience and especially Jackson Hospital as a never know when and compassion. member of the hospital foundation opportunities might It is a relationship board. And, being married to an pop up; our industry is where you are not outstanding nephrologist, I’ve always changing, there afraid to show strong learned how devastating chronic are always challenges on feelings as well as kidney disease can be and I’m going the horizon. I like that and weaknesses and to chair the 2017 fund raising drive have no desire to retire talk them through. for the Alabama Kidney Foundation any time soon. I love the line from in Montgomery. We also support a Clint Black’s song number of great organizations one of Melanie: I have spent that sums it up “love which is Child Support. most of my adult life is not something in school, working and that we are in, it is BOOM!: How do you like to relax and raising my son and have something that we wind down from a hard day’s work? loved it all; but, now do.” I do feel a new sense Dr. Melanie Halvorson Carl and Melanie: We try not to talk of purpose in wanting BOOM!: Many about work right after we get home. to give more to the community, Boomers are experiencing a renewed We need a little downtime from that. which has helped me so much. sense of purpose, new goals, new We like to sit outside when it is nice Unfortunately, my time is not my own careers. How would you describe and play with the dogs, exercise, play

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Now, we go to Bonaire We have a dynamic Mayor who twice a year. It is so is providing great leadership. The relaxing! It is nice as Montgomery Biscuits baseball team, we are older, we have under the leadership of Sherrie Myers, the freedom to travel has been tremendous addition and BOOM!: Favorite more. We will be going I credit the team for being a catalyst vacation spot? to Anguilla in May and for the development of downtown. Any travel dreams then have a trip to Italy All the great bars and restaurants that planned? next October that I got have opened in the alley and all over at the Vintage Affair town are great fun and we love to Carl: When I met auction last year for take advantage of all of them. Melanie, I realized the American Cancer that she was Society. Several places Melanie: I think living in Montgomery an avid SCUBA on my bucket list has taken a huge change for the diver and my first include the British Virgin better. There has thought was that I Carl learned how to scuba to be with Islands, been a swing to could spend more Melanie Iceland, “urban living” time with her if and to see the Northern and the growth I learned to dive; so I did and I was Lights. downtown is hooked. I love going on dive vacations. phenomenal. There But, we also both like to travel and BOOM!: You have seen is so much more to have plans to go places other than just a lot of changes in do, great places to to dive. Montgomery, especially eat, and shows to in the downtown area, see. I think we do Melanie: A favorite vacation spot is how would you rate the need more walking Bonaire, an island in the Leeward quality of life in the River and biking trails Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. We are Region? What do we like they have in both divers. I was certified in 1998, need more of? Birmingham and but Carl learned to dive after he met Atlanta. There are me. His first dive was in Belize. I was Carl: Montgomery is so many cyclists so proud of him because the current Melanie dances the Mambo with Jm transitioning into an was bad and there were sharks Williams from River Region Dance Studio here; I think this is even greater place to live very much needed. everywhere, but he did not panic. every day. cards, listen to music, and dance in the kitchen.

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February 2017



to dance! There is always music in my head. I took ballet Melanie: lessons Priorities; when work is still a I was high priority, young and but now I find thought myself trying I would to find more Melanie’s brother Steve, wife Kay, Melanie, son Michael and cousin, love to time for family, Lilli at a Mardis Gras benefit for the Kidney Foundation be a community ballerinaand travel. that obviously did not happen. I actually approached my friend Taffy BOOM!: Carl and Melanie, give us to teach me the Tango. She set three words that describe you? Your me up with Jim Williams at River marriage? Region Ballroom dance studio and I was hooked. I have done Carl: I have trouble describing myself, several competitions in Alabama, but I would describe Melanie as Georgia and Florida along with Caring, Brilliant and Elegant. Our showcases, (we have one coming marriage is exciting, constantly up in March) I danced in (and growing and full of sharing. won) the Dancing with the Stars last year for the American Melanie: Three words to describe Cancer Society and I danced at myself -- that is difficult. So, I asked the MACOA International Food my son who has known me the Tasting event the last two years. longest, and the three words that My favorite dances are the Waltz, he came up for me are Altruistic, Cha-Cha-Cha and Argentinian Nurturing and Hopeful. tango, but I love them all. Anyone can dance - do not be afraid to try! Call for BOOM!: Melanie, you love to dance, lessons, anything from Line dancing how did you get involved with it? If to Samba. It is so much fun. It our readers is great exercise and it makes wanted to you happy. There is ALWAYS a learn some reason to dance! new dance moves what Other hobbies include baking advice would & gardening. I actually want to you give them? learn to be a football referee Do either (I already have the hat and of you have jersey!). other hobbies or activities BOOM!: You both serve in that grab your our community, what are attention? some of the organizations you Melanie and Carl discover snow! support? Community service is Melanie: I love BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your priorities changed?

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an important aspect of the quality of life in the River Region, why is that an important quality? Melanie: One of my main focuses right now is the Alabama Kidney Foundation. We raise money to help kidney patients in the area. The Montgomery area actually takes up the largest part of the funds raised throughout the State. We have a walk coming up in May and Carl is the walk chairman this year. I am also on the Women’s Philanthropy Board and help support MACOA, the Family Sunshine Center and Child Protect. BOOM!: Carl and Melanie, technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives and some of us are reluctant to

Melanie and Carl love ther Big Dog, Barkley

embrace it. How is your relationship with technology? How has it made your life and work more effective? Carl: I try to embrace technology and use it to benefit my lifestyle as best possible. Laptops, iPads and iPhone are great in that they allow you to stay in touch with work no matter where you are. The downside is that you are often always in touch. It’s important to be able to occasionally unplug. Melanie: I really do not have a “good relationship” with technology. I did not grow up with a computer and now they are vital parts of everything we do. I am being dragged into this,

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and contribute in any way that you can.

Carl’s four grandchildren and his mom, Marie

but handling it fairly well, I think ... maybe. BOOM!: What do your future challenges look like, retirement, business growth, community service? Carl: I always believe challenges are opportunities. I cannot imagine retiring. I think it’s important to stay relevant in the world in which you live

Melanie: I would like to retire in the next five to ten years, but I need my mind to be challenged, so that is the fear I have. It would be nice to channel more towards community service and becoming more involved. Ideally, I would love to retire to an Island in the Caribbean to dive and dance in the sand -life’s better in flip flops! We want to thank Carl and Melanie for sharing their time helping us put together this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. They are fortunate

to have found each other when they did and we wish them the very best in their marriage. If you want to learn more about Carl, please visit or drop him an email at If you’d like to help Melanie support one of her passions, please plan on participating in the Montgomery Kidney Walk on May 6th and visit for more info. As always, thanks to Jeri Hines and Haley Kintner, from Total Image Portraits for the professional cover photo of Carl and Melanie. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to

Read all of the BOOM! Cover Profiles at www.riverregionboom. com/archives Carl with his daughter, Page

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

SIDEbySIDE singers singers

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

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2416 W. Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106 334.834.8990

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February 2017



Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... The English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned those famous lines around 1845 in a sonnet dedicated to her future husband, Robert Browning. The sentiment has been quoted so often it has become a part of our popular culture, seen in everything from Hallmark cards to Bugs Bunny cartoons. While most of us are familiar with the opening stanza of the poem, I suspect that few of us can recall all fourteen lines of the sonnet’s iambic pentameter. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, take a moment to read the entire poem: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.

This poem is a love letter, written in an era where people sat in contemplation by candle light with nothing to distract them but books, lively conversation, or perhaps even pen and paper. Not a modern, cheap, disposable ball-point pen mind you, but a finely-tipped fountain pen which applies ink to paper via a method that is essentially a controlled leak. The ink, once applied to paper, would have to be blotted dry to avoid smears and smudges. When was the last time you sat down, shut out the distractions of modern society, and wrote a letter to someone you loved? Not an email, not a text, not a Facebook post or Tweet, but an honestto-goodness paper letter?

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We rarely take the time to express our feelings to our loved ones the way the future Mrs. Browning did when she wrote the lines quoted above. While we may not write many letters these days, an

Once we leave this earth, an estate plan is also an opportunity to give gifts of property to the people we care about. They may be sentimental gifts, like family heirlooms, or they may be monetary gifts. They may even be gifts of Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop education, ensuring that Wednesday, February 22: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 children or pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This grandchildren educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins go to college. covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living You might wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, even leave bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care a gift of and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. motivation— conditioning Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at such gifts on achieving certain goals, estate plan can be a final expression of like a minimum GPA, for example. love, a love letter of sorts, to the people we care about most. Every person’s estate planning goals will of course be unique. Every family is Think about it: the one person who will unique. That is why you, and only you, not be around to benefit from your estate can adequately craft a final expression of planning is you. Getting your affairs in love to the people you care about. Most order is not a selfish act, it is a gift to your love letters are written by the young, loved ones. And I’m not just talking about but you shouldn’t assume that estate monetary gifts. planning is only for the old, the sick, or the dying. To the contrary, the best time For example, what if you were in a terrible to draft your final love letter to your car accident, and your family had to family is while you are strong of body and make the decision whether to continue sharp of mind. to keep you alive using machines or other treatments that would serve to prolong This year, skip the flowers and chocolate, your life, but that would not cure you. turn off the TV, shut down the cellphone, In those conversations, the topic usually and write a letter to someone you love. turns to what you “would have wanted.” Without written instructions, your family is left to guess whether you would want Raley L. Wiggins to be kept alive indefinitely, or whether Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC you prefer to be allowed to die a natural 334-239-3625 | death. (If you’re familiar with the famous 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104 Terry Shaivo case from the 1990’s, her family spent several years debating whether Terry “would have wanted” to be kept alive using machines, even though she was permanently unconscious).

Attend Free Workshop

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Walking Dead Guy

By Treva Lind Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review/TNS

Fit and trim, Ned McNamara uses a gentle voice while naming yoga poses for a midday class he teaches at the Spokane Valley YMCA. Wearing black-rimmed glasses, a black T-shirt and athletic pants, McNamara appears much younger than his 69 years. He holds the yoga poses with ease but stops on occasion to check postures among his 18 students, a mix of men and women of various ages. “Let gravity be your friend,” he told a recent class, as relaxing music played in the darkened studio. “Continuing to breath, out through the nose ... a cleansing, centering breath.” A certified personal trainer, McNamara could be described as the epitome of active retiree. He teaches yoga and fitness classes for the YMCA and the ACT 2 program of Community Colleges of Spokane, volunteers for search and rescue activities, and teaches rescue skills. He’s also a runner, swimmer, former triathlete, and operator of a home-based business, NrG Fitness. And just over a year ago, he had quadruple bypass surgery. “With me, it was hereditary; it wasn’t my diet or fitness level,” said McNamara, who had noticed symptoms such as shortness of breath in the preceding months. “Both my parents died of heart attacks. I never had a heart attack, and my heart wasn’t damaged, but the major arteries were 95 percent-plus blocked. I was on the edge of having a major heart attack. I was (a) walking dead guy.” McNamara said he at first mistook tightening and burning in the chest as

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Ned McNamara walks around his yoga class , giving pointers, at the Spokane Valley YMCA

a sign he’d let his own fitness slip and needed to work out more.

teaching, doing all the cardio work I did before,” he said.

The danger didn’t click until he had coffee with a friend, one of his students, and that friend’s wife, a doctor. Upon hearing McNamara describe his symptoms, they immediately helped him book an appointment with Spokane heart experts.

McNamara and his wife Catherine, 69, deliberately chose Spokane in 2013 to move from Colorado for their retirement years, in part because of this region’s lower cost-of-living and outdoor activities, he said. He also likes to ski and has season passes at 49 Degrees North.

“Here I am in Spokane, one of the heart centers of the world, so I ended up with the absolute best doctors at Sacred Heart because of people in my class,” he said. “I got right in when they scheduled the stress test.”

Another part of Spokane’s draw was its residents, said McNamara, who describes himself as a people person. Before retirement, he helped run a company, Woodhouse Timberframe, a builder of custom luxury log and timberframed homes.

“Actually, I had the symptoms for about nine months. I got chided a little bit by doctors who said, ‘What would you think if you found someone in the backcountry who described these symptoms?’ “ After his surgery, Sept. 2, 2015, doctors by the following Oct. 26 granted him 100 percent return to doing full cardiovascular workouts. “I’ve gone back to climbing mountains,

When Spokane came up as a possible retirement destination for the couple, his wife connected with real estate agents here, and McNamara suggested they visit as well. “Everyone we met and talked to was friendly, warm, and welcoming,” he said. “I’m an outdoorsy guy. I love the climate here. I like to ski. There’s culture, shows at the INB.” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

McNamara eventually helped remodel the Spokane Valley home they purchased. It includes a small studio where he offers personal fitness training and individual yoga sessions.

“We were out in Liberty Lake looking for half a dozen teenagers lost up the hill,” McNamara said. “They were fine. Everything we’ve done that I’ve been involved with has been successful.”

He said Spokane even reminds him somewhat of New England, where the U.S. Air Force veteran was raised in a little town near Plymouth, Massachusetts. His career took him across the U.S. and internationally, so he traveled frequently, but he always found time for regular workouts.

Additionally, McNamara volunteers as an instructor for the search and rescue group’s academy, teaching skills ranging from building survival shelters to navigation. He also volunteers at church, Valley Real Life, as acting director of security.

“I only stayed (at) places where I could run,” he said. “I’ve always taken care of myself; never been out of shape.” After moving to Spokane, McNamara saw a booth for Spokane County Sheriff’s Office volunteers at the Bighorn Outdoor Adventure Show. At first, he helped with sheriff incident responses, until he joined the volunteer-based Spokane County Search and Rescue (SAR) three years ago. “We run an academy once a year for new recruits who want to be part of search and rescue,” McNamara said. “We learn all kinds of survival skills, rescue skills, first aid. People need to be fit.” “When I came across SAR, I thought that’s where I belong. I love the outdoors. I’m not a person who sits back. I get involved.”

While living in Colorado, McNamara completed several triathlons, and that’s when people first began asking him for fitness advice. Ten years ago, he became a certified personal trainer after completing requirements of the American Council on Exercise. “I was working with a couple of city cops in Denver because they wanted to train for triathlons, or general fitness,” he said. “One of them said, ‘Why don’t you get certified and start charging?’ I said, ‘I just like helping people,’ but the seed got planted.”

doctor told me I could only do one thing to take care of myself, it would be yoga, no question.” “With yoga, it’s a strengthening process. It’s all about breathing and breath-aslife energy. You’re providing your body with a lot of oxygen, and you gain a lot more range of motion and flexibility. I teach Ashtanga yoga; it flows and you’re constantly connecting dots.” “What we tend to do is shallow breathing. With yoga, it’s more diaphragmatic breath. It’s deeper belly breathing, and it supplies the body with more oxygen.” He learned how to say yoga terms in the ancient Hindu language, Sanskrit, which he recites in classes after saying them first in English. McNamara tries to teach yoga skills to all ability levels. “I have a lot of senior clients, but also young people,” he said. “I teach more to ability than to age. I have advanced students, beginning students and everyone in between.” Yoga also provides a very calming experience, he said. “It allows people to totally relax and decompress, and a person will sleep better,” McNamara said. “Stress is a killer. The deeper a person becomes in the yoga discipline, with breathing and stretching, that goes away.”

McNamara is now SAR council Ned McNamara, center, leads a yoga class at the Spokane Valley YMCA president and serves on Providing fitness training isn’t Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review/TNS three separate teams _ its high-paying, McNamara said, but swift water rescue, mountain rescue, that’s not why he does it. He described and Inland Northwest Search and In part, his yoga focus began on a his reward as coming from seeing Rescue specializing in mountain and business trip. At an airport gift store, he transition and growth in clients. technical rope rescues (formerly Spokane bought a yoga book, but it sat unread for Mountaineers). After the recent yoga class, McNamara months. Later, he saw a newspaper ad chatted with several people heading out. for a yoga class in his hometown. Among volunteer search and rescue He enjoys that too. missions so far, he participated in “I went, and I loved it,” McNamara said. “I love people,” he said. “If you genuinely a search for an autistic child who He decided to include yoga for opening care for people, it comes back to you disappeared at night in the South Hill a home fitness studio in Colorado, so area. Another call sent him and searchers tenfold.” he worked a few years to gain YogaFit looking for an older man with dementia certification. (c)2017 The Spokesman-Review in Spokane. Both resulted in individuals Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. found safely. “I have a passion for it,” he said. “If a The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2017



February Featured Artists

Bold Azure 24x48 mixed media, Carol Barksdale

Eye Candy 20x20 oil on canvas, Anita Westerberg

The Good Shepherd, 48x36 oil on canvas Pamela Wesley Copeland

Leung II 30x22 watercolor, Clint Herring Sprawling Silver Coffee Pot 48x36 oil on canvas, John Wagnon

Hear Me 24x12 oil on canvas Trish Gober

Single Season 36x36 mixed media, Cecily Hulett

Purple and Oranges 24x18 oil on canvas, Anne Hugghins

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Sunflowers by Bradley Moon

As Seasons Change 24x36 acrylic on canvas, Shirley Esco February 2017

Visit Gallery One Fine Art 423 Cloverdale Road, Montgomery Gallery Director Sandi Aplin,

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

Happenings at Gallery One Fine Art Art and Fashion our quarterly trunk show of the Carlisle Collection, New York, will be in full swing February 1st continuing through the 5th. We are

so excited about the CARLISLE-PER SE TRUNK SHOW, Spring 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. Cecily Hulett and John Wagnon’s Art Opening on Thursday, February 9th, (which just happens to be Wagnon’s birthday) will begin at 5:30 pm until 7pm.

cheap wine with a piece of cheese. I am happy to answer any questions about my work”. This amazing show is already hanging on the wall. We will be closing the Carlisle Trunk Show on the 5th and we welcome our friends to drop by beginning February7 th to preview the paintings prior to the opening on the 9th. On Monday, February 13th, we will host the 11th Art of Philanthropy for the Women’s Philanthropy Board which is the Flagship Division of the Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies in

Auburn University’s College of Human Services. The WPB was established in 2002 with the vision of inspiring, educating and enabling individuals to develop their full leadership potential, achieve independence as financial donors and decision makers, serve as mentors for future generations of philanthropists and broaden the base of financial support for the College of Human Sciences. Gallery One Fine Art will have an amazing February 2017.

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

Hulett says, “This show is a process of exploration in layers of colors, thick and thin over a textured surface. There is no subject matter. Each painting is an arrangement of color, line and contrast in a combination that is pleasing to me. I want to paint something visually compelling that encourages the viewer to make his own interpretations.” Wagnon says, “Come to our Birthday Party (Cecily’s birthday is the 11th) look at our paintings while drinking The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2017



RV Life

ow n e r s fo r g e c l u bs , f rien dsh ips, sn owbird min i- co mm u n it i es By Treva Lind

Spokane resident LaDean Stice calls them her winter friends. For about 16 years now, she and husband Cliff Stice have taken their motor home to an RV park in Yuma, Arizona, from November to March. They look forward to seeing their snowbird neighbors who make the same annual pilgrimage from cooler climates in the U.S. and Canada. The Stices, who have a 36-foot Itasca, rank among thousands of RV owners routinely traveling south for winters and forming mini RV communities in warmerclimate states to soak in the sun and outdoor recreation. “You make some really good friends,” said LaDean Stice, 73, during a recent phone interview. “I line-danced with around 30 people this morning,” she said. “In about half an hour I’m going to play cards with a group of women, so there are lots of things to do. My husband plays water volleyball with about 14 men who get into the pool.” Spokane residents Jack Cady, 71, and his wife Mary, 69, tend to stick closer to home, but they often take their RV to monthly Winnebago group gatherings as members of Inland Empire Explorers. The couple usually tow a truck behind the motor home. Sometimes they load

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“We had 16 coaches, and usually there’s one potluck,” she said. “There’s one night where everyone goes out to dinner. There’s another get-together that’s relaxing with appetizers. There might be sightseeing. We enjoy each other.”

on kayaks or their bicycles. After parking their RVs at various parks around the Northwest, they and others in Inland Empire Explorers head out to different activities. “I play golf, and there are several interested people usually,” Jack Cady said. “There are lots of activities. In Lewiston, there are car shows, and quite a lot of the ladies like to go to quilt shows. There’s camaraderie.” Stice, president of Inland Empire Explorers, says the group involves about 25 Winnebago and Itasca RV owners. It’s a local chapter of the nationwide Winnebago Itasca Travelers, and a majority of the members live in Spokane, while others are from around the state. Dues are $20 a year.

Now, more people of the boomer generation are joining those ranks, as they retire or gain travel flexibility. “I know that more and more people 50 to 65 are heading south for the winter,” said Steve Cody of DelCreek Productions, which produces the Jan. 19-22 annual Inland Northwest RV Show and Sale at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. “Statistically, the 55-64 age group is the fastest-growing segment of RV buyers _ 55-64 increased to 11.1 percent, while 65-74 was 8.8 percent,” he said. “Boomers are having a huge effect.” Those who are ages 50 to 65 also are contributing to a recent rise in longterm bookings at RV retirement parks, according to Cody.

“We have outings starting in April right through October,” Stice said. “We gather usually for three nights. We go to the ocean, all over. Two couples plan it and they’re called wagon masters.”

“When you are a snowbird and stay at an RV park for a length of time, you form a close-knit community of new friends you get to see every year when our weather turns cold,” Cody said.

Stice and her husband in past months worked with another couple to plan a Coeur d’Alene outing.

Going to year-round events through Inland Empire Explorers is another way

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RV owners can enjoy the vehicles they purchased, said Jack Cady. He and his wife started going on RV outings about seven years ago with an older motor home. After he retired five years ago, they decided to buy a new RV. With such a purchase, a dealership often gives buyers a first-year membership to Winnebago Itasca Travelers, Cady said. People then can select an affiliated club to join. Often, club members share tips about RV ownership or help each other out when a motor home needs work, Cady said. He and his wife enjoy their time with Inland Empire Explorers. “We make an agenda, and kind of everyone in the group takes a turn for wagon master,” Cady added. “If I am a wagon master, then it’s my job to find restaurants and activities. Usually, we have a dinner in and a dinner out. Other times we have a potluck. “Our group has what they call a men’s breakfast, actually it’s breakfast for the ladies, and the men are responsible on the last morning before we leave to make breakfast for the group. Several of us get together for various things outside the RV group, now that we’ve got to know each other.”

“I’ve made friends,” he added. “I was new to the Northwest Regional Rally, but people have been going many years, and they run into people they’ve known for some time. It’s like a reunion for them.”

The Florence RV park where they stay includes a clubhouse, six laundry rooms, four pools, and multiple activities. The community is about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix.

For those who head south for winters, multiple RV parks in Arizona cater to people ages 55 and older, Stice said, although people do live in the parks year-round. Some RV parks include lots containing small, permanent onebedroom modular homes, called park models with a kitchen and bath.

“We know people from all over,” Van Leuven added. “We have friends from British Columbia. The people next to us are from Illinois. There are four couples of us who golf normally on Saturday. We go out to dinner and we go shopping together.”

Spokane residents Don and Carolyn Van Leuven, both 80, have taken their 35foot motor home to the same RV park in Florence, Arizona, each winter for 14 years. They heard about the community of about 1,800 RV lots from longtime friends, who now live in Arizona yearround. “This is rare, but we own our lot, and that was part of the reason we chose Florence,” Don Van Leuven said. “We like the area. No one can move us off our lot.

“That’s a fun group,” Cady said. “We see each other once a year. The Northwest Regional Rally has different clubs that take different responsibilities, either sponsoring meals, entertaining or organizing golf. Last year, it was a pirate theme; This year, a Hawaiian theme.” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Costs vary widely for monthly rentals at different Arizona RV parks, depending on location, size and amenities offered, Stice said. She added that costs in Yuma, which is in southwestern Arizona about 240 miles west of Tucson, can range from $500 to $700 a month, plus payments for electricity and extra cable service. The Phoenix area tends to run higher at roughly $600 to $800 a month, plus extras, Stice said. “A lot depends on the park itself,” she said. “Some are very big, 1,000-plus sites with more than one swimming pool, tennis courts, racquetball courts, golf course, etc.”

He’s gone fishing and golfing with some of those RV friends. In May, many Winnebago owners from around the state go to a larger gathering called the Northwest Regional Rally, he said, held in recent years in Cashmere, Washington. The event attracts Winnebago clubs from all over Washington.

Stice describes a similar environment in the Yuma RV park where she stays. The park, with about 300 sites, offers recreational activities, a pool, and Wi-Fi. Some friends from the park have visited the couple in Kennewick during the summer.

We have a homeowner’s association.” The Van Leuvens’ site includes a park model with a porch and patio. “We spend a lot of time outdoors,” Van Leuven said. “The first eight or nine years, we stayed in our motor home; then we bought a lot. There are people from just about every state and Canadians. People are friendly.”

“Eight members of our club come down to Arizona somewhere,” Stice added. “We’ve done it for a long time. There are 50 minimum RV parks where we go, and we’re one of the smaller ones.” (c)2017 The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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February 2017



By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN


I pledge to make this column great again! The first Sunday of this month is the day when 100 million plus Americans will indulge a gluttony of food, beverage and betting, gather at each other’s homes in front of an 88 inch HDTV, and fuss over a football game few will likely find memorable. The half-time Legendary DJ, Larry Lujack show has become the All-American MUST, often the ratings peak of the entire event. I can’t recall the final score of Super Bowl L, but Beyonce’s “I HATE COPS” halftime show was a talk-show topic for weeks after the game. This year’s spectacular will feature Lady Gaga and her “I HATE TRUMP” theme! Normally an annoying intrusion, the TV commercials are a big part of the event, engendering days of impassioned jibber-jabber. Which advertiser did the Most Memorable spot? Who made the best use of the 4-plus million dollars 30 seconds of ad time costs? Every year a group of Average Americans have their hearts and genitals wired for reactions so suits can scientifically determine the most exciting ad of the event. Such a fuss. Like many of you reading, I have been around since the humble beginnings of what was originally called the NFL-AFL Championship Game. Remember? Super Bowls I and II were laughable routs as the mighty Green Bay

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Packers dispatched the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, PROVING FOREVER the NFL was vastly superior to the AFL. Then came Broadway Joe Namath, the second of my super heroes in my ‘yute’. They should name the damn game for him, but before I explain that, let me introduce you to personal super hero #1. In radio I have never wanted to be anyone else, but my career was wholly inspired by a radio giant in Chicago named Larry Lujack. Longtime listeners in the River Region know of Legendary Uncle Lar’. You could catch him

was the absolute UNjock. I loved him. Hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans did too, but I noticed something. Lots of people hated him, too. Everyone had an opinion about him. Lujack taught the most important lesson in radio success. Be an original. Craft an act that compels a reaction, be it love or hate, because if you don’t, you’ll never be a star or make the big bucks. In 1989, deep into the Wonder Years of my Miami career, my boss, a former coworker of Lujack and well-aware of my admiration, called me into his office. “I have someone on the phone who wants to say hello”. It was HIM! Larry F-ing Lujack! He talked, I listened, for almost 2 hours. I thanked him and credited him for my success. In classic Lujack fashion he said “I appreciate the compliment Greg, but that’s malarkey. You did it. You’re one of a kind. Thanks, but no thanks.”

all over Alabama on the 50,000 watt clear I cried real channel tears when power of he died a few WLSyears back. He AM out was hero #1, of the my first and Windy most influential Broadway Joe with a few of his favorite fans City. creative Lujack mentor. was beyond cool and in a class of his own. While most 60s-70s DJs were In a cultural sense, it wasn’t a rock star mindless, contest-pimping, high-speed, who influenced me, but the one and only content-free babblers, Lujack was Broadway Joe, Super Hero #2. Howard Stern before Howard Stern, minus the potty mouth. His deliberative Namath, following a pair of embarrassing style was sarcastic as hell, he railed defeats for the AFL, boldly predicted (to against “stupid” management and widespread derision) that his New York Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts in The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

what we retroactively refer to as Super Bowl III. I remember an esteemed Chicago sports columnist named Rick Talley forecast a 55-0 win for Baltimore. Most “experts” agreed with him. We all know how it worked out. Namath’s Jets won, shockingly (16-7, in a game that was frankly, boring). Broadway Joe Namath was the star born on that day, and I loved the guy. Like Lujack in radio, he was a valuable asset but a management nightmare- a guy whose off-field exploits got more coverage than his football skills (which were sadly limited by injuries). For a while Broadway Joe WAS the NFL, the hip face of the brand- and helped football rocket past baseball as America’s favorite sport.

Joe was a trendsetter. At age 20, preparing my first (and very cool) highrise apartment, I spent ridiculous money for shag carpeting because that’s what Joe had in his “pad”. Namath’s life and lifestyle received coverage beyond the sports pages, from Playboy to Penthouse.

I was thrilled to meet him, and confessed my shag carpet story. He laughed, asking “no s—t?”. He did not disappoint. Larry and Joe, true mavericks. Larry wrote a book called “Superjock” and Joe won THE biggest Super Bowl. I got to thank them both for their influence on my life.

He wasn’t classically handsome. His hair was too long and unwieldy for the NFL establishment. I maintain though, that Joe’s insanely bold prediction for SB III – and delivering on it- triggered an incalculable change to our sports culture.

I guess that makes me Super Lucky. 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

Shortly after I moved to Alabama, my friend, Bob Baumhower, invited me to a party for UA alum in Tuscaloosa. He mentioned several Alabama greats who’d be there, including Broadway Joe. The attached photo is of poor quality, but that’s Joe- and he was every bit the charismatic character we saw in the 70s.

Women of Hope

Breast Cancer Support Group Women of Hope is a group of caring and compassionate individuals who desire to help educate, promote awareness, and provide hope for individuals and families coping with and dealing with the affects of breast cancer. Support Group Meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, free of charge to all breast cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family members, friends, or anyone interested in supporting our mission. Speakers include breast cancer survivors sharing their personal stories and lessons learned, physicians, such as oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, and other speakers on topics related to breast cancer. A time of “fellowship” encourages meeting others affected by breast cancer. or information please call 334-220-4599 or email We meet at Frazer Church, Room 8114, Mathison Activity Center.

Tuesday, February 14th, 5:30 - 8 pm. Everyone is Welcome! 5:30 PM Social time with light meal, 6:15 PM Program followed by Q & A

Journaling Your Journey

Presented by Cindy Anderson, Breast Cancer Survivor The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2017



Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Cooking from Scratch Cooking from scratch is one of the best changes you can make for your health. First of all you know exactly what’s going into your food – no preservatives, no added chemical colorings and artificial flavors, no unnecessary added sugar or salt. Now I’m not saying that you will be cooking without adding your own sugar and salt, not at all! But you will be in control of both how much you use and the type. Personally, I never use white sugar; I just don’t like the taste, I prefer the more caramelly taste of raw brown sugar. I also only ever use Himalayan pink rock salt as it has a bunch of other minerals in it as well as sodium. Cooking from scratch gives you this choice! I am always reading nutrition labels when I go grocery shopping, so I was not surprised when I heard, on an NPR show about America’s food industry induced sugar addiction, that 74% of all items on US supermarket shelves have hidden added sugars. 74%! I usually end up putting things back on the shelves just because the list of ingredients read like a biochemistry experiment! This is what you’re doing to your body when you eat this stuff – experimenting on it, when you should be feeding it wholesome and nutritious food. Cooking your own food, from start to finish means you take back control of what you eat. As a nation, we have surpassed saturation points with sugar to the extent that so much of it is added to everything we eat that we do not recognize the point at which the taste is not affected anymore. We pass the point where sugar is a sweetener and go way beyond that point, but now the only change is the chaos it is wreaking on our bodies. The food does not taste any sweeter. In the majority of cases the sugar can be halved and the taste would not alter.

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I actually did a couple of experiments on people in our restaurant, Cool Beans in downtown Montgomery. We inherited from the previous owner, the usual sweet tea and Shari’s famous salad dressing, both of which had scarily high levels of added sugar in them. As soon as I took over I cut the sugar in both by 30% and watched people’s reactions for a week. Absolutely nothing! Nobody noticed that anything had changed. This told me that we still had not quite reached the saturation point, therefore we could go even lower before the taste changed. So, we cut it again by another 30%, now down to about 40% of the original amount. Still nobody noticed. I ended up actually cutting the amount of sugar to a third of its original amount without affecting the sweetness. This sounds ridiculous, but I am afraid it is too common a practice. Restaurants and fast food outlets literally pour buckets of sugar in to make sweet tea and other drinks, with no forethought either about taste nor about how this is affecting people’s health. I remember also inviting our neighbors over for dinner one summer evening. Dessert was really simple, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. My neighbor joined me in the kitchen while whipping the cream. “Aren’t you going to add sugar (to the cream) or vanilla?” she asked. “No,” I answered, “cream is perfectly sweet just as it is.” She did not reply, but after dessert she said, “Well

I have certainly learned something today. Cream certainly does not need sugar adding to it. You are quite correct. We do need to rethink our automatic reactions to just add sugar to everything without even thinking about it.” And that, in a nutshell, encompasses my entire view on the US’s sugar consumption. It has become an addiction, something that you add without giving it a second thought. Which is a travesty in many ways, to our health of course, but also to our relationship with food. We are forgetting what foods actually taste like, because everything is disguised with sugar. Let’s get back to having a range of exciting tastes to tantalize our taste buds. Food should be exciting, not mundane. So, my message to you for 2017 is to get back in the kitchen. You don’t have to fork out for cook books, there are so many recipes available online. Cook from scratch, enjoy your food. Yes, use sugar and salt in your cooking, but choose which types you use and experiment with quantities. I make a banana loaf every week for my son to have a slice of with his school lunch. The recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, over time I have reduced this to 1/3 cup and there is no noticeable difference in taste. This will vary depending on the type of sugar you use as well – honey, molasses, date sugar, coconut sugar, raw brown sugar, white sugar. Which you choose is up to you, but cooking from scratch will get you healthier and more in tune with both your body and its needs and your food. This is important. The future of our children depends on what we feed them today. Please think about that. 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

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

February 2017



February 2017

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Fauré Piano Quartett Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Thursday, February 9th, 7:30 - 9 pm

The requirements have changed. Whoever is playing chamber music today can’t be limited to the rules from decades ago. The expectations regarding the diversity of repertoire have changed, which creates room for ensembles like the Faure Quartett, which has established itself as one of the world’s leading piano quartets within just a few years. They discover new sound fields in chamber music and perform compositions outside the mainstream repertoire. For information and availability of single tickets, call 334-277-3505. Also visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 39 Steps The Cloverdale Playhouse February 9-19, various times

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! Over 150 zany characters (played by a cast of 4), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance! In The 39 Steps, a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale! A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, The 39 Stepsamounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure! For tickets visit or by calling 334.262.1530


Two For Love The Sanctuary, 432 Goldthwaite St., Montgomery Friday-Sunday, February 10-12, 7:30pm and 2 pm matinee

Montgomery Ballet is pleased to announce its premiere presentation of Two for Love, a two act production, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The professional and civic companies will be featured in a classical adaptation of the third act of Sleeping Beauty, a gem of a ballet that is an important part of a ballet company’s repertoire. We will also

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premiere Silly Love Songs, a contemporary ballet set to popular love songs from the 70s. This new work is choreographed by Co-Artistic Director Joseph Villalobos. Held at The Sanctuary, the music and dancers in an intimate setting are a perfect way to get your Valentine’s Day weekend started! For more info visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Animal Enrichment Day Montgomery Zoo Saturday, February 11th, 10-2 pm

From zoo animals to our pets at home and even including us, we all need enrichment. A chance to smell a new scent, taste a new flavor, play a new game or figure out a challenging puzzle or game. The result is to stimulate behaviors resembling those for that species found in the wild. It is a lot of trial and error, but it is always fun. For more info visit or call 334.240.4900


The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare ASF February 11 - May 13, various times Proteus is in love with Julia until he gets an eyeful of his best friend’s girl, Silvia. When friends turn into rivals things quickly go comic as they clash with bandits, a bad-mannered dog, an angry father and a girl who won’t be dumped. This condensed version of Shakespeare’s first play is sure to be a big hit with all ages! Recommended ages nine and up. For more info visit


The Capri Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet Party The Capri Theatre Sunday, February 12, 6-9 pm

All dressed up and nowhere to go for Valentine’s day? Come on over to the Capri Theatre’s pre-Valentines Romeo & Juliet Party fndraiser to benefit the Capri Theatre. Food, Wine, Shakespeare. $30 each. Reception at 6 and film at 7:30 pm. Period Costumes Encouraged! For more info and tickets visit www.


Cash and the King ASF Tuesday, February 14, 7:30 pm ‘Cash and the King’, pays tribute to two of the biggest icons ever in the history of music, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Make this

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Valentine’s Day special! Enjoy live performances of their classic hits from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s in this all-new rock ‘n’ roll show with Scot Bruce (Elvis Presley) and Neil Morrow and (Johnny Cash). Complete your Valentine’s Day with a special Cash and the King Dinner! This specially selected buffet dinner is prepared by Jennie Weller Catering. Dinner is $30 per person. Buffet will open at 5:45 p.m. prior to the 7:30 p.m. performance of Cash and the King. All dining reservations must be made by 5pm on Monday, February 6. For info call 334.271.5353 or visit


St. Andrews Mardi Gras Panama City Friday and Saturday, February 17, 18th

The St. Andrews Mardi Gras, the official Mardi Gras parade and festival of Panama City, Florida. Celebrating our 20th Anniversary in 2017, it’s the most popular and largest Mardi Gras celebration in Bay County. Come see over 14 Krewes and over 30 brightly colored floats. As festive music is played along the route, tens of thousands of beads and doubloons will be tossed the crowd of over 50,000 people! For more info visit

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA Jazz Legends, Yellowjackets

Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center

Thursday, February 23rd, 7:00 pm Throughout their storied 35-year history, the Yellowjackets have recorded 23 albums, received 17 Grammy nominations – won two – performed countless sold-out tours, and enjoyed worldwide critical acclaim and commercial success. Over the years the band has undergone numerous lineup changes, but has maintained an extraordinarily high quality of musicianship that is the rival of many but a surprise to no one who knows and appreciates the band and its music. The Yellowjackets’ newest album, Coherence, was released in April 2016. Don’t miss this latest installment of the Center’s jazz series, The Essentials. “…a perfectly combustible electric-acoustic outfit whose smart and unpredictable compositions draw from fusion, post-bop and contemporary jazz.” —JazzTimes. For more info and tickets visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The Spirit of Rosa Parks Awards and Benefit Concert featuring Sheila E. And Friends MPAC-Downtown Montgomery Saturday, March 4th, 8 pm Sheila E. and Friends, featuring Pete “Pops” Escovedo, Sheila E.’s legendary percussionist father, will bring the Purple Philanthropy tour that honors Prince’s humanitarianism and philanthropic work benefitting organizations that support youth in music, arts and sports education. The Purple Philanthropy concerts are about bringing attention to incredible work that these community-based organizations like Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute do to help young people grow. This is the spirit of Prince that reflects The Spirit of Rosa Parks. For more info and tickets visit


Alabama Dance Theatre’s, The Princess Stories and more Troy University’s Davis Theatre Saturday/Sunday, March 4-5, 7:30 pm, 2:30 pm The Alabama Dance Theatre, celebrating its 30th Pearl Season, will present its annual spring concert featuring the “The Princess Stories and more” on Saturday, March 4th at 2:30 pm (shortened children’s matinee of “The Princess Stories” only), Saturday, March 4th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 5th at 2:30 pm at Troy University’s Davis Theatre. Choreographed by ADT’s resident choreographer, Sara Sanford, “The Princess Stories” is certain to delight children of all ages and the young at heart. The action packed Princess Stories feature “Pocahontas”, “Aladdin”, “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Beauty and the Beast”. The stories are colorful and exciting and will appeal to both boys and girls. For more info and tickets visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Catalyst Quartet in Concert! Montgomery City Hall Auditorium Friday, March 10th, 7 pm

Hailed by the New York Times at their Carnegie Hall debut as “invariably energetic and finely burnished…playing with earthy vigor” the Catalyst Quartet, prize winners of the Gianni Bergamo Classical Music Award 2012 (Switzerland) is comprised of top Laureates and alumni of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition. Known for “rhythmic energy, polyphonic clarity and tight ensemble-playing” (New York Concert Review). The quartet has toured domestically and abroad including sold out performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Chicago’s Harris Theater, the Frank Gehry designed New World Center in Miami, and Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), to name a few. For tickets visit R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

February 2017



Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

M*A*S*H’s Loretta Swit Paints to Help Animals On screen, she amused TV audiences as feisty nurse Maj. Margaret Houlihan for 11 seasons in the highly acclaimed late 70s/early 80s comedy war drama, M*A*S*H. But away from the cameras, Loretta Swit surrounded herself with paintbrushes and watercolors instead of scalpels and plasma.

yell out ‘doggie, doggie, doggie!’ and wouldn’t stop,” she laughed. While she can still turn red at the sight of an animal, these days it’s triggered by witnessing animal abuse of any kind.

A collection of her paintings appears in “SWITHEART - The Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit” (see Published in January, SWITHEART is written by Mies Hora with the full support and participation of Swit who provided dozens of images for the book. Proceeds will help fund programs dear to the TV legend’s heart. “I’ve always used my artwork to support charities,” said Ms. Swit from her home in Manhattan. “We plan to help many animals from the book sales.” Swit, who turned 79 last November, says she has always dabbled in art. “As a child, my mother was forever telling me to go outside and play, but I wanted to just sit at the table with my sketchpad and pencils and doodle away,” she recalled. The animal world has also always been a part of hers. “My parents said even when I was just a tot in a carriage and I’d see a dog, I would get all red in the face, giggly, and

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February 2017

“A fur coat represents the death of 80 animals,” she said in a horrified

tone. “Fake fur has come a long way. It’s twice as warm and just as beautiful – if not more so – than real fur. I have two of them and they’re so realistic I wear a button to say it’s fake!”

Swit’s love of animals was known to M*A*S*H writers who incorporated it into the season 6 episode, “Images,” where her character develops a fondness for a stray dog in the camp. “The dog gets killed by a jeep and Margaret ends up in tears partly because of the dog but also because the story is woven into the stress of working in a wartime O.R. The writers knew about my animal activism and brilliantly used it to develop Margaret’s character.”

As one of the most celebrated TV shows ever produced, Swit says it didn’t take long to realize she was involved with a special series. “The realization was really from the outside-in at first,” she recalled. “I would go out to do interviews and from people’s response learned how important the show was becoming. The genius of M*A*S*H was the brilliant writing that was always different, fresh, and unexpected. Our tight-knit ensemble could transform the scripts into stories that were funny and entertaining and yet touching and profound.” During production, Swit used her artistic talents to express her affection for the cast. “I did drawings of the guys and presented each with one as a Christmas gift,” she said. “Art is just something I did and probably took it for granted for a long time. While I never took any lessons, others have given me advice and helped me to grow as an artist over the years and I talk about that in the book.” But much of her art always focused on animals and nature because, she says, “I love my subjects so much.” “Perhaps I see animals in a different way because I have so much passion for my activism,” she adds. “I’m doing anything I can to better their lives.” 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

February 2017



Get tested DURING your pregnancy! Congenital syphilis is a disease that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy.

Congenital syphilis is PREVENTABLE Congenital syphilis can cause: • Miscarriage (losing the baby during pregnancy), stillbirth (a baby born dead), or death shortly after birth. • Up to 40% of babies born to women with untreated syphilis may be stillborn, or die from the infection as a newborn. Babies born with congenital syphilis can have: Deformed bones, severe anemia (low blood count), enlarged liver and spleen, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), nerve problems, like blindness or deafness, meningitis and skin rashes.

Get tested 8 weeks BEFORE delivery!

For more information, go to

BOOM! February 2017  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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