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HealthNEWS January 2012

for Boomers and Beyond

Robotic Surgery In medical matters, bigger isn’t always better. From pills to needles to scars, we’ll take the smallest we can get. That’s also true of surgical incisions. And the very smallest of which are likely to come when a doctor uses the da Vinci® S HD™ surgical system—among the latest in robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Since launching its robotics program in 2008, Jackson Hospital, a leader in the River Region, has performed more than 500 robotic procedures using this surgical system. Made possible by generous donations to the Jackson Hospital Foundation, this $1.7 million robotic system introduced a new generation of advanced medical technology to the area. Use of the system has quickly grown for many gynecologic and urological procedures. But, with all technology, it is only as good as the people who use it. Minimally invasive surgery is a technique that allows a skilled surgeon to operate through a series of tiny openings, instead of one larger cut. Smaller cuts come with potential benefits for the patient, such as less discomfort and a quicker recovery. The da Vinci S HD™ is a computer-enhanced surgical tool that is made up of two main parts: a cart and a console. The cart stands next to the patient. It features up to four robotic arms. Three can be fitted with a wide array of surgical instruments, and the fourth is equipped with a sophisticated 3-D camera. A few feet away, the surgeon operates while seated comfortably at a console viewing a 3D image of the surgical field. The surgeon’s fingers grasp the master controls below the display, with hands and wrists naturally positioned relative to his or her eyes. The system seamlessly translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments inside the patient. Every action is directly controlled by the surgeon. The robotic arms cannot be programmed to move on their own. Although it’s not suitable for every procedure, the da Vinci system allows surgeons to perform complex

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operations through incisions the size of a dime.

Benefits for the patient may include: • • • • • •

Significantly less pain Less blood loss Less scarring Shorter recovery time A faster return to normal daily activities And in many cases, better clinical outcomes

“Robotic surgery has revolutionized our ability to perform major urologic procedures in a minimally invasive way,” says Brian Richardson, MD, urology. “The robotic surgical system provides the surgeon with better vision than the human eye, better precision than the human hand, and a platform to translate those advantages into better patient outcomes.”

Using the da Vinci S HD™ Surgical System The da Vinci S HD is used by highly trained surgeons at Jackson Hospital to perform a number of urological and gynecological procedures. It places a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic system allowing surgeons to perform the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions.

Among the benefits of the da Vinci Surgical System is one that ranks high on everyone’s list: safety. Here are some ways robotic surgery can help make operations safer: • •

• •

Less physician fatigue. Instead of standing over a patient for hours, a doctor operates while seated at a nearby console. Fewer unintended movements by the surgeon’s wrists and fingers. These movements are filtered by robotic controls. Makers of the da Vinci system say its movements can be more precise than those of the human hand. A clearer look for the physician. The doctor views the procedure through a high-tech optical system that allows images to be magnified as needed. Multiple system checks during procedures. The system performs millions of self-checks during each surgery. If a problem is detected—or if there’s a power failure—the system shuts down in a way that lets the surgeon remain in control.

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January 2012



Brookwood Features LEED Home,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


January 2012

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

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

Source: Realtor Karen Davis and Multiple Listing Service

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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January 2012




January 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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


January 2012

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

Volume 2 Issue 6

Carl Bard

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 4 LEED Home-Enery Efficient to the Max 8 Publisher’s Letter 12 BOOM! Cover Profile 14 Giveaway page 18

18 Couple’s Resolutions

Features 20 Success in 2012 9 strategies for a more successful 2012.

17 Vintage Olive Message/Recipes

24 Aging in Place

Alterations can be made to accommodate aging in place.

26 DECLUTTER for FREEDOM 19 Montgomery: Then You actually feel younger!

& Now Book

22 Healthy Hearing,

Hearing is Big Business!

Departments 10 This and That

28 {12} Things

Interesting stuff from here and there.

Plenty to do for Boomers and Beyond.

27 Sherry Debray

A Christian Perspective, Hurry Sickness.

25 New Year, Time to

Rethink Your Money!

30 Greg Budell ZOO-AWW-LOGY



page 24 page 11 page 14

page 20

BOOM! magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 8637 Harvest Ridge Dr., Montgomery, AL 36116. The phone number for voice and fax is 334.523.9510. Copyright 2012 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

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January 2012



publisher’s letter

Resolutions Outsourced 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.

Let’s face it most people of any age either don’t set any new resolutions for the New Year or if they do, they’re not committed long enough to do what it takes to resolve anything! Does that sound like someone you know?


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers

Jim Watson, Publisher

Dr. Bettie Borton

Melanie Bolling Greg Budell Sherry Debray Carly Gannon Angie Hicks Carole King Vickie Milazzo Wina Sturgeon Greg Thornton

Go ahead, ask your spouse to set three resolutions for you this year. Can you handle it? The truth is, those closest to us probably know us best, our strengths and weaknesses. We usually know our strengths but many times we have blind spots about our weaknesses. Those most intimate with us can help us see through these blind spots and help us meet our goals of change and keep us on track.

Cover Photography

Maria Wiggins, Reflections of Grace


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Monette Mottenon, 334.523.9510

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics


Network Delivery


Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

I recently read an article about an interesting idea when it comes to making New Year’s Resolutions, outsource them to someone else. Now I know plenty of people who cannot be told or persuaded to do anything unless they have a burning desire to actually change or achieve something of value to them. To have a chance at succeeding with resolutions from someone else, make sure it’s someone close to you, a spouse, best friend, or maybe even your child. Even they will be a challenge to some of us.

When taken seriously, having someone choose resolutions for us creates an opportunity to also have someone help us with being accountable for the resolutions. If we promise to check in regularly with that someone special to discuss our progress, we’ve got a much better shot at keeping those resolutions. The resolutions can be mere challenges like playing guitar well enough to perform in public or as the husband in the article stated, he had three goals for his wife, be more adventurous and bold; stop criticizing yourself so much; and cook dinner twice a month. She wanted him to start a new company and get out of hair, choose movies the whole family could watch together, and eat more healthfully. Simple, but important enough to be said.

Sometimes the truth just has to be said in order for the change to take place and resolutions are a great place to begin. If you care enough and are committed to helping that special someone make positive changes in their lives and are willing to be held accountable for your own efforts, it could make for an interesting Happy New Year? We begin our new year with drama, featuring an accomplished actor, Greg Thornton, as our BOOM! Profile. Greg took time out of his holidays to share his life experiences with us and to talk about a new project he’s intimately involved with, the Cloverdale Playhouse, which represents a rebirth of Community Theater in Montgomery. I think Greg will inspire many of you to get involved and create new experiences with drama this year.

Of course, we offer new ideas on how to create more success in 2012, also, setting some simple couples resolutions for you to improve the chemistry in your love life and we encourage you to declutter because it makes you feel young and free! If you are responsible for an aging parent who wants to “age in place,” we offer some remodeling tips from Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie’s List. I am looking forward to a prosperous New Year, both financially and in the relationships I have with all of you. I appreciate your being part of the BOOM! Community and reading BOOM! each month and sharing it with your friends. My New Year’s Resolution is to improve how we serve you each month and I look forward to all of you helping me stay on track. In fact, if you want to send me some resolutions, I’d love to see them! Thanks for your support and the support of each of our advertisers. It’s a great time to be Booming!

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office


January 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

Bettie B. Borton,

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

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

Best of Hearing Healthcare

2011 by The Hearing Review

0% Financing on hearing devices purchased before 12/10/11!* *Subject to credit approval.


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View our educational video on hearing at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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January 2012




This & tHAT 12th Night Celebration

The evening highlights the traditions of the holiday season with pageantry, music and dance, followed by a festive reception in the Hall of the historic Garden District Church of the Ascension. Presented by the Montgomery Chorale and Friends! Participation by the Montgomery Youth Chorale, Montgomery Ballet, Alabama Dance Theatre, Montgomery Symphony, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, ClefWorks, Cloverdale Playhouse and the St. Andrew’s Society. Two performances: January 5 & 6, 7:00 pm, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 315 Clanton Avenue, Montgomery. Tickets, $25, 334.265.3737 or

What is a Physiatrist?

Physiatrists, or rehabilitation physicians, are nerve, muscle, and bone experts who treat injuries or illnesses that affect how you move. Rehabilitation physicians are medical doctors who have completed training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). The job of a rehabilitation physician is to treat any disability resulting from disease or injury, from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. The focus is on the development of a comprehensive program for putting the pieces of a person's life back together after injury or disease – without surgery.

February 2nd is your opportunity to join thousands of Alabamians in being part of a history making event that aims to raise millions of dollars for hundreds of Alabama nonprofits in just 24 hours. Inspired by other Gives Days in the nation, Alabama Gives Day provides nonprofits an opportunity to showcase the impact of the incredible work they do that helps improve the quality of life for everyone in our state. EVERY DONATION MATTERS. Whether you have a favorite cause or not, we encourage you to return and explore the many missions of our participating nonprofits and help show Alabama’s unparalleled generosity to the world by making your tax-deductible gift on February 2nd, 2012. Register your non-profit Today! www’ or

AUM to Host Third Annual MLK Reflections Breakfast

Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, will serve as keynote speaker at Auburn University at Montgomery’s third annual Martin Luther King Jr. Reflections Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 16, at 9 a.m. in Taylor Center 230. The event is free and open to the public, but guests must register by Jan. 11. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Montgomery. He is also a professor at New York University’s School of Law. He has gained national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system. In addition to Stevenson’s speech, guests will hear from Auburn Montgomery students, faculty and staff as they share reflections on King’s dream and philosophy. Learn more or register for the event at or by calling 334-244-3904.

Poll Shows Why We Add and Remove Facebook Friends

We all have our reasons for defriending on Facebook. It could be oversharing, offensive comments, incompatible political views and a host of other reasons. Similarly, we add friends because we know them in real life, we’re looking to expand our business contacts, or maybe we just think they look good. In research conducted by Nielsen, Facebooker’s polled list their top reasons for adding and removing friends. Unsurprisingly, 82% indicated the primary reason for adding friends is that they’re acquainted with them in real life, while 55% of those polled said offensive remarks were the biggest cause for defriending. More interesting is that 8% (predominantly men), give physical attractiveness as a reason to friend someone. 39% said that getting a sales pitch from a friend was reason to remove them, with 23% reporting that “depressing comments” warranted defriending.

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January 2012

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

26th Annual Southern Gardening Symposium

One of the South’s Premier Gardening Events, January 27, 28, and 29. Experience this three-day symposium devoted to gardening in the South! Program includes: in-depth optional pre-conference workshops; optional pre-conference garden tour; a silent auction; a live auction; and garden marketplace, and topics including Dick Bir’s Shrubs and Small Trees for Southern Understories; Mike Francis’ The Best Maples for the South; Tovah Martin’s Infusing the Garden with Personality; Jason Powell’s Small Fruit Trees for the Home Gardener; Vincent Simeone’s The Ever Changing and Exciting World of Hydrangeas; Charlie Thigpen’s Have Fun Gardening; Shawn Walls’ Wait for it, wait for it...; and Norman Winter’s Hot New Plants and Captivating Combinations. Fee: $245 - includes Friday evening reception, two continental breakfasts, Saturday box lunch, Saturday Banquet, Saturday and Sunday programs and materials. Deadline for registration is Friday, January 20, 2012. To register for the Symposium or for more information, please contact the Callaway Gardens’ Education Department at or 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292), option 5, option 2 or 706-663-5153. A special room rate is available for Southern Gardening Symposium Registrants, starting at $79 per room per night at the Mountain Creek Inn.

Enjoy Complimentary Admission to Callaway Gardens Between January 1 and February 29, 2012. It may be Winter but there are lots of fun things to do and see at Callaway Gardens, such as witnessing butterflies emerging and taking flight in the warm, tropical Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center; and exploring the beautiful John A. Sibley Horticultural Center with gorgeous floral displays. While visiting, get outdoors for a little exercise on one of the many walking trails or meander through the Gardens on the Discovery Bicycle Trail (bicycles are available for rent or bring your own). It’s amazing what wonders nature provides at this time of year. For more information, visit or call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292).

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January 2012




Greg Thornton, Actor This month’s BOOM! profile is Greg Thornton. Many of you know Greg or most likely you know the many roles he played as an actor at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Greg came to ASF in 1988 and was a part of the Resident Company for 20 years. He has recently returned to Montgomery as the Artistic Director for the newly developed Cloverdale Playhouse, a project spearheaded by Morris Dees and his wife Susan Starr. Having just turned 62 in December, Greg is uniquely qualified to share his life experiences with us as a professional actor, husband and father. His passion for theater will also inspire you to get involved with The Cloverdale Playhouse, as a volunteer, a patron or perhaps even an actor. Greg wants to help create community theater again in Montgomery and each of you can play an important role in its creation. We hope you enjoy getting to know Greg as much as we did.

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. what originally brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Greg: I came to Montgomery in 1987 to do a production of TERRA NOVA at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. I was cast in New York by Martin Platt, who is the founder of ASF and was the Artistic Director at the time. Martin had offered me a number of wonderful roles that season but I needed to be back home in Jersey right after that. Our daughter, Sarah, was 2 years old and my wife, Pat, had a full time job as Director of Development for a wonderful girls’ school in Newark NJ. So, I needed to be home. The next season, Martin offered me some terrific roles in the repertory season at ASF and it was an “offer I couldn’t refuse.” So, I came down by myself and got back home when I could. The ASF offers continued and, Pat and I, with Sarah, and Michael, all of nine months old, moved down here in the fall of 1988.Pat had sacrificed an awful lot to make that move but we ended up staying here working and raising Sarah and Michael. Both of them attended magnet schools in Montgomery. Forest Avenue, Baldwin, then, Sarah at BTW and Michael at

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January 2012

BOOM!: As an actor, each role seems to be a new project you have to manage or master. Your newest project is the Artistic Director for the Cloverdale Playhouse. What role will you play in developing a successful community theater in Montgomery? How would you define the inaugural season’s plays and performances?

LAMP. Those schools were terrific for them and us. Both Sarah and Michael received scholarships and grants to great colleges and the magnet program had much to do with that, along with the fact that they both work very hard at what they set out to do. BOOM!: As an actor what has been the most challenging role you’ve had to play and why? Greg: Every role has its unique challenges to meet and minefields to carefully navigate. I have been extremely lucky to have been given a lot of different types of roles to play. I certainly think that Cyrano was that kind of a challenging role, if only for its sheer size and physicality and extraordinary poetry. Shannon in NIGHT OF THE IGUANA had emotional mountains to climb that were not easy. I played Gallimard, the diplomat in the amazing play, M.BUTTERFLY. That role took me to places both dark and deep because of the layered sexual identity that man was dealing with. Macbeth puts great demands on the actor, because not only has he got kingdoms to usurp, assassinations to commit, but he is full of psychological layers. He’s driven by a real and intense sense of guilt, bordering on madness. It is a journey into the dark night of the soul, as John of the Cross might have it, and it doesn’t end well. John came through into the light of day, Macbeth, never escapes. So many other roles that I have had the privilege to play fall into this category of challenging and I hope the hardest and the best of roles is still awaiting me.

Greg: The Cloverdale Playhouse has been an incredibly unique project to be a part of. Because we are a volunteer organization, except for two staff members, we rely on the gifts , talent, and generosity of all the people in the region who are interested in the performing arts and who want to be a part of this. They aren’t being paid , they do it for the sheer love and thrill of it. My acting career and the directing that I have done have been, for the last 35 years, on a professional level. There is love and there are thrills but there is also a paycheck. Sometimes, with film and television, a very nice paycheck. So, this community theatre presents a different discipline and dynamic. I have met so many folks who are so interested in being part of this and that is gratifying to say the least. And we have been in the process of renovations that are completed now, for the most part. I have been involved with that as well as all of the other attendant elements that go into this project. Our president, Morris Dees, has been extraordinary in the work, and support he gives every day. Emily Flowers, our Managing Director, is doing terrific work for the Playhouse, even while she has been involved in her newest “production” her recently born daughter, Margaret. The Playhouse’s youngest volunteer! The Board and the Advisory Committee have all been tremendous and supportive. Many of the artists in town who have a wealth of experience in all aspects of theatre have come through the doors to lend their expertise. At the same time, many people who haven’t had any experience or are returning to this after years being away, have also come

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through our door. It is a wonderfully diverse mix. My role, at least as I see it now, is to bring this mix together to provide satisfying creative experiences for the Playhouse team and to establish an atmosphere of trust and freedom to the artists who will be creating here. At the same time, we will do our best to meet and, hopefully, exceed the expectations of the community, in terms of presenting plays and other ventures like the Children’s Theatre and Playhouse School, singer/songwriters nights, lectures, author presentations, cabarets. All these aspects we trust will entertain and inform and challenge and enhance the life of our audience.

Greg: Our doors are open to everyone who has ever had a notion to be onstage, to design a costume, to build a set, to run the lights and sound, to work in the management and marketing side of the arts. This kind of work crosses all generations, cultures, and backgrounds. That is one of the universal aspects of art. No one is denied, no one left out, you can create in the privacy of your own room or on a grand stage in a major city. The Playhouse can use the talent and abilities of all. From the novice to the veteran, the 2nd grader to the Ph.d, all ages and ranges of talent are welcome to be a part of this.

To Kill A Mockingbird Sarah Walker Thornton as Scout Greg Thornton as Atticus

I feel our 2012 Inaugural Season of plays mixes things up quite a bit from THE GIN GAME to THE BOYS NEXT DOOR to STARTING We have volunteer forms online at our webHERE, STARTING NOW to OPUS to SEASON’S site: or email GREETINGS. All of these us at info@cloverdaleplays deal with great or people ries and fascinating charcan call us at (334) 262acters. THE GIN GAME 1530 or just stop by and gives us a man and a visit and jump in with woman living in a retireus at the Playhouse, ment home whose lives 960 Cloverdale Road in come together by chance Montgomery and circumstance. During the course of a series BOOM!: Is it just a cliché of ongoing card games, or do actors really have they come to a wonderto starve to create an ful, funny, and intense acting career? meeting of minds and hearts. THE BOYS NEXT Greg: Well, the “starving DOOR is a play that deals artist” is a romantic nowith four men, who are tion but not unfounded. mentally challenged, The actors union, Actors living in a house together Equity, has documented as they attempt to transithat only 2% of the tion back into society. It actors in the union are is a fabulous story with working consistently. Greg Thornton as The Earl Of Warwick a great collection of Those aren’t good THE WARS OF THE ROSES ASF 2007 characters. Our musical, numbers. So yes, actors STARTING HERE, STARTING NOW has terrific struggle to find work all the time. And that songs and stories about love and chance is a hustle that never ends no matter how and discovery and heartache and fulfillment. successful one is. An actor conOPUS is a piece about four members of a stantly has to prove himself/herself renowned string quartet preparing to play a whether he/she is an actor no one command performance at the White House, has ever seen or one who has a only to find that one of their ensemble has thriving career. My feeling about decided to retire. The play has incredible all of this is that it takes great luck characters and music and language and a to get in the door, but talent to wonderful story to tell. SEASON’S GREETstay in the room. There really is no INGS comes from the pen of the amazing mystery to hard work and preparaAlan Ayckborn and deals with a somewhat tion. Actors need to respect the eccentric, dysfunctional, hilarious family at profession they are part of. Most holiday time. Always an interesting time for of the terrific actors I have worked with have most families to be sure. that respect and understand their responsibility. We know how blessed we are to have the BOOM!: How can BOOM! Readers get inwork. But it does keep you hungry and you volved with the Cloverdale Playhouse? What have to keep going after it. That never ends. about their grandkids?

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BOOM!: Many Boomers are confronted with the idea of getting old or becoming irrelevant. Do professional actors have these same concerns? Greg: Absolutely, what is the great career arc that Meryl Streep always refers to? “Who is Meryl Streep ? Get me Meryl Streep! Get me someone like Meryl Steep! Whatever happened to Meryl Streep? Who is Meryl Streep?” I think that sums up our profession fairly realistically. BOOM!: Many Boomers are experiencing a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, new careers, especially if they’ve experienced the empty nest when their kids move on. Are you experiencing this sense of renewal? Can you describe what it means to you? Greg: I am not sure I’d call it a renewal, perhaps just a change of focus. My life as an actor has always brought great fulfillment to me. That is a grace that I am always conscious of. I have honestly been busy my whole adult life and so, this new situation has great challenges. I tell people when the offer came to do this, I didn’t have enough time to say,”No.” But the opportunity to start a new theatre in the community, that calls on volunteers


throughout the region is exciting, scary, all of the things you could imagine. Not to mention, given the economic uncertainty we find ourselves in, well…enough said. ...cont’d on page 14

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BOOM!: What are you most passionate about?

Greg: Well, my ancestors all come from Ireland and I have found great joy in being the “keeper of the family history.” What is at the Greg: I love the give and take that happens “heart’s core,” as Yeats calls it, runs through between actors that then translates into the that country A palpable sense of oneself give and take of engaging an audience. When among the “tribe” of that land. It is a place real and honest full of breathtaking literary and moving stories gifts and music and culture. are racing across There is a history of great the stage into a storytelling in Ireland, not untheatre, there is like the South in the U.S. The really nothing to “shanachie” who travels from compare it to. Disvillage to town and weaves covering how to a tapestry of tales to the make that happen households and holds them fuels my passion. in thrall to his art is a fine model. The best theatre does Sarah Walker Thornton as Rosalind As You Like It BOOM!: What is it Bama Theatre Company NYC Fringe Festival 2010 that. I pray the Playhouse will about living in the have that kind of “spell” Montgomery/River Region area that you like? on people. Greg: There are very few areas that I have been to or lived in, in this country, where you will encounter such gracious people. I am never surprised by the generosity of heart that folks have here. It is inspiring. BOOM!: As an actor do you get to travel much? Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams for the future? Greg: Yes, I travel a great deal. I truly love the places I have worked in and it’s a great way to get to know a place. To be able to spend 2 to 3 months working in a city or a region is a great way to learn about the people and their home. My favorite vacation spot is in my home state of New Jersey. “Down the shore”, as we refer to it. On Long Beach Island- the feeling of driving across the causeway with Barnegat Bay underneath and the ocean ahead of you and the smell of sea air, that’s pretty much the best. My family is always talking about going to Ireland. It is a great dream of mine. To go back to our roots and find family and who knows when we’d come back…. BOOM!: Will your Irish heritage and the art of storytelling play a role at the Cloverdale Playhouse?

BOOM!: If you weren’t a professional actor, what would you be doing with your talents? Greg: I sing and play guitar, and loved playing clubs and writing songs when I was younger. I miss that a lot but then, I have had the great pleasure of watching and listening to our son, Michael, who plays a lot of the clubs in town. He really is quite a fine songwriter and I am very proud of him. I often thought I’d like to truly get back to that side of life. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Greg: I love to read and love to run and gained great pleasure in climbing mountains when I worked in Denver and in Santa Fe. The trails that run up the Colorado Rockies and the Sangre de Cristo mountains grabbed my attention. I’d like to head back there sometime. BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your ambitions changed? Greg: Not too much to be honest. I have great love for what I do and an amazing family. I know how blessed I am. I am not sure what I’d change except to be a lot smarter.

BOOM!: Give us three words on how your family would describe you? Greg: There for us. BOOM!: How did your children respond to your job being an “actor” when all the other kids’ dads had normal jobs? What’s it like having a daughter as an actor? Greg: I think they love it, even though it took me away from them a lot when they were younger. That might have been a good thing, who knows. But they use to love coming to the theatre and hanging out with the cast and crews who were so gracious to them and have remained dear friends. My favorite story of how they react to what I do was the time I was waiting for our daughter, Sarah, to get off the school bus one afternoon. Michael Thornton She was in 1st grade and, on this particular day, she came off the bus truly upset and was pointing at a young fellow who was staring at her out the window, ”Dad, you tell that Billy there, that you do wear make-up at work!” I am still trying to picture the conversation around Billy’s family dinner table that night. Our daughter, Sarah is a treasure and, in my humble opinion, a fine actress. She has an excellent sense of language and text and holds the stage beautifully, with a real honest presence. I don’t envy her the business side of this crazy profession, especially these days. But her passion abounds and she knows her parents and whole family have great hopes for her. If you have any questions for Greg you can reach him at 334.262.1530. We want to thank Greg for helping us put together this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please send them to

Win WEsT SIDE SToRY! send your name and contact info to Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the iconic film WEST SIDE STORY returns in brilliant Blu-ray form. With a recordbreaking ten Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Score, the film took home more awards than any other movie-musical in the history of cinema. WEST SIDE STORY: 50th Anniversary Edition boasts hundreds of hours of restoration, new 7.1 digital audio, and a collection of bonus features spotlighting the harmonious songs and elaborate dances of the original film. This “brilliant” film sets the ageless story of Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of gang warfare in 1950’s New York. A love affair is fated for tragedy amidst the vicious rivalry between two street gangs — the Jets and the Sharks. As mounting tensions rise, a battle to the death ensues and innocent blood is shed in a heartbreaking finale.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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January 2012



Couple’s Resolutions Today most people’s New Year’s resolutions are about stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, taking better control of one’s credit cards, and eating less. But couples should make resolutions, too, focused on improving and strengthening the relationship. Here’s ten worth trying. You’d have to be a saint to really stick to all of them; shoot for three and see if your relationship doesn’t grow stronger.

Text Your Honey An Affectionage Message During The Day That lets them know you’re thinking about them fondly, and not just what you want them to pick up at the store on the way home Hug And Kiss More Often Not just when sex is in the air. Affection breeds affection, and that’s always a good thing.

It might be too much to ask that you say this with a smile on your face, but work to be less grumpy before you’ve had your coffee.

Praise More, Criticize Less Go out of your way to say something nice about something your spouse does around the house. Say less about what they didn’t do, or the way you’d like them to do it. Even if it’s about unloading the dishwasher, men love to be told they’ve done a good job.

Give Him A Surprise If your spouse carries a briefcase or their lunch to work, slip in a sweet surprise. It could be a Hershey Kiss or a nice note or an extra pair of gloves or a scarf because you know they always lose these items.

The average couple spends less than hour together when they’re home unless they’re at the table. Once a week watch a movie together, play a board game, work in tandem on a project. Work to break the habit of him always falling asleep alone in front of the

Greet Your Spouse With A Cheerful “Good Morning”

sofa while you’re upstairs reading in bed. Give Flowers When It’s Not A Birthday Or An Anniversary Surprise, surprise, men like flowers, too. Not only do they make the house smell better and look more festive, but flowers are the symbol of appreciation. Everyone likes that. At a gathering or in front of friends, refer to your husband as your “arm candy,” and he’ll get a big kick out of that. Really bury the hatchet (or hatchets.) What’s that old expression about not crying over spilled milk? What’s done is done. Let it go. Move forward. Move on. Plan An Unusual Vacation Together Tick off one more item on that bucket list. Never been to Europe or a tropical island? Now’s the time to do it, as a couple. Whatever you do, plan it together. And most importantly, resolve to get along!

Thanks for Gracing Our Covers in 2011 Dr. Bettie Borton

Jackie Maloy

Lisa Hanlon Schroeder Joy & Dickie Blondheim

Shea Schroll

Jan Hill

Eve Moseley

Jeanette Crook

Greg Budell

Robin Barca

Leslie Bailey

Read Digital Editions of BOOM! at

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Montgomery: Then & Now From author Carole King’s Blog at

Midtown’s Dynamic Duo has done it again! Because of the wonderful response from Montgomery’s Midtown dwellers and history lovers, Montgomery’s Historic Neighborhoods was an awesome success last year. So Arcadia Publications came back to the weary authors – Karren Pell and me – with another proposal. Their newest series is Then & Now books featuring historical images side by side with contemporary photographs. And because Montgomerians were so generous in sharing their family photos with us on the first book, we accepted the challenge. Our thinking was that a Then & Now book would be only half as difficult to produce because we only would only need to find half the number of historic photos and the other half would be new. However, we miscalculated all the legwork it would take to produce a quality photograph with the best lighting, time of day, etc. After our first book’s neighborhood focus, we wanted this publication to concentrate on the downtown area. Our goal became to not use photos never before published or at least not widely seen. We found wonderful photos

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in the Permanent Collections of Montgomery County Historical Society, Landmarks Foundation and the Alabama Department of Archives as well as from private individuals. We researched maps, city directories and public records. We depended on the works of Mary Ann Neeley, Jeff Benton, and other local historian friends because we’ve learned not to “reinvent the wheel!” We relied heavily on the photogravure collections called Art Work of Montgomery, which were produced by The Gravure Illustration Company who sent photographers to Montgomery in both 1894 and 1907. Because Arcadia Publishing has very stringent format requirements, we were confined in our design work. We used our creativity on the photographic content instead. We decided to divide the photos into chapters according to purpose: places of worship, learning, fun, healing, and governance. We were very limited on the number of words that could be used in the narratives and captions, so words were chosen wisely to include the historic information accurately in as few words as possible. Having prepared our-

selves by reviewing Then & Now publications produced about other cities, we were bound and determined NOT to include depressing comparisons of wonderful pieces of architecture being replaced by parking lots or chain stores. We focused on Montgomery’s historic preservation progress and development success. The book is a documentation tool of what is here now in 2011 and will be a valuable research resource for future historians. Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation! Call 240.4500 Editor’s note: The book can be purchased at area bookstores and the Old Alabama Town Gift Store.

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January 2012



9 strategies for success in 2012 It is possible to create a life that excites and energizes you. But first you have to make a conscious choice to step out of your old, unfulfilling one. And it’s a choice you have to make over and over again—if you don’t your old patterns will suck you back in. To achieve what I call “Wicked Success” you have to cultivate a new, wickedly resourceful mindset. Here are nine strategies that can help you do exactly that in 2012:

1. Break the feel-good addiction.

Remember, where you focus is where you’ll yield results. And because we like to feel good, we gravitate toward what’s easy instead of what’s productive. We major in minor accomplishments, wasting time surfing the Internet, watching TV, or hanging out on Facebook. The more superficial things you engage in the more superficial your life and accomplishments will be. So the next time you have a break, instead of checking your email, Facebook or texts, use the time to take a step toward achieving one of your goals.

2. Stop being Chief Everything Officer, don’t say “Yes” by default.

It’s a hard lesson to learn but in order to be successful, you have to understand that by saying “no” to some things you will have the time and energy to say “yes” to the right things. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and pulled in every direction you won’t be able to lead yourself, much less anyone else.

3. Do something big every day.

You eat a whale the same way you eat an apple – one bite at a time. The successful understand that to accomplish any project you can’t expect to do it all at once. This is often why our New Year’s resolutions don’t work out. You say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds!” And then you implement a new exercise regimen—or heck, just start actually exercising—and after two days of no weight loss you get discouraged. You aren’t going to achieve your goals over night. You have to work at it every day. Commit to doing something big every day towards that project or goal and you’ll reach it. Keep working out regularly and slowly but surely you’ll see the results. Find something you can improve and start improving it – one bite, one step, one day at a time.

4. Stop hanging with the biggest losers.

When you choose to participate in negative behaviors they rub off on you. Think about it this way: If you’re struggling to achieve a goal, you shouldn’t hang out with someone else who is struggling to achieve that same goal. If you want to be great at golf, you don’t hang out with a bad golfer. Stick with the winners.

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The view from the top is meant to be shared. Find someone who’s already there to share it with, not someone who’s never seen it.

5. Expand what you’re willing to believe about yourself.

Studies show that women will underestimate their own abilities, judging themselves lower than their skills prove, while men overestimate their abilities, judging themselves more competent. If you see yourself as powerless that’s what you will be. Anytime you find yourself entertaining doubts or trying to limit what you think is possible, remind yourself of your past successes. Let them infuse you with confidence and bolster your resolve. Believing you can do it—whatever ‘it’ is—is 90 percent of the win. When you expand what you’re willing to believe about yourself, you can transform who you are and what your life looks like.

8. Regenerate your passion for work.

Do you remember why you wanted the career you have? There aren’t many jobs that offer easy hours and easy money, so that probably wasn’t it. It was probably the love you had for the profession whether you get to help people everyday, use your creativity, crunch numbers or whatever your passion is. Tap back into the frame of mind you had when you were just starting out. Ask yourself, What can I do to become passionate about work again? When you take this inward look, it is entirely possible you’ll see the path ahead going in an unexpected direction. Your passion might lead you somewhere else. You’ll know passion when you’ve found it because you’ll feel amazingly engaged and energetic. Desire will become energy and you’ll have plenty of it to create your new life—your real life.

6. Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect.

9. Take care of yourself first.

7. Surround yourself with as many

There’s no reason why 2012 can’t be your biggest, boldest, most wickedly successful year yet. But for that to happen you have to match your big goals with some real changes. You have to take on a wickedly successful mindset that doesn’t take “no” or “I can’t” or “I’m too tired” for an answer.

Along the way to becoming successful, you may have to redefine what success looks like for you. Conditions will never be perfect – there will always be something muddying the water, even if it’s just a little muddy. The real challenge is accepting that you have to keep on giving your best even when things aren’t perfect. Misguided perfectionism can keep you from stepping out and going for what you want. Perfectionism can also rob you of the enjoyment of experiences. Distinguishing what does and doesn’t require perfection is the hallmark of successful people.

successful mentors as possible.

Inept coaches don’t fail to help you – they help you to fail. Look around you for others whose work you admire and model yourself after them instead. Get out of the rut of your own habits. Take your advice from people with a proven positive track record. Accepting the leadership of others does not make you less capable of achieving your goals. It actually boosts your abilities. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. And when you get good advice, don’t be too proud to follow it.

If you stepped back and looked at your daily routine objectively, as if it were happening to your best friend, what would be your advice? Slow down? Take a few deep breaths? Spend a few moments enjoying one day before another day crashes in with new demands? We need to give ourselves such loving advice— and listen to it. We need to thrive, not just survive. To have healthy, exciting and fulfilling relationships with others, we must first have a healthy, exciting and fulfilling relationship with ourselves. Don’t be so busy taking care of others that you forget to take care of yourself. You can’t be your best self if you’re not your own self.

About the Author: Vickie Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman ( From a shotgun house in New Orleans to owner of a $16-million business, Milazzo shares the innovative success strategies that earned her a place on the Inc. list of Top 10 Entrepreneurs and Inc. Top 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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January 2012



Healthy Hearing

by Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

Hearing is Big Business! Are you Assisting Employees with Hearing Loss ? If not, listen up.

In a 2009 survey of 46,000 U.S. households, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) determined that over the past generation hearing loss grew at an alarmDr. Bettie Borton Au. D. ing 160 percent of the U.S. population growth— largely attributable to the aging of the American population. Yet the study found that 60 percent of people with hearing loss are below retirement age, indicating that 16.3 million people with hearing loss were in the U.S. workforce in 2010. In other words, untreated hearing loss has serious consequences for both employers and employees. Untreated hearing loss is costing society and those with the loss millions of dollars annually in lost revenue, productivity, and manpower. Good hearing is good business. So, what can companies do to plan for and address the impact of employee hearing loss? There are a number of simple steps employers can take to educate employees about hearing loss and to facilitate the use of hearing aids, where needed. Previous research at BHI has shown that 50 percent of people with untreated hearing loss have never had their hearing checked by an audiologist and lack sufficient information to know whether they need to take action to correct it. Company owners and human resource professionals can help employees understand if they need treatment by:

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• Educating employees on the impact of untreated hearing loss on quality of life. • Encouraging employees to have their hearing screened on an annual basis.

Employers can create a corporate climate where hearing loss is recognized so those with hidden hearing loss feel more comfortable.

• Avoid noisy restaurants as meeting locations. • Summarize meeting minutes in writing to be sure that those with hearing issues are clear on the outcome of the meeting. • Provide easy accommodations, such as moving an employee’s desk away from noisy hallways, machines, or air conditioning and heating vents, or installing a phone that amplifies high frequencies. • Build work environments that facilitate better hearing by choosing cubicles with noiseabsorbent materials and equipping meeting rooms with an inductive loop that creates a wireless zone for hearing aids with telecoils, headsets or microphones.

In many cases, hearing aids can help protect employees from being at a competitive disadvantage with peers. Organizations can encourage the use of hearing devices, when needed, by participating with a private practice in Audiology to contract for the provision of services, group discounts, hearing devices, and more! Audiologists can design and implement screening programs (on and off site), as well as effective follow up scenarios to assist employees with managing hearing loss if it is identified.

Companies can also encourage employees to purchase hearing aids using pre-

tax medical flexible spending account funds. In Montgomery, Doctors Hearing Clinic offers just such an option through their BHP program , and the good news is that it is FREE to employers, as well as employees and their families. This Better Hearing Program (BHP) offers free screenings, group discounts on hearing devices, in-service educational presentations, and a host of other hearing related employment benefits. If you’re currently employed, encourage your employer to seek out hearing healthcare coverage. If you’re an employer and don’t currently offer a hearing healthcare package, the program at Doctors Hearing Clinic offers you this FREE array of benefits for your staff and their families, at no cost to you or your employees! So start the 2012 business year out right. By encouraging employees to treat hidden hearing loss rather than hide it, an employer creates a win-win situation by ensuring that the loss of hearing does not interfere with job performance, productivity, safety, or the employee’s career or quality of life on or off the job. References: Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., executive director of the Better Hearing Institute, a not-for-profit that educates the public about hearing loss, prevention and treatment. Better Hearing Institute (BHI) The Society for Human Resource Management (

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

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Aging in Place

Alterations can be made to their home to accommodate aging in place It was a personal experience that led Israel Gamburd to start his Los Angeles-based company, Gamburd Independent Living Solutions, 12 years ago. His father inspired him to help homeowners with disabilities, or who are aging in place, to overcome accessibility challenges.

"My dad became disabled in the latter part of his life and we couldn't find anybody to do a home (modification)," said Gamburd, who is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) by the National Association of Home Builders. With the first generation of the 75 million baby boomers in the United States reaching retirement age this year, Gamburd is one of a growing trend of CAPS remodelers who, according to the NAHB, are trained in the technical and service skills "in the fastest growing segment of the residential remodeling industry: home modifications for the aging-in-place." CAPS professionals evaluate a person's condition, potential fall hazards or obstructions in the home, and recommend solutions to transform it into a safe environment. Falling is the leading cause of death from injury in adults over the age of 65, according to the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC), with three of every five falls occurring in the home. One-third of those accidents could be prevented by making the home safer. "Most people, if you ask them, want to remain in their own home," Gamburd said. "It might be a house someone bought when they were in their 30s or 40s and now they want to stay in it until their 80s or 90s." CAPS professionals typically do everything from widening doorways for walkers and

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wheelchairs; removing bathtubs in favor of walk-in showers; making countertops and cabinets easier to access; to installing grab bars, vertical lifts, ramps and even elevators. Agingin-place project costs can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the scope of the project and quality of products used. Oftentimes, a CAPS professional can make suggestions for accessibility modifications that a traditionally trained remodeler can't. The slope of a wheelchair ramp, for example, should not be steeper than a 1:12 ratio

"If they're making it 1:10 or 1:8, they're actually increasing the risk of injury to someone using that ramp," said Rick Castino, a CAPS professional with 16 years experience and president of Operation Independence, LLC, in Boston. "Someone who's CAPS certified will know that through training and experience." Castino said he works closely with caregivers, such as physical and occupational therapists, doctors and family members to fully understand a client's needs. He recommends homeowners who wish to age in place take a more proactive approach to home modification. "Once you start to see your body and mind change a little bit, that's the time to do it," Castino said. "Unfortunately, people wait too long. But they can save a lot in terms of time, not to mention the injury and the expense, by being proactive."

help for his father, used makeshift methods to transport him up and down the stairs via a sheet tied to the rails – now consults with manufacturers on product designs, which have come a long way in recent years in appearance and functionality. They no longer only have an "institutional" look of plain white and stainless steel. Products are designed to be more aesthetically pleasing and serve more than one person. Some grab bars are designed, for example, to function also as a towel bar, a soap dish or even a toilet paper dispenser. "It doesn't have to look like a hospital room," Gamburd said. "More and more designers are looking at (products) saying, 'Why can't we make it look better?' There are definitely better options out there. I'm very passionate about what I do. For me, it was a life story that brought me to it."

HOW TO HIRE AN EXPERT Tips to hiring a Certified Aging-in-Place remodeler:

-Verify the remodeler has the appropriate license(s) in your state. -Look for professional designations such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). -Get at least three written estimates of the work to be done based on a set of plans and specifications. -Select a professional remodeler with plenty of experience with your type of project. -Determine how much money you should budget for the project. -Ask if the remodeling will benefit any other family members. -Ask if the remodeling will increase the energy efficiency of your home. -Communicate your ideas: Explain what updates/repairs you want done to your home. Even rough ideas on paper are better than nothing at all. -Don’t hire anyone who gives you a post office box with no street address, or uses only an answering service as a point of contact. -Never pay the entire cost of your project up front. Base payment on targeted completion dates and make sure your contract contains a termination clause, should the contractor fail to meet expectations. Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie's List, http://, which collects local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare to help consumers make smart hiring decisions. (c) 2011, Distributed by MCT Information Services

Gamburd – who, when he couldn't find

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New Year, Time to Rethink Your Money!

Do You Need a Financial Trainer? How About a Financial Assistant? It is January again, and that means resolutions. Many resolutions for the new year center around health or money: planning to spend less, give more, eat less, exercise more. This year when you hire a personal trainer, consider a financial trainer, too. That’s right, a financial trainer. I’m talking about a short-term, get-meon-the-right-track, hold-meaccountable financial trainer. A reeducation about money and our attitude towards money is the key to successfully changing our behaviors. Answer these questions about your finances. Do you make enough money on paper, but never seem to have enough to last all month? Are you wasting money on services that you don’t use or fully use? Have you read budgeting books or articles only to get frustrated when you try to put the methods into practice? Were you an executive who relied on your assistant to manage your household bills? Many people look at their annual income and feel like it is sufficient income. Through spending habits or paying for more services than they really need however, the money runs out before the bills do. A financial trainer will come in and assess where exactly your money is going. They will meet with you and discover your goals and values and then make recommendations to align your spending with those goals. A financial trainer will hold you accountable for the wasted money in your budget just like a personal trainer would if you ate a box of doughnuts every week! There are countless books, articles and blogs around that deal with money and budgeting issues. Unlike a book, a financial trainer can modify techniques to uniquely suit your individual needs. All the advice in the world will not help you if you don’t put it into practice. A financial trainer can help you set up tracking tools and show you how to best use them. Perhaps you know how and what to do, but The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

you want someone else to actually do it. A financial assistant is perfect for you. A financial assistant meets with you weekly or monthly to discuss your financial status. Keep track of your receipts and the financial assistant will balance your check book and reconcile your monthly statements. With a phone call you can know where your money is going and

Peace of mind is the most important thing a financial assistant provides. One client of Balancing Budgets said this, “I know that my business is being handled when I am away. If something comes up, I email or text Melanie and she takes care of it.” Whether your net worth is large or small each client of a financial trainer/assistant is important. When looking for a financial trainer or assistant, be diligent with your search. You will be sharing very sensitive information with this person. Check references and trust your instincts when hiring anyone who will be dealing with your money. Setting people free from their financial chains is the vision of Melanie Bolling, owner of Balancing Budgets LLC. “I saw a need for short-term planning that wasn’t being filled,” said Melanie. “There are so many people who fall between payday lenders and wealth managers. Most people are just trying to make it from month to month. Between the extremes is where Balancing Budgets comes into service.” Balancing Budgets LLC works with families and individuals to define and reach their financial goals. Balancing Budgets LLC is ready to assist you with your financial needs. We also offer bookkeeping services for small businesses.

how much you have spent. A financial assistant can be as involved as you would like in your finances, from simply tracking expenses to initiating them. A financial assistant is valuable to the retired executive. If you are concerned about missing important mail when you travel or wondering how you will pay unexpected bills while traveling then call a financial assistant. Working with you and your bank or credit union a financial assistant can execute all of your payments through online banking transactions. You are notified via email when payments are made no matter where you travel.

Melanie Bolling graduated from Huntingdon College with a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Administration. Melanie, a 10-year resident of Montgomery, has worked in sales, marketing and office management. Her work in assisting many clients with their financial management led her to launch Balancing Budgets LLC, which offers services to help individuals and businesses reduce the stress of managing the day to day financial transactions we all have. Give Melanie a call for a free consultation on how she can help you rethink you money management in the New Year. Melanie Bolling, 233.2096 r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

January 2012



DECLUTTER in the New Year for FREEDOM One of the truths about getting older is that we all tend to accumulate stuff. Pictures from long ago, cards from friends who are no longer around, souvenirs from a trip barely remembered, items of clothing no longer worn but too good to throw out. This stuff gathers and gathers with every year. Soon it surrounds you at home, encroaching on your space, boxing you in, gathering dust and keeping you in the past. You get used to this clutter and no longer see it, but the filling up of your space with crowded surfaces and piles of things you may not have looked at for years is in fact, a depressing thing. The buildup of clutter is a prison. Make a vow for the new year to restore all this space to your home, making it a place for YOU, and not your STUFF. Start by sorting the things in piles, on surfaces, and in drawers and closets into three categories, items that you really don’t want to discard; things that can be

tossed because they no longer have enough meaning to save (Are those people in that photo really more than just a vague memory?); and things that you really, at this time, can’t make a decision about, maybe later. Do this with furniture as well. Do you really like that extra little end table? Do you actually use that old hamper? Will you ever again read your large collection of old paperback books? Donate or sell larger items that you’re just keeping out of habit, and aren’t really attached to owning It may be hard to even start the sorting process because it seems like too large a task to handle. Defeat this procrastination by a system of organization that I’ve found works for me: one surface or one pile at a time; one room at a time, one time period. As an accumulating boomer, I cleared up my most outrageously cluttered room by working on it for one half hour every day

By Wina Sturgeon

at 11 in the morning. The half hour time period made it easy to do. I found it helpful to immediately throw out or donate everything in the “toss” pile. The “undecided” stuff went into another pile in the corner of the room, making it easier to sort through again at a later time. Luckily, I had the foresight to take a picture of the room when I started, because while the “half hour a day” system is easy to do, it’s so slow that you won’t see the progress you’re really making. When I compared the photo to appearance of the room at the end of one month, I was astounded. The room was free of clutter, surfaces were clean and clear, there was SPACE! I no longer had to detour around that seldomused chair, I had room to better display treasured items on a bare shelf in the bookcase. I found out that everything the psychologists say about clearing out space in your home is true: you get an uplifting feeling of freedom, a feeling of space and airiness. You actually feel younger! We all know that more stuff will accumulate, and there’s still that “undecided” pile left over. But just like the once-a-year schedule of changing the batteries in your smoke detector, make every new year a time to sort through your stuff and clear out things which are truly no longer a part of your life you wish to keep. The way it makes you feel afterwards is more than worth it. Wina Sturgeon is an active boomer based in Salt Lake City who skis, skates on both ice blades and wheels, lifts weights and runs to stay in shape. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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January 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

A Christian Perspective

Sherry DeBray

“Hurry Sickness!”

As I write this column, it’s twelve days before Christmas. I sit here amazed at how fast this year has come and gone. In a few short days it will be 2012. I remember as a child Christmas took forever to arrive. Now, as an adult, it seems to roll around faster with each passing year. Why is that?

My New Year’s Resolution

A common disease among us is “Hurry Sickness.” Let me ask you this; when you pull up to a traffic light do you decide which lane to get in based on how many cars are in each lane? Do you look to see how many items someone has in their cart when choosing which check-out lane to get in? If you do, you most likely have “Hurry Sickness.” I fear, I too, am infected. My New Year’s resolution is to slow down and notice when the roses are blooming. Of course you know what happens to most resolutions. They are broken within the first two weeks of the new year. So, how can I, “we”, make a promise stick?

First of all, get a new perspective on life. Stop and ask the question, as you’re packing up the Christmas decorations, “What do I want to remember about 2012?” Next, make a list of those things and how you are going to achieve them. For example; “In 2012 I will slow down by taking time to visit friends, in person, or send a hand-written note, (not on Facebook or by email.) Of course the best example of making the most of each year is by looking at the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus still sets the example for us in 2012. Jesus lived and worked as a carpenter up until he was thirty years old. We’re told in that time he grew in wisdom and stature. It was in the last three years of his life, on earth, that all the prior years had prepared him for his ministry. Writing for BOOM! I realize, as I, too, am over fifty, that with the golden years comes a big responsibility. Our Savior may have only been thirty-three at the end of his life on earth, yet he set the The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

example, of not only making the most of every year, but the years that led to the winter of life. He also gave us the example that winter can come at any age. Just as Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, so should we. Wisdom that we are called to share with those in the Spring and Summer of their lives. I see and hear of those in their teens, twenties and even thirties, as being led down a “road of hurry” that God never intended for his children. Yet, I also fear that my generation and older generations have been brain washed into believing we can’t make a difference. We’re too old, or heaven forbid, in too much of a hurry to get our own “busy work” done to stop and share the lessons we’ve learned. I don’t pretend to have the answers for setting priorities in order, or keeping New Year’s Resolutions. Truth be told, in the past I’ve tried not to make resolutions, knowing I will most likely break them. However, not making them, I’ve decided, is worse than breaking them. So, another resolution for me in 2012 will be - don’t be a coward… make a resolution. By making them, I will be aware of the things in my life that need improvement. So here it is. My New Year’s Resolutions add up to one... to be more Christ-like. Jesus made time for others and prepared himself in the earlier years for the winter of his life. I want to use 2012 to prepare myself for the winter of my life. I don’t want to wake up on Christmas morning of 2012 and find I missed a year of opportunities. This brings me to the resolution of slowing down. To a child, Christmas seems

to take forever to come. Why? Because they are living in the moment and there are a lot of moments between now and Christmas 2012. So, how can we become as little children and keep the resolution to slow down our days? Do you remember at the first of this column I gave you a test to see if you have the hurry sickness? Well, here’s a test to see if you have taken the medicine that cures the illness.

with them.

Do you stop what you’re doing to watch a beautiful sunset or to gaze at a full moon? Do you find that getting in the line with the most cars gives you time to be still? Have you found that waiting in line to check out opens up new opportunities to meet others in your community? Maybe, even to share Christ

If we live in the moments we have in 2012, we also might find the keys of wisdom that will prepare us for our winter of life. I know I’m thankful Christ grew in wisdom and then made the most of his last three years on earth. It changed mine. What will we do with 2012 that will change lives - maybe even your own. Spend some of those moments reading the gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and see how Jesus, God as man, lived his moments with us. Happy New Year! Sherry DeBray Writer/ Owner of It’Za Gift in the Pepper Tree Shopping Center r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

January 2012



January 2012

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


Re-used, Recycled, Renewed: The Art of Betty Sue Matthews Troy University Rosa Parks Museum Through January 24

Troy University Rosa Parks Museum showcases the works of contemporary Brundidge, Alabama folk artist Betty Sue Matthews. Matthews is known for creating fascinating works of art by painting and cutting recycled pieces of metal, cardboard, wood, and poster board to create paintings of people and animals. She has received wide acclaim for her works and has been a guest artist at the prestigious Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport, AL and included in a publication of Alabama Art by the internationally recognized artist, Nall.

MONTGOMERY In The Book Of... ASF-Octogon January 5-22

Immigration and its powerful political and personal impact on an Army veteran and an Afghan refugee take center stage in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s world premiere of John Walch’s incendiary In the Book Of… January 5-22. The play will be performed at ASF’s intimate 263-seat Octagon stage. Tickets start at $30 and may be purchased by calling 1.800.841.4293, online at or by visiting the ASF box office at 1 Festival Drive.

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January 2012



The 30A Songwriters Festival announces headline acts for the January 13-15, 2012 event including Rodney Crowell, The Bangles, Amy Ray of Indigo Girls, Joan Osborne, Shawn Mullins, Sam Bush Band and Matthew Sweet. The third annual festival is produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), presented by Visit South Walton and sponsored by Seaside and The event brings together talented songwriters and musicians from around the country to perform in unique venues amid a backdrop of brilliant white sand beaches, turquoise waters and stunning architecture. The three-day festival will feature more than 125 musicians and over 250 performances in venues ranging from intimate listening rooms to spacious outdoor amphitheaters. Visit

Easybridge 2 is great for the social bridge player. 10 fun weeks of Intermediate Lessons With 2.5 hours of fascinating play!!!! We have a partner for you or bring your own! Call Today to Reseve Your Seats! Two Convenient Times; 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm on Tuesday, Starting January 17, 2012. For reservation call Michael D Lawson at 334-244-5052 The Location is the Montgomery Bridge Club, 1711 Mulberry St.

30A Songwriters Festival January 13-15


Portrait Painting Workshop Montgomery Museum of Fine Art Saturdays, January 14, 21

Craig Alan Carlson, a nationally recognized portrait artist with over 500 commissioned portraits, will show you the step-by-step process of how you can paint the human head. Craig will begin the workshop with a two-hour demonstration, painting a portrait from a live model. Then he will work with each participant in the workshop, teaching how to paint from a model in the “alla prima” technique. You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity! Class size is limited to ten participants. Cost: $200 members/$245 non-members for the series of two workshops. 334.240.4333 or

Easybridge 2, Learn to Play Bridge Tuesday, January 17, 1 pm and 6:30 pm


Chef Vincent Sarris Thursday, January 19, 10 am

The Pike Road Library presents Chef Vincent Sarris at its January Speaker Series. Chef Vincent will talk about his new restaurant located in the the Town of Pike Road. The library is located at 9585 Vaughn Rd., call 244.8679.


“Red Tails” Weekend Tuskegee; Jan 20–22

Come take a tour of Hangar One at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and celebrate the long-awaited release of the George Lucas film “Red Tails.” The film honors the famed Tuskegee Airmen who endured racial segregation and rose to prominence as one of the most decorated fighter groups of World War II. Tour times are: 9, 10 & 11 a.m. & 1, 2 & 3 p.m. The site is open to the public daily from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call 334-7273200 or visit Located at 1616 Chappie James Ave. Tuskegee, AL 36083 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Monty Python’s Spamalot Broadway at the MPAC Renaissance Hotel Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Monty Python’s Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail. However, diverting a bit from the true story, this hilarious musical features a line of beautiful dancing girls, a flatulent Frenchmen and killer rabbits. Outside there is plague with a 50% chance of pestilence and famine. Throughout the show Arthur, traveling with his servant Patsy, recruits several knights to accompany him on his quest, including Sir Bedevere, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad. They meet such characters as the Lady of the Lake, Prince Herbert, Tim the Enchanter, Not Dead Fred, the Black Knight and the Knights who say Ni in this hilarious musical ripped off from the beloved motion picture.


Funny Girl Capri Theatre Thursday, January 26, 7:30 pm

“Hello, gorgeous!” was Barbra Streisand’s first comment to the Oscar statuette which she won for her performance in this biopic of entertainer Fanny Brice. This is also her first line in the film itself, the catalyst for a movie-long flashback. Repeating her Broadway role, Streisand stars as legendary comedienne Brice (1891-1951), whose life until the mid1920s is romanticized herein. Capri Theatre, 1045 E Fairview Ave, Montgomery, AL 36106. Call 334.262.4858.


Culinary Boot Camp Jan 27-Dec 2, 2012

Celebrate the Year of Local Food during this Culinary Boot Camp. The hands-on event takes place monthly on select weekends and showcases the best of Alabama culinary products and talent. Two top dining locations – Ariccia Trattoria & Bar and Piccolo – will mix The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

gourmet meals with educational experiences. From a Friday evening reception featuring Alabama beers and seafood, where participants can meet the chefs to a Saturday cooking demo, wine pairing seminar, and hands on cooking class, guests can enjoy a full array of interactive culinary activities. They can wind-down on Sunday with a final meal of either Sunday Jazz Brunch in Ariccia or breakfast in bed. All participants will receive special aprons and chef toques to wear throughout the weekend to identify them as honorary participants in the camp. Dates: Jan 27-29, Feb 3-5, Mar 29-31, Apr 27-29, May 18-20, Jun 22-23, Jul 27-29, Aug 24-27, Sept (1-3), Oct (12.-14), Nov 30-Dec 2. The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center, 241 S. College St. Culinary Boot Camp, 334-321-3179,


The Gin Game The Cloverdale Playhouse Thurs-Sunday, February 2-12

Weller Martin plays a lot of solitaire at his retirement home. When Fonsea Dorsey moves in, Weller finds a partner at the card table and a foil to his curmudgeon’s view of the world, not to mention a formidable match in the gin game he makes her constantly play. This Pulitzer prize-winning play from D.L Coburn has become a gem of the American theatre. Funny, moving, compelling, challenging…both souls who occupy this powerful piece play the cards that are handed to them and then some (Contains Adult Language).


Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival Brundidge; Jan 27–28

The Brundidge Historical Society brings four of the top master storytellers in the country to Pike County. This year’s guests include Donald Davis, Bil Lepp and Suzi Whaples. The festival begins Friday night with supper and stories at the We Piddle Around Theater and continues with three concerts at the Adams Center Performing Arts Theatre in Trojan Center at Troy University on Saturday. All concerts open with traditional music played by local bands and musicians. 334-670-6302 , Please submit any events/pictures to

A Few Upcoming Things MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN “LOVE on The Harriott II”

Saturday, February 11, at 6:30 pm Harriott II Riverboat Cruises, February 11, 6:30 pm. This is a Specialty Valentine’s Cruise for all “Lovers in Love”. The Harriott will cruise for 2 hours and offer a full meal, live entertainment, roses & champagne(COUPLES ONLY), & a Valentine’s drink special. Come and enjoy a romantic night aboard Montgomery’s only riverboat. One ticket is good for one couple. www. or (334) 625-2100 or visit the Box Office at 200 Coosa Street.


BB King in Concert Montgomery Performing Arts Center Sunday, February 19, at 8 pm His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth, yet BB King continues to wear his crown well. At age 76, he is still light on his feet, singing and playing the blues with relentless passion. Time has no apparent effect on BB other than to make him more popular, more cherished and more relevant than ever. BB King is alive as the music he plays and a grateful world can’t get enough of him.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Vince Gill Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 8 pm

During his storied career in country music, Vince Gill has consistently set the bar higher and higher for himself. The singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist has recorded more than 17 studio albums, sold more than 26 million copies and won 20 Grammys and 18 CMA Awards. The two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year is the only man to ever win five consecutive CMA Male Vocalist of the Year awards and the only songwriter to win Song of the Year four times. r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

January 2012



By Greg Budell

ZOO-AWW-LOGY Before returning to Florida for the holidays, my daughter Janelle texted me and asked if we could go to Miami’s Metro Zoo. It’s the kind of request any Dad of a grown daughter would love to receive. I mean, she’s always going to be my little girl but this was my big girl wanting to be Daddy’s little girl for a day. I know that makes sense to some of you. We hadn’t been to the zoo in years. Old friend Ron Magill is Metro Zoo’s resident superstar curator, so I reached out to see if we could meet him there. I am proud to know Ron. His extreme charisma and media savvy have been a huge part of the zoo’s success as an internationally renowned animal haven. He was always welcome in my radio studio and sometimes showed up with a surprise. One morning Ron asked if he could drop by with a “guest”- which usually meant he’d be showing up with something cute and cuddly like a Koala bear. He was prompt as always, but seemed to be having trouble getting through the studio door with whatever was on the other side. Soon he was working a large rubber garbage can past the door jam. Once inside (smiling the infamous Ron Magill smile) he pulled the lid off 23 feet of GREEN PYTHON! I am NOT a snake person. This was just another day at the office for Ron (or taking the office with you so to speak) and he was quite comfortable with the serpent, which he began scooping out of the barrel. The snake had a head bigger than mine! Ron cradled it so it was facing me- red tongue flicking in and out as he proclaimed “See? Nothing to be afraid of!”. Co-workers said I’d never looked whiter. Shortly after Janelle’s second birthday I was compelled to take a radio job in Chicago. It was a 6 month gig that came with a terrible price- missing out on many of those special moments only a 2 year old girl can provide.

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January 2012

The gig though, guaranteed we wouldn’t lose our family home. It was a gut wrenching choice not easily made. Bucking up before departure, I asked Janelle what she’d like to do on the day before I left and she said “the zoo, Daddy”. I called Ron to see if he could meet us and before I knew it, Janelle was propped up on a Gallapago turtle as she, her Mom and I enjoyed a behind the scenes tour. Janelle caught up with her old turtle buddy on this most recent trip- incredulous she was sitting atop the same turtle she rode as a tyke. Ron pointed out these creatures live to be 150 years old (so how exactly do they figure out the age of animals that outlive humans?). Mr. Magill may be the most amazing mammal in the entire zoo complex. His office wall is aligned with photos of the famous he’s taken on zoo tours- including Michael Jackson. Ron took the Man in the Mirror and his children on a Metro Zoo tour, too. The Zoo has recovered nicely from the destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew (ironically also almost 20 years ago). Lessons learned from that storm have led to fortified habitats. Those of you who remember zoos from a day gone by might recall (with horror) how we used to experience animals. My ever vivid memory recalls buying bags of marshmallows at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. We’d proceed to place them on the tip of a giraffe’s tongue- or toss them toward the polar bears who’d make highly entertaining dives into the water to

retrieve them. Monkeys would catch them in mid-air and do a couple of tail spins to reward the crowd. My inner dopey kid wondered how polar bears found marshmallows among the Arctic ice flows. Someone eventually figured out that this was unhealthy for animals and by the mid 70s, feeding creatures from the snack bar menu became a thing of the past. I shared that episode with Ron as he took Janelle and me to the giraffe viewing stand. “No marshmallows today“ he said, producing what appeared to be a pillow case full of hockey pucks. He then pulled a disc of mega-carrot from the bag, put it between his teeth and kept it there until a giraffe wandered over and gently removed the treat. “Your turn“, he said. I must say, carrot-dentures aren’t very flattering. The giraffe was more cautious approaching me (Perhaps it was my moustache?) but within an instant, the carrot was gone. How a creature with lips that generous could pilfer a carrot slider so cleanly was nothing short of amazing. Janelle’s turn was next. She giggled after the giraffe made his deft move and for a moment, in a way that meant everything to me- she was a little girl again. Our zoo excursion was a great way to wrap the year just ended. I hope you’ll find time to return to someplace special with someone special in the year just started. And my profound thanks to Ron Magill, who gave us more than a tour. He gave us moments to remember, then and now. Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his dog Hershey. He’s a 25 year veteran of radio who hosts the Greg & Susan morning show 6-9 am and Happy Hour 3-6 pm on Newstalk 107.9, Greg can be reached at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! January 2012  
BOOM! January 2012  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine