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Come Worship with Us! Sunday Worship: 9:30 a.m. Christian Education: 11:00 a.m. on Sundays and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays

Founded Upon God’s Word

Liturgically Joyful

At Christchurch, Holy Scripture serves as the final authority for our teaching and preaching. Indeed, over the course of three years, almost the entire Bible is read aloud and preached upon.

At Christchurch, worship involves the entire congregation, as we offer God praise, thanksgiving and adoration using worship traditions that can be traced back to the earliest days of the Church. Our worship is not designed to entertain us, but to honor the true “audience” of worship, the Lord!

Warm and Loving

Committed to Mission

By God’s grace and through His Spirit, the people of Christchurch enjoy the richness and joy of being a true family. We’d love for you to become a part of us! Regardless of who you are, you will always find a home at Christchurch.

The people of Christchurch respond to God’s Word by going out into the world proclaiming the good news of Jesus, and we joyfully serve as His hands and feet whether in places like Uganda and Guatemala or within Montgomery.

8800 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36117 www.christchurchmgm.net 334.387.0566


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

Contents

July 2017 Volume 7 Issue 11

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

Facebook.com/RiverRegionBoom 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: Four little words to help... 11 OLLI at AUM 12 THE FIRST TIME PLANT Paula Sexton

Features

16 Myths of Social Security

14 Is There a Best Exercise for Aging Muscles? Leigh Anne Richards

34 A Unique Reading Group 38 Primitive Edits

Understanding the complexities of It’s the perfect setting for curling Social Security is imperative. up with a good book.

How Prayer Helped Me Escape the Corporate Rat Race...

Departments 20 This and That

Getting You “In the Know”

44 {12} Things

40 Greg Budell

Special Events for Boomers

“HITTIN’ THE BOTTLE - AGAIN!”

19 Consumer Reports: Subaru, Kia serving older drivers best 20 15th Annual Alzheimer’s Professional & Family Caregiver Conference 23 Global Leadership Summit 2017 at Frazer

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24 Welcome to LoveMGMal.com

COVER PROFILE page 28

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26 Wetumpka’s River and Blues Music and Arts Festival 28 BOOM! Cover Profile 32 Losing Your Marbles... Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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42 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Ancient Grains 44 The Music Never Ends: Susan watson

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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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Publisher’s Letter

Reading is the Way to Grow! This month’s issue is packed with a variety of great stories and interesting information that will make you think…about something. Let me first introduce you to our Cover Profile, Pat Watkins. Pat is one of those special women who seem to age with just the right attitude. She possesses energy, enthusiasm and a desire for adventurous travel. I’d say she’s a good model for the rest of us as we embrace our own unique aging qualities. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know Pat in this month’s Cover Profile and you may want to share the experience with friends.

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.

Publisher/Editor

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 jim@riverregionboom.com Jim Watson, Publisher

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Jeff Barganier Austin Barranco Tracy Bhalla Greg Budell

Lisa Copeland By John Hanc Leigh Anne Richards Gary Rotstein Paula Sexton Nick Thomas Pat Watkins Raley L. Wiggins

Jeff Barganier is back with a short story about editing. I’m not sure if editing is will grab your interest but where he does it most certainly will, you may even want to try it for yourself. Leigh Anne Richards gives us the latest on exercise techniques for aging muscles. Leigh Ann always seems to know what’s best for our aging bodies. Greg Budell brings back a classic story about bottles and he would swear the taste is better in glass bottles. Austin Barranco fills in for Brandt McDonald and shares some of the myths people have about your Social security that may surprise you. I still like to read books…the kind made of paper. In this month’s issue, we have a feature on a unique reading group that discusses books and after reading the article, you discover once again just how valuable reading books can be. The conversations they stimulate, memories awakened and of course the dynamic socializing that can occur when we share ideas about the characters in our books. If you enjoy a good book, you’ll certainly enjoy this feature.

Cover Photography Jeri Hines Total Image Portraits www.totalimage.com 334.261.2080

Advertising

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 jim@riverregionboom.com

There are many more good reads in this month’s issue including the best cars for seniors as selected by Consumer Reports and Tracy Bhalla’s info on what ancient grains are and their importance. There is a short introduction to The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) that is happening at AUM and Auburn University that will give you many opportunities to expand your retirement activities with new experiences, looks like great fun! If you’re not a Digital & Interactive subscriber yet, please do me a favor and go to www.riverregionboom.com and sign up, it’s free. Please support our advertisers because they support and value the 50+ community. Thanks for sharing BOOM! with your friends and your comments with me, I love to listen. Happy Independence Day America!

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

Jim jim@riverregionboom.com 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 RiverRegionBoom.com “BOOM!, the best reading experience for the 50+ community”

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DATING Coach: If you want an alpha man in your life _ and most of my clients who are alpha women always tell me they do _ what I’m going to share with you today is important information you’ll want to know and remember. At work, my client, Elizabeth is an alpha female. She’s good at what she does and knows how to get a job done quickly and efficiently. But in her private life, she is unable to flip the switch back to her feminine side. What happens is that her alpha characteristics of telling men what to do and how to do it start showing up in her dating life. Nothing pushes a man away faster than a woman who sounds like his mother once did when she told him what to do in his teens! I shared four simple words with Elizabeth that would change her life with men forever if she used them. Elizabeth wasn’t ready to practice these four simple words just yet in a dating situation. Instead, she decided to try them out with the men at work figuring she had nothing to lose. She had a meeting scheduled with the CEO of a major corporation. In the past, she’d have come into the meeting much like a bull in a china shop.

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Four little words that could help your relationships

She’d have pushed and pushed until he either, relented and signed on the dotted line, or he told her firmly no way. This time Elizabeth decided she’d take a more feminine approach and use those four simple words.... I NEED YOUR HELP to get his co-operation. Alpha men whether its business or pleasure want to make women feel safe and protected. Most women compete with men like Elizabeth did with orders and pushing which makes it really hard for a man to step up and meet your needs. Instead you want to know how to trigger the hero response in him to make this happen. Elizabeth consciously made a decision to wear softer feminine business clothing to this meeting versus her usual black suit which screamed “alpha female.” She took a breath and slowed herself down as she walked into the meeting. She shook the CEO’s hand and instead of shoving papers in his face, she triggered his hero response by using the four magic words...I need your help.

She was astonished by what happened next. He stepped up and within five minutes the deal was sealed. They spent the next hour talking and at the end of their meeting, he told her to call on him anytime. He’d be happy to help her. Elizabeth witnessed what every woman witnesses when she consciously flips the switch to her feminine side ... men stepping over themselves to help her. You can have this in your life too. Your feminine side is about giving less, learning to ask for help when you need it and allowing yourself to receive from men with gratitude and appreciation. When you do, men will feel like you get them and they’ll want to connect with you on that emotional level that they crave with a woman. Hope you’ll let me know how these four simple words I shared with you are changing your life with men. Lisa Copeland, “The Dating Coach Who Makes Dating Fun and Easier after 50!” Find out more at Findaqualityman.com (c)2017, Lisa Copeland, findaqualityman.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


OLLI at AUM keeping your body and brain moving

Research on aging stresses the importance of keeping your body and brain moving to impede the growth of diseases of all kinds. As the population of citizens fifty and above increases and as people are retiring earlier, universities nation-wide are responding with lifelong learning initiatives to fill that need. That is where OLLI at AUM steps in. In 2010 OutReach at AUM inaugurated its lifelong learning program with 22 participants and two courses. Five years later we began a partnership with Auburn University’s Osher Life Long learning Initiative (OLLI). AUM’s OLLI is now in a national network of 120 institutes connected to major colleges or universities across the country and serving over 100,000 adults age 50 and older who want to age gracefully and remain lifelong learners. During the 2016 -2017 academic year, AUM enrolled nearly 300 members. The

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2017 fall catalog (to be released in July) advertises 24 courses and numerous bonus opportunities that are included in the $29 annual membership fee plus $42 per term to take as many courses as you wish ($5.00 discount for registering online). OLLI operates on a three-term system, offering classes during the fall (eight weeks), winter (seven weeks) and spring (seven weeks). Topics of the courses include literature, history, art, film, dance, golf, religion, finance, nature, computers, and writing. Course styles vary from guest lecture series, class discussion, to instructor-led. There are also hands-on and active courses: painting, pine needle basket making,

jewelry making, Zentangle, gardening, knitting, ballroom or line dancing. Most classes are taught by OLLI members who volunteer their time and talents. OLLI courses are non-degree courses, and they require no homework, tests, or entrance exams. OLLI members participate for the sheer joy of learning. There are benefits OLLI membership in addition to courses and bonus opportunities. Some of these benefits are: library privileges at AUM and AU, free admissions to AUM athletic events, participation in AUM and AU field trips and others. For more information about AUM OLLI or to request a catalog, contact: Brittany at 244-3804.

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by Paula Sexton

THE FIRST TIME...

The first time I remember seeing a plant up close was on my “Mammy’s” freezing back porch. I stood awe struck just shivering with cold and delight at the beauty of this Christmas cactus. All the pink lace and the green garland of this beauty just filled me with happiness. The screened back porch covered with plastic sheeting to keep what little heat there was in and was full of other plants, ferns, mums, a pot of peonies, which looked like dirt to me but Mammy assured me there really was something living in the pot. She then said the magic words, “Would you like me to root some of the cactus for your very own?” My own? I just nodded. She then took my little hand, for I was no more than 4 or 5 and said I needed to come in from the cold. She told me when we came back in the summer I could have my plant.

My dad was in the Air Force so we moved a lot but we always came home, as my mom called it, to Mississippi every summer to stay with her mom and dad. They had a garden, you see, and she would help can and freeze bunches of stuff for them to eat during the winter. I didn’t know too much about all that since I was usually found under the front porch, where my cousin, and I would play in our fort, for most of the summer. Finally, the day arrived we were going to Mammy and granddaddy’s house, I was so excited I could hardly sit still on the backseat of the old Chevy 4 door

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sedan. When we arrived, there was a lot of commotion because most of my uncles, aunts and cousins had come to Mammy’s for a feast of beef roast, black eyed peas, corn, butter beans, sliced tomatoes, most all of it fresh from the garden out back, cornbread, of course and yeast rolls and best of all Mammy’s chocolate cake with freezer ice cream. Yummy.

Dinner was finally over and the aunts were in the kitchen doing the dishes, when Mammy winked gestured for me to follow her. We went out through the kitchen door onto the porch and to my surprise there were only muddy boots at the door. Out of the door we went, down the steps and walked down to the two black pots where the laundry was boiled clean every Monday when Lula came to help. There sitting under the shade of an enormous oak tree was a crooked little crude rack of old boards and bricks holding plants of all sizes, shapes and colors. Mammy handed me a small 3 prong shoot with no flowers and very little to show for itself. I guess she could see the disappointment on my face for she said, “It will grow and you will see how beautiful it will be, I promise. “She had already talked to it and it was excited to be going home with me. She told me how to care for it, also wrote it down to give to Mom. I carried it all the way into the house to show everyone my treasure. It rode all the way home in my lap. We stayed at grandma’s house the rest of the summer with Daisy totally happy on

the back porch by the wringer washing machine. I cared for my plant just as I promised I would and for the next 2 years we hauled it from pillar to post as my dad said. Most of the time it rode in the backseat floor board and had to move only when my younger brother took his nap nestled on cotton quilts True to Mammy’s word it did bloom and grow. She had mighty words, my Mammy did. She had a real personal connection with the man upstairs, as she like to say. They were real close. So, my Daisy, which is what I named my cactus, knew just what needed to be done. The next year we had to move to England and Mammy said she would tend to Daisy for me. It was much too cold in England for her to go. I would like to say Daisy grew and bloomed for many years but a long cold winter freeze came to Mississippi and most of the plants did not survive, including my Daisy. I didn’t have the heart to ask for another one. Mammy was very teary-eyed when anyone mentioned the plants on the porch. However, I now have a wonderful Daisy that loves my back porch and was a true riot of color when it bloomed this past December. I think often of Mammy and the wonderful gift she gave me, ‘to love all living things, especially plants’. Paula Sexton, an intern in the 2017 Master Gardener Class, lives in Montgomery. For more information on becoming a master gardener, visit www.capcitymga.org or email capcitymga@gmail.com.

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Is There a Best Exercise for Aging Muscles? In March of 2017, the New York times had an article entitled “The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles.” This of course is something I immediately jumped on and was excited to be able to convey this information to our BOOM! audience. Everyone is always looking for “the best” whether it is for diet, exercise, or skin care product. The latest research is here on how we active agers can best benefit from exercise. The mitochondria are the power house of our cells and produces our energy. Aging takes its toll on the body all the way down to the cellular level. The damage in older muscles is severe because they do not regenerate easily and become weaker as their mitochondria diminish in “vigor” and number. As the saying goesyour body reacts to each additional candle on your birthday cake. A study published in March of 2017 suggests that certain types of workouts may undo some of what the years can do to our mitochondria. “Both strength and power training are critically important as we age”, says Alice Bell, PT, DPT, a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. To effectively manage the impact of aging on our muscular strength and power, it is critical to incorporate high intensity training into our exercise plan. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota recently conducted an experiment on the cells

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of 72 healthy but sedentary men and women who were 18-30 and 65-80. Baseline measurements were established for their aerobic fitness, their blood sugar levels and the gene activity and mitochondrial health in their muscle cells. Then volunteers

and is associated with increased fatigue and inability of the muscle to burn excess blood sugar. The HIIT/strength training combination had the biggest influence in older adults, helping to decrease aging at the cellular level.

What is HIIT training? It is defined as mixing intense bursts of exercise with short periods of active rest- a run (jog) walk combination is a good example by Leigh Anne Richards of HIIT. In my active aging class, I incorporate HIIT training in my class with different movements with 30 seconds of more intense activity with 30 seconds of rest. This were assigned to an exercise regimen. type of training can be incorporated into a range of activities from walking, The following were the groups they to biking, to swimming. These bursts were assigned: keep your heart rate up and help burn • High intensity interval training (HIIT) fat. High intensity interval training and vigorous strength training several is considered one of the best ways times a week to improve cardiorespiratory and • Stationary bikes at a moderate pace metabolic function. Interestingly, Dr. for 30 minutes a few times a week and Sreekumaran, a diabetes researcher at lifted light weights on other days. Mayo Clinic, found that older people’s • Control group did no exercise cells responded in some ways more robustly to intense exercise than the cells of the young did- suggesting, he says, that it is never too late to benefit from exercise. In his statement about the study, Dr. Sreekumaran noted, “These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine.”

Fitness over Fifty

After three months, researchers compared muscle biopsies of the groups and found that strength training increased muscle mass and HIIT increased mitochondrial activity, a cellular process that declines with age

Let’s not forget strength training! The rate at which we lose muscle mass varies dependent on our level of activity and engagement in meaningful exercise. A 2016 study published in the journal Preventive Medicine found that older adults who did strength training at least twice a week had a 46% lower odds of death from all causes during the study period, a 41% lower risk of cardiac death and a 19% lower odd of dying from cancer than those who did not strength train. It is important to The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


remember that a person must be using the appropriate amount of resistance, performing the exercises with proper form and building in recovery time. I would suggest a personal trainer or a physical therapist that could create the appropriate interval and strength training workout. Remember, you are more apt to maintain muscle mass and keep body fat in check as you age IF you are physically fit. We might not be able to turn back the clock but we can slow the aging of our body through exercise- especially the high interval intensity training and strength training. Now, you know the best workout for aging muscles!! Get down to that cellular level now and be renewed with vim and vigor!!! No excuses. http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/canguess-best-workout-anti-aging https://nyti.ms/2nFXtis Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General Manager- MetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at LAMetrofit@aol.com

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How much do you know about Social Security?

Brandt McDonald introduces his July guest columnist, Austin Barranco… From time to time, I will be introducing several of our advisors through this column. They will share personalized insights into financial markets, financial planning, and overall wealth management concepts. At McDonald & Hagen, we have a deep bench of talent that is eager to serve our firm’s clients and our local community. This month’s column is written by Austin Barranco. Austin entered the financial industry in 2014 after earning a degree in Finance from The University of Alabama, with a specialization in Insurance and Risk Management, he has also earned the distinction of a FINRA General Securities Principal held with LPL. Austin and his wife Maghen live in East Montgomery with their dog Chip. In his free time Austin enjoys college football, golf, and traveling the world.

Its pay-day. Another direct deposit hits your bank account, and you receive a pay stub that shows your year to date earnings. Also included in your pay stub is an illustration of your tax withholdings: FICA, Medicare, State, and Federal. FICA is an acronym for, “Federal Insurance Contributions Act”, and is a mandatory payroll deduction. For the average American, FICA withholdings account for 6.2% of your gross annual income. The proceeds of your FICA deductions are used to pay older Americans their Social Security benefits. Yes, you read that correctly, the Social Security Administration receives 6.2% of every paycheck that you earn, and gives it to someone else so they may live comfortably in retirement. US Citizens have been subject to this tax since Roosevelt signed The Social Security Act into law on August 14th, 1935. Ask most people if they enjoy giving a percentage of their earned income to someone they don’t know, and they are likely to respond, “No”. Ask the same people if they enjoy receiving a Social Security check when they retire, and the overwhelming response will be, “Yes”. The point of this article is not to decipher the politics that surround Social Security, but rather to acknowledge that it exists, and help you maximize your Social Security benefit when you retire, because after all… You earned it. Understanding the complexities of Social Security is imperative for anyone who is approaching retirement age, yet 46% of retirees claim they consulted a family member or friend to help them decide when to begin drawing their Social Security benefits, and another 45% claimed to have made their decision based on the Social Security website’s recommendations (Emily Brandon Senior Retirement Editor for US News). This means 91% of adults do not consult a professional when determining the best age to begin drawing Social Security. Making the wrong decision on when to begin drawing your Social Security benefit can make a substantial difference

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Financial Thoughts

with Austin Barranco

for some Americans. Do you want to be the person who gave away some of your hardearned money, just because you did not understand how the Social Security system worked?

advice. Remember, there are countless other factors that must be analyzed before making an informed decision. For example: years employed, highest salary earned, health, net worth, tax bracket, insurance coverage, and the list goes on. Below I have listed some of the most common Social Security myths that I come across on a weekly basis, and briefly explain why they are misconceptions. Myth #1: “Social Security won’t be around when I retire”

A case study conducted in 2012 and published in The Wall Street Journal compared two women of identical age and income. The first woman began drawing Social Security at age 62, and she received around $12,500 per year, which was about 75% of her full benefit. The second woman waited until she was 70 to begin drawing Social Security, and she received around $35,000 per year, which is significantly more than her full benefit. Assume that both women live to be 90. The first woman would receive $350,000 by the time she reached 90. The second woman would receive $700,000 by the time she reached 90. Woman #1 lost out on $350,000 because she did not understand how to maximize her Social Security benefits.

Why this is a myth: The Social Security Board of Trustees determined that Social Security’s retirement benefit program has enough cash to make all promised payments until 2035. This means that if you are currently 44 or older, you will receive your full Social Security benefit the year that you retire. Furthermore, when the excess cash reserves are depleted, the Board of Trustees determined that a 21% reduction in distributions would allow the program to stay solvent through 2090. So, unless Congress decides to end Social Security all together, payments should continue until at least 2090. So, citizens born after 1975 may only receive 79% of their benefit, but 79% is better than nothing.

Now, this case study assumes that the women will live to age 90, but the reality is, no one knows when they will die, which makes the decision process a little more difficult. According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration, the average life expectancy of a male is 84.3 years, and a female is 86.6 years. A general rule of thumb to follow is this: If you believe you will outlive your average life expectancy (84.3 for men, and 86.6 for women) it makes the most sense to delay drawing your social security benefits until age 70. If you believe you will not outlive your average life expectancy, it makes more sense to begin drawing Social Security as early as possible. However, this rule of thumb is no replacement for professional

Myth #2: “I’m going to maximize my Social Security benefit by taking it as soon as I turn 62, that way I have more time to draw my payments, and over time, I draw more money.” Why this is a myth: If you file for Social Security payments before full retirement (age 66 for most people), you will only receive a portion of your full benefit. At age 62, you will receive roughly 75% of your full benefit. If you wait until full retirement age to file for Social Security, you will receive 100% of your benefit. If you wait until age 70, you will receive an additional 8% each year on top of your full retirement benefit. Finding an continued page 18

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8% guaranteed return in today’s market is nearly impossible, so why would you squander your earning opportunity by drawing Social Security at age 62? Myth #3: “My neighbor filed for Social Security at “X” age, and he was fine, so I’ll file for Social Security at “X” age, and I’ll be fine.” Why this is a myth: Your neighbor may be in a tough spot financially, and the only reason he took Social Security early was because he had to make ends meet. Your neighbor may be a multi-millionaire, so he decided to wait until age 70 because he didn’t need the extra income right away. Your neighbor may have continued working until age 65, because he was waiting for Medicare coverage to kick in. The bottom line is that everyone’s financial situation is different, and it would be unwise for you to make your financial decisions based off someone else’s financial condition. A good decision for your neighbor may be a horrible decision for you. So, my best advice is to consult a financial professional who can help you maximize your retirement income, but I hope that addressing some of these common Social Security myths has furthered your understanding of the system. Austin Barranco, Financial Advisor Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager www.mcdonaldhagen.com Direct comments and questions to bailey.worrell@lpl.com or 334.387.0094 The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized legal or tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific legal or tax issues with a qualified legal or tax advisor. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor, and separate entity from LPL Financial.

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Consumer Reports: Subaru, Kia serving older drivers best Consumer Reports believes older drivers have different needs in their cars than do younger ones, and in a section of its website devoted to senior motorists it identifies two automakers doing the best job of designing vehicles for them. On a list titled the Top 25 New Cars for Senior Drivers, Consumer Reports credited Subaru and Kia with providing the five best choices. They were the: _ Subaru Forester _ Subaru Outback _ Kia Soul _ Subaru Legacy _ Kia Sportage Consumer Reports examined cars’ features such as easy front-seat access; good visibility for drivers of various heights; dashboard controls that are easy to reach and understand; and powerful headlights to help vision during night driving. “Our picks combine reliability, safety and senior-friendly features,” said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for

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By Gary Rotstein

Consumer Reports. The publication noted that despite the increased likelihood of physical or cognitive limitations with age, older drivers crash less on a per-mile basis than teenagers. Its survey of motorists also indicated older drivers are less likely _ compared to the youngest age group of drivers _ to have recently driven through stop signs and red lights or to report having difficulty with merging, changing lanes and adjusting to faster traffic. With older motorists in mind, manufacturers are taking steps such as increasing the size of dashboard gauges and screens. Those and other trends are outlined in Consumer Reports’ “Driving Safer, Driving Longer” analysis, which includes an article advising how to keep

driving skills sharp in later years. “There are important benefits for seniors who can continue to drive as long as they safely can, and there are real challenges for those who outlive their ability to do so,” Mr. Fisher said. “Our report details the promising research and innovation that’s currently ongoing that will help meet the challenges.” (c)2017 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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i

This & tHAT

Family-Friendly Fourth of July Fun Planned in the Town of Pike Road

It’s time for two annual Fourth of July celebrations in the Town of Pike Road. The Pike Road Community Club Fourth of July Parade and the Town of Pike Road’s Summer Fest are both set for Tuesday, July 4. The Pike Road Community Club will host a parade that travels through the Town of Pike Road’s Historic District, located along Pike Road. Participation in the parade is open to the public, and the theme for entries is “United We Stand.” Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Founders Station (4902 Pike Road), and the parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. After the parade, take a break for lunch, pack a cooler, and hop back in the car! The Fourth of July festivities will continue in the afternoon with Summer Fest. This annual Fourth of July celebration is hosted by the Town of Pike Road, and will take place at The Waters off Marler Road. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and the fun begins at 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per vehicle. As always, this year’s Summer Fest will feature food, family-friendly fun and fireworks. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to enjoy live music from the Shouting Stones. Nancy’s Italian Ice will be on site selling snow cones, H2O Cafe will be open for business, and Chick-Fil-A of Midtown will provide food for purchase. The night will culminate with a fireworks spectacular overlooking Lake Cameron, Montgomery County’s largest lake. “Summer Fest is an event that truly exemplifies the Pike Road spirit,” said Mayor Gordon Stone. It is an old-fashioned, fun opportunity for families to gather and celebrate the birth of this nation. We are proud to host this celebration each year and be able to showcase our spirit of hospitality and honor those who have helped make our town, state, and nation a special place to live.” For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Turner Waddell by calling 334.495.4109 or by emailing turner@pikeroad.us.

15th Annual Alzheimer’s Professional & Family Caregiver Conference Hosted by Alzheimer’s Education, Resources, and Services If you have an interest in caring for your loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, plan to attend this annual conference. The conference will be held at Frazer UMC, Friday, August 4, 2017, from 7 am - 4:30 pm. This conference is for both family caregivers and professional caregivers who are caring for loved ones living with Dementia. We have relevant speakers lined up and continuing education contact hours have been requested. Theere will be information on Art & Music Therapy, Art Show and speakers to help you learn how to be a more effective caregiver. AERS is a non-profit organization serving families and caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease in Autauga, Elmore, & Montgomery Counties in Alabama. For more information, call Debra Robinson 334.399.4342 or Nancy McLain 334.233.2139. for more info visit www.alzheimersers.org

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Depot to Present- Southern Fried Funeral The Depot Players hit the mid year mark of their 2017 season with a production of Southern Fried Funeral. The big hearted comedy about a family who puts fun in dysfunction, opens July 13 and runs through July 29 on the Depot stage. Here in the south, funerals can be a community wide social gathering. From the “grief buffet” filled with casseroles, deviled eggs and pound cakes to impromptu stories and laughter on the front porch, folks south of the Mason-Dixon Line know how to do funerals. Southern Fried Funeral is a hilarious tribute to the Frye family. The comedy, written by Dietz Osborne and Nate Eppler, is directed by Depot veteran, Kim Mason. “The show is a hilarious look at the Frye family’s preparations for the funeral of their beloved father, Dewey, who dropped dead in the middle of a joke at his Rotary lunch. The colorful characters, played by a wonderful mix of Depot alum and new comers, are just wickedly funny. From wayward children, greedy relatives to a busy body who rivals any uptight church lady in history, the play is just a perfect summer comedy,” said Mason. “ In this play we have an epic sibling cat fight, a brother who is a few Fruit Loops short of a full bowl and well meaning friends of the family who show up with soup laced casseroles and “nekkid” fried chicken. The Frye family has their hands full sending Dewey on to glory. Funerals just seem to bring out the best and worst in people, and the Fyre clan is no exception!” “We have enjoyed the food theme in this show and wanted to take the opportunity to bring awareness to the Elmore County Food Pantry,” said Depot executive director, Kristy Meanor. “ We are encouraging our patrons to bring a canned good or food item for the Elmore County Food Pantry to the show or when purchasing tickets. The play runs July 13-15, 20,21, 27-29 at 7:30pm and Sunday July 23 at 2pm. Tickets are $12/$15 and may be purchased at wetumpkadepot.com or by calling 334.868.1440. The theatre is located at 300 S Main Street in historic downtown Wetumpka.

Get Your Affairs in Order, FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop Wednesday, July 26: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Call 334.625.6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at www.redoaklegalpc.com.

Capital City Master Gardener Association Presents Lunch & Learn 2017

Capital City Master Gardener Association presents Lunch & Learn 2017 the 1st Wednesday of Every Month from 12-1 pm. We meet at the Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Avenue, Downtown Montgomery. Mark your calendars July 5, Name that Tree – Patrick Cook, Alabama Forestry Commission, August 2, Water Wisely – Drip Irrigation – Mary McCroan, Master Gardener. For information, please contact the Montgomery County Extension Office 334.270.4133. Also visit www.capcitymga.org

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Volunteers Needed at River Region Connects! Volunteers Needed at River Region Connects! Thursday, July 27, 8:30 am - 1:30 pm at Montgomery Multiplex. What is River Region Connects? River Region Connects is a homeless resource fair which serves as a one-day, one-stop shop of services for the homeless. Representatives from government and community agencies bring their services under one roof to assist homeless individuals and families with finding shelter, employment, education, health care, legal assistance and other support. Most importantly, the event is outcome oriented; it is not just a day for people to wait in line but a day for people to make changes and have immediate access to essential services. What is different about River Region Connects? * Not business as usual. Be unique from the status quo response. * No waiting in line. Homeless people do that enough. * Immediate access. Not simply referrals. * Quality of life resources including haircuts, housing, meals, medical care, entertainment and more. Volunteers...working on the front lines! * You will be matched with a homeless client to guide them through the event. * Treat clients with dignity - Try to talk with them, not at them. * Respect client privacy - When handling paperwork, do not review it unless necessary. * Ask for help if you need it. * Don’t promise services as some of the services have limited availability and eligibility requirements. * Light snacks and lunch will be available for volunteers. Register at www.handsonriverregion.org to help. For further information, contact Hazel Waites at hazel@midalhomeless.org or 334.261.6182.

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Global Leadership Summit 2017 at Frazer Everyone has influence and the ability to create positive change. When you improve your leadership, you impact lives, churches, businesses, governments, schools and families. Join 400,000 people around the world for two days of world-class leadership training. Frazer Atlanta Highway will be the Central Alabama regional site for this premiere international leadership event on Thursday and Friday, August 10-11, 2017. 2017 Faculty: The Global Leadership Summit brings together a world-class faculty of leadingedge thinkers from business, academic, government, nonprofit and faith sectors, giving you unrivaled value for your investment. View complete faculty bios and video at www.willowcreek. com/events/leadership/#faculty. To learn more and register visit www.frazer.church/summit.

AUM set to go WILD with wildlife workshop in July A July 26 workshop at AUM will help instructors and others teach the importance of wildlife and caring for the natural world. The gathering will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at AUM’s Reading Center, and will use the popular Project WILD (http:// www.projectwild.org/) curriculum. The Project WILD curriculum is a wildlife-focused conservation education program designed for elementary educators. All curriculum materials will be provided free of charge by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Space is limited but open to anyone interested. You can sign up by emailing Dr. Nicholas Bourke at nbourke@aum.edu.

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 ivortickle@aol.com or Laura Selby at 834-8990 for more information. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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First United METHODIST CHURCH

2416 W. Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106 334.834.8990 www.fumcmontgomery.org

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Welcome to LoveMGMal.com, Let the locals be your guide! Why Blog about Montgomery? This is a place for the character and voice of Montgomery, Alabama to be seen and heard. Featured here is the food, art, music, outdoor and family life, events, curiosities and the stories of the people and places that make our city a great place to live and visit. Our writers are your local guides, here to help you celebrate and discover Montgomery. Our city is at a tipping point. Growth and reinvestment all around the city have ignited a spirit and passion that is going to take us on to an even greater future. Our special history has shown us how to come together as a community to solve problems and move forward. We hope that the www.LoveMGMal.com blog will help show ourselves and the world just how special this place is. We’re out and about enjoying and learning about Montgomery, but we always want to know more! If you have an upcoming event, submit it to the calendar. Tell us about your favorite places to relax with friends and family. Let us know what inspires you about our history and our current growth. Help us and our readers discover the quirky, off-beat things that only a few know. And let us know how we’re doing. We want this blog to be useful and fun! If you want to know more about something we post, or just want to let us know that you like that kind of content, feel free to leave comments. And you can reach out to us on any of our social media pages. Reach out to us at Email: mlewis@montgomerychamber.com Twitter: @mgmcapitalcool Facebook: facebook.com/MontgomeryCapitalCool Instagram: instagram.com/mgmcapitalcool

Summer Genealogy Workshops! GENEALOGY 101: A WORKSHOP FOR BEGINNERS Saturday, July 8 from 9 am to 12 pm, Led by Nancy Dupree $30 for the public, $20 for Friends of the Alabama Archives members. Specifically designed for beginners! Get step-by-step instruction followed by hands-on research time in the EBSCO Research Room. Gain a solid foundation to craft an effective research plan and learn valuable skills to navigate the oftentimes overwhelming world of genealogical research. AFRICAN AMERICAN GENEALOGY: THE BASICS AND BEYOND Saturday, August 12 from 9:00 to 12:00, Led by Nancy Dupree $30 for the public, $20 for Friends of the Alabama Archives members. This workshop will equip participants to effectively navigate potential research roadblocks and address challenges specific to African American genealogical research. It is suited for all levels of research experience from beginner to advanced. www.archives.alabama.gov

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Jackson Hospital Deploys Germ-Killing Robot Jackson Hospital recently added Tru-D SmartUVC, a germeliminating UV disinfection robot, to its already stringent disinfection protocols as a proactive measure to protect patients from serious and deadly hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The hospital is the first in the River Region to offer this protection to its patients. Tru-D is one way Jackson Hospital is raising the bar when it comes to the level of care it provides to all patients. According to the CDC, in the U.S., one in 25 patients acquire an HAI while being treated, and 75,000 patients die during their hospitalizations each year. “The acquisition of Tru-D is an added layer of protection that we will use to safeguard the wellbeing of our patients,” said Jackson Hospital president and CEO, Joe Riley. “While we already implement stringent infection prevention protocols, having Tru-D added to our standard cleaning protocols will give our patients and staff peace of mind that our facility is safe and continually improving,” Riley said. Tru-D, which works by generating UV light energy that modifies the DNA or RNA structure of an infectious cell, is the only portable UV disinfection system on the market with Sensor360™ technology. The device’s patented technology calculates the amount of UVC energy needed to disinfect an entire room while taking into account room variables – such as size, shape, surface reflectivity and the amount and location of equipment in the room – and delivers a lethal dose from a single location, effectively eliminating lingering pathogens in the space. Tru-D kills deadly germs such as Ebola, methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Norovirus and Enterovirus D68. “Hospitals that provide an extra level of care by disinfecting rooms with Tru-D are taking a proactive step in ensuring patients and staff have a clean and germ-free environment,” said Chuck Dunn, president and CEO of Tru-D SmartUVC. “Proven by the CDC-funded Benefits of Enhanced Terminal Room Disinfection, Tru-D was clinically-validated to reduce HAIs by 30 percent when coupled with standard cleaning methods. Tru-D takes the guesswork out of previous protocols and ensures confidence in clinicians and patients alike.” For more information about Jackson visit www.Jackson.org

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This & tHAT Wetumpka’s River and Blues Music and Arts Festival A little slice of New Orleans and its music in Wetumpka, Alabama. Come and join in the fun and bring the whole family. There will be vendors, food, activities for kids, and, of course, lots of music! From zydeco to blues to jazz and best of all, IT’S FREE!!! You’re sure to find something to dance to! The musical lineup includes, Jilla Webb, Jeff Pasley, Rachel Wilson, Jimmy Baker, Slim Jeezy, Jukebox Brass Band, King Bee and Nathan and the Chas Chas. There will also be an art show featuring the area’s finest craftsmen and artists along the beautiful Riverwalk. Of course there will be a Kids Zone so bring all of the grandkids for extra family fun. And if you come early Satyrday morning you’ll be able to see “The Little League of Watersports” competition on the Coosa River. Mark your calendar for July 22nd. The fun begins at 2pm and lasts until 10pm! For more info visit www.riverandblues.net or visit www.facebook.com/WetumpkasRiverandBlues/

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Montgomery Celebrates the 4th of July Culinary Fight Club MGM - STEAK Competition: How about a two day celebration? Central is hosting its final Culinary competition: Culinary Fight Club MGM - STEAK Competition. Five amazing chefs will have 45 seconds to race to the pantry and grab every item they can and 60 minutes to make the most delicious steak dish you have ever tasted! The best part, the first 100 ticket holders will get to taste + vote on their favorite bite! The grills will be out in true 4th of July style. These chefs are ready, ARE YOU? Monday, July 3, Central Restaurant, 6:00 p.m., Cost: $40, Phone: 334-517-1155 Montgomery Independence Day Celebration: This July 4th come celebrate Independence Day at Blount Cultural Park. Begining at 6pm there will be music from The Montgomery Recreators and The Sweet Younguns, Food and Beverage vendors and Fireworks. Bring blankets, chairs, and picnics. Fireworks at 9:00 p.m. Sponsored by WindCreek Montgomery, Spire Energy, Captial Hyndai and WSFA. Tuesday, July 4, Location: Blount Cultural Park, 6:00 p.m., Cost: FREE, Phone: 334-625-2100 Montgomery Biscuits Independence Day Celebration with MAX Fireworks: What’s more American than celebrating our country’s freedom while soaking in our country’s favorite pastime? Come watch our Montgomery Biscuits take on the Jacksonville Suns while enjoying everything about summer and our country at Riverwalk Stadium! Don’t forget about our patriotic MAX Fireworks Show after the game! Tuesday, July 4, Location: Riverwalk Stadium, 6:05 p.m. Cost: $9 - $15, Phone: 334-323-2255. Harriott II 4th of July Fireworks Cruise: Enjoy this fun outing aboard the Harriott II Riverboat and catch an amazing view of the July 4th fireworks show. Live entertainment, cash bar and concessions available. **Fireworks will be in conjunction with the end of the Montgomery Biscuit’s Baseball game. Times will vary. Tuesday, July 4, Location: Harriott II Riverboat, Time: Boards at 8:00 p.m. and Cruises from 8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., Cost: $25/Adult and $15/ Child, phone: 334-625-2100

Strange story of the SS Warimoo The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The navigator had just finished working out a star fix and brought the master, Captain John Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo’s position was latitude 0 degrees x 31 minutes north and longitude 179 degrees x 30 minutes west. The date was 30 December 1899. Know what this means? First Mate Payton broke in, we’re only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line. Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime. He called his navigators to the bridge to check and double check the ships position. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather and clear night worked in his favour. At midnight the Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line! The consequences of this bizarre position were many. The forward part of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere and the middle of summer. The stern was in the Northern Hemisphere and in the middle of winter. The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899. Forward it was 1 January 1900. This ship was therefore not only in two different days, two different months, two different seasons and two different years but in two different centuries-all at the same time.

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BOOM! COVER PROFILE

Pat Watkins, New Beginnings & New Experiences and I didn’t think it would be good to work for him in that situation and I certainly didn’t want to work for another company, so I didn’t start my real estate career until he bought the ReMax Franchise. I now have a personal team of four people that provide extra quality service to our clients.

This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is Pat Watkins, one of our favorite women in real estate. Pat, along with her husband Joe, operate the local ReMax Tri-Star office in the River Region. When you meet Pat, you are immediately lifted with her enthusiasm. She also has a sense of adventure which is illustrated when her many travels become part of the conversation. Above all else, Pat’s attitude about aging will provide inspiration for any of us who have ever said “we’re too old to do that”. Take Pat’s advice and add some vim and vigor to your attitude, it makes the adventure of aging worthwhile! We think you’ll enjoy getting to know Pat as much as we did.

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Pat: Grew up in rural Tuscaloosa County, attended Shelton State Community College, married Joe and moved to Montgomery. Joe and I started dating when I was in the 9th grade. As a cheerleader and him the big football player, we had fun times. Joe even took me to get my driver’s license at age 16. Joe took a job in Montgomery and after I graduated from college we married and I moved here. We have two children, Joey and Charlie, and a daughter in law Abi. AND, one sweet four-legged family member, Bella. Joey is a Photographer/ cinematographer, (and rescue dog advocate) and Charlie is a Computer Program Analyst with the State of Alabama. They both have varied interests and hobbies and are healthy and happy and close by!! Montgomery is home, we can’t imagine living anywhere else, so many friends and roots. Of course, there are days we may dream of sitting on the beach with no worries but that passes when the phone rings!

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Pat, past queen of Bal Masque with husband Joe

BOOM!: You and your husband Joe are the owners of Re/Max Tri-Star, when and how did you get into the real estate business? What are the advantages of working with your husband? Any disadvantages?

The advantages of working with Joe is that his expertise’ is accessible. I know he has my best interest at heart and it is a great security having his knowledge and experience so close at hand. He is a past President of the local Montgomery Association of Realtors as well as an Area Director. I see him use this same accessibility for all our agents.

We presently have 20 agents and I can honestly say we are truly a “work family” with some of the greatest agents in town. Most every agent has been with us over 10 years, including our front office receptionists.

Pat: We had a friend that worked for a local builder that wanted Joe to get into the real estate business and work for him. He went on to work as sales manager for one of the larger companies here and eventually opened his own business in 1993, when he bought the ReMax Franchise. Son, Charlie, husband Joe, son Joey, men in Pat’s life I had my real estate license several years prior to Joe buying Even though our offices are next to each the ReMax Franchise. He had been other, some days I may never see Joe at managing agents at another company all, he is doing his thing, and I’m busy in

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my real estate world. Yep, we do email replaces your being there as support to Local Provider for Dave Ramsey’s each other…and text a lot! Joe shares their homebuying needs, knowing the Financial Peace University and have been in our mortgage industry and getting them with for 15 years. house a good lender, home inspector, as well as duties all the other details involved, especially Women, and even being a good negotiator for them, you as well as though then become their Realtor for life. I am anyone, he proud to say my team works the entire should follow doesn’t River Region area. those heart cook, wrenching when BOOM!: Many Boomers are experiencing desires, he walks a renewed sense of purpose, new whether it’s into the goals, new careers, especially if they’ve changing Sushi experienced the empty nest syndrome careers or Café for of their kids moving on. How would you starting a pickup describe this sense of renewal in your business, go they life? Any advice for the rest of us seeking for it! Joe and Christmas at Watkins University...Joey, Pat, Joe, Charlie know his renewal? I are always name!! available to talk with anyone that would Pat: Since every day is different in real just like to discuss their choices/options. BOOM!: There seems to be more women estate, it is never One of my best than men in the real estate business, can boring or dull! I friends, a past you explain why? What advice would am constantly teacher, just came you give to other Boomers, especially energized by some to work with women, wanting to start their own new clients, a me after many businesses? new continuing years of working education class and raising a Pat: Women do make great real estate to attend, a new family, now with agents. It’s not that they’re any better subdivision we’re grandchildren, than men, it may be that they’re a tad working on, and but she feels she more detail oriented. It is usually the of course all the is now following Charlie and wife Abi wife that makes the final decision in activities of my a desire she’s had buying a home. So women understand family as well as my church family for a long time, to go into real estate! that the kitchen may be more important which is so important to us. Joe and than the garage size. I highly recommend I teach a Sunday School Class at First BOOM!: With technology, people can to women of all ages that a career in real Baptist. I love being a choir member buy most anything online today, what’s estate can not only be lucrative but very and participate each year in the Living the importance of real estate agents in gratifying. After you’ve helped that first Christmas Tree which takes months of today’s technology driven market? time homebuyer and held their hand dedication and practice but it touches through every part of the whole community at Christmas. the process and they With many friends and family, there is move in that first always something going on, weddings, home, it is truly a births of friends’ grandchildren, illnesses, rewarding feeling. and as we are getting older and know so many people, unfortunately funerals Starting your own to attend. I try to remember daily how business…and short life is and to enjoy it to the fullest. maintaining it… I am truly blessed with a great husband, can have some wonderful boys and daughter in law. negatives at times, financially as well BOOM!: What are you most passionate Pat and Joe’s rescue dog, Bella (photo by Joey Watkins) as operational, but about? Montgomery has been good to us in Pat: I am very thankful to be in this this respect. Approximately 92% of my Pat: I am passionate about my faith, industry, where service is the main business is by referral, mostly from past my church, my family, my work…in that ingredient to the public. Sure, we’ve clients. I am proud to be an Endorsed got the latest in technology but nothing The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Pat and Joe on the Sea of Galilee, Israel

L-R, Ann Porter, Cathy Chavis, Gail Coker and Marlene Justice with Pat standing, on a trip to San Antonio

order! I am grounded in the love and friendships of First Baptist Church. Every time I enter that building I feel a spirit of love I cannot explain. It showers throughout the halls and sanctuary. Great leadership by MY PASTOR, Jay Wolf. Joe serves as a deacon there and has enjoyed a personal mentoring by Jay. Joe and I teach a Sunday School Class and enjoy serving in other areas also.

Vermont in the Fall. There’s only about five states I haven’t visited but I have a long bucket list. Planning a trip to Napa Valley in the Fall as well as other parts of California. I absolutely love the new experiences that traveling brings.

I am also passionate about winning a tennis match, dominoes or cards with friends, and Alabama football, I do have a competitive side!

Pat: As I stated, Montgomery has been home and good to us throughout the past 50 years. The value of being a good citizen and supporting the community is very important to me. I served as an Ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce for years and enjoyed seeing firsthand the happenings going on. We support a very important ministry here in town called Flatline Ministries which our friend, Dewayne Rembert, started by being involved with the kids at schools to give them an alternative to drugs and gangs. One of the most successful avenues is the Christian rap music that helps him reach out initially to these kids.

BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work? Pat: Some days my winding down from a hard day’s work doesn’t start until 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. but that’s ok because I may have played tennis that morning or even cleaned a little house, slept a tad later or gone to the gym. This career provides flexibility. Getting home and sitting with and playing with the dog relaxes me. I also love to read and am always in the middle of a good book. BOOM!: What are some of your favorite travel destinations and why? Any travel dreams planned? Pat: Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I am fortunate to have friends that also love it. Joe doesn’t care for it as much as I do but he enjoys knowing it makes me happy. If I push a tad he’ll go. We did go to Israel and Alaska together and had a wonderful experience. Some of my favorites have been China for a month, Italy, Ireland three times, many cruises, traveled across part of Canada last year as well as to Maine and

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BOOM!: You value community service and giving back when you can, why is it important to serve others?

We also support Children’s Hospital by giving a portion of commission in honor of each client we work with. ReMax International has given over $5,000,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network in the last few years. Our donations are small but when bundled with other donations hopefully they make a difference. We try to support a lot of other causes but we feel nothing is more important than giving through our church because through the many projects going on there, people around the world as well as Montgomery are helped.

Pat and Joe at the Jordan River, Israel

BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or activities that grab your attention? Pat: Tennis is my sport of choice and I play on a local USTA league team, “Fewer Faults” is our team name. Unfortunately, work limits my practice time, etc., but it’s a great outlet with fun girls and I get my competitive spirit satisfied! I also enjoy collecting “doves”. I have over 100 doves in glass, ceramic, metal, pottery…love the meaning of a dove which to me is “new beginning”. We love the beach and enjoy going to our small getaway condo at Orange Beach when time allows. BOOM!: You have seen a lot of changes in Montgomery, especially in the downtown area, how would you rate the quality of life in the River Region? What do we need more of? Pat: I enjoy seeing the positive changes and growth in our area. I am proud to show my clients from out of town some of the great places we have, such as our Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Alabama Shakespeare Theatre, Biscuit stadium, train station and river front area. I do wish we had a few more upscale restaurants and I’m always amazed as to why some of ours close. I was so proud to see the Bark Park open and we even have a brick there honoring our 12-year-old dog, Reilly, who died three years ago. BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your priorities changed? Pat: My saying is, “Growing old may be allowed, but the spirit in which you do it The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


is a choice.” I will but we’re not sure how to define it…how BOOM!: If you weren’t in say I feel younger do you think about retirement? the real estate business than I numerically what kind of work would am! Thankfully, I Pat: I’m sure not ready mentally, you be doing? feel more mature physically or emotionally for retirement than ever, some from real estate. I love this career! But Pat: The one thing I don’t of the things I as I stated above, if I did retire, I would get to do as much as I’d was so distraught most likely be involved in volunteering like is volunteer work, so over 20 years ago BUT if money and much needed sure don’t matter everywhere, health are still good, now. Growing hospitals, then TRAVEL, travel older in Life… nursing and more travel!! Friend, Ann Barton with Pat, who helps sponsor the Hittin’ for Hospice fundraiser especially with homes, I sure don’t have good health…is the ultimate! (frosting on churches, mission projects, desires to cook, clean, the cake). As I ponder aging, my thoughts community needs. I sew, play bridge, or are: I think of the Seasons in my life: appreciate the retired garden. I’ve never had Autumn is a beautiful season, just as people that give so much those urges! Spring and Summer were, and WINTER to the community and We want to thank Pat will be also, because it will be faced by thankfully our life span is for sharing their time in me with vigor and gusto. I treasure life! getting longer and I may puttting together this And it’s exciting knowing there is more join them one day! There’s month’s BOOM! Cover adventure to come. not time to be depressed Profile. If you want to if you’re serving, and there learn more about Pat visit www.facebook.com/PatBOOM!: Give are so many Watkins-Owner-ReMax-Trius three words areas to do Star or send her an email at Pat posing for her son Joey on her that describe this. I can patwatkinsrealtor@gmail. house front steps (photo by Joey Watkins) you? see myself com. For this month’s cover volunteering photo we relied on the professional photography Pat: 3 words at a humane shelter of Pat’s son Joey Watkins. He can be found on to describe and involved more in Facebook, be sure and check out some of his me…my main dog rescue as my son, cinematography! If you have questions, comments thought would Joey, is. He is an avid or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to be how I hope dog rescuer and finding jim@riverregionboom.com others see forever homes for dogs. me…Giving, Pat loves hats and judges the hat contest for Read all of the BOOM! Cover Profiles at Loving and BOOM!: Many of us may Hospice of Montgomery’s Derby Party www.riverregionboom.com/archives Enthusiastic. think about retirement

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

Losing Your Marbles: Competency Issues for the Elderly In the eyes of the law, mental competency is a complex issue. Particularly among the elderly, it is unusual for someone to simply lose their ability to manage their own affairs overnight. It is much more common for one’s memory to slip gradually over time. But, when does memory loss cease being old-age “forgetfulness” and start becoming legal incompetence? As a lawyer, when I am asked whether an individual has legal mental capacity, my first question is always: “Capacity to do what?” To begin with, the law generally presumes that every adult has mental capacity, until proven otherwise. In addition, in the eyes of the law, the level of understanding and mental acuity needed to engage in a given transaction depends substantially on what the transaction is. At the high end of the spectrum is the capacity required to execute a binding contract. To execute a contract, one must have the ability to “understand and comprehend” their actions. A court will not find a contract to be void based upon the signer’s lack of mental capacity unless you can show that they had “no reasonable perception or understanding of the nature and terms of the contract.” At the opposite end of the spectrum is the capacity required to sign a last will and testament. This is a very low standard, which requires only that the person signing the will to be able to recall the property to be disposed of by the will, how it will be generally be divided, and the people they want to receive the property. So, a person may lack the legal mental capacity to sign a binding contract, but still have sufficient mind and memory to execute a valid last will and testament. Each case must be evaluated individually. But, what do you do if you suspect that a loved one is slipping to the point where they can no longer manage their own affairs? There are a couple of options.

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The first and best option is to manage that person’s affairs under a power of attorney executed by the loved one, while they were competent. Of course, once a person’s mental ability has begun to decline, it may be too late to sign a power

a petition is filed with the court stating why the individual needs a guardian and conservator to be appointed. The court will then appoint a lawyer for the allegedly incapacitated individual to protect their rights, as well as a court representative and a physician to examine the individual and Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop their living conditions, Wednesday, July 26: 22: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 pm and to submit at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This a report to the educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins court. Finally, covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living the court will conduct a wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, hearing, and bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care either grant and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. or deny the Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at petition. www.redoaklegalpc.com. Once appointed, the guardian and conservator of attorney because they lack sufficient are responsible for looking after the ability to understand and comprehend the individual, and will generally be required to document. However, if they are still able to report to the court from time to time. execute it, a well-drafted power of attorney will permit the agent (the person granted In many instances, the appointment of a power under the power of attorney) to guardian and conservator is appropriate. manage the business and financial affairs That said, it is a proceeding which can of the principal (the person who executed often be avoided by the execution of the document). Similarly, a well-drafted two relatively simple estate planning healthcare power of attorney or advance documents: a durable power of attorney, directive will allow an agent to make and an advance directive. healthcare and other decisions, even if the principal does not have the capacity to do If someone you love is beginning to so themselves. experience some decline in the mental But, what if the individual does not have sharpness, there may still be time to have these simple documents created while they a power of attorney or advance directive? In that case, the only option may be to have sufficient mind and memory to do so. ask the local probate court to appoint a Taking care of this now can avoid a costly court proceeding later. While you’re at it, guardian and conservator. A guardian (similar to the guardian of a minor child) is what about your own planning—do you tasked with looking after the individual’s have these simple documents? well-being, consenting to medical care, As we often say in our business, there’s and determining where they live, among no time like the present. So, what are you other things. A conservator is responsible waiting for? for handling the individual’s money and property.

Attend Free Workshop

Asking a court to appoint a guardian and conservator takes time, and can be expensive. To initiate the proceeding,

Raley Raley L. L. Wiggins Wiggins Attorney Attorney at at Law, Law, Red Red Oak Oak Legal, Legal, PC PC 334-239-3625 334-239-3625 || info@redoaklegalpc.com info@redoaklegalpc.com 312 Suite Montgomery, 36104 445Catoma DexterStreet, Avenue, ste150, 9000, Mont, ALAL36104 www.redoaklegalpc.com www.redoaklegalpc.com

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Can your loved one still handle their own affairs?

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Estate Planning, Asset Protection & Medicaid Eligibility

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A Unique Reading Group

By John Hanc

Lynda Aron shows off some of the novels the book club at Atria on Roslyn Harbor has discussed. She is flanked by Atria residents Caroline Lesser, left, and Francine Schneider. (Barry Sloan/Newsday/TNS)

On a blustery Friday afternoon in late April, a fire warms the spacious Queen Mary Room of the Atria on Roslyn Harbor, N.Y., a senior retirement community. A circle of easy chairs is drawn around a table laden with fruit and cookies. It’s the perfect setting for curling up with a good book. But the 12 women gathered around aren’t here for quiet time. These Atria residents have assembled to discuss, debate, and dissect a challenging and provocative work of literary fiction. Lynda Aron leads writing and reading groups in libraries, senior citizen facilities and private organizations throughout Long Island and Manhattan. For the first two years, the focus at the Atria was memoir writing. “As they got older,” she says, “they felt that they’d told all their own stories. Now they wanted to discuss other people’s stories.”

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According to a 2015 survey of book club members by BookBrowse (www. bookbrowse.com), an online magazine for librarians and book enthusiasts, participation increases with age, and one of the primary reasons cited for involvement is a desire to connect with others. That seems to hold true for members of the Atria book club. “We have lively discussions and there’s a lot of give and take,” says resident Leah Brochstein, who is 95 and enjoys being able to express herself. “If I have something to say, I say it,” she says. Brochstein worked as a legal secretary for many years and lived in Roslyn before moving to the Atria. On this afternoon, Brochstein is not the only one to voice an opinion about April’s reading selection, Camron Wright’s acclaimed 2012 novel, “The

Rent Collector,” about a poor Cambodian family eking out a living in a municipal waste dump. The club members vote on which book to read, based on selections suggested by Aron, and prefer to stay connected with contemporary trends in literature. Their recent picks have included titles by Yoko Ogawa (“The Housekeeper and the Professor”), Amos Oz (“A Tale of Love and Darkness”), Lauren Groff (“Fates and Furies”) and Elizabeth Strout (“Olive Kitteridge” and “My Name Is Lucy Barton.”) “Some of the titles they’ve chosen are pretty saucy,” Aron says. “Nothing shocks them…These are accomplished women… We have former psychologists, editors, executives.” Today’s group includes women who are 91, 92, 93, 95, and 97; the rest, Aron jokes, are “young chicks” in their The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


80s. They’ve all brought their copy of the book, some in print form, others on Kindles or iPads. A common thread among them: They embraced reading at an early age, and many belonged to book clubs when they were much younger. Caroline Lesser, who is 93, recalls the first books she loved as a girl. “The Book of Knowledge,” she says, referring to the popular children’s encyclopedia. “I read the entire section on Greek mythology. I loved it, and soon I was reading anything I could get my hands on.” When she became a resident at the Atria four years ago, Lesser, formerly of Great Neck, says she heard about the book club and, “I joined as soon as I could.” Rita Lichtenstein, 89, a retired clinical social worker from Great Neck, has lived at the Atria for nearly 10 years. She says she loves to read and enjoys the social dynamics of the book club. “So many of the books have been wonderful to read and to discuss,” she says. “And even when they’re ones we don’t all want to read, we still want to discuss them.” That interaction is one of the major benefits of an activity such as this, says University of Illinois psychologist Wendy Rogers, who specializes in seniors. “There’s a lot of evidence that social engagement is a predictor of health outcomes and even mortality among older adults,” she says. “Having this kind of social engagement that’s high quality ... engaging, interactive, common goaloriented ... is really powerful.” The quality of discourse in the Atria’s book club, Rogers says, exemplifies what researchers have learned: “Verbal ability is well maintained into old age,” she says. “People have a misconception that everything declines with age. I think this group highlights the fact that that’s not true.” Such engagement isn’t exclusive to discussions of literature, Rogers says. “It could be a book club, gardening club, knitting circle, something that has that social component.”

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Executive coach Margaret Moore, codirector of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, says, “This is a great way to keep learning.” Moore, who is based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, adds: “There is also a sense of purpose derived from helping your friends cultivate and maintain agile minds.” At the Atria, Aron starts the discussion by asking the members what they thought of the story, which revolves around a poor, illiterate Cambodian mother who is being taught to read by a stern woman, who also collects the rent on the young mother’s hovel. The rent collector is a former teacher, and some of the Cambodian folk tales the mother learns to read are woven into the story. “I thought it was very well written,” says Francine Schneider, 91. “I appreciated the way the author integrated fables in the story.” “Yes,” Aron responds. “We all love literature, and literature was almost a character in this novel, wasn’t it?” Vigorous nods as the conversation turns to the deplorable living conditions of the characters, who still maintained their dignity and honor. “It was sad,” one of the club members says. “But it was also beautiful.” “It was a faster, easier read than some of the books we’ve discussed,” says another. “But the author said many profound things.” Again, murmurs of agreement, and discussion about the messages in the book. Is there nobility in poverty? All agree that one of the most poignant scenes is when the main characters return to the dump from a trip to find their ramshackle home has been ransacked. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs, but the rest of the community rises to support them. “That book was all about heart,” Brochstein tells the group.

Aron responds, “It was heart-wrenching.” The book ends with the young Cambodian mother choosing to live at the dump when given a choice of whether to remain there; a decision that helps Aron move the discussion along. “Why do you think she would stay?” Aron asks. “It’s human nature to hope,” says one member. “It’s like the expression ‘There’s always hope,’ “ says another. “Because everybody loves a happy ending,” says yet another. Aron latches on to that. “Why do we love a happy ending?” she asks. Some answers are specific (“Because we like feeling good”), but those remarks prompt comments that come in a freeassociation flow. “Like in ‘La La Land,’ “ observes one member, referring to the Academy Award-winning musical. This leads to a brief digression to the merits of that film. Then someone mentions that “The Rent Collector” was based on “River of Victory,” a documentary film made by the author’s son. One woman says that she had visited Cambodia with her husband years ago, and while a beautiful country, she saw evidence of the level of extreme poverty depicted in the book. There is brief silence as the women contemplate this and are reminded of the homes where they lived before moving to the Atria. Some say they would rather return to their own homes, but add that they appreciate the activities available to them at their current residence. The book club is one of their favorites. “It makes living here easier,” Lichtenstein says. (c)2017 Newsday Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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All About Ar t

Carol Barksdale and Pamela Copeland Discover San Miguel de Allende San Miguel de Allende is a city and municipality located in the far eastern part of the state of Guanajuato in Central Mexico, about 170 miles from Mexico City. The founding of this colonial city by the Spanish was in 1541and it attained Municipal status in 1811. The town is important as being the birthplace of Ignacio Allende, whose surname was added to the town’s name in 1826, as well as the first municipality that declared independence of Spanish rule by the nascent insurgent army during the Mexican War of Independence. At the beginning of the 20th century its Baroque/Neoclassical colonial structures were discovered by foreign artists who moved in and began art and cultural institutes such as the Instituto Allende and the Escuela de Bellas Artes. This gave the town a reputation, attracting artists such as David Alfaro Siqueiros and Lennard Brooks.

Pam and Carol, painters at the ready

With a population of around 200,000, and an elevation of 6200 feet, there are panoramic views as far as the eye can see. This is my favorite city in the world, each time I travel there I love it more. I have encouraged many artists to travel and experience this city and am so pleased that Carol (with husband Walt McGriff) and Pamela (with husband Brad Copeland) were listening and are also smitten with this city.

Pamela shares, “Our first night in San Miguel, we watched the sunset from the upscale rooftop bar, Luna, in the Rosewood Hotel. We had a 360-degree view of the mountains in the distance, the Palmita area and overlooking the Parroquia Cathedral. The colors in the sky were like none I’d ever scene; brilliant yellows, oranges, reds and pinks against a turquoise sky. I wanted to grab my paintbrush.” When Carol and Pamela were in the planning stage of their trip, I shared my list of must see with them, the top three were Instituto Allende, the Escucla de Bellas Artes and Fabrica La Aurora (an old fabric factory turned into upscale galleries and shops). They enrolled in an abstract painting class taught by Francheskaa Clark, an expat from Idaho at the Manuk Gallery located inside Fabrica La Aurora. “Francheskaa encouraged us to paint intuitively, allowing our painting to flow freely from within. She stressed Gorgeous! San Miguel de Allende that painting is a spiritual experience and we can make amazing discoveries in our work when we get into the flow of the work. We spent hours painting, the time just flew by.” Says Carol. “Our visit to the Bellas Artes was a marvel. Each area catered to a different branch of the arts; music (including opera), piano, classical guitar and the visual arts.” Pamela said “We were able to observe a figure drawing class and had the opportunity to speak with one of the students. We also observed a weaving class and watched the ladies work on ancient looms.” They visited the Instituto Allende, a university for the visual arts where they had dinner and listened to a live band playing Latin Alternative music. It is impossible for me to share how wonderful all the restaurants, the earthy colors of the colonial architecture, galleries, antique shops, beautiful linen shops, museums, the Opera House and so much more in 700 words.

Walt, Carol, Pam and Brad

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Carol says, “I’m not exactly sure just what it is that made this city so memorable. It wasn’t just that the city itself is so beautiful, with its cathedrals, cobblestone streets with narrow alleys, huge doorways and lovely vistas. Perhaps it’s the bouganvillas blooming in profusion, cascading down walls in vibrant colors all set against a bright blue sky or maybe it was the breeze at night, with the cathedral bells clanging, children running here and there and the mariachi band playing with people singing along. Whatever it is, when I’m in my studio, lost in my painting, San Miguel is softly calling my name.” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

GALLERY ONE presents Art and Fashion CARLISLE and PER SE COLLECTIONS NEW YORK We are so excited about our upcoming Trunk Show with Carlisle Collection New York. This Fall Collection will arrive here at Gallery One Fine Art beginning July 28th and remain through August 5th. Gallery One Fine Art is located at 423 Cloverdale Road here in Montgomery, Al 36106. Their telephone number is 334-269-1114. The collection is shown by appointment. To make an appointment, please call Sandi Aplin at 334-201-8030 or e-mail sandiaplin@aol. com or Sue Groce at 334-546-5706 or e-mail suegroce@hotmail. com. We try to give our customers at least an hour to make their selections and process their orders. We have selected these beautiful pieces from our Fall Collection to share and they are from Group 1 Bauhaus of the Carlisle Collection. The three pieces are the Stylish dress, Toffee blouse with the fabulous Fabiana pants. The first is the Stylish dress which is bronze in color, 100% suede leather, and

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is so versatile it can also be worn as a topper. As you can see in the photograph it works really well as a jacket. This lightweight suede sheath dress with gold exposed front, two way separating zipper and split funnel neck is a must have for Fall. Fitted and shaped with front neck darts, center back seam, waist seam and ¾ sleeves will be a great travel piece. Our Toffee blouse is also bronze in color. This lustrous 100% silk blouse radiates style with or without the optional, detachable, self- tie. Shaped in princess seams front and back with shoulder yoke. Concealed front button placket and topstitch-detailing on seams with long sleeves that are softly gathered to deep six button cuffs. As you can see this works beautifully with the Stylish ¾ length sleeves. The Fabiana 100% silk pant is black, bronze and biscotti in color. A silk twill trouser makes for luxe print mixing in a geometric chevron pattern. Easy fit with waistband that sits 1” below the natural waist. These pants are shaped with back darts, fly front zipper and angled

front slash pockets. This wonderful combination can be worn from morning meeting and can be perfect for cocktails to dinner. We also have many Cashmere and Silk Cashmere knit tops in a variety of styles and wonderful colors. Carlisle New York celebrates the style, strength and cosmopolitan spirit of busy women everywhere. Women wearing Carlisle feel style still matters, we invite our customers to feel extraordinary with our handcrafted artisanal designs. Our casual to cocktail look is available in sizes 0 to 18. Carlisle Fall 2017 takes sophistication and style to a new level. Inspired by the intersection of classic Beaux Arts in the Per Se Collection and modern Bauhaus design in the Carlisle Collection. This luxurious collection has been carefully designed and curated to accentuate texture, color and form. Step into the world of artistic nuance to experience luxury styling. Make a private appointment to experience luxury styling with this beautiful designer collection. Hope all of our friends and patrons have a happy and safe 4th of July. Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art A freelance writer living in Montgomery, AL. sandiaplin@aol.com or galleryonefineart.com

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By Jeff Barganier

Primitive Edits on Alabama’s Mountain of Health I’m working on a book. For now, I’m calling it: How Prayer Helped Me Escape the Corporate Rat Race; and Live Life by Design NOT by Default. Those familiar with serious writing know that editing never ends. I needed a place where I could chill and edit my manuscript: a cool, tranquil setting, bereft of distractions and spur-of-the-moment demands, a place where I could concentrate, take my time and focus. I discovered my writer’s sanctuary on Instagram when someone posted about Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville. Determined that “planning” shouldn’t get in the way, I merely stuffed a few essentials in a small backpack and headed north on I-65. It’s a good fourhour drive from Pike Road. Once there, I quickly traversed Huntsville and began my ascent up Monte Sano Mountain along a wall of natural rock beneath a canopy of sundrenched leafy oaks. At the summit, the terrain flattens for miles; and to my surprise, a residential area stretches almost to the gate of Monte Sano State Park. The registration office doubles as a small convenience store with ice, cold drinks, candy, ice cream, and some of the miscellaneous items that, in my haste, I neglected to bring—tooth paste. The nice lady at the office allowed me to check out the camping area and

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And for children, there is an outstanding playground. Since I was there to edit, I didn’t bring my bike to test the biking trails; nor did I do any hiking. But I definitely recommend having a bike at Monte Sano.

select the site I liked. Several deer grazed along the gravel road and watched me as I studied campsites. I chose a “primitive” site without water and electricity; but with just the right trees upon which to hang my hammock. It was practically home—the showers and toilets were only a short walk away. The park also features numerous sites for RV’s with access to both water and power.

The first hour or so, I simply sat in a chair and marveled at the beauty of the woods. Afternoon light splashed through huge trees. Squirrels scurried about and various birds sang their songs to me. Complemented by a cool mountain breeze, the scene had a wonderful sleepinducing effect on me. It was all so intoxicating that I nearly forgot to prepare my bed while there was still sunlight. When I opened my hammock bag, I realized that all I had was mosquito netting—no hammock! Thus, I discovered one of the advantages of Monte Sano State Park. That is, that in less than twenty minutes, one can drive to a SuperWalmart in Huntsville and buy camping equipment! When I returned with my new hammock, I prepared for nightfall. There was a grill at the site and plenty of wood around, but I didn’t feel up to dealing with a fire. Instead, I slumped into my narrow sling and savored the woods-chatter, as various nocturnal The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


crawly-creatures usurped the stage from the birds and squirrels. I listened; and watched the eastern woods surrender to moon-glow even as the sun retreated through the trees in the west. Just totally cool. Autumn camping must offer unbelievable beauty here amidst the tall hardwoods. It’s a great place to chill out and edit a manuscript or simply regain some of the sanity the world slowly cheats us of in the course of everyday life. Monte Sano is Spanish for mountain of health. Health resorts used to occupy the mountain to take advantage of the clean water, fresh air and cooler temperatures. In 1886, the Hotel Monte Sano entertained guests from every state in the Union; and even the likes of Astor, Vanderbilt, and railroad magnate Jay Gould visited the mountain. The hotel’s last season was 1900, after the cause for yellow fever and cholera was discovered. Talking about health, the staff at Monte Sano does a fabulous job of keeping their toilet and shower facilities sparkling. One of the small pleasures of primitive camping at

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Monte Sano is the joy of rising early, while the whole park is asleep, and walking alone through the dark, cold, misty woods to the bathhouse for a long, hot shower. (Well, anyway, I enjoyed it.) I also liked strolling down to the little store mid-afternoon for some icecream or visiting one of the scenic overlooks to rest my eyes. On most of my adventures, I seem to have at least one near-death wilderness experience. But there was none of that at Monte Sano. (I did manage to close the trunk lid on my head.) Rather, it was more like camping high above, although in close proximity to, modern civilization—in this case, Huntsville. The sounds of planes, trains and cars were ever present. It’s not like the Sipsey Wilderness of Northwest Alabama where it’s so quiet that a snake can’t slither by without

making some noise. I was lucky, however, to have a close-encounter with a large cat during the night— probably just a small Amazonian panther in migration. Its eyes glowed in the moonlight as it stealthily approached to within a few feet of my hammock then disappeared like a ghost. The next morning, tracks freckled my car. The feline probably smelled my King Oscar sardines in extra virgin olive oil in the trunk. Can you blame him? Or maybe he was a literary-critic critter trying to sneak a peek at my latest work. Cats, like editors, are inquisitive in the wild. Jeff S. Barganier is a freelance writer and business manager of Cindy Barganier Interiors LLC. He travels far and wide upon the slightest excuse for something interesting to write about. Contact Jeff at Jeffbarganier@ knology.net. Follow him on Instagram #jeffbarganier.

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By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

“HITTIN’ THE BOTTLE - AGAIN!” Children: Long ago in a grocery store Far Away (A&P, Chicago) there was a counter inside that served one solitary purpose.

When (not if) I get to heaven the first thing I’m going to do is find my Mom and apologize for all the times I watched her commandeer our Plymouth Fury station wagon into the driveway, park, unload and then lug those heavy 8 packs of Summer Refreshment into the house while I watched without lifting a finger to help. It’s amazing her knuckles didn’t scrape the ground- all so her BOOMer Bratz could cool off on blazing Chicago afternoons.

Shoppers would stack that counter with 8 packs of emptied 16 ounce Coca Cola bottles, and the friendly staffer would hand the customer their 16 cents “deposit” money. The customer would then, while shopping, buy another 8-pack of 16 ounce bottles and pay the cashier another 16 cents deposit. 16 cents in, 16 out.

When we’d go golfing, my favorite holes were #9 and #17 because each featured a Coke vending machine- outside, baking in the heat. For 15 cents it would dispense a 12 ounce glass bottle of Coke (or 7-UP for snobs) that would be ice cold, even though the machine sat unprotected from the heat. It was a thirst-quenching miracle and OH! SO! GOOD!

It was a somewhat redundant process and very inconvenient- but that deposit money was just enough that most families needed it and would drag the bottles back for re-use. I truly hate the fact that I am now old enough to remember when 16 cents could buy you something (like 3 Hershey bars-and they were much larger then) @ a nickel each. The 2 cent per bottle system was designed to save a little money on production. Few ever drank an entire 16 ounce bottle, so most homes were equipped with “bottle stoppers”, a means of preserving soda carbonation with a device that produced a vulgar rubber tip that penetrated the bottle top and a metal clasp that locked it in place. They worked! There was little product wasted. I helped Mom by scanning the newspaper ads on Wednesdays to see who had the best price on those 16 ounce 8-packs- and in the mid 60s one store or another had them at 59 cents. Aren’t those prices quaint? We weren’t poor. There was no shortage of soda or glass. It was the system, and all systems eventually change.

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By the 70s, though, they’d figured out how to get Coke in cans (without a hint of metal taste) and eventually, into the greatest beverage murderer of all- 2 liter plastic bottles. Glass bottled sodas of any kind (including Orange Crush, A&W Root Beer and something called 50-50) vanished like the dinosaurs.

It was killed by consumer demand for convenience but it was great while it lasted. On the hottest summer day, there was no greater relief than that ice cold glass bottle of Coke (before it was New Coke and Classic Coke and Back to Coke or Diet Coke)- and the near freezing temperature of that gassy, sweet nectar as it de-parched throats over-heated from playing ball, kick the can or hide and go seek.

BTW, anyone remember a beverage called “Squirt”? It was an awkwardly named soda at the least. How does a guy, with any dignity, offer one of those to his date without seeming naughty? “Hey Honey, want a Squirt? ”... SMACK! I’ve digressed. So as time passed, the return counter at the grocery store was phased out, along with manual registers and Green Stamps, while the soda shelves were

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filled with more brands and choices, but limited to 2 options, aluminum cans or plastic ‘bottles’. I became a can guy. I don’t know what it is about plastic bottled soda, but even if you submerge it in a glacier, the container never seems cold. The contents are cold but the container is not. While canned soda flattened out faster if it sat, at least the container could get ice cold. Then the Society Hell Bent on Destroying Our Enjoyment of Anything Fun Or Somewhat Unhealthy announced some obtuse connection between aluminum cans and brain erosion, or mental illness, or Alzheimer’s. This is where I drew the line. Aspartame, the greatest invention since the wheel or honey-mustard sauce, was already under professional assault. Aspartame gave us Diet Coke with a true Coke flavor. My favorite drink was at risk, because some clown scientist found that lab mice got sick when forced to consume 3 times their body weight with the stuff. This, after learning the cans it came in were sending me to an asylum sooner or later. What to do with these 2 choices of DEATH staring me down? I was saved by a trip to Food Outlet!

There, on shelves in the beverage aisle, were 6 packs of glass bottled Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and others. PEPSI, the Crushes, Canada Dry Ginger Ale- they were all back in a glassy, joyous reunion. The best new idea in soda drinking was an old one brought back, minus the deposit.

A NEW LOOK AT

ESSENTIAL OILS

At 3.99 each, I packed the buggy, brought them home and soaked them in ice (only 97cents for 10 pounds at F.O.!). After an hour in the cooler, I pulled one out, and popped the top to a sound (PHHHHHHHHHHHHHT) that took me back 40 years! Once again, the tactile joy of an icy bottle was in my hand. The artificially sweetened nectar de-parched my throat with the heightened robust carbonation capable of producing high decibel belching, that can only come in a glass container. I toasted Mom. Glass bottled soda wasn’t the only thing that “goes around, comes around”. Nobody was there to help me unload the car, either. Have a glass-bottled Diet Coke and a smile, BOOMers. It’s great! Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, Roz, and dogs Hershey and Briscoe. He’s been in radio since 1970, and is marking 12 years in the River Region in 2017. He hosts the Newstalk 93.1FM Morning Show with Rich Thomas, Jay Scott & Emily Hayes, 6-9AM Monday-Friday. He returns weekday afternoons from 3-6PM for Happy Hour with sidekick Joey Clark. Greg can be reached at gregbudell@aol.com

to learn more visit my website

jimwatson.myzija.com

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

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Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Ancient Grains

FARRO Farro, also known as Emmer, is an ancient strain of wheat and the oldest cultivated grain in the world. It is high in fiber and a good source of iron and protein. Farro puffs like rice when cooked but is still slightly chewy.

We’ve all heard of them – who could miss them? But who actually uses them, other than buying cereal/bars touting their containment?

Amaranth. Spelt. Bulgar. Chia seeds. Farro. Quinoa. Millet. Sorghum. Teff. Freekeh. Kamut. This is not an extensive list, but covers most of the main players. Part of the problem of making such a list is that there is no official definition of ‘ancient grains.’ All whole grains in the larger sense are “ancient” — they all can trace their roots back to the beginnings of time. At the Whole Grains Council, they generally define ancient grains loosely as “grains that are largely unchanged over the last several hundred years”. This means that modern wheat, which has been constantly bred and changed, is not an ancient grain. There are, however, other members of the wheat family that are – einkorn, farro, kamut and spelt, for example. Heirloom varieties of other common grains — such as black barley, red and black rice, blue corn — might also be considered ancient grains. Sometimes less common grains, like buckwheat, or wild rice, are also included. So, you see, although the actual definition may be a little tricky, there are so many choices out there, it is actually pretty easy nowadays to avoid the over processed modern wheat.

eat a variety! Each grain has a different strength to offer so by choosing different ones over the course of a week you will get a good coverage of their nutritional values. Consider trying some of the following in your diet. All are available in most supermarkets today. AMARANTH A staple food of the Aztecs, Amaranth comes from an herb plant. The tiny yellow spheres are high in protein (13-14%) and have a mellow peppery flavor. Amaranth is jam-packed with calcium and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It’s also the only grain documented to contain Vitamin C. It’s naturally gluten-free! Amaranth can be cooked as a breakfast porridge or can be eaten “puffed”, like popped corn.

But why should we eat ancient grains? Well, if the “over processed” part of modern wheat was not a big enough clue, try the fact that modern wheat contains very little actual nutrition, particularly when compared to a varied diet containing other grains instead.

BARLEY Barley is the highest in fiber of almost all the whole grains. Studies have shown barley provides many health benefits, including reducing the risk of many diseases, such as heart disease. You can cook it as a side dish, bake it in bread, eat it as a breakfast porridge, or grind it to use as flour to bake cookies. Barley may take longer to cook (about 50-60 minutes), but it freezes well, so cook a big batch at one time and freeze the extra for later.

All the ancient grains are more nutritious than modern wheat, however each has their own strengths. Many thrive with lower levels of pesticides, fertilizers, and many are also grown organically, making them an attractive choice. However, the best way to ensure that you’re getting the full spectrum of nutrients is, as always, to

BULGUR Bulgur, sometimes called cracked wheat, is made from wheat (most often durum wheat). Bulgur has more fiber than quinoa, oats, millet, buckwheat or corn. Because bulgur is precooked and dried, it cooks in about the same time as pasta, making it a great option for fast meals

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MILLET Millet is gluten-free and high in antioxidants and magnesium, which makes it helpful in controlling diabetes and inflammation. Millet grains are usually small and yellowish in color and have a light flavor. Millet can be eaten as a pilaf, breakfast cereal, or added to breads, soups or stews. It can also be popped like corn and eaten as a whole grain snack! QUINOA This nutty, gluten-free “grain” (actually a seed) contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein – the only grain that is. It is a good source of dietary fiber and is also highest of all the whole grains in potassium. Another advantage of quinoa is that it cooks quickly, in about 15 minutes! You can tell it’s done when the little white tail– the germ of the kernel – is sticking out. Quinoa can be substituted anywhere whole grains are used, and is a great addition to pilafs, soups, breads, and salads. SPELT Spelt is higher in protein than common wheat, is high in fiber and is a good source of iron and manganese. Some people who are sensitive to wheat report being able to more easily digest and tolerate spelt, but spelt is NOT gluten-free. It has a chewy texture and sweet, nutlike flavor. In its whole grain form it is a great option as a hot cereal or for use in pilafs, soups or salads. Spelt flour works great for bread, pasta and baked goods. Tracy Bhalla, Independent Consultant with NYR Organics, website: us.nyrorganic.com/shop/tracybhalla email: nyrbhalla@gmail.com You can also visit Tracy’s blog at Tracybhalla.com, 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


to learn more visit my website

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

jimwatson.myzija.com

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July 2017

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

PRATTVILLE, ALABAMA

The 19th Annual Pet Photo Contest kicks off on June 1st, 2017 when we will begin accepting photo submissions of your pet. You can enter online at www.montgomeryhumane.com and submit your picture (the file should be 3300 pixels by 2550 pixels or 11″ X 8.5″ at 300 dpi). When taking the picture make sure it is at the highest resolution. All entries will be placed on our website and you may vote for your favorite entries online. Each vote costs just $1, with the top 83 animals earning a place in our 2018 “Friends for Life” calendar. Get your friends, family co-workers to vote for your pet!

The City of Prattville will present the popular Creekwalk Concert Series on the second and fourth Tuesdays of July. These concerts will feature the John Bull Band and The Blackbird Pickers performing by the beautiful Autauga Creek behind City Hall and the Police Station. Concerts are free and open. Food vendors available, but concert goers can visit some of the local restaurants or bring picnic baskets. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy a the magnificent Prattville sunsets. Concerts start at 7pm. For more information, contact the Special Events office at 334.595.0854 or visit www.prattvilleal.gov.

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

PRATTVILLE, ALABAMA

Montgomery Humane Society Friends for Life Pet Photo Contest Through July 28th

Disney’s Mary Poppins ASF-Alabama Shakespeare Festival July 5-July 23rd, various times

The “practically perfect in every way” nanny returns to the ASF Festival Stage! Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she teaches the family how to value each other again. Mary Poppins showcases some of the most memorable songs ever sung on the silver screen or stage including “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Jolly Holiday,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” Recommended ages four and up. For more information, call 334.271.5353 or visit www.asf.net. Alabama Shakespeare Festival, One Festival Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Food Truck Take Over Hampstead First Friday in July and August, , 4:30-8:30 pm Hampstead Living hosts a Food Truck Take Over on the first Friday of each month this summer, featuring 3 Montgomery Food Trucks, Live Music, and Outdoor Park Seating. July 7, and August 4. 4:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. Each Friday Features a variety of 3 Montgomery Food Trucks including Fire Meats Wood, Southern Smokeshack, NYC Gyro, El Campesion’s, and On a Roll. Food will also be availalbe at Hampstead restaurnats The Tipping Point, TASTE, and City Grill. For more information, please call 334.270.6730.

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Creekwalk Concerts Prattville Downtown Behind City Hall Tuesdays, July 11th and 25th, 7pm

Hairspray Way Off Broadway, Prattville July 13-29 various times

Way Off Broadway will present Hairspray! This musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre international, book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by March Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and is based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters. Hairspray! opens Thursday, July 13, at 7:30 pm and will run Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm, through July 29. Performances will be held at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm on Saturday, July 29. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door, and can be purchased online at cc.prattvilleal.gov, or by calling 334.595.0854. For more information contact the Special Events Office or visit wobt.prattvilleal.gov.

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

David Blaine Live Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) Concert Hall Saturday, July 15th, 8 pm Described by Howard Stern as the greatest magician that ever lived, David Blaine single-handedly redefined magic after producing and directing his original television special Street Magic when he was just twenty-three, which Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller called “the best TV magic special ever done.” The New York Times noted that Blaine has “taken a craft that’s been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it,” whilst The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The New Yorker claimed “he saved magic.” For more info visit https:// davidblaine.com/

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Tim Hawkins MPAC-Downtown Montgomery Saturday, July 15th, 7pm

Tim’s gut-busting comedy show entertains the entire family while doubling down on the funny, a daunting task in an age where the obscene has become routine. His act is 1 part gifted + 2 parts twisted, the only certainty being his on-the-nose observations that expose the ridiculousness of daily life while marveling in its hilarity. The perils of marriage, homeschooling, and growing up in the Midwest may not exemplify the rock star life, but they make for really good punchlines. For more info visit www.mpaconline.org or www.timhawkins.net

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Ted Nugent The MPAC, Downtown Montgomery Sunday, July 16, 7:30 pm

Ted Nugent has carved a permanent place in rock & roll history as the ultimate guitarshredding showman, selling more than 40 million albums, performing over 6,500 highoctane live shows, and continuing to set attendance records at venues around the globe. Nugent was named Detroit’s Greatest Guitar Player of All Time by readers of MLive, and his no-holds-barred career spans five decades of multi-platinum hits. For millions of passionate music lovers everywhere, Ted delivers the Ultimate Life Soundtrack. A Ted Nugent show is not just a performance—it’s a fire breathing celebration! For more info visit www.mpaconline.org or www.tednugent.com

OPELIKA, ALABAMA

Barbasol PGA Championship Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National July 20-23 A PGA Tour tournament sponsored by Barbasol, the No. 1 shaving cream brand in the U.S., debuted in 2015 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National. The tournament will return for the third year on July 20 - 23, 2017. A four-year agreement establishing the Barbasol Championship had been announced at the Alabama State Capitol by Governor Robert Bentley and representatives from the PGA Tour and the Robert The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Trent Jones Trail Foundation, which will serve as the tournament host organization. The Barbasol Championship has become part of the FedEx Cup competition, awarding 300 points to the winner. Grand National is one of 11 sites along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. It has 36-holes of championship golf, along with an 18-hole par-3 short course.

DAUPHIN ISLAND, ALABAMA Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Dauphin Island July 21-23

The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, a Project of the Mobile Jaycees, is the largest fishing tournament in the world. Founded in 1929, the fishing rodeo now attracts over 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators. It is located on Dauphin Island, Ala. The 84th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo will be held July 21-23, 2017. The ADSFR is a 3-day Captain’s Choice tournament and a Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) sanctioned event. The total awards package is valued up to one million dollars in cash and prizes and anchored by a boat, motor, and trailer packages. For more info visit www.adsfr.com

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie Cloverdale Playhouse July 20-30, Thursdays-Sundays Peter Pan is the story of three siblings who follow Peter Pan and the fairy Tinker Bell into Neverland, where children never grow old. Captain Hook and his pirates, Tiger Lily and her tribe, mermaids, and a dozen other adventures await the children in this timeless tale of eternal youth. After multiple years of successful Playhouse Troupe productions in summer, we graduate our young actors to our main season in this delightful new imagining of a familiar classic. For more information, please call 334.262.1530 or www.cloverdaleplayhouse.org

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Stars on the Riverfront Riverwalk Amphitheater July 30 & 31, 7:30 pm

The Alabama Dance Theatre will present its annual “Stars on the Riverfront” with two spectacular free performances. Bring the entire family and a picnic and join the Alabama Dance Theatre as the sun sets on one of Montgomery’s most beautiful venues, the Riverwalk Amphitheater. These eclectic performances are the culmination of ADT’s two week Summer Dance Seminar and will feature over fifty dancers. Performances will be held Sunday, July 30 and Monday, July 31st at at 7:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Amphitheater. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. for picnicking. This events is FREE and open to the public. For more information, please call 334.241.2590 or www.alabamadancetheatre.com R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

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Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

The Music Never Ends for Broadway Actress Susan Watson

Best known for her roles in musical theater, Tony-nominated actress and singer Susan Watson released a collection of 14 Broadway and jazz standards on her CD “The Music Never Ends” last fall. “Some of these tracks I had sung earlier in my career and others I had always heard and loved, and just wanted to get them recorded,” said Watson from her home in Sherman Oaks, California (www.susanwatsonmusic.com). As an added bonus, says Watson, six of the songwriters on the CD were women well into their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. “America remains a unique bastion of innovation and opportunity,” she said. “I’m 78-years-old and am still having a lovely time in show business and in life.” Raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by a father who played the piano and mother who danced, young Susan performed in high school plays before heading to New York to major in singing and dancing at the Juilliard School. When the opportunity arose to move to London for a production of “West Side Story,” she grabbed it. “I snuck away from classes one afternoon for auditions. By the time I got back to my apartment I was offered a part.”

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While her role was only the understudy for the leading lady, the experience was invaluable. Director/ choreographer Gower Champion offered her the role of Kim MacAfee in the Broadway production of “Bye Bye Birdie” which opened in 1960. When casting calls were made for the 1963 movie version, Watson traveled to LA for an audition.

off-Broadway plays, as well as in summer stock and other popular productions across the country. Back on Broadway in the early 70s, Watson played Nanette in “No, No, Nanette” which featured 1930s film star Ruby Keeler, returning to the stage in her 60s, having retired from acting in the 1940s. “She was a great hoofer, and we revered her,” Watson recalled. “She was very famous and sometimes you don’t feel comfortable trying to get close to someone like that, but she was always a dear to us.”

“I lost out to Ann-Margaret, but that’s the way it goes,” she said. “I stayed in Hollywood for a while and appeared on TV shows like ‘Dobie Gillis.’” She also had a chance to work with a larger-than-life Hollywood star. “I did a sitcom pilot for a show called ‘Maggie Brown’ with Ethel Merman and I was to play her daughter. Ethel was a take charge person, I can tell you, and didn’t need any instruction from the director. She staged the opening song, ‘Mutual Admiration Society,’ that we sang together, and knowing I was a dancer suggested I should do a few kicks during the routine. We were both disappointed when the show wasn’t picked up.” Watson went on to appear in over half a dozen more Broadway shows, numerous

Watson is especially proud of her recent CD not only because it contains classic songs from legends such Stephen Sondheim, the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, and Irvin Berlin, but because it features works by veteran women songwriters including Phyllis Molinary, Gretchen Cryer, Michele Brourman, Amanda McBroom, and Marilyn Bergman. “These women have had long, successful careers,” says Watson. “I hope that in the CD’s production and content, it symbolizes that active, empowered, senior women are a resource that America can be proud of.” 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 www.getnickt.com The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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BOOM! July 2017  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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