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for Boomers and Beyond

June 2012

Take Action at Signs of Heat-Related Illness For some people, it’s not just the heat—it’s also the humidity. Both conditions can cause heat stress, which can range from annoying to life-threatening. The risk of heat-related illness isn’t confined to a particular job or season. It can occur in those who toil outdoors on warm days, but it also can happen anytime to people working indoors in hot or muggy environments. If any of these sound like situations you find yourself in at times, knowing what to do could save a friend, family member—or yourself— someday. To give you a heads-up, here’s a guide to four common types of heat-related illness. The information comes from experts at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and others.


What it is. Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body can’t control its temperature, which can rise to critical levels within 10 to 15 minutes. Symptoms. They include a high body temperature, confusion, a throbbing headache and slurred speech. A person may sweat profusely or stop sweating while the skin turns dry and hot. What to do. Call for immediate medical help. In the meantime, move the person to a cool, shaded area. Put cold, wet cloths or ice over his or her body. Or, soak the person’s clothing with cold water.

Heat Exhaustion

What it is. This serious condition is caused by a loss of water and salt from the body. Symptoms. They include a rapid heartbeat, heavy sweating and extreme weakness. The person may become dizzy, vomit and possibly faint. What to do. Take the person to a shaded area to rest and

offer plenty of water. Apply cold water or cloths to the head, neck and face. Accompany the person to a clinic or emergency department for medical evaluation and treatment.

Heat Cramps

What it is. Sometimes related to heat exhaustion, cramps also are the result of a drop in the body’s salt and water levels. Symptoms. They include muscle cramps and pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs. What to do. Urge the person to stop working, sit in a cool place and drink juice or a sports beverage. It’s also OK to offer water and food. If cramps don’t subside within an hour, take the person for medical care.

Heat Rash

What it is. Sometimes called prickly heat, this annoying and common heat-related illness is caused by sweating. Symptoms. They include clusters of red blisters or pimples that feel prickly or itchy. What to do. The rash usually disappears after the person cools off. Applying a powder can help ease the discomfort, but avoid moistening the area with ointments or creams. They’re likely to make it worse. You can learn more about preventing and treating heatrelated illnesses at Type “heat stress” in the search box. During the long days of summer, it’s natural to think about watering your lawn and garden, the houseplants, and the pets. But what about your need for water? The Need for Hydration When quenching your thirst, take care in choosing what you drink. While beverages such as sodas and sports drinks do contain water, they are also high in sugar and calories. Along with water, other healthy choices for keeping well-hydrated include: • Fat-free or low-fat milk. • Unsweetened, 100 percent fruit juices. • Unsweetened iced tea or coffee. • Fruits and vegetables with a high water content, such as watermelons, grapefruits, apples, lettuce, broccoli and carrots.

Sources: American Council on Exercise; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; International Food Information Council Foundation

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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June 2012



If you are 50 or older, get screened for colorectal cancer COlOreCTAl CANCer IS THe 2ND leADINg CANCer kIller IN AlABAMA. Find colorectal cancer early by getting one of these procedures:

The FIT is an easy way to be tested for colorectal cancer:

• High-sensitivity gFOBT, iFOBT, or FIT anually • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years • Colonoscopy every 10 years Do you want to be screened but are worried about:


• Transportation • Cost • Time


• • • • • •

No need to change eating habits No need to change medications No liquids to drink No day off work Done in privacy of your home Mail back in a few days

This test is covered by many health insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. Be healthy and celebrate your life!

Ask your doctor about screening options for colorectal cancer, including the new take-home test called FIT or iFOBT. If you are at high risk for colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened more frequently.

A L A B A M A Colorectal Cancer Prevention Program


June 2012

For more information, talk to your doctor or visit /FITWAY . The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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June 2012




June 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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


June 2012 Volume 2 Issue 11

“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

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 8 Publisher’s Letter 12 Cover Profile 21 MMFA-Summer Art Exhibits 22 Healthy Hearing, Hearing Device Checklist

page 18

26 Baby Boomer Memory Test

Features 17 Entrepreneurs 50+ 18 Cost of Dying

25 New Grandmothers

Departments 10 This and That

24 Sherry Debray

helping you get started

Have you heard about....

He is suffering without purpose.

28 {12} Things

Solutions for bored people.

5 Must have books

27 Art & Soul: Sandi Aplin 30 Male Call: Greg Budell-Bring Me NO Tools! 31 BOOM! Advertising

Would you sign?



FREE Ice Cream Too!


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page 23 BOOM! magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 8637 Harvest Ridge Dr., Montgomery, AL 36116. The phone number for voice and fax is 334.523.9510. Copyright 2012 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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June 2012



publisher’s letter

New Experiences, New Memories 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.

New experiences? When you’re a Boomer, new experiences add new value to your life’s journey. Of course we need a routine or a groove to get the things done that make us a living or nurture the special relationships we all have. But when you can grab a few new experiences now and then, it’s a special day.


A few weeks ago I was introduced to my new granddaughter, Grace. Now that was a new experience because she was born in Russia and has been adopted by my son Jason and his wife DeAnne. In the past, my thoughts on adoption focused on other families, not mine. But when Grace came to my arms that first evening, she was my granddaughter and she got a piece of my heart right off the bat. She doesn’t know it yet but she will provide many special days during my life!

Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Dr. Bettie Borton Greg Budell Sherry DeBray Lesa Holstine Lisa M. Krieger Tim Thompson Virginia Thompson

Cover Photography Lola Fine Art Photography


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Monette Mottenon, 334.523.9510

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics


Network Delivery


Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

A few days after holding Grace, Jackie and I joined her family for a 1,000 mile road Jim Watson, Publisher trip to the swamplands of Louisiana for a momentous wedding held in a beautiful setting along Lake Arthur, where crawfish is king and the Cajun accents are just fun to listen to. And fun to be around. If you ever want to get to know your fiancé’s family, take a 1,000 mile road trip with them. One thing’s for sure, It won’t be an annual trip and yes, we’re still getting married!

Finally, Jackie invited me to join her for an event sponsored by the Central Alabama Community Foundation. The event was held at Jim Scott’s Garden which sits on the banks of Lake Martin. Jim’s garden is well known to those folks that have a gardening interest or no doubt a community interest because Jim attracts both. It was a privilege to experience the gardens with the many different visuals, from waterfalls, streams, courtyards, decks, kid size chess pieces, and especially the wine cellar tucked away under a huge boulder. The sunset was beautiful! As I was learning more about Jim Scott, I came across a quote of his, “The only thing anybody really owns is their memories,” he observes. “Everything else is ephemeral. I would hope that 15 years from now, if someone who’s been here were asked, ‘You remember a garden with lots of waterfalls on a lake in Alabama?’ they would remember. If so, then I’ve given them a gift of enormous value.” Jim is no doubt a “Garden Philosopher”, a wise one for sure. The use of his imagination in creating his garden is indeed an enormous gift for me and those fortunate enough to experience it. Thanks Jim. I own many new memories from these past few weeks because of new experiences and special days.

As you read through BOOM! this month I hope we will inspire you with new experiences and ideas for your lifestage and style. We begin with a wonderful BOOM! Cover Profile of Tim and Virginia Thompson. As many of you know, Tim is the Senior Minister at Frazer, his wife, Virginia teaches Sunday school there as well. Spending some time with both of them and also listening to Tim’s sermons, you are drawn to their ease with each other and how passionate they are for serving and teaching others about God’s Truth. I hope you’ll lean in and give them both a listen as you read their Q & A on page 12. We have an article on the Cost of Dying. It’s a story about a daughter who is the caregiver for her father and all that goes on at the end of life, trying to find a purpose. Many of us who have experienced these situations can relate to her tribulation.

People over 50 who want to start their own businesses are now called Encore Entrepreneurs because they have already learned many valuable skills and they’re going to put them to good use again. If you’re one of them, there’s more info on page 17. We also have a Baby Boomer memory test from the internet, what books new grandmothers should have in their libraries, Greg Budell’s funny take on tools for Father’s Day, Sandi Aplin’s article on artist Charlie Lucas and plenty of other goodies. BOOM! provides a great way for you to spend about an hour of your precious time relaxing in your favorite spot. Enjoy the new experience! Happy Father’s Day!

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office


June 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Meet the doctor who’s all ears. Ask audiologist Dr. Bettie Borton how many ears she’s treated and she’ll say “thousands.” It’s the voice of experience. As a board-certified audiologist with more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Borton is recognized as an expert in hearing health care. The only AudigyCertifiedTM provider in Alabama, Dr. Borton has been helping your friends and neighbors get the most out of life for years. Call for a complimentary hearing screening. Then put yourself in the hands of someone who has done it a thousand times before.

Bettie B. Borton, Au.D., FAAA Board Certified Doctor of Audiology Former National Chair of the American Board of Audiology President-Elect of the American Academy of Audiology For your convenience,

call us toll-free at



7025 Halcyon Park Dr, Ste A


Doctors Hearing Clinic

2204-D Gateway Dr

Helping People Hear!

View our virtual seminar at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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June 2012




This & tHAT

Mary Ellen’s Hearth Set to Open on August 1st

Mary Ellen’s Hearth, a new ministry serving homeless women and children in Montgomery, Alabama and the River Region, is set to open at the Nellie Burge Community Center on August 1, 2012. Mary Ellen’s Hearth provides hope, help, and healing to homeless women and their children through transitional housing, life skills training, and support for up to two years. After opening, Mary Ellen’s Hearth will be the only facility in the River Region providing transitional assistance for homeless women and their children together as a family. “The goal of Mary Ellen’s Hearth is for the families we serve to leave us within two years or less...their dignity and self-respect restored...prepared for a life of independence,” said Scott Key, president of the board of directors of Nellie Burge Community Center. There are an estimated 300 homeless women and children in the River Region. Mary Ellen’s Hearth will serve those looking for assistance through Christian love and support, providing a home for up to ten families initially, with the goal of expanding to serve more than 20 families in the future. Mary Ellen’s Hearth continues the long tradition of ministries at the Nellie Burge Community Center that have served women and children in the Montgomery area since 1904. For those interested in volunteering or making a financial contribution, please visit or contact Debbie Dobbins - Executive Director by phone at 334-264-4108 or by email at

Jackson Hospital Receives

Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award The award recognizes Jackson Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment for at least 24 months according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations. To receive the Get With The Guidelines®–-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, Jackson Hospital demonstrated at least 85% adherence in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke key measures for 24 or more consecutive months. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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Frazer Father’s Day Run Register now for the Father’s Day 5K and 1-mile run on June 16. Everyone is welcome to run or walk, but father-child, grandfather-grandchild teams are especially encouraged as a way to model running the race of faith as a courageous family. Sponsors and volunteers are needed; contact Ashley Aaron at theaarongroup@ For more details and registration go to Inflatibles and games for children will make this a fun time of fellowship for the whole family. Proceeds go to support Frazer’s transformational work with the deaf community in Haiti. Our run is open to everyone–men, women, those who have children and those who do not. However, our prayer is that God will use this event in particular to encourage Dad’s to run or walk with their sons or daughters—not only for this one day, but to “run” with them and “walk” with them throughout their lives. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

“Senior” Prom for Prattville Health and Rehab Residents


Auburn Montgomery’s Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity hosted a “Senior” Prom for Prattville Health and Rehab residents on April 20. Residents enjoyed a classic Hollywood theme, complete with a red carpet, big band tunes, and posing for prom pictures. Members of Zeta Tau Alpha kept the entertainment going by dancing with the senior citizens and learning how to play their favorite games. One resident was moved to tears upon entering the room, and proceeded to tell members, “I’m 86 years old, and this is the first prom I’ve ever been too. I’m blessed to be spending it with these fine young women.”

Family doctors make a comfortable living in most parts of America. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has calculated the average salaries of family and general practitioners in 256 metropolitan areas -finding that all but two are above $100,000. Montgomery ranks #5, with an average of $233,070. The national average is $177, 330, which translates to $85.26 per hour.


GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! Opening June 21st


Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire’s collaborative genius explore the search for romance and love, the humor and struggle of couples riding the roller-coaster of relationships amid an ever-changing world. This memorable revue is filled with songs that enchant, inspire, get the toes tapping and the hearts fluttering. It reminds us all that chance and new possibilities might be just around the corner.*Subject May Not Be Suitable For Children under 12 Yrs.* PERFORMANCES JUNE 21-24 & JUNE 28-JULY 1. TH/ FRI/ SAT at 7:30 PM --- SUNDAY at 2PM. To Order Tickets Online go to or by email: By Phone: (334) 262-1530. Box Office, Cloverdale Playhouse, 960 Cloverdale Road, Montgomery, AL 36106

Once in a Lifetime, “New Experience!” Leader. Educator. Wife. Mother. First Lady. Laura Bush will come to Montgomery Thursday, October 4, 2012, at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center downtown to speak at Turning Points, a dinner event to benefit Faulkner University. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. with a special-ticket admission reception preceding it at 5:30 p.m. Sponsorships and photo opportunities will be available. Proceeds from Faulkner’s Turning Points Benefit Dinner go towards student scholarships. For event information or to purchase tickets, call the Office of University Advancement at 334.386.7257 or visit

Cut Poison Burn is a controversial, eye opening, and sometimes heartbreaking documentary that puts the business of cancer treatment under the microscope. Follow the frustrating journeys of critically ill cancer patients as they try to navigate the confusing and dangerous maze of treatment and encounter formidable obstacles in the “cancer industrial complex.” A compelling critique of the influence of medical monopolies, the power of pharmaceutical companies and government agencies, Cut Poison Burn is essential viewing for anyone and everyone touched by cancer. visit

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June 2012




Tim & Virginia Thompson, Christ-Centered This month’s BOOM! profile is Tim and Virginia Thompson. Tim is the Senior Minister at Frazer United Methodist Church on Atlanta Highway and as you get to know Tim and Virginia in this month’s BOOM! Profile Q & A, you’ll discover they have the same hobbies and interests as many of us in the Boomer Generation. While Tim shares the Gospel every Sunday morning at Frazer, Virginia is passionate about teaching her Sunday school class. They are both very happy to be back home in Montgomery after serving many United Methodist Churches in the Southeast! Tim and Virginia shared some of their life’s journey with us recently and we think you’ll enjoy the visit with them as much as we did.

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, ie. Where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area, did your raise your family here, schools, family etc. Tim/Virginia: Virginia and I have always known each other. Our parents were close friends their entire lives – Virginia’s dad and my mom went to first grade together. Our families took vacations together for more than 50 years. Our parents were very active in the Tower Class –one of the best Sunday school classes in the history of Methodism. It was the church that kept the families together and ultimately brought us together. I am four years older than Virginia, so it wasn’t until we both were in college that I realized she had changed from an annoying brat into a little spitfire of a person that I was very attracted to. When I asked her Daddy if I could marry his daughter, he said, “I don’t know what kind of wife she’ll make, but you’ll never be bored.” I haven’t had a boring day. As a Methodist preacher, we have met the most unique and loving people on the earth. The Methodist appointment system has allowed us to serve churches in Weoka, Pensacola,

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lenges did that present for your family and marriage?

Brewton, at Huntingdon College, Opelika, and Gulf Breeze and now, back home to Montgomery. We have three unique, beautiful daughters who have made life interesting and spent most of our money, and we have loved every minute of their lives. BOOM!: Can you describe the uniqueness of the Frazer Family? Tim/Virginia: Every church has a unique and special personality. I believe Frazer is set apart by the commitment of its members to ministry. In most churches, the congregation looks to the paid staff for leadership. At Frazer, every person believes they have a special call to some ministry. I’ve never been in a church where more people volunteered or were involved in missions. If there is a need, you can be assured that someone will sense God’s hand calling them to meet that need. So many teachers and encouragers, and spiritual leaders – it is truly astonishing. I think the Frazer Family is so whole and so vitally alive because so many are utilizing their spiritual gifts to the betterment of the body. BOOM!: We understand there have been times in the past where the two of you had to maintain two households. What kind of chal-

Tim/Virginia: Having to be apart for two years was incredibly lonely. It is difficult to be separated from your best friend. But, while it was the hardest thing I have ever done, it was one of the best things that ever happen to each of us. Both of us experienced tremendous spiritual growth during that time. We also learned to be less dependent on each other and more dependent on God. It gave us both a new heart for singles, widows and widowers. We experienced what single people know. Our culture is designed for couples. It is hard to go out to eat by yourself – or go to the movies. It is lonely going to bed at night and not having anyone in the house to say goodnight to. The two years apart made our marriage a great deal stronger. When we were able to be together, we were totally focused on each other. Things like clothes on the floor, or toilet seats up – things that once annoyed – were truly unimportant. Being separated from the people you love – makes you appreciate the times you have together. BOOM!: As Boomers, would you describe the impact of the empty nest syndrome on your lives? Tim/Virginia: When our kids left home, our marriage and our relationship didn’t change much. Our lives hadn’t revolved around our kids, so it wasn’t too much of an adjustment. Virginia’s mother had taught her that the priority relationship in the family was the husband/wife relationship as opposed to the parent/child. We both believed that the greatest gift we could give our children was to model for them a good marriage – to have parents who loved each other. So many people put the marriage relationship second when children come along. If parents have focused their whole lives on their children, when the children leave home there is a huge hole – an empty place. If this has happened, we think the best advice is for the parents…. to start dating. If two married people have taken their eyes off each other and spent 18

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

years focused on a child, they need to start dating again. These two adults need to go out to eat, go to the movies, hold hands; do those silly, intimate things you did when you were dating each other. You must rediscover what attracted you to your spouse in the first place. Rebuild the relationship. Too many couples take their eyes off each other and center their lives on the kids. Too many couples find their lives empty when the kids go off to college. These couples need to do the work of falling in love again. Marriage is something you tend to daily.

that crows at crazy hours. Winding down is coming home. BOOM!: Favorite vacation spot? Tim/Virginia: Any road-trip. We love to drive the countryside. We stop at every antique store, mom and pop country store; any store that looks interesting! The people are friendly – always interesting. I love hunting for sports memorabilia and Virginia loves anything to do with the Civil War, WWI and II. There is as much fun in the trip as there is in the destination.

downtown area. I have fond memories of going downtown – shopping and just walking around. My family ate supper at Chris’ Hotdogs every Sunday night when I was growing up. That was our big treat: two hotdogs with sauce and chocolate milk. Add to Chris’, the Biscuits stadium, the people crowding into the Alley, the great restaurants – just seeing people laughing and having fun downtown makes you feel good. BOOM!: As you’ve aged, have your ambitions changed?

Tim/Virginia: Absolutely! For both of us, goals that were motivated primarily by selfish ambitions have diminished. Virginia is now committed to using her spiritual gifts to help people – especially women – who are broken from low self esteem to learn what it means Virginia and Tim at “Their Wedding” BOOM!: Favorite book of to live free in Christ. For me, I did what a lot BOOM!: What are you most passionate the Bible? of ministers do. Early in about and why? ministry, you hope you get Tim/Virginia: I don’t know if the chance to serve a big Tim/Virginia: Virginia and I are most passionI have a favorite book of the church one day and do big ate about helping people start and nurture a Bible. things for God. Early on- it relationship with Jesus Christ. The more you was more about me wantare connected to Jesus the better your life is. BOOM!: If you weren’t in the ing to be successful and Your past is forgiven. Your present is more ministry, what would you be wanting to be liked. The peace-filled. Your future is guaranteed. Too doing? older I get and the more many people are walking around in a state of I’ve grown and matured guilt and dissatisfaction. We are a wealthy Tim/Virginia: I’d be a weathin ministry, now it’s not nation – everyone we know has more than erman or a sportscaster for about me. It has become they need. We have more food than we baseball. I love weather and I about Christ - loving need, bigger houses, and nicer cars. We have love baseball. I really want to people and helping people everything money can buy. Yet, too many go to the Midwest on one of find life in a relationship people are empty of what really matters – joy, the Storm Chaser trips – the with Christ. I don’t much purpose and peace of mind. We know how trips where you pay to go out care anymore if people Tim, Virginia and Mae Mae they can find inner peace, total satisfaction in a car that takes you within a like me or don’t like me and the most joy-filled life imaginable. It is mile of a tornado. Virginia says that I can take – it is seeing people come alive in Christ and only found in Christ. That is what we are pasthat trip with my next wife. finding the peace and the joy and the hope sionate about. you find only in Christ. It’s not about me. BOOM!: What is That is the journey. For a lot of us – that’s BOOM!: How do you it about living in the journey. Moving from wanting to find our relax and wind down the river region place in this world and having others think after a hard day at that you love? highly of us, to living for Christ. As I’ve grown, work? I’ve realized that most of what I used to think Tim/Virginia: was important, doesn’t matter. What matters Tim/Virginia: When I We both grew up is doing what God has called you to do. He’s drive home the stress in this area and called me to love Jesus and love people – to of the day melts. I it feels good to live for Christ not for human approval. live in Cecil - one be back home mile from John Hall again. Virginia BOOM!: Give us three words that describe Store - down a treeis rediscovering your marriage? canopied two-lane the people she road with deer and grew up with Tim/Virginia: It is difficult to describe one of A Family Favorite Pastime, Auburn Football fox and skunks and in Pike Road. the most important areas of your life in three possum and rabbits. And when I get home, I She believes that there is something special words. We threw out words and then narpick up sticks. I love the country. I love the about roots – living and dying within 5 miles rowed them down. Some of the words desounds of birds and frogs and silence. No of the same spot. One nice surprise after scribing our marriage were: strong, commitcars. At midnight you can hear owls hooting having been away for so long is the committed, fun, peaceful, laugh-filled, best friends, to each other. The neighbors have a rooster ment Montgomery has made to revitalize the unified, balanced, Christ-lead, respectful,

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encouraging, unselfish, adventuresome, and honest. We simply gave up trying to narrow them down to three. Impossible!

of the Bible. When that happens we end up with a cultural Christianity that has nothing distinctive to offer a hurting, broken world.

BOOM!: Virginia, you said you won the husband lottery when you married Tim. Can you share a few of the reasons?

BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that Grab your attention?

BOOM!: Is there a special approach to sharing the Gospel with folks over 50?

Tim/Virginia: I married the prize. I didn’t know it until we had been married for a lot of years. I know it now. If ever I have a critical thought, I look at the men some of my friends married. They whine, and complain. They are never home. They don’t talk to their wives. They don’t have fun together. I have girl friends who like me more than they like their husbands. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. I can’t imagine living with anyone other than Tim. He is kind, laughs easily, and doesn’t “major on the minor.” He is a gentle, nice person and he is my very best friend. He wakes up every day and asks what he can do to make my life better and I do the same to him. Not a day goes by now, that I don’t thank God for putting Tim in my life.

Tim/Virginia: (Tim) I collect old baseball Tim/Virginia: As cards. It is something people get older, I’ve done since I was a they either get boy. I even try to atmore receptive to tend the national basethe word of God ball card convention or more stubeach year. For Virginia, born. Some folks there isn’t anything start thinking of she doesn’t like. She regrets – things Tim and his girls collects everything and they wished they tries anything once. Virginia has more love hadn’t done and things they wished they of life than almost anybody I know – this was had. Some carry a lifetime of guilt, shame; the great gift her father gave her. Hobbies baggage that weighs on their heart. A key that seem to give her the most pleasure are to sharing the gospel is letting people know gardening, painting and reading. She is rarely that Christ can forgive them. There is healing without a book. If you could call preparing in Christ. I meet too many people who are her Sunday school lesson a hobby, that it weary of life and dissatisfied inside themprobably what she spends the largest portion selves. They tell me with embarrassment, of her time doing. Whatever she does, it is that they tried everything they could think of done with great passion and it is done well. to be happy – houses, jobs, alcohol – not real izing that this is everyone’s story. We all have BOOM!: What future challenges do you have a hole in our heart that only God can fill. We as a Christian leader and teacher? are made to be dissatisfied without Christ. Some people yearn for the freedom and the Tim/Virginia: It concerns us that only 15% of peace that only Christ gives and they find it. the largest population segment in America Unfortunately, some people stay stubborn. (the under 30 group) is Christian. How do They would rather die holding onto their we reach that generation? Another concern pride, than humble themselves before a lovis the danger of cultural Christianity. Even ing God. Always, sharing the gospel requires in the church, we are watering down what loving people, humility, patience, compassion it means to follow Christ. We are watering and sensitivity. down Biblical truth. It seems as if the culture is defining the church more than the truths

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BOOM!: Tim, what was it like raising girls? Tim/Virginia: It was never boring. Always fun. Someone was always having a crisis: a hair out of place, a zit, or a party they didn’t get invited to – everything was a crisis. The rule was – only one person could have a crisis at a time. Sometimes, we would look at one of the girls and say, “It’s not your turn.” I think the hardest thing about raising girls is teaching them what is important and what isn’t. In the church, I meet adults who still haven’t figured this out. I love all my girls. Even Mae Mae, the Shi Tzu, is a girl. There is an old saying, “Girls love their daddies.” It is true for me; I got loved a lot and still do. If you have any questions for Tim and Virginia you can contact them at 334-272-8622 or We also want to thank Jane Bridges for helping us put together this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. If you have comments or suggestions, please send them to

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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June 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

New Help for Entrepreneurs Over 50 The SBA and AARP have teamed up to offer business counseling and training to older Americans. You don’t need a hoodie and an attitude to be a successful entrepreneur! You already knew that, of course, and so do the SBA and AARP; the two organizations have announced a partnership to provide counseling and training to those over 50–or “encore entrepreneurs”–who want to start or develop their own small business. “With the millions and millions of the baby-boom generation who are now crossing beyond their 50s and into their 60s, there are many for whom entrepreneurship is a necessary and desirable path for the future,” said SBA associate administrator for entrepreneurial development Michael Chodos. “What we believe at the SBA is if you’re going to pursue entrepreneurship, it is way better to have a plan and support to make it more likely you succeed.” Chodos said the SBA and AARP alliance targets encore entrepreneurs–those who built skills through one career and want to apply them to a new one. Recent studies find 25% of those between 45 and 70 say entrepreneurship is a career path they want to pursue, he says. A Kauffman Foundation survey also indicated that the 55-64 age group has the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity. The SBA set up a Web page, 50+ Entrepreneurs, with a self-assessment tool, a small business planner, financial information, and health-care resources. Although some of the information online pulls from other SBA resources, the SBA and AARP alliance will soon provide content specifically targeting this age group, such as how to transition home-based businesses and hobbies into profitable businesses, Chodos said. Expecting to help 100,000 individuals this year, the two organizations will also host online courses and webinar series on such topics as marketing and financials. For more information visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

June 2012



The cost of dying... Every night before putting on his pajamas, Dad emptied the coins from his pockets. The special ones he placed in an album, but most went into a jar to be saved.

are spent in an intensive care unit, according to data from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. Death used to be a family affair. Increasingly, it’s institutional. Who’s driving big health care spending? People like my dad.

So how could the hospital bill for the final days of this frugal man, with carefully prepared end-of-life instructions, add up to $323,000 in just 10 days? That’s the price of a home for a struggling family. Enough to put a future doctor through medical school. Hundreds of prenatal visits. Thousands of vaccinations. My father’s story, the final days of a frail 88-year-old with advancing dementia at the end of a long and rewarding life, poses a modern dilemma: Just because it’s possible to prolong a life, should we? It’s a story of people doing their best in a system that’s built to save our loved ones. And it’s a reminder of the impossibility, during a crisis, to assess costs and benefits that aren’t at all obvious. This was the lesson of my father’s passing: It is easy to get quick access to world-class treatment. It’s much harder to reject it. “If we look at what’s coming down the road in technology,” said 81-year-old bioethicist Daniel Callahan of the Hastings Center in Garrison, N.Y., “we have to realize that this endless fight against aging can’t go on. “What medicine provides is more and more ways to keep people going,” he said. “An extra few days, or a month, it is very, very hard for doctors and families to give that up.” First, two important facts: Stanford Hospital provided great care, and it lost money

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By Lisa M. Krieger San Jose Mercury News

on my dad. Of his final bill, Medicare only paid $67,800. Like other hospitals, Stanford only collects what its contract with Medicare specifies. Therefore, Stanford wrote off the rest of the expenses, and will recover the money over time through other patients’ private insurance and fundraising. While Stanford doesn’t make a profit, it needs to break even. This background helps explain why Americans spent nearly $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010, or about $8,400 per person, the federal government reported this month. That’s almost double the $1.37 trillion in spending in 2000. As baby boomers age, the climbing cost of health care poses a threat to the nation’s long-term solvency. “The costs are rising at an unsustainable rate,” said Virginia Hood, president of the American College of Physicians, which this month issued guidelines urging more cost-conscious care. “It’s 17.6 percent of our GDP (gross domestic product) _ twice that of any other country,” she said. “Yet we don’t provide care to the same number of people as do other countries, and our health is not as good.” And we don’t spend health care dollars equally. Five percent of Americans accounted for half the total. About one-fourth of Medicare spending goes to pay for the care of people in their last year of life, generally, in a hospital. The average end-of life hospital stay is 12 days; of those, seven days

A PLAN FOR DEATH That bill for $323,658 would have angered Dad because he did all the right things. Determined to avoid suffering and costly heroics, he had drawn up “do not resuscitate” and “desire for a natural death” orders. Kenneth Harris Krieger was a man who sought to give to society, not take. He was a successful engineer with an MBA, a devoted husband and father, an usher at church on Sunday mornings. He grew up during the Depression as the son of a judge. At 19, when war broke out, he was sent to work on the Manhattan Project. Later he traveled to five continents, built Heathkit radios, tutored me through chemistry and perfected a powerful tennis serve. I adored him. Thanks to modern medicine, he lived decades longer than his father. But Alzheimer’s crippled his fine mind. And his hearing had faded. Frustrated by his inability to hear, comprehend or speak, he turned silent. There were moments of contentment, but every day he seemed more remote, sad and uncomfortable. He asked for my mom, dead for five years. He hid his wallet and accused caregivers of theft. One night he tried to escape through a window. His back ached. His heart was arrhythmic. And his bones had grown brittle. When he tripped and broke his hip three months earlier, surgery was traumatic, he couldn’t understand why he hurt, where he was or how to heal. Increasingly, he just slept.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

SHOULD WE HAVE QUIT? The medical nightmare started, as they so often do, incrementally. On a lovely Saturday, under a cobalt blue sky, we shared a happy day of gardening. He couldn’t remember how to rake, but helped by picking up each leaf by hand. I showed him how to wind a garden hose. He became drowsy after lunch, so I drove him back to his assisted care facility. He wasn’t feeling well that Sunday, and he couldn’t say why. Caregivers didn’t find a fever. I made a doctor’s appointment, then massaged his back until he slept. The doctor prescribed antibiotics. By Tuesday he was shaking, dehydrated and speaking gibberish. Fear was in his eyes. I raced him to Stanford’s emergency room. The diagnosis: septicemia. Bacteria were rushing into his bloodstream, causing shock. At 88, his immune system was weak. His veins were leaking, causing his blood pressure to crash. He needed fluids, antibiotics and a tube to help failing lungs. It was the last time I saw him conscious, the last time I saw his open eyes.

Proceed, I said. It’s a risk worth taking. So Dad was moved into the ICU, and I got a bedside cot. Daily charge for the ICU: $25,643. There were glimpses of hope; his blood pressure was stabilizing. He held my hand again.

NOW WAS IT TIME TO STOP? A new Pfizer drug, Linezolid ($1,936), held out hope. A synthetic antibiotic, it targets bacteria resistant to other antibiotics. And it can protect against bacteria-induced toxic shock.

But there was still infection, where was the source? The search began, with X-rays, Doppler exams and other powerful tools.

Increased use of medicines is another big driver of costs. The cost represents years of research, and patent protection. And demand is increasing: From 1999 to 2009, the number of prescriptions purchased in the United States grew 39 percent, while the population rose 9 percent.

Such advances in medical technologies save lives. And they are some of the most powerful forces behind the nation’s soaring

Exhausted, I felt lost. By some measures, Dad was improving, thanks to aggressive care in the ICU, yet his climbing white blood count suggested a turn for the worse. And he hadn’t regained consciousness. Had the initial crisis been too catastrophic? ONE LAST POWERFUL TOOL The infectious disease team deployed a powerful, $48,000 weapon: immunoglobulin. Part of a new class of therapeutics called “biologics,” immunoglobulin infuses antibodies into patients who can’t make their own. It’s expensive because it’s hard to produce. Each liter of donated plasma yields 4 grams of product, and takes 200 days to make.

Doctors and nurses in the emergency room jumped into action. The final bill attests to their effort: ER charges ($18,589), catheter to monitor oxygen ($2,125), other catheters ($5,400), chest X-ray ($1,076), and much more.

Yet even that didn’t help.

Should we have quit then? Suddenly, that “do not resuscitate” order seemed unclear; its black-and-white legal language didn’t really apply. He needed a ventilator to help him breathe long enough for antibiotics to work. Dad’s acute infection seemed treatable. Doctors said there was a decent chance we could turn it around. We’d likely know within a day, they said. ‘WHO WAS I TO SUMMON HIS DEATH?’ I was adrift in a sea of conflicting emotions. Even if we saved him, dementia would continue its march. Some other illness, at some later time, would claim him. But he deserved a chance. And in the hospital I felt secure, no longer terrified and helpless. Diagnosis and cure: That’s the fuel that drives the clinical engines of places like Stanford. This was a man who gave me life. Who was I to summon his death?

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health care costs. The more tools advance, the longer ill people are kept alive. Each new innovation raises patients’ and their loved ones’ expectations, and costs. Yet by Friday, Dad still wasn’t strengthening. I noticed something new, every time nurses moved him, he winced in pain. Over the hours, we saw why: The infection was in his leg, creating black necrotic patches. This was no routine bacteria. After repeated blood cultures, X-rays and another day in the ICU, we finally had a diagnosis: necrotizing fasciitis, a rare and deadly flesheating infection.

Now should we quit? If Dad recovered, what awaited us? Unwittingly, with the best of intentions, we were violating his desire for “a natural death.” Was this escalating price, emotional, physical and financial, worth it? Only surgery could turn around this galloping infection, doctors said. Antibiotics weren’t enough. I heard the phrases “wound care,” “possible amputation” and “skin grafts.” Every year, increasing numbers of old and sick people undergo surgery. That’s because we’ve become so good at it. Improved techniques mean doctors can operate on patients who would have been ineligible in the recent past. It can be a blessing, prolonging lives. But the cost of elder care can be higher, and the outcome less certain. But could an 88-year-old with weak bones, an irregular heartbeat and dementia survive? And if he survived, then what? When r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

June 2012



all the specialists left, I summoned my strength and stopped the attending physician: Please, tell me what’s ahead of us. “It’s not black-and-white; it’s gray,” he said, choosing his words carefully. “A long and bumpy recovery, with no guarantee of success.” COMPLICATED FORECAST It’s difficult to predict a patient’s prognosis, said Norman Rizk, Stanford’s interim chief medical officer. A national database, APACHE, offers a general prediction of mortality, based on age and other factors, he said. But it can’t forecast a patient’s future. The issues of cost and allocation of care are societal challenges still to be tackled, he said. “It’s very complex,” he said. “We all recognize the tension between these personal situations and the public good, the challenge of ‘distributive justice,’” or the fair sharing of a limited resource. “In Congress, and on the campaign trail, some groups believe that life is sacred and we can always support it, forever. Thirty percent of the general public believes that God can bring miracles to bear when patients are hopelessly ill.

“And doctors want to be able to make things better and sometimes overestimate the utility of what they do. They want to be hopeful,” he said. And in a crisis, families don’t want to hear the price of care, he added. They may sue if they feel care was wrongly denied. “There are very powerful incentives for physicians not to pay a lot of attention to cost.”

monitors or hissing respirators. No more tests. No more tubes.

Feeling alone, I phoned Dad’s surviving family and friends. Their wisdom: Let him go.

TIPS FOR END-OF-LIFE DECISIONS Appoint another person to be your health care “agent,” with legal authority to make decisions about your medical care if you become unable to make these decisions for yourself.

He is suffering without purpose. There are far worse things than death. Now, finally, it was time to stop. Dad was moved out of the ICU. Over the next four days, his breathing turned shallow, but he slept deeply, sedated by painkillers. A nurse woke me at 3 a.m. Two young doctors rushed in and asked his cooling, pulseless body: “Mr. Krieger, can you hear me?” A chaplain came, with prayers. Then it was just the two of us, in blessed silence. No more expert opinions, beeping

I kissed him goodbye, packed my bag and walked into the cool night air. Modern medicine had carried Dad’s body beyond what it could bear. Even the best life is finite.

Write down your preferences about accepting or refusing life-sustaining treatment such as CPR, feeding tubes or breathing machines, and about receiving or declining pain medications. Express your wishes about organ and tissue donation. A newer form, called a POLST, is intended to complement an “advance health care directive,” particularly for those who are seriously ill or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Having a completed and fully executed POLST form means that your end-of-life health care wishes have been translated into actionable physician orders, specifying whether only comfort care, limited intervention or full treatment is desired. But emergencies can create nuances, which are often not addressed in the forms’ legal language, noted Norman Rizk, Stanford Hospital’s interim chief medical officer. “The real benefit of ‘advanced directives’ is that they point doctors to a surrogate decision-maker _ and they start a conversation within families,” Rizk said. (c)2012 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Visit at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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June 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts,

Exhibits Beginning in June

Caroline Davis: Gulf Wave Series

June 9 through August 26, 2012 The Gulf Wave Series is an ongoing project capturing the colors of the sea from beneath the water. Natural variables such as the depth of the water, suspended particles, and available sunlight affect the ever-changing color spectrum of the Gulf, which Davis has photographed from the turquoise waters off Grand Cayman Island to the Emerald Coast of Destin, Florida and beyond. Davis uses glass, wide-angle camera housings and print film to capture the water’s true color and luminosity in large prints that she makes using a high-resolution scanner, digital printer, and archival inks.

Fabulous Flatware: Non-Traditional Tools of the Table June 23 through September 16, 2012

Drawn primarily from the collection of William P. Hood, M.D. of Dothan, Alabama, Fabulous Flatware: Non-Traditional Tools of the Table demonstrates the creativity and unique designs brought to flatware—the implements used for eating and serving food. Often taken for granted, despite daily use, flatware patterns incorporate a range of shapes and motifs. Featuring pieces from 1898 to 2011, the exhibition reveals the exciting blend of practical and imaginative solutions designers and producers used in terms of style, size and form, functional types, and materials and techniques. Place settings of dinnerware and glassware in various patterns augment the wonderfully diverse flatware to capture the ways Americans set their tables.

Divining Nature: Watercolors and Ceramics by Walter Inglis Anderson June 23 through September 2, 2012

Born in New Orleans in 1903, Walter Anderson attended boarding school in New York and spent childhood summers with his family on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He studied art in New York at Parsons Institute and graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1929. While working as a designer at his family’s pottery business, Shearwater Pottery, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, he became obsessed with depicting the flora and fauna of the coastal region. After 1947, Anderson lived in a small cottage in Ocean Springs and began to make frequent trips in a small skiff to Horn Island, part of the barrier reef along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There he camped, slept under his boat, existed on minimal food resources, and over a period of 18 years made thousands of watercolors of the innumerable resident birds, mammals, insects, and reptiles, as well the various flora and other fauna.

Lyle Peterzell: Images of the Mississippi Gulf Coast June 23 through September 2, 2012

Photographer Lyle Peterzell was born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and, after some 26 years as a professional photographer, he returned home to photograph the natural environment that he has loved all his life. Like Walter Anderson, Peterzell has focused on the flora and fauna of the Gulf Coast and captures the melancholy beauty that characterizes the landscape of this timeless place. The installation will contain works that complement the subjects interpreted by Walter Anderson in his watercolors and ceramics. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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June 2012



Healthy Hearing

by Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

The Hearing Device Checklist…

a guide for consumers

Most of us know someone who’s struggling with hearing loss, or have a family member who needs hearing help. Patients and friends often ask me how they should go about getting quality hearing healthcare Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. or hearing devices.... there’s a confusing array of hearing aid “services” out there, and it’s certainly a “consumer beware” scenario. We all know folks whose hearing devices sit in the dresser drawer while they continue to struggle with communication issues. The consumer checklist below, drawn from Consumer Reports testing and shopping experience, audiology consultants, and the resources of the Hearing Loss Association of America (an advocacy and support group), provides a step by step guide to the process. Ideally, you should make sure the provider you see for hearing healthcare services offers the following: 1. Initial Visit to the Provider

(audiologist or hearing aid/instrument specialist) The provider: • Has convenient business hours. • Makes it easy to schedule an appointment. • Describes the provider’s training and experience, and provides this information on request. • Provides information on demand on up-to-date state licenses. • Offers walk-in repair service. You: • Bring a family member, significant other, or friend. • Take notes during visits.

2. Medical Clearance The provider:

• May require a medical examination or referral, or addresses any recent medical issues you may have had. OR: • Has you sign a waiver required by the Food and Drug Administration in lieu of a medical exam.

3. Testing and Lifestyle Information The provider:

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• Discusses with you the effect of hearing loss on your lifestyle and relationships at home, work, school, or when going out, for example (or has you complete a questionnaire). The questions should include how well you hear conversations on the telephone. • Asks about your manual dexterity (your ability to handle small batteries or controls, for example) and/or vision problems that might affect your ability to handle hearing aids. • Gives you the opportunity to discuss your lifestyle, interests, and activities, which might affect the choice of styles and features. • Gives you the opportunity to discuss the listening situations, such as noisy or large rooms, theaters, or meetings, in which you have the most difficulty hearing. • Tests your hearing in a soundproof booth and conducts other hearing tests (to gauge your ability to understand certain words and sentences, for instance). • Gives you a copy of the hearing test results and fully explains them. • Discusses realistic expectations (what hearing aids will and will not do).

4. Picking Brands, Styles, Features, and Controls The provider:

• Mentions which hearing-aid brands he or she works with, and why he or she recommends a particular brand for you. • Reviews the pros and cons (including cost trade-offs) of different hearing-aid styles and features (such as Bluetooth, remote control, telecoil, feedback suppression, noise reduction, and manual-volume control). • Considers your personal preferences concerning style, aesthetics, color, cost, and features.

5. Picking Up Your New Hearing Aid Testing:

• The provider conducts a real-ear test to properly adjust the aid as well as other tests of hearing and understanding speech in quiet and noisy environments.

6. Use and Maintenance The provider:

• Asks you if the aid and/or ear molds fit comfortably, and makes necessary adjustments while you wait. • Discusses the battery type for your hearing aid, battery life, the handling of batteries, where to

buy them, where to store them, and the importance of keeping spare batteries handy. • Explains controls (for volume and program changes, for instance) and has you practice using them. • Discusses what squealing (feedback) means, and what to do about it. • Reviews how to insert the aids, including discerning right from left. • Teaches you how to clean and store the hearing aids and keep them free of wax. • Explains precautions, such as not getting the units wet and removing them during radiological and other diagnostic testing. • Has you practice using the telephone with your aids. • Discusses why you don’t need a telecoil (if your chosen aid doesn’t have the feature). • Outlines a schedule for wearing the aids. • Advises you to keep track of when and where the aids help and don’t help, so adjustments can be made.

7. Financial Issues and Contract Details You:

• Get written information detailing the cost of the aids, the cost of the provider’s services, the number of follow-up visits included in the cost, the brand and model of the hearing aids, and the date and place of sale. The provider: • Helps you determine what your health insurance might pay toward the aids. • Mentions other potential ways to offset the cost of your hearing aids. • Offers information regarding loss/damage insurance that will go into effect when the warranty expires.

8. Disclosure The provider:

• Explains and offers written information about the trial period • Explains the length of the warranty period and what is and is not covered (e.g., replacing a lost aid and repairing or replacing a nonfunctioning ones). • Gives you a copy of the product brochure and reviews its contents with you in detail. • Schedules a follow-up appointment with you to make sure everything is working properly. • Calls you at home a few days after the initial fitting to see how you are doing.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

9. Proper Fitting and Adjustment The provider:

• Conducts verification tests, including a real-ear test. • Asks you how the hearing aids improve your understanding of others at home, at work, in meetings, in restaurants, and in other quiet and noisy situations. • Answers your questions and concerns about any discomfort and/or difficulty of use. • Makes adjustments to the aids based on your comments. • Teaches you troubleshooting strategies to fix problems yourself. • Reviews use and maintenance tips.

Bring a Friend & Plan to Attend

Celebrate Doctors Hearing Clinic’s 5th Anniversary!

10. Using Hearing Aids With Other Technologies The provider:

• Discusses the compatibility of your aids with cell phones and other cordless phones. • Discusses using or supplementing your hearing aids with assistive listening devices such as FM and infrared systems, Bluetooth, and audio loops. • Mentions other assistive and safety devices, such as light-up doorbells, special smoke alarms, and vibrating alarm clocks when indicated.

11. Other Support

• The provider offers group hearing-aid orientations. • You go to orientations or plan to go. • You join a support group in your area and/or online.

As a patient or family member involved in the purchase of hearing devices, be a smart consumer! Not all hearing healthcare facilities are equal, not all providers are the same, and different facilities have varying priorities for patient care. To avoid a costly mistake, make sure YOUR provider for hearing care offers the services outlined above, and then relax and enjoy the enhanced world of sound that your new devices can offer. To learn more, visit or call for an evaluation at (334) 396-1635. Dr. Bettie B. Borton is a licensed audiologist in Alabama, was the first board certified audiologist in Montgomery, and recently served as National Chair of the American Board of Audiology. She and her husband, Dr. Tom Borton, are the only audiologists with ABA certification in the Montgomery area.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

FREE Ice Cream Too! Doctors Hearing Clinic Montgomery wants you to help us celebrate! Join us for a FREE ice cream social on Tuesday, June 26th from 1-4 pm to celebrate our 5th year in business! It’s a “first” for Montgomery - we’ll have several different manufacturers in the hearing healthcare industry there to showcase products and technology so patients can have a “hands on” experience - we’ll also offer free gifts and prizes, will give away a free flat screen TV, a free set of hearing aids, and will also be taking orders for free caption phones for anyone who wants one! Yummy treats from Nancy’s Italian Ice. Bring your friends and family and join us for the fun. Please let us know your coming by calling (334) 396-1635.

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

June 2012



Sherry DeBray

A Christian Perspective

Sarah’s Story

Would You Sign?

How comfortable I felt when I entered our church building, on Mission Sunday, to smiling familiar faces a few years ago. How many times have I taken for granted my right to worship without persecution or fear? If I were totally truthful with myself and with you, for the most part it never crosses my mind. That is until lately with elections coming up. I also came across a column I wrote back in February of 2009 that reminded me how important it is not to take our freedoms so lightly. I would like to share that column with you. I hope that it will remind us, as we approach the election of our President in November of 2012, to exercise our right to vote.

Freedom to Worship – Sarah’s Story

My heart pounded as I watched Sarah share her story through the reenactment of actors on the large screen in our worship center. Her words sent me chills of the fear she must have felt when men stormed her apartment, taking her away with only her pajamas on her back. Sarah knew of the threat and danger of being a Christian in a country where it is forbidden. Yet, this did not stop her from writing and sharing her love for Jesus with believers forced to meet underground in small groups.

Many times Sarah had repeated the verses calling God’s children not to fear, but tonight she felt fear as she was led away. It was not new to Sarah to be arrested for being a Christian, but tonight was different. Tonight she was taken from her home, with a sack covering her head, to a dungeon where an angry man would torture her through the night. Sarah was asked to sign a statement that would bring harm to those she worshipped the Lord with in secret. This piece of paper would free Sarah from the torture she would endure if she would just sign. With drops of blood and sweat, Sarah endured hour after hour until she felt her body crying out to sign the paper. In desperation she called out to God for strength and repeated the verse from Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for my name sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Then it happened. Forced to walk in circles on legs beaten and swollen, the chains around her ankles tore at the flesh.

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Glancing down Sarah noticed the footprints she was following stained with blood. Though difficult, with eyes flooded by tears, she was able to make out that the footprints were her own formed by her own blood.

Bending down touching the blood stained prints she thought of Jesus. How He, too, was persecuted by those who feared Him. In that moment Sarah found strength, through the Spirit, to endure those that still fear Him today. Sarah decided, if need be, she would give her life for Jesus just as He had given His life for her. Sarah never signed the paper. Sarah never gave up the names of the other believers. The cost for Sarah was many years in prison. Sarah’s mission today is sharing her story. (Used by Permission of The Voice of the Martyrs,

The Message for us today is…

Our freedoms are not free. Men and women have died for those freedoms lead by great leaders. As we approach another election for the highest office in our nation let us be prayerful and remember Sarah’s Story. We live in a land of the free; a land where one of those freedom is the right to worship God. Let us not forget the sacrifices made so that we might live in a country where the church doors are open without fear of the government.

Less we forget…

There will be many things to distract us during the summer months; kids out of school, vacations, yard work and other fun projects. In the land of the free let’s stop and be grateful this summer as we celebrate our nation’s birthday for our freedoms. And next time you walk into your church building thank Him for the freedom to worship and thank Him for martyrs like Sarah. ( The MartyrsUSA) Sherry DeBray

Sherry DeBray is an Author/Columnist and owner of It’Za Gift in the Pepper Tree Shopping Center. You can write to Sherry at Sherry.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

New Grandmother’s

by Lesa Holstine


5 Favorite Books for Grandma’s Library

One of my co-workers is about to become a grandmother for the first time, and she’s so excited. Naturally, there were showers for the mother-to-be. But, what about the new grandma? She’s getting her own house ready so there will be special toys to share with the baby. Don’t forget books! Here’s my short list of every book that should be in a grandmother’s library. Start with Pat the Bunny, a Touch and Feel Book by Dorothy Kunhardt. This classic book came out in 1940, and it’s still important to share the feeling of the bunny’s fur, to play peek-a-boo, and look in the mirror. It’s a book to share over and over again. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is another standard. The board book is easy for a little one to handle without pages to tear. And, the soft rhymes and illustrations make this a perfect bedtime book A little bunny is tucked away in bed. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon,” and goodnight to all the familiar items in the room. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin, Jr. with illustrations by Eric Carle. Again, this is available in board book or regular format. The sing-song chant and the bright colors will appeal to infants through preschoolers. “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me,” leads on to other animals and the same rhythm. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. Again, available in multiple formats, including the board book. Little Nutbrown Hare and his father, Big Nutbrown Hare, show each other how much they love each other, as far as they can reach, and as high as they can hop.

Women of Hope Breast Cancer Support Group Tuesday, June 12th, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Frazer UMC, Room 8114 6000 Atlanta Highway

Enjoy fun and fellowship with your breast cancer “sisters” and friends!

The program will be:

Prescription for Change presented by

Karen Drinkard

with Angie Cousins, Cancer Survivor Everyone is Welcome! For information please call 334-220-4599 or email

Our goal is to make sure that all women AND men are educated about breast cancer and the effects it has on family and friends. Hope is the assurance that one day we will be able to live cancer free! Your support is greatly appreciated and helps so many deserving breast cancer patients and survivors including their families. Women of Hope Breast Cancer Support Group meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month (Jan-Nov). Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m.

And, one more book for that grandchild as they grow a little older. Bill Martin, Jr.’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a family favorite. The rhythmic chant of the letters of the alphabet, and the bright color illustrations by Lois Ehlert, appeal to children. The letters of the alphabet race each other to the top of a coconut tree until they all come tumbling down, “Chicka Chicka… Boom Boom!” I might not be a grandmother, but, as a librarian, I recognize the favorites that grandmothers will enjoy sharing with the new little ones in their lives. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

June 2012



Memory Test E. If you buy a soft water tank F. When you use Lady Clairol G. When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent

Submitted by Jann James

20 Questions. Average score, 12 1. What builds strong bodies 12 ways? A. Flintstones vitamins B. The Buttmaster C. Spaghetti D. Wonder Bread E. Orange Juice F. Milk G. Cod Liver Oil 2. Before he was Muhammed Ali, he was... A. Sugar Ray Robinson B. Roy Orbison C. Gene Autry D. Rudolph Valentino E. Fabian F. Mickey Mantle G. Cassius Clay 3. ! Pogo, the comic strip character said, ‘We have met the enemy and.... A. It’s you B. He is us C. It’s the Grinch D. He wasn’t home E. He’s really me and you F. We quit G. He surrendered 4. Good night, David A.. Good night, Chet B. Sleep well C. Good night, Irene D. Good night, Gracie E. See you later, alligator F. Until tomorrow G. Good night, Steve 5. You’ll wonder where the yellow went... A. When you use Tide B. When you lose your crayons C. When you clean your tub D. If you paint the room blue

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June 2012

E You don’t know F. Who says, ‘Trust me’ G. Who eats tofu

6. Before he was the Skipper’s Little Buddy, Bob Denver was Dobie’s friend... A. Stuart Whitman B. Randolph Scott C. Steve Reeves D. Maynard G. Krebs E. Corky B. Dork F. Dave the Whale G. Zippy Zoo

12. NFL quarterback who appeared in a television commercial wearing women’s stockings... A. Troy Aikman B. Kenny Stabler C. Joe Namath D. Roger Staubach E. Joe Montana F. Steve Young G. John Elway

7. Liar, liar... A. You’re a liar B. Your nose is growing C. Pants on fire D. Join the choir E. Jump up higher F. On the wire G. I’m telling Mom

13. Brylcream... A. Smear it on B. You’ll smell great C. Tame that cowlick D. Grease ball heaven E. It’s a dream F. We’re your team G. A little dab’ll do ya

8. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, Superman fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and..... A. Wheaties B. Lois Lane C. TV ratings D. World peace E. Red tights F. The American way G. News headlines

14. I found my thrill... A. In Blueberry muffins B. With my man, Bill C. Down at the mill D. Over the windowsill E. With thyme and dill F. Too late to enjoy G. On Blueberry Hill

9. Hey kids! What time is it? A. It’s time for Yogi Bear B It’s time to do your homework C. It’s Howdy Doody Time D. It’s time for Romper Room E. It’s bedtime F. The Mighty Mouse Hour G. Scoopy Doo Time 10. Lions and tigers and bears..! A. Yikes B. Oh, no C. Gee whiz D. I’m scared E. Oh my F. Help! Help! G. Let’s run 11. Bob Dylan advised us never to trust anyone.... A. Over 40 B. Wearing a uniform C. Carrying a briefcase D. Over 30

15.. Before Robin Williams, Peter Pan was played by... A. Clark Gable B. Mary Martin C. Doris Day D. Errol Flynn E. Sally Fields F. Jim Carrey G. Jay Leno

G. Knocked on the door? 18. I’m strong to the finish... A. Cause I eats my broccoli B. Cause I eats me spinach C. Cause I lift weights D. Cause I’m the hero E. And don’t you for get it F. Cause Olive Oyl loves me G. To outlast Bruto 19. When it’s least expected, you’re elected, you’re the star today. A. Smile, you’re on Candid Camera B. Smile, you’re on Star Search C. Smile, you won the lottery D. Smile, we’re watching you E. Smile, the world sees you F. Smile, you’re a hit G. Smile, you’re on TV 20. What do M & M’s do? A. Make your tummy happy..! B. Melt in your mouth, not in your pocket C Make you fat D. Melt your heart E. Make you popular F. Melt in your mouth, not in your hand Answers: 1. D - Wonder Bread 2. G - Cassius Clay 3. B - He Is us 4. A - Good night, Chet 5. G - When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent 6. D - Maynard G. Krebs 7. C - Pants on fire

16. Name the Beatles... A. John, Steve, George, Ringo B. John, Paul, George, Roscoe C. John, Paul, Stacey, Ringo D. Jay, Paul, George, Ringo E. Lewis, Peter, George, Ringo F. Jason, Betty, Skipper, Hazel G. John, Paul, George, Ringo

8. F - The American Way 9. C - It’s Howdy Doody Time 10. E - Oh my 11. D - Over 30 12. C - Joe Namath 13. G - A little dab’ll do ya 14. G - On Blueberry Hill 15. B - Mary Martin 16. G - John, Paul, George, Ringo

17. I wonder, wonder, who... A. Who ate the leftovers? B. Who did the laundry? C. Was it you? D. Who wrote the book of love? E. Who I am? F. Passed the test?

17. D - Who wrote the book of Love 18. B - Cause I eats me spinach 19. A - Smile, you’re on Candid Camera 20.. F - Melt in your mouth not in your hand

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Art & Soul

By Sandi Aplin

Charlie Lucas, The Tinman Folk Artist, Charlie Lucas says, “ I made my first piece of art at four years old. My great grandfather was a blacksmith, he made wagon wheels. This is why I use all-kind-of wheels in my art. These found objects educate me, they tell me the story of what they want to be and each piece makes the next better.” Lucas was born in 1951 with severe dyslexia and left school early in his life. He continued to create art through the years while working to support his family. In 1984 he fell from the back of his truck and hurt his back, he could not work. He said, “I prayed that night that God would give me a talent, something that no one else could do and in 1985, I was called the Tinman.” Charlie Lucas meets Kathryn Windham Lucas and Kathryn Windham had met at various events and then in 2000, the artist Nall invited them along with twelve other artists to go to France in collaboration on a book titled “Alabama Art,” this is when they became friends. In a blog post, The Front Porch Philosopher says, “Kathryn lives in what can kindly be described as a declining neighborhood. Her children wanted her to move out of the house that has been her home where she raised her family. Kathryn refused and found her own solution to the problem. Lucas was completing a messy divorce and needed a place to live, so he moved in next door in 2003. Lucas is really is a member of the Windham family, they all call him brother.”

Kathryn affectionately told stories about Lucas’s artwork. One in particular was her favorite piece of sculpture titled the Little Soldier. It went like this, the Little Soldier is going out into the world and he knows life is not going to be easy, so he carries along this windshield wiper to wipe away his tears. Lucas said, “Mrs. Kathryn would tell me, don’t cry over spilt milk, just keep going.” They also loved to go fishing and looking for future art pieces.

new life, symbolizing renewal of the object but recognizing the potential for renewal in each individual. “ Lucas says, “We throw away people, too. When bad things happen, I can still do my art, it helps me stay disciplined and helps me work through it.” He believes his prayers were answered and he was recycled to slow down and create art following a debilitating back injury. The pieces Charlie Lucas makes have always told When Kathryn Windham was honstories, both in form and in ored by the Alatitle. Although he says making bama State Council art is like making toys and often on the Arts for her refers to the process as play, his Charlie Lucas, Self Portrait many journalism work brings sensitive, spiritual welded scrap metal contributions, Collection of Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts wisdom, looking at universal Lucas told their stohuman connections. Lucas, ries. Lucas said, “Mrs. Kathryn and who has achieved an international reputation, was I are next door neighbors and our initially recognized as a self-taught or contemporary kitchen windows mirror each other. folk artist and has been included in many exhibiSo, our ritual is, when she wakes-up tions and publications about this defined art area.” in the mornings, she pushes back the kitchen curtain to let me know Georgine Clarke, who recently lost her battle with the angels didn’t come for her in the night. I sit in cancer, would have enjoyed seeing the exhibition my kitchen and watch her in hers; it’s like watching in the Freedom Riders Museum which opened a butterfly in a field of wildflowers.” The angels did this month and the photograph of Lucas peering come for Kathryn, affectionately known to Lucas as through a window of Ghost Bus-Ancestors Coming Doll, on June 12, 2011. She was 93 years young. Down, one of the artworks in the exhibit, Road to Equality. Lucas exhibited at Troy University Rosa Parks Library and Museum, the exhibition was titled, In the Charlie Lucas is working toward an opening of his Belly of the Ship. Georgine Clarke, Visual Arts Proexhibition, In the Belly of the Ship at his studio in gram Manager, Alabama State Council on the Arts Selma in the near future. I have seen the show and wrote, “ Charlie Lucas, also known as The Tinman, it is well worth the trip. makes his art with things others have discarded: Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art bicycle wheels, metal banding, used tin, and car A free lance writer living in Montgomery, Alabama parts. Using these cast off materials gives them

Gallery One Fine Art is located in “Old Cloverdale”. The gallery was designed to create exhibition space conducive to the art experience. Gallery One offers a wide selection of original art by gallery artist members. Style and price accommodate every taste and budget. An Alabama not-for-profit cooperative gallery consisting of 19 member artists, Gallery One is actively engaged in the community. This is explained further by the Mission Statement: Raising public awareness of the arts through recognition of talent, motivation to create and education. Gallery One joins with local art teachers providing their students the opportunity to exhibit their work in the gallery environment. In addition, the Savannah College of Art and Design has held its student information session in the gallery. High school art students with their parents and teachers have gathered in Gallery One to plan the next step of their art careers. Gallery members also give of their time, serving as speakers and judges for various art and civic events. Gallery One members include: Carol Barksdale, Jean Clark, Betty Cork, Dr. Robert Ekelund, Shirley Esco, Michelle Motley Giddens, Ginnylu Greene, Nancy Hartsfield, Anne Hugghins, Cecily Hulett, Kenneth Lever, Emilee Lyons, John Mazaheri, Richard Mills, Jim Sabel, Jane Gillis Segrest, John Wagnon, Julia Wallace and Anita Westerberg. Gallery One has opening receptions for new work during the year. Gallery events are on the second Thursday of the Month from 5:30 until 7:00 in the evening. Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 4 pm, Saturday 10 am - 1 pm, or call for an appointment. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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June 2012



June 2012

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


Route 52 Farm Trail Saturdays in June and July, 8-2 pm

The Route 52 Farm Trail is composed of several small family owned farms in Geneva County with a shared passion for agriculture and our community. All of the farms on the trail share a strong commitment to using environmentally friendly, sustainable farming practices. Our goal is to provide our customers with the freshest, highest quality foods possible.The Route 52 Farm Trails is your connection to buying direct from the farm. Bring the whole family and visit all the farms along the trail, every Saturday in June and July from 8am-2pm. Get Real Food on Route 52! Farms on The Route 52 Farm Trail 2012: Gaucho Farms 1808 S. Watford Rd. Slocomb, AL 36375 (334) 886 9736. Waterberry Farm 1521 N. Morris St. Slocomb, AL 36375 www.waterberryfarm., (334) 886 2454. Sunset Hill Farm 1779 N. Morris St. Slocomb, AL 36375 (334) 886-2800. Working Cows Dairy 5539 North State Hwy 103 Slocomb, AL 36375 (334) 886 3839


“Wiley and the Hairy Man” Wetumpka Depot Players June 1-9, Evening & Matinee ‘Outwit the hairy man three times and he won’t ever scare you again,’ promises Wiley’s mother, the best conjure woman in the backcountry. This folktale follows the young fatherless boy and his faithful hound dog on their adventure into the swamp where Wiley learns to rely upon his own wit and conquer two

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June 2012

villans - the Hairy Man and his own fear. The magic of this play is not fairy dust - it is the earth and mud of the mysterious Tombigee Swamp. For audiences young and young at heart!


Santuck Flea Market June 2, until 2 pm (rain or shine) First Saturday of the Month March through December

Antiques and collectibles, books, new clothing, kitchenware, crafts, furniture, jewelry, new and used merchandise, fresh produce, and toys. Locations, Highway 9, Wetumpka, Alabama, twenty-five miles north of Montgomery. Take Route 231 North to Highway 9; then turn right and market will be six miles down, on the right. www.


Regions Tradition Golf Tournament Shoal Creek Country Club June 6-10 You will not want to miss out on the first of the five majors on the PGA Champions Tour. Come and see golf legends as they take on one of the country’s finest golf courses, Shoal Creek. Any sports fan would love to see golfing legends like Jay Haas, Hale Irwin, Corey Pavin and defending champion Tom Lehman take on one of the country’s finest golf courses. Junior s and under (18 and under) get in free with a ticketed adult. Take the grandkids! For more info call 205-969-9229. Tickets can be purchased at


3rd Annual Hampstead Hop Hampstead Thursday, June 7, 6:30 - 9 pm The 3rd annual Hampstead Hop returns Thursday, June 7! RSVP Montgomery & Hampstead have teamed up once again to offer a variety of tastings and live music at City Grill, The Tipping Point & Farmhouse Kitchen - all within walking distance. Tickets $7.50 in advance; $10 at the door.


22nd Annual Alexander City Jazz Fest Friday /Saturday, June 8-9

Lake Martin ‘s biggest musical event of the year! The free two-day event takes place at Strand Park in downtown Alexander City on Friday night and Lake Martin Amphitheater on Saturday. In addition to great entertainment, the event will feature vendors and art contest and more. For more info call 256-234-3461 or visit for tickets. Also visit

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Second Saturdays Riverfront Festivals Riverfront Amphitheater Saturday, June 9th, 5-8 pm

Join us for our next Second Saturday Riverfront Festival on June 9th as Montgomery’s Riverfront comes alive from 5 p.m. until. Free concert and interactive activities for all ages include more inflatables, arts and crafts, a magician and balloon artist, courThe River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

tesy of Dynamite Magic and Balloons! More food concessions will be offered courtesy of Cantina, Dreamland BBQ, Peppertree Steaks and Wine, Cheezies Pizza, Nancy’s Italian Ice, Bruster’s Ice Cream, Catfish One, Mama’s Sack Lunch and The Great American Cookie Company. Don’t forget to visit the new addition to Riverfront Park! The SandBAR at the Silos is located high atop Riverfront Park, overlooking the Alabama River.


The First Annual Juneteenth Culturefest Friday/Saturday, June 15-16 This event will attract individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds, in commemoration of the end of the institution of “slavery” in the United States of America. On June 7, 2011, Alabama Legislature, passed a bill to recognize the “historical significance and importance of June 19, 1865” acknowledging that this is indeed a day to be celebrated. Juneteenth is a day of celebration and should focus onunity rather than the dissention that slavery brought about. This year’s theme is CommUNITY, with a blend of music, arts and merchandise vendors, poetry, storytelling, and health screenings. For more info visit


Happy Together Tour MPAC Sunday, June 17 at 7:00 pm The greatest pop/rock artists of the 60′s all together… On Tour! Starring: The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, The Monkees Lead Singer Micky Dolenz, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Grass Roots, The Buckinghams. Tickets available,

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


‘Starting Here, Starting Now!’ The Cloverdale Playhouse June 21-24 & June 28-July 1, Th/Fri/Sat at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2pm Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire’s collaborative genius explore the search for romance and love, the humor and struggle of couples riding the roller-coaster of relationships amid an ever-changing world. This memorable revue is filled with songs that enchant, inspire, get the toes tapping and the hearts fluttering. It reminds us all that chance and new possibilities might be just around the corner.*Subject May Not Be Suitable For Children under 12 Yrs.


Helen Keller Festival

June 21-24

34th annual, more than 100 events including headliner music artists, arts & crafts, parade, athletic events, car & truck show. Keller Kids educational activities, historic tours and trolley rides to Spring Park.


Chilton County Peach Festival Jun 25-30, various times Various areas--Join in as Chilton County celebrates Alabama peaches. Pageants and tournaments are held throughout the week, along with the “peach run,” art exhibitions, a cook-off, fishing tournament, live music, parades, live and silent auctions, barbecue and much more. Admission FREE. For more info, 205.755.2400 or www.chiltonchamberonline. com


Coastal Watercolor Workshop Montgomery Museum of Fine Art Saturday/Sunday, June 23-24

Taking inspiration from the exhibition Divining Nature: Watercolors by Walter Inglis Anderson, participants will work with various techniques and tools to create grasses, sand, waves, and expressive skies in watercolors. The instructor is a signature member of the Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee Watercolor Societies, with work represented in galleries across the southeast. Beginners to advanced students will enjoy this time at the “beach”! The supply list will be available with registration. Instructor: Durinda Cheek. Saturday, June 23, 10 to 5 pm; Sunday, June 24, 12 to 5 pm, Cost: $200 members/$245 non-members.


Doctors Hearing Clinic Patient Appreciation and Anniversary Celebration Tuesday, June 26, 1-4 pm Doctors Hearing Clinic Montgomery wants you to help us celebrate! Join us for a FREE ice cream social on June 26th to celebrate our 5th year in business! As part of our Patient Appreciation and Anniversary Celebration, we have asked representatives from various manufacturers to come in and show you the “new” technology that’s available. They will let you try special products, show you what “blue tooth” is all about, and answer any questions you may have - all free of charge, with no obligation. So we hope you’ll enjoy this special “technology fair” just for you and your family. There will also be free gifts and prizes, we’ll give away a free flat screen TV, a free set of hearing aids, and will also be taking orders for free caption phones for anyone who wants one! Yummy treats from Nancy’s Italian Ice. Bring your friends and family and join us for the fun. Please let us know your coming by calling (334) 3961635.

It ’s a Great Time to Be Booming! Please submit any events/pictures to

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June 2012




By Greg Budell

Bring Me NO Tools! I look forward to Dad’s Day every year.

I have a wonderful daughter, Janelle, been a Dad to several foster kids, three Yorkies and a hairy screwball named Hershey. I remember everyone’s birthdays, ceremonies and occasions so forgive me if I indulge the one day set aside for me.

I love my gifts, whatever they may be. When my daughter was two, I was presented with a pair of running shorts that her Mom claimed Janelle pulled off a rack in Target. I loved them and used the heck out of them.

And I still have them. They couldn’t be worn without risking arrest for indecent exposure but they rest in a drawer because while I’m not a hoarder, there are some things too precious to toss. That said, there is a vicious marketing scheme for Father’s Day that leaves me out every year, and feeling inadequate as a man. “They” do this to me every year.

It’s the annual “Dad Wants Tools” campaign. The weeks running up to Father’s Day are filled with non-stop ads for chain saws, drills and other noisy tools.

Christmas when Santa left me a Sears brand blue plastic box with about 400 nut-turners. I tried to smile that “Wow, just what I needed” smile. In that one box was enough mass destruction to dismantle the Biscuits’ Riverwalk Stadium. I did try to loosen a nut once. Trying to match the nut to one of the shiny silver options in the blue plastic box was tough, but after trying 300 different nut-heads, I found one that seemed to fit. I placed the nut-head over the nut and began to spin it but all it made was a lot of zipper-like noises. My girl friend turned some knob on the lever and said “now you’re ready to loosen that nut Mister!“ I inhaled deeply, and in one mighty turn, stripped the corners off the nut, which my girl friend then easily loosened with needle-nosed pliers. I am pathetic.

When I bought my house a few years ago, I made a manly decision. “Why pay someone $30 to edge the lawn when I can slip over to Home Depot and pick up an edger for $2000 and do it myself?”

I hate the spots for HUSQVANA. Manly men are shown circumcising bushes, tearing dead tree trunks out of the ground and rechroming old car fenders.

This frickin’ thing was a nightmare! It was produced by a company that makes all their tools in a masculine orange so I at least looked good holding it. But the #### edger came with a note saying “SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.”

HUSQVANA. I thought it was a movie coming out this summer with Scarlett Johanssen. It is so Viking-esque and I am never going to be confused with Hagar the Horrible.

This beast had a spool containing 20 miles of green plastic thread. The idea, I guess, is the spinning spool whipped the plastic along the edge of the grass to give it a nice sharp edge. The plastic had to be precisely 2 inches on either side of the rotating thingamabob.

GOD, please don’t get me anything with the name “HUSQVANA” on it! (I’m not even sure I spelled that name correctly) Sadly, the Code of Dads infers I should be very familiar the name and products they produce.

Sears, as my Dad always suggested, is great for washers and dryers and other major appliances. I’m just glad they dispatch someone to hook them up or I’d be the only man on the planet drying his clothes with hot water after washing them with hot air. When it comes to tools, Sears calls me “Crapsman”. It was a long ago birthday or

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June 2012

It took 30 minutes to get the parts out of the box and only got more difficult from there.

Genius that I am, I purchased an ELECTRIC edger because any moron knows that dragging 100 feet of heavy extension chord around the lawn on a hot afternoon is the only way to live.

Spool in place, extension chord connected, I hit the “on” switch, and it worked! I began walking toward the front yard when it

stopped. The chord fell off the socket. So I reconnected, walked a couple more feet, and once again, it spun to a halt because the chord fell out. My extension chord had old teeth, so like any man savvy with tools, I got the duct tape and mummified the connection to the electric edger. Finally, I turned it in AGAIN and walked slowly to the edge of my lawn.

The edger, now making a menacing, loud noise, needed to be held at just the right height over the grass and hand-guided along the sidewalk.

First buzz was a disaster. The protective shield at the base also prevented me from seeing where the spinning green plastic was going. I quickly became familiar with the sound of plastic on cement (PHRATTTTATAT!). I could not hold the #### thing steady either, so by the time I edged about 3 feet of lawn- it looked like Zorro had swung by and tried to edge the grass on horseback. I was done when the spool began to vibrate and came rocketing off, nearly decapitating the dog.

Note to Janelle! This magazine will be out well before Father’s Day. If you read this before the 16th, you know I need a new pair of running shorts. Except now you can drive to the store and pick them out, all by your big self. XOXO, Dad

Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his dog Hershey. He’s a 25 year veteran of radio who hosts the Greg & Susan morning show 6-9 am and Happy Hour 3-6 pm on Newstalk 107.9, Greg can be reached at

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! June 2012  
BOOM! June 2012  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine