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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2012




March 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2012




March 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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


March 2012

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

Volume 2 Issue 7

Carl Bard

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 4 Living and Enjoying Your Second Act 8 Publisher’s Letter 14 50 Ways to Live to 100: Lifestyle Secrets of Centenarians page 21


Features 18 Traditions

14 Things to do with grandchilden.

17 Walk of Life

21 Older Travelers

24 Warning Signs

28 {12} Things

30 Sherry Debray

A few things us old folks need to think about when traveling.

Departments 10 This and That

Stuff about our community & more.

Plan your month with a few of our suggestions.


What to look for in early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Christian perspective, Grow Where You’re Planted

20 Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts-Exhibits 22 Healthy Hearing: It Cost Too Much! 25 Art & Soul

“The Neighborhood”

26 Greg Budell Christmas Stuff?


27 Montgomery Street Fair

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page 29

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BOOM! magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 8637 Harvest Ridge Dr., Montgomery, AL 36116. The phone number for voice and fax is 334.523.9510. Copyright 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

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

March 2012



publisher’s letter

Twentysomething Reads BOOM! 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.

As I write this column, we haven’t quite reached the 29th day of February. For those of you who read my column last month, I had, in a roundabout way, offered my lady friend an opportunity to propose to me. It was based on a Leap Year tradition that it’s ok, even for a traditional woman like Jackie, to offer up a marriage proposal. Well…I’m still waiting...the next Leap Year is four years from now…Jackie?


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

BOOM!, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine was created to celebrate the art of aging, the positive aging process. It gives us Boomers and beyond a voice in the community, a community which emphasizes the under 40. The other day I was introduced to one of those under 40, a twenty something woman. I mentioned that I published BOOM! and she said she was aware of it. I was Jim Watson, Publisher surprised and told her it was for people over 50, which she knew but read the articles anyway. Maybe she was just trying to figure us out!

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin

Dr. Bettie Borton

Greg Budell Sherry Debray Kerrie McLoughlin Susan Woody

Maybe that’s a good thing, because most people under 40 could learn quite a bit about life just paying attention to us folks 0ver 50. Simply put, we’ve practiced life more than anyone else. And isn’t practice what makes someone better and better. Doesn’t it take practice to become an expert? When I talk with young people (my grandchildren, etc) they think because I don’t text with my thumbs, I’m inexperienced at communicating or writing a letter, something I’ve been doing for quite a few decades, thank you very much!

Cover Photography

Reflections Of Grace Studios Photography by Maria Wiggins

(334) 207-0323

Speaking of older folks, we have an article on the Rock Stars of Aging a new eBook by Marc Middleton from Growing Bolder. In it he interviews folks that have lived to become 100 years old and they offer some helpful advice to us young Boomers and our kids about living life to its fullest. Part of living life to its fullest is creating time with your grandchildren by doing something unique or skillful or just fun. We should all be more intentional about creating traditions with our grandchildren. We offer some tips that will hopefully inspire you.


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Monette Mottenon, 334.523.9510

One of the downsides of aging is the diseases of the brain. One of the worst, from my experience, is Alzheimer ’s disease. My mother had it and we all suffered through the experience. We’ve listed ten warning signs to think about, especially for early onset of the disease. Losing our memory is only funny when we haven’t lost it.

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics


Network Delivery


Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

People over 50 control 75% of America’s wealth! Do you think we know something about life? Yes, we have all made mistakes, but with us experienced folks, we have acquired some wisdom along the way to compensate for them. I guess what I’m trying to say is, you twentysomethings should start reading BOOM! each month and learn about us “older folks.” Who knows, maybe in time, you’ll be able to get your own place again.

A special treat for all of us this month is featuring Susan Woody as our BOOM! Cover Profile. I have been around Montgomery for many years and Susan has always been there to entertain us with her voice, acting or cutting up with Greg Budell. Let me just say, she could be a “Cougar” if she wanted to. I hope you enjoy reading about Susan in her own words as she answers a few questions about her life’s journey. BOOM! gave away tickets to the Valentine’s Performance of The Love Songs, featuring Scot Bruce as Elvis and John Mueller as Buddy Holly. Congratulations to Annice Glarrow, Fred Jones (newly engaged), and Trisha Barron! I know you all had a great time. Thanks for participating! Thanks for all of the positive feedback you have shared with me. Please continue to help us build a Boomer Community here in the River Region, we’re getting stronger everyday! If you own or operate a business, consider advertising in BOOM!, our readers are your customers.

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office


March 2012

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Reputation. Experience. Success. Doctors Hearing Clinic Helping People Hear! Bettie B. Borton,

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

Tom Borton,

Au.D., FAAA, Board Certified Doctor of Audiology Medicare and Most Insurance Accepted

Celebrating more than 60 years of hearing healthcare service.

MONTGOMERY • 7025 Halcyon Park Dr, Ste A


OPELIKA • 2204-D Gateway Dr

r ’s


ard Aw


Read e

We believe in providing the right hearing solution for our patients. We also factor in our patient’s lifestyle and budget. Doctors Hearing Clinic offers a full line of digital hearing products to serve your specific needs. Whether you are interested in reliable, easy-to-wear solutions at an affordable price, or in need of top-of-the line hearing support, Doctors Hearing Clinic is a name you can trust for all your hearing needs.

Voted #1

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

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March 2012




This & tHAT

Master Gardener Helpline! Beginning March 1, area gardeners will be able to get answers to their home gardening questions by calling the master gardener helpline in Wetumpka. Residents with questions about gardening, growing fruits and vegetables at home, flowers, landscapes, trees, insects, backyard wildlife and more will find answers from members of the Central Alabama Master Gardeners Association (CAMGA). The hours will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays from March 1 through the end of August. The phone number will be 800-319-8130. In many cases, the master gardeners will be able to provide an answer during the call, but in some instances they may need to do additional research and return the call later. The helpline is a service of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). CAMGA has nearly 100 members, primarily from Elmore, Autauga and Montgomery Counties

What is the Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) at AUM? LLI are classes designed for lifelong learners for the sheer joy of learning. Classes have no entrance exams, no prerequisite courses, no exams or homework. LLI is a membership organization and is peer/member lead. Most LLI students are retirees that want to continue to learn and meet new friends. This is what the Lifelong Learning Institute at AUM is all about. We are excited to announce the first LLI classes to be offered through the Division of Continuing Education at AUM. As our membership grows so will our class offerings. Join today and help us develop and extend this exciting new program. Classes will meet in the newly renovated Center for Lifelong Learning building located at 75 Techna Center Drive. The new facility offers excellent parking, wonderful classroom space, large break rooms, and comfortable study or socializing areas. LLI membership dues are $29 each term, and you may take one or all of the LLI classes offered each term. To learn about more classes and to register visit our website www. aum/coned or call Brittany at 244-3804.


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Jackson Hospital seeks Volunteers for “Wheelchair Brigade” Jackson Hospital is currently seeking volunteers to participate in a “wheelchair brigade,” a new endeavor that will help with the transporting of patients. The volunteer wheelchair brigade will help transport patients within the hospital and to their vehicles upon discharge. The position is physical and includes a great deal of walking and standing over a four-hour period. These volunteers will have frequent interaction with the public and must be friendly, courteous and have a positive attitude. “The wheelchair brigade will be a very rewarding experience for anyone looking to be active and work directly with patients and their families,” offered Linda Dean, Jackson Hospital volunteer director. “Our volunteers give so much back to Jackson. They are truly invaluable.” Volunteers must be at least 19 years old and are asked to work 4 hours a week. They must complete an application and pass a background check and health screening. For more information on volunteering for the brigade, please call Linda Dean, volunteer director, at (334) 293-8967. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

“Bite the Tail off Cancer” On Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 6pm until 9pm, the Junior Executive Board (JEB) of the American Cancer Society will be hosting its seventh annual “Bite the Tail off Cancer” Crawfish Boil at the Train Shed at Union Station in Downtown Montgomery. The “Bite the Tail off Cancer” Crawfish Boil is a fun event for ages 18 and up! Attendees can enjoy All you Can Eat Crawfish, Sausage, Corn and Potatoes. And for those that don’t enjoy this Cajun treat general admission tickets will be available, and food vendors will be on hand with food to purchase. Attendees will enjoy live music throughout the night. For more information about our upcoming event, to purchase tickets, please visit our website at or call (334)612-8177.


Versona Accessories is now open in The Shoppes at Eastchase (next to DSW Shoes) at 7232 Eastchase Parkway. Versona Accessories is a women’s specialty retailer of jewelry and accessories, with key apparel items. Committed to high quality fashions at exceptional values, every day, the stores will carry everything needed to complete an outfit including jewelry, handbags, shoes, belts, scarves, hair accessories, sunglasses, gift items and more. Customers will enjoy an upscale shopping environment in an easy-to-shop format with merchandise organized by color and trends. Additional information is available at

MMFA Flimp 2012 Volunteers Needed

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art is once again seeking volunteers to assist with the 23rd annual Flimp Festival on Saturday, May 5th. The Festival is a volunteer-managed, art-related event; many volunteers are needed. Volunteers will receive FREE admission to the festival, and may choose their work assignment from the following: Treasure Hunt, Artists in Action, Admissions (18 and older,) Parking Attendant or As Needed. To volunteer or for more information, please call Haley Rennick, at 334-240-4349 or email

“The Little Mermaid” & more! Back by popular demand, the Alabama Dance Theatre celebrating 25 years will present “The Little Mermaid & more!” Friday, March 2nd through Sunday, March 4th at the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. The Root Ball will be held at Arrowhead Country Club on Saturday evening March 10th from 6:30 until 10:30. The evening will include a buffet dinner, cash bar, silent auction and dancing to the music of the Yard Dogs. The $50 ticket will go to support the many ongoing projects of Montgomery Trees. Tickets for the fundraiser can be purchased at or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 70333, Montgomery, AL 36107. If you’re branching out for more information, call 2215231. The evening proves to be a trunkful of good fun with a lot of shady characters!

The Evening withTim Tebow Tim Tebow – the hottest name in sports – is coming to Montgomery. The Denver Broncos quarterback, who spawned a cultural phenomenon this past NFL season with his unique style, come-from-behind wins and his outwardly devout Christian beliefs, will be the guest speaker on March 16 at the Renaissance. “An Evening with Tim Tebow” will benefit the Cancer Wellness Foundation of Central Alabama. The event is being presented by Baptist Health. Corporate sponsorships are available and a limited number of tickets will be made available at $100 for “The evening with Tim Tebow.” His national following exploded after he bowed on one knee and prayed after the Broncos defeated Miami 18-15 in overtime on Oct. 23. Tebow played poorly most of the game but staged a dramatic comeback in his first start of the season. The sideline prayer started the trend of “Tebowing.” According to, the word means to “get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2012




Susan Woody, The “Cougar” This month’s BOOM! profile is Susan Woody. Susan has been entertaining the people of the River Region for many years now and there’s no slowing down. In fact, her philosophy about life, inspired by Steve Jobs is “ Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!” We at BOOM! couldn’t agree more. We all know when we age how challenging life can become if we allow change to lead us instead of us leading the change. Susan is an entertainer with many talents and plenty of opportunity to share them with us. Many of you know Susan sings with the Montgomery Recreators, offering a jazzy, big band sound with performances at special events. Susan is involved in local theatre and recently performed at the new Cloverdale Playhouse, right in her neighborhood. Of course, most of you know Susan as the good looking half of the Greg & Susan Show on Newstalk 107.9 from 6-9 am, weekday mornings. Greg has nicknamed her “The Cougar” and she has as much fun with her unofficial title as Greg does. She’s a fun-loving Boomer who also does a gig on Q96.1, 10-2 pm weekdays, sharing music all of us Boomers can appreciate. Susan sat down with us as we snapped pictures of her on the campus of Huntingdon College and shared some of her life’s journey. One thing we know for sure, we’re going to try and act a little more “Foolish” and have some fun! Hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Susan as much as we did. BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. are you from the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Susan: I’m a Montgomery native… attended Sidney Lanier, Huntingdon,

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vocalist for The Montgomery Recreators, an 18-piece dance band. It’s big band music that I enjoy singing most…standards like New York, New York and At Last. BOOM!: How did you get to become a radio personality? Did you choose radio as a career or was it a natural choice for an entertainer like yourself? What has been the most rewarding aspect about it?

and graduated from AUM. Ashley, my daughter and mother of my two grandsons, is a freelance editor who owns a small publishing company in Fairhope, AL. My son, Will, is a server at The Chop House in Cloverdale. He’s also a singer and musician. BOOM!: Many people know you as a radio personality, but you’re also a terrific singer. Please tell us how you got started singing and what style of music you enjoy performing, where you can be seen? Susan: Like so many performers, my singing career began in the youth choir of my church. I honed my skills during high school and college, spent the greater part of my adulthood at the Montgomery Little Theater, and in 1979 became the

Susan: In 1988, while working as a bank teller, I was invited to sing on a morning radio show. That appearance led to a job offer in radio sales which I accepted with some reservations. After all, I was a 40 year old mother of two with a steady job taking a big chance in unfamiliar territory. Then, just like in the movies, one of our on-air personalities failed to show up for work, and I got my first crack at an open mike. I was hooked. The most rewarding part of my job? It affords me the opportunity to work with funny, creative people; I literally laugh out loud every day. BOOM!: Many Boomers are experiencing a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, new careers, especially if they’ve experienced the empty nest syndrome of their kids moving on. How would you describe this sense of renewal in your life? Any advice for the rest of us seeking renewal? Susan: A Steve Jobs quote epitomizes my anti-aging philosophy: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. The broadcast business is constantly changing…new procedures, new equipment. Therefore, I continue to acquire new skills; I‘m “hungry” for ways to improve my craft. The “foolish” part comes easily. Under the guise of work, I’ve done some foolish things, i.e. played basketball on donkey-back, tossed

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Susan: I not only admire Katharine Susan: There are several wonderful Hepburn’s talent, I admire her off-stage community theaters in the River Repersona, as well. She refused to conform gion. Having one in my neighborhood is to societal expectations of women. She simply a dream come true. The Cloverwas outspoken and assertive. An enterBOOM!: What are you dale Playhouse is as tainment journalist and reviewer for the most passionate about? close to professional Los Angeles Times wrote, “More than a theater as is possible movie star, Katharine Hepburn was the Susan: I’m passionate with Greg Thornton patron saint of the independent Ameriabout music. It permeates as its Artistic Director can female. every facet of my life. It and a slate of advisors lifts me, inspires me, conwhose knowledge of BOOM!: Give us three words that soles me, entertains me. the business is unsurdescribe you? passed. We can make BOOM!: : How do you like sure theater thrives in Susan: Three words that describe me? to relax and wind down the River Region by atDepends on whom you ask. The nice from a hard day’s work at tending performances, ones include creative and talented. I’d the radio station? volunteering to help add mercurial… I think most creative with productions, and people are. Susan: Crossword puzzles. donating money when time and talent aren’t BOOM!: What BOOM!: With your busy Peter in “Peter Pan” @ the Davis Theater an opkind of music do schedule, do you get to tion. I you listen too? travel much? Favorite vacation spot? was honored to perform How about a Duet Any travel dreams for the future? at the Playhouse in Desession with Tony cember and look forward Bennett? Susan: I love New York City, but haven’t to doing more there in had a chance to travel there lately. I the future. Susan: I listen to spend my vacations with close friends a wide variety of and family at Folly Beach , SC, each sumBOOM!: If you weren’t in music…Diana Krall, mer. the entertainment busiCole Porter, Aaron ness what kind of work Copeland, Aretha BOOM!: You and Greg Budell have the would you be doing? Franklin, James most popular morning radio show in Taylor, and Garth the market. What’s it like working with Susan: I think I’d enjoy Brooks are among Greg? Is it like a radio marriage or a teaching music or theater my favorites. I also sibling rivalry? Greg refers to you as the in an elementary school. enjoy Broadway “Cougar,” is there any truth to it? Publicity Picture from Charles Hall of musical scores BOOM!: You have a (Wicked, Spamalot, Susan: Working with Greg quote and A Chorus Line) and even bluegrass is a privilege, a challenge, from Katharine gospel. Although I’ve never worked with Hepburn on your a romp. There’s no rivalry the likes of Tony Bennett, I have been at all. He’s gracious about Facebook page about blessed to work with the best in this sharing his spotlight and marriage “If you region, and for that I am truly grateful. his creativity. The “Couwant to sacrifice the gar”, a Budell creation, exadmiration of many men for the criticism ists only on the radio these If you have any questions for Susan you days. However, there was of one, go ahead, get can reach her at 244-0961 or email her at a time………… ! married” and another We on the Q96.1 website, want to thank Susan for all the time she spent BOOM!: You’ve been “If you obey all the preparing for this month’s BOOM! Cover Lilly St. Regis in “Annie” @ the Davis Theater Profile. If you have questions, comments or involved with local theater rules, you’ll miss all suggestions, please send them to jim@riverfor many years, how can we help make the fun.” What is it you admire about her philosophy towards life? this a more valuable part of our local arts community? Tell us about your involvement with the new Cloverdale Theater? eggs from a billboard, milked a goat. I recently joined a bowling team and got my first tattoo!

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2012



50 Ways to Live to 100: Lifestyle Secrets of Centenarians “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” -- Satchel Paige What We’ve Learned From Hanging Out With the World’s Most Active Elders We were there when 110-year-old Onie Ponder voted in the presidential election; when 109-year-old Ruth Hamilton discovered video chatting; when Wilhelmina Horn danced on her 107th birthday; when 103-year-old artist Harold Rottenberg flirted with the ladies while being honored at a major museum; when 96-year-old Mary Anne Cooper traveled across the country to compete in the national swimming championships and when 93-year-old George Blair battled back from a case of pneumonia to set another record as the world’s oldest barefoot water skier. We interviewed 108-yearold Bill Hargrove in between games at his local bowling alley; 103-year-old Bill Tapia in between rehearsals for his live ukulele concert; 101-year-old Virgil Coffman after he walked into a Chevy dealer and plucked down $38,000 cash for a special edition 426-horsepower Chevy Camaro; Nola Ochs Purchase ($4.99) the Digital eBook at after becoming the world’s oldest college graduate at age 96; 95-year-old world track and field champion Trent Lane after chopping firewood on his ranch; Mae Laborde after moving to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming a Hollywood actress at age 93; and Frankie Manning after dancing with 97 different women to celebrate his 97th birthday. If they hold a record as the world’s oldest anything, chances are we’ve interviewed them. The world’s oldest woman to reach the North Pole? Check. The world’s oldest NASCAR driver? Got him. The world’s oldest showgirl, college baseball player, Olympian, motivational speaker? Yes. Yes. Yes. And Yes. We listened and we learned. This book contains the lifestyle secrets of centenarians. For more visit About the Author

Marc Middleton is Founder and CEO of Bolder Broadcasting and Bolder Media Group. He’s an award-winning anchor, reporter and producer, a featured blogger on the Huffington Post and speaks regularly on active lifestyle, positive aging, the power of storytelling, social media in healthcare and marketing to boomers. Marc helped create and co-hosts Growing Bolder, a weekly national television program airing on more than 500 PBS stations. The show profiles ordinary people living extraordinary lives; men and women who are redefining the possibilities of life after 50 and inspiring audiences of all ages to believe that it’s never too late to achieve their dreams. Marc also co-hosts the Growing Bolder Radio Show. In his spare time, Marc is a world record-holding masters swimmer. He lives in the Orlando, Florida area with his wife, Jill, daughters, Kelsey and Quinn, and Naples, a yellow lab.

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Meet the Centenarians Chet Hoff Chet Hoff lived longer than any former professional athlete in history. But he was unknown until his 100th birthday in 1991 when a TV appearance and a photo taken in a Yankee uniform gained him worldwide attention. Frances Shevenaugh At 105, she worked out at the YMCA three times a week, and told us she was loving life! In this Growing Bolder exclusive, find out what three things mad Frances Shevenaugh tick. OK, we’ll tell you, it’s exercise, travel and bourbon!Editor’s Note: Frances passed away in June 2010 at the age of 108. Wilhelmina Hoorn Centenarians like Wilhelmina Hoorn are the second fastest growing demographic in America. Only supercentenarians, those over 110, are growing faster. Join us as we celebrate her 107th birthday with five generations of her family, including her three feisty daughters — all in their 80s themselves. Find more inspiring video, audio, and images at Onie Ponder Before passing away at the age of 112, Onie Ponder was amazingly spry, witty, charming and engaged in life. In fact, she voted in every Presidential election since 1920. Onie Ponder is one in a million and we were proud to tell her story. Harold Rotenberg At 104, Harold Rotenberg was still in love with life, still in love with his wife, and still in love with his art. And he wasn’t alone. Major museums and art collectors worldwide collected (and still do) his work. Harold passed away at the age of 105 but left behind a legacy of great art.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Boomers and Beyond Get Ready...

Road Trip!

“100 Alabama Road Trips” Heading Your Way! Alabama Tourism recently launched a three-year campaign, “100 Alabama Road Trips” with the release of the first 10 trips. The campaign focuses on driving itineraries that travelers can experience over two or three days. The initial itineraries are now live on the tourism website. The first suggested itinerary: Tuscaloosa – Auburn: BCS Championship Tour.

Others in the first 10 trips are eagle watching on Lake Guntersville, a romantic getaway to Mobile, Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights history, spring break at the beach, a walking tour of downtown Birmingham, Huntsville’s Space & Rocket Center, Montgomery’s history tour, bird watching on the coast and the To Kill A Mockingbird tour in Monroeville. A few upcoming trips will include a Girlfriends Getaway on the Eastern Shore, family fun in Sylacauga, golfing in Alabama, music in the Shoals and Gulf Coast adventures.

“Road Trips” is also the theme for the 2012 Vacation Guide. Pages six and seven of the guide provide a sneak peek at the campaign. The cover of the publication is of a 1953 baby blue Cadillac, much like the one Hank Williams owned, parked on a pier at Lake Guntersville. The car will be used as a symbol and logo for the road trips campaign. The Cadillac is in tourism’s television commercials that are

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currently airing on television stations across the U.S. The car will also be used around the state at events and festivals throughout the campaign. “We wanted to make it easier for travelers to plan their trip so we came up with 100 itineraries. There’s something for everyone,” said tourism director Lee Sentell. “If you’re planning a trip to the beach, we have an itinerary for that, or a trip to experience the small towns of Alabama, we’ve got that too.”

The 164-page vacation guide provides travelers with information on hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, tourism associations, state parks, golf courses, attractions, trails and museums. Each region of the state is highlighted and provides articles on the attractions, places to stay and events in the areas. Articles include shopping for treasures in Alabama, Civil Rights history, Alabama’s chefs, farms and restaurants, and golf. Articles on each of the four regions of the state along with things to do in each. Each regional article includes a map of the area with the road trip blue Cadillac icon. Travelers can pick up copies of the vacation guide at each of the eight Alabama Welcome Centers, by calling 1.800.ALABAMA or by requesting online at

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2012



By Kerrie McLoughlin

Traditions to Start With Your Grandchildren Grandparents, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how important you are to your grandchild(ren). You are so much more than an occasional babysitter. You teach without it even seeming like you are, and your wisdom is soaked up better than any lecture from a parent. You may not realize just how profoundly you affect your grandchildren. To keep your connection with them alive, read on for 14 traditions you can start with your grandchildren. Most of them are pretty adaptable so you can continue them as your grandchildren grow.

start a budget, how to care for cows, how to grow blackberries? Tutu (my mom) got my kids interested in rocks when she gave them some quartz crystal chunks.

1. Explore your “stuff” with them. Why have you kept what you have over the years? Take the kids on a tour of your attic, basement and special treasures throughout the house. Kids learn so much about you and about history through this tradition. Baseball cards, music that is important to you, books, photos, autographs, special toys, journals.

9. Go on a nature walk or to a nearby park, zoo or nature center. If you aren’t physically fit, now is a great time to get that way by going on a short nature hike with the kids or pushing them on the merry-go-round. If you just don’t have the energy, indoor children’s museums are a great place to sit and observe and participate with your grandchild while he plays (see #12). To find nature centers just about anywhere in the world, google it.

2. Go fishing. Boys and girls alike are always up for a short bout of fishing, either on a boat, off a dock or in a nearby pond. They not only learn how to bait a hook and cast the line, but their faces light up when they actually catch a fish. And if they don’t … well, you still get some time to find out what’s on their mind. 3. Take a girl on a day of beauty or do your own at home. My girls love it when Grandma Mac brushes their hair because she is so patient and gentle and talks to them so lovingly while doing it. A simple session of nail painting can be very relaxing and the perfect time for a girl-to-girl chat. 4. Do an activity that interests your grandchild. For instance, if you have a granddaughter who loves ballet, take her to see “The Nutcracker.” If your grandson loves trains, take him on a train ride. 5. Snuggle up and read some stories, no matter how old your grandchild is. Make up stories, create some and write them down in a notebook and illustrate them, too. Tell them what your child (their parent) was like at their age and some of the messes they got into. My parents love to tell my kids how I used a poison ivy leaf as a powder puff once … and paid the price! 6. Write each of your grandchildren a letter. You can write one when each is born, sharing your feelings about their birth and hopes for their future. You can write one later, giving advice and pointing out their strengths. Write one just for milestones or write one every year … it’s up to you. Trust me, it will be treasured. 7. Teach a skill. Do you crochet, build furniture, paint, cook the best chicken and noodles in the state? Could you teach your grandchild how to

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8. Make something together. The possibilities are endless: bake cookies, start a sewing, wood or other craft project, plant a tree or a pot of wildflowers. My husband’s grandma made wooden stick horses for all of her grandchildren, and they still have them. Now my kids play with them … 40 years later.

10. Play a game, throw a ball. You can play something your grandchild wants to play, like Candyland, or tackle something you want to teach, like checkers, chess or gin rummy. While Poppy is always good for a game of marbles on the floor, Papa Dave makes them scream by hiding and then chasing them around the yard and house. 11. Call it a night. My sons loves shrimp, so my dad makes them a dinner of shrimp, potatoes and green beans and tops it off with a big bowl of sherbet while they watch a movie. Then they spend the night and wake up to eggs, hash browns, bacon and a day full of fun. 12. Take your grandchild on a trip for a great learning opportunity, and make some special memories in the process. It doesn’t need to be lengthy or costly. A day trip to a neat landmark or fun activity (see #9) would do the trick! Check out to find children’s museums all over the world. 13. Volunteer together. My father-in-law takes my 10-year-old son to a food bank every few weeks for three hours of sorting donated food, then they go out to lunch. Head to to find all sorts of volunteer opportunities you can do with your grandchild. 14. Show up. Attend as many sports, Scouts, dance and other events as you can. This can be difficult if you have many grandchildren living close who are big into activities, so just do your best. Your presence is definitely looked forward to and appreciated. Kerrie McLoughlin ( feels very blessed that her 5 kids have all 6 of their grandparents living so close and that she gets to see her 4 grandparents regularly.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2012



Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts,

Exhibits Beginning in March Lois Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color

Keep Calm and

plaY On The British Invasion Package Starts at $170* *Includes one ticket to each play and the $30 membership fee.

Add a ticket for your best mate for only $140.

The 39 Steps Travels with My Aunt The Merry Wives of Windsor Henry VIII

AlAbAmA ShAkeSpeAre FeStivAl

montgomery, Alabama 1.800.841.4273

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March 17 through June 10, 2012 This exhibition illuminates the life and work of Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1994), an African-American artist, illustrator, and educator. It surveys the vast sweep of Jones’s 75 years as a painter stretching from late Post-Impressionism to a contemporary mixture of African, Caribbean, American, and African-American iconography, design and thematic elements.

Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism

March 17 through June 10, 2012 Nichols was art editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica from 1942 to 1948. As an early champion of good art in advertising and illustration, he created artwork for direct-mail industrial advertising in 1930s and 40s. His primary subjects were evocations of the farm life he experienced in his early years in Nebraska.

Birds of Enlightenment, Predecessors and Rivals of J.J. Audubon March 17 through June 10, 2012 John James Audubon (1775 to 1851) completed his monumental publication, Birds of America, in 1838. In many ways his project was the culmination of a trend begun in the late Italian Renaissance, to accurately document the apparent chaos of life that surrounds mankind in the natural world. This exhibition from the personal collection of Professor Thomas Puryear of Amherst, Massachusetts, includes original bird illustrations from artists and others who gave direction to this endeavor of cataloguing the natural world.


March 10 through June 3, 2012 In commemoration of the victims of the devastating storms that ravaged Alabama and the South on April 27, 2010, the MMFA will install a small exhibition of art inspired by tornadoes, twisters, and windstorms. Art from the museum’s permanent collection by sculptor/printmaker Ke Francis and a work by glass artist Ginny Ruffner will also be included. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Older Travelers Must Consider This Whether retired or simply an empty nester, older men and women often love their increased opportunities to travel and see the world. Without kids to cater to or college tuition to pay, men and women approaching retirement age, or those who have already passed it by, find themselves with more free time to take to the highways and skyways and experience other cultures. While traveling is a great way to make the most of one’s golden years, traveling as an older adult isn’t the same as it might have been back when you were a carefree teenager or twenty-something backpacking through Europe. Before setting out to see the world, older travelers should consider a host of factors. Documentation Older travelers tend to travel abroad more than they do domestically, so be sure all documentation, including passports for each traveler, is up-to-date. If you’re traveling for an especially long period of time, be sure your passport is valid beyond the length of the trip. The United States Department of State also notes travelers must determine if the country they plan to visit requires a visa to enter. In addition to passports and any visas you might need, make sure your driver’s licenses and auto insurance policies are current and will remain so through the trip. This is important for travelers who plan on renting a car during their vacation. Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license and proof of auto insurance (as well as contact information for your insurance company should an accident occur) on your trip. Climate & Geography It’s also important to consider geographical conditions before establishing any travel plans. Older men and women tend to have more health issues and might even be on prescriptions that can make it challenging to travel to certain areas. Before committing to a trip, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

consult your physician about the possible effects a certain climate might have on you personally. Some people might be sensitive to altitude and therefore unable to travel to high-altitude locations without putting themselves at serious risk. When considering climate and geography, don’t overlook a region’s history or likelihood of natural disasters. If a given destination has a history of hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis, then consider that before making plans. It’s still possible to enjoy such destinations, but you’ll want to travel when such storms or natural disasters are not in season. Luggage & Wardrobe When traveling, it might be comforting to overpack because it can give you the feeling you’re prepared for any situation that might arise. But don’t pack so heavily that your luggage becomes a nuisance to take from place to place. If you’re traveling to especially tourist-friendly regions, keep in mind such locales often have all a traveler needs should he or she have forgotten something or experiences an emergency. When packing your clothes for a trip, keep your wardrobe as conservative as

possible. Anything too flashy could draw the attention of con artists or thieves, as tourists often make for easy marks. But don’t forget to pack some formal attire as well, as clothing that is too casual might make it hard for you to gain access to certain tourist destinations or restaurants. Contact Information While a vacation is an escape for many people, you don’t want to escape from the world entirely. Make sure loved ones back home have your itinerary and know where you will be staying should an emergency occur. If traveling abroad where you won’t have cell phone service, choose resorts or hotels with Internet access and ensure friends or family members you will check in periodically via e-mail. While staying in touch might not be reminiscent of the carefree travels of your youth, doing so will help your loved ones rest easy and will prove invaluable should something unexpected occur. When traveling, older men and women should consider a host of factors before making plans and always make safety a priority. Distributed by MetroCreative

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March 2012



Healthy Hearing

by Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

Why did my hearing aids cost so much… The REAL Cost of Hearing Instruments... When I talk with patients or family members who have hearing loss, I hear a lot of grousing about the cost of the technology purchased. I mean, those hearing Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. aids are so TINY, they look so fragile… and you’re telling me they will cost HOW much?? Sound familiar? Consumers seeking hearing healthcare help are often surprised at the cost of today’s sophisticated hearing technology. And that’s understandable. A high quality digital hearing instrument usually costs between $1000 and $3000, sometimes more when paired with sophisticated blue tooth technology or other assistive listening devices. And in Alabama, hearing devices are also subject to sales tax.

So, is this investment “worth it? ” When assessing the value of hearing devices, it’s important to consider the many market variables inherent to pricing, including the following:

• Hearing Instruments are medically regulated devices. As such, the manufacturers who produce these devices are subject to regulation by many organizations, including the FDA, FTC, and FCC. Like many other products in the U. S. marketplace, having to meet regulation specifications by governmental agencies seldom lowers costs, and almost assuredly raises them. As regulated devices, the cost of the research and development (AKA “R & D”) required to bring these products to market is significant, and results in products being more pricey. What does R & D cost, and why is it so important? Consider that the “Big Six”

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(or the top 6 hearing aid manufacturers in the United States today) spend roughly $500,000,000 annually on R & D, which is quite a lot. To be precise, that figure is 14% of their combined budgets. To put this into perspective, let’s do a percentage comparison. All of us would concede that Apple is certainly cranking out state of the art technology, and undoubtedly this costs the company in terms of product research and development - but by comparison, Apple expends only 2% of its total budget for R & D. Remember that to date, hearing instruments are the only medical devices that involve coupling an electronic device to a sensory organ. This is not an easy task. Today’s instrumentation is incredibly sophisticated, with increased chip speed and capability. Today’s hearing devices are certainly not your grandmother’s hearing aid! Nevertheless, this type of electronic capability comes with a price… it’s expensive to bring these products to market, and market share remains limited.

• Hearing aids still have a fairly low market penetration. Of the 37 million Americans who might benefit from amplification, only about 1 in 5 actually utilize the available technology. We have not seen the same price reductions that are inherent to widely used electronic devices like TV’s, computers, cell phones, etc., found in virtually every household. So, what’s the result? Without sufficient market penetration, the product pricing remains higher for everyone. • The price you are quoted for hearing devices is seldom “unbundled” – this means that the cost for services of the audiologist or hearing healthcare provider, warranties, repair coverage, etc. is usually “bundled” into the price. Consumers often forget that there are dispensing fees inherent to well fit hear-

ing devices. Are these fees “worth it”? To answer that question, we need only consider success rates (or lack thereof) for some of the “unbundled” personal sound amplification products or hearing devices often sold on the internet, whose return for credit rate is upwards of 60%! Is the price tag for quality hearing devices worth it? Let’s consider the alternative…

Untreated hearing loss results in billions (that’s right… I said BILLIONS) of dollars in lost productivity in the U.S. workforce today. To be exact, unaddressed hearing loss results in 23 billion dollars of lost efficiency/productivity, which costs all of us in the long run. And of course, without today’s sophisticated hearing device capability, the loss in communications ability, life style preservation, and a myriad of other quality of life issues, even for those not employed, costs our society a great deal indeed. There is also a significant body of research that suggests that if you have hearing loss, waiting to get hearing devices can actually compromise word recognition ability. As this data indicates, delaying amplification is not without its own inherent cost. So, despite the fact that the price tag for hearing devices may be steep at first glance, there are some very good reasons why costs may be higher than we’d like to see. If cost of recommended hearing instruments is a concern for you or your family member, talk to your audiologist and explore possibilities for financial assistance or alternative technologies.

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


The 10 Warning Signs of

Alzheimer’s Disease Few families are fortunate enough to say they have not been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. A progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, Alzheimer’s impairs thinking and memory, accounting for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Though many people’s experiences with Alzheimer’s disease involves an elderly relative, the disease is not exclusive to the elderly. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early-onset Alzheimer’s, which most often appears when someone is in their 40s and 50s. In 2011, 59-year-old Pat Summitt, the alltime winningest coach in NCAA basketball history and a beloved figure on the campus of the University of Tennessee, revealed that she had been diagnosed with earlyonset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. That announcement opened the eyes of men and women across the country, who might otherwise never have known that dementia could strike so early or to someone who seemed as healthy as Summitt, who vowed to continue coaching despite the diagnosis. Because it can strike men and women even if they aren’t elderly, it’s important to know these 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s, courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association.

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Memory loss is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s. This is especially so if men and women forget things that happened very recently, which can negatively impact their daily lives. Additional signs include forgetting important dates and events; asking for the same information over and over again; or relying on memory aides such as reminder notes or even family members for things individuals could once remember on their own. 2. Difficulty planning. Some people might start to exhibit difficulty following a plan or working with numbers, be it following a recipe or paying the monthly bills. Concentration is often difficult for those exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

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3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Daily tasks such as driving to work or remembering the rules of a familiar game will prove difficult for people with Alzheimer’s.

4. Disorientation with regards to time and/or place. Nearly everyone has had momentary lapses where they forget what time it is or what day it is. But such lapses are not momentary for people with Alzheimer’s, who might even get lost on their own street and not remember how to get home.

5. Trouble understanding images and spatial relationships. Some people with Alzheimer’s have difficulty reading, judging distance or determining color or contrast. For example, a person with Alzheimer’s might walk past a mirror and not realize he or she is the person in the mirror.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer’s might experience trouble holding or joining a conversation. An example is stopping in the middle of a conversation and having no idea how to continue. They might also struggle with vocabulary, often having trouble finding the right word to express what they’re thinking.

7. Misplacing things. People with Alzheimer’s might put things in unusual places and then experience difficulty retracing their steps to find those items. This tends to occur more frequently over time, and they often accuse others of stealing items they simply can’t find.

8. Decreased or poor judgement. Poor judgement, such as not visiting the doctor or mishandling finances, is another warning sign for Alzheimer’s. These poor decisions can extend to personal grooming, which men and women with Alzheimer’s might neglect. 9. Withdrawal from society. Men and women with Alzheimer’s might start to withdraw from society, removing themselves from social activities, projects at work or hobbies. Avid sports fans might no longer be able to follow their favorite team, while social butterflies might grow reclusive.

10. Changes in mood and personality. People with Alzheimer’s might experience mood swings for no apparent reason and can become anxious, confused, depressed, fearful, or suspicious. Acting out of character might also be indicative of Alzheimer’s. More information about Alzheimer’s disease is available at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Art & Soul in Our Neighborhoods Our Neighborhoods

Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and families are taking walks in their neighborhoods. Many of our neighborhoods have associations that can be beneficial to us. I recently spoke to Charlie Colvin, a member of the Cloverdale-Idlewilde Association (CIA) and he shared his thoughts on neighborhood Associations, by asking a question, “WHY? The ultimate purpose of a neighborhood association is to build a stronger neighborhood. Research shows that children raised in strong neighborhoods do better than those from weak or bad neighborhoods. Other purposes for the association include getting neighbors together so they know each other and staying up with events and/or issues (problem houses, rezoning requests, etc.) as well as events in the city that impact the neighborhood. WHAT? The activities of the association vary with each neighborhood. We have a very active annual calendar, but we’re an old association (formed in the 50’s) and have evolved over time. The CIA activities this year include the Spring Concert Series, 4th of July neighborhood parade (since 1975), Howl-O-Ween a costume event for animals that are brought to the park for a parade and Christmas Caroling. HOW? In my view, most people make forming an association harder than it needs to be. If there are some folks that want to begin a neighborhood association, they should just start.” Charlie Colvin is truly an ambassador for the CIA and community involvement.

By Sandi Aplin

Making Homes Safe Havens

Gallery One Fine Art has for years painted bird houses to help raise funds for the Family Sunshine Center’s Making Homes Safe Havens fundraiser. The participating artists are Jean Clark, Shirley Esco, Carol Barksdale and Nancy Hartsfield. The upcoming fundraiser coincides with Child Abuse Awareness Month in April. According to FSC Mayor, Todd Strange and Chief of Police, Kevin Murphy, announce additional ofExecutive Director, Karen Sellers, ficers added to the Bike Patrol, now known as the Yellow Jackets. They started “We encourage people who would with 23 patrolmen and are now 54 strong. like to get involved in our mission to call us about our Making Homes sion: BONDS is a neighborhood association Safe Havens campaign. It is designed not only strengthening program; providing training, a to raise funds to bring help, hope and healresource center, networking opportunities, ing to victims of family violence and sexual and financial assistance (grants) in an effort to assault, but also to spark public awareness improve the overall quality of life throughout regarding our the City and County of Montgomery. They mission and the recently made the announcement that Montdynamics of family gomery now has 180 neighborhood associaviolence.” Family tions. Regina says, “Our focus is on training Sunshine Center and educating members of associations in an can be reached at effort to better prepare them to serve as adwww.familysunvocates for themselves as well as for the city or for as a whole. If you have questions or need adthe 24-hour crisis assistance 1-800-650-6522. ditional information, Regina can be reached via e-mail

Crime Prevention

Another great benefit of membership in your neighborhood association is some of the meetings are devoted to Crime Prevention. At one of the neighborhood association meetings I recently attended, our Police Chief, Kevin J. Murphy recommended we take a look at the website, and click on Police Department and read the information on Neighborhood Associations, Neighborhood Watch and Crime Prevention. He also recommended a book titled Fixing Broken Windows. This book explains fighting crime is a partnership between private citizens and law enforcement. In addition to neighbors learning how to report suspicious activity around their homes, we must also accept responsibility for the condition of our own property.

BONDS Program

Another program of the City of Montgomery is the BONDS Program (Building Our Neighborhoods for Development and Success), led by Regina Berry-Meadows. Their Mis-

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2012



By Greg Budell

“HEY, THE CHRISTMAS STUFF IS DOWN... WHEN IS EASTER THIS YEAR?” Cheers! I finally took care of business and rounded up all the Christmas stuff that escaped my attention in January. I put up a zillion decorations and the smaller ones that kind of blend in or end up where there is no other place to put them (like the Nutcracker soldier on top of the guest bathroom toilet tank) are gathered in The Final Box.

Seriously, it looks like a nicely shaped evergreen with gray needles. After a couple months, the branches dry and snap off for mulch- and I use the trunk as a garden border. That way I can keep the tree around without discarding it like a dead body at the curb.

I’ll be putting up the Easter stuff soon. It’s much harder to prepare for Easter because every year the question becomes- “when is it? “ I’m not sure of the Biblical method for determining the date for Easter but it’s different every year. It can be as early as the third week in March and sometimes I think Easter is scheduled after Memorial Day. I do much better when a holiday occurs on the same date every year- like my daughter’s birthday (the 12th of this month- same as last year!).

The Cadbury eggs last about 3 days except for one I put in the butter shelf of my refrigerator where I keep it until my Father’s Day visit to my daughter. I drive it 660 miles so I can give her the last onebecause we both love them.

One of the things I do after Easter- whenever it is- is buy the deeply discounted items that will save me money for the next year. Among those, are the PAAS Easter Egg coloring kits. One of those and 79 Cadbury Crème Eggs can usually be had for about $30.

Last year a Christmas refrigerator magnet featuring my dog’s picture- partially obscured by a homeowner’s association bulletin- stayed up all of 2011.

Soon, the peel-off egg stickers will dot the kitchen window. After a few days they will curl up and fall off because I will observe the annual tradition of not Windexing the invisible slime off the glass- which allows the stickers to adhere uniformly.

When I figure out the date for Easter I’ll plan the annual Easter egg hunt for the kids. Oh, it’s fun! I buy new rolls of those gold dollars the Gub’ment decided to stop minting because people only used them inwell, Easter egg hunts.

This brings to mind another annual holiday conundrum. What becomes of the plastic eggs I hide the money in? Every year I buy a couple bags of plastic eggs- open them to insert the gold dollars and snap them closed. Last year, I had 2 urchins over for the egg hunt so I hid 3 dozen plastic eggs around the front yard. At the end of the adventure there were 35 eggs collected. We looked everywhere for

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Egg #36 but it was nowhere to be found. I added another gold dollar so the kids could evenly divide the money. I despise Socialism but resort to it for events like the Easter Egg Hunt. I collected the empty plastic eggs like I do every year so I won’t have to buy them again the following year. The problem is, I can never find them when the next Easter rolls around. This year, I may put the empty shells in a bag and tie it to my car’s satellite radio antenna so I can track them year round. Somewhere in my house, there are 144 dozen plastic eggs from Easter’s past.

There is one Christmas item still around but it is outside the house because I started this other tradition a few years back with my real Christmas tree. I bought a new stand in which a sharp spike goes up the tree’s butt to hold it in place. It works great (even if it sounds painful)! By the time Christmas is over, the tree dries out and yanking the spike out is a real wrestling match. So I take the tree and put it outside the front door where it looks great- and the bright sunlight makes it possible to find the 1 or 2 ornaments I failed to pick off when I undressed the tree indoors.

The PAAS coloring kit can be found in the same location as the 144 dozen plastic eggs, wherever that is. It was around June last year when the real tree dried out and it was ready for branch removal to become the newest garden border. This is a ritual and has to be done just right.

There were some tall blades of grass on the perimeter of the garden so before placing the trunk in its place, I fired up the Toro to take down the overgrowth. I was merrily pushing the mower along when it suddenly made a harsh grinding sound and a stream of pastel came flying out the chute. I shut the mower off hoping I hadn’t run over a dead bluebird.

It was Egg #36! The gold dollar within went flying to an unknown location. I’ll probably mow over that sometime around the 4th of July when I get the last of the Easter stuff taken down. Anyone know what date Thanksgiving falls on this year?

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

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2012



March 2012

{12 Things} and a few more

for active boomers and beyond


Bridge Crossing Jubilee March 1-5

Held the first full weekend of March, the weekend is a commemoration of the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and the Selma to Montgomery march. This year’s theme is: “Celebrating and Renewing the Spirit of SNCC through Our Youth.” Activities include a pageant, a dance, women and youth conferences, a parade, the Festival, interfaith service and National Voting Rights Hall of Fame induction.National Voting Rights Museum & Institute, 6 U.S. Hwy. 80E, Selma, AL 36701 Sam Walker, 334.418.0800.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Vince Gill Saturday, March 3, 8 pm

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


Capital Sounds Concert Band Frazer Church, Wesley Hall Thursday, March 8th, 6 pm dinner, 7pm concert

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Capitol Sounds Orchestra and Choir will be performing a variety of musical numbers including a great medley of George Gershwin music and Irving Berlin Tunes. Reservations for dinner is required by March 5. Please call Faye Jackson, 279-8727. Dinner is $5 but the concert is free. Contact Information: Faye Jackson - 279-8727,

Area Food Bank. Potters in our community have donated beautifully handcrafted bowls. Your tax deductible donation includes your choice of a handcrafted bowl, soup, & bread. Donation: $25. 100% of ticket price goes to the Montgomery Area Food Bank. Order Your Tickets Now! Call Catherine Preston: 334.396.1846. Order tickets by mail: 6511 Halcyon Dr., Montgomery, AL 36117



Bark For Life will be held on Saturday, March 10 at Winton M. Blount Cultural Park from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. The community is invited to bring their best canine friend and join us for a fun-filled day starting with a walk, then continuing with demonstrations, contests, games and vendors. Entry fees for Bark for Life are $20 per canine. Participants can register the day of the event starting at 8 a.m. or online at For more information on how you can get involved in Bark For Life, please contact Suzanna Wasserman at (334) 612.8177 or

Spring is nearing and it is always the most favorite season of the year. It couldn’t be nicer than in Fairhope, Alabama, where thousands of beautiful flowers, including azaleas, are in full bloom. Come to Fairhope and celebrate the beginning of Spring! Festival hours are 10 am - 5 pm daily and there is no admission charge. Over 230 exhibitors from throughout the nation will bring their best works to show and sell at this prestigious juried show. Live entertainment will be going on throughout the three-day event and unique cuisine will be served up in the food court. It all takes place on the streets of beautiful downtown Fairhope, Alabama. Last year the event attracted more than 250,000 visitors to the area. The festival was chosen as one of the top 20 events in the southeast for March! artscrafts

Bark for Life Winton M. Blount Cultural Park Saturday, March 10, 8-11 am


2012 Montgomery Area Empty Bowls Young Meadows Presbyterian Church 5780 Vaughn Road Wednesday, March 14, 11am-1 pm Empty Bowls is a community-wide event to raise funds for the Montgomery

60th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival in Fairhope March 16, 17 & 18th, 10-5 pm


Irish Voices The Cloverdale Playhouse March 17, 7:30-9 pm Irish Voices – an evening of readings from The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

It ’s a G re at T i m e to B e B o o m i n g ! P l e a s e s u b m i t a ny event s / p i c t u re s to j i m @ r i ve r re g i o n b o o m . co m

some of the glorious writing of Ireland. From Friel to Heaney to McCourt to O’Casey to Yeats.

“Third Tuesdays Singers & Songwriters” The Cloverdale Playhouse March 20th, 7-9 pm Montgomery’s singers and songwriters perform in our intimate theater space each month on the third Tuesday of the month. Join us for a musical evening in Old Cloverdale.

MONTGOMERY Michale W. Smith Frazer March 18th, 6 pm

Michale W. Smith will be in concert at Frazer on March 18 at 6 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale in the Frazer bookstore.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Broadway at the MPAC presents Bowfire Saturday, March 24, 7:30 pm

BOWFIRE is the total string experience. An ensemble of worldrenowned musicians takes audiences on a journey that moves seamlessly from Jazz to Classical to Bluegrass to Celtic to Rock to World music. The unique combination of master musicians, choreography and vocals is complemented by stunning costumes and set design.Directed by Broadway’s Stafford Arima (Ragtime, Altar Boyz), BOWFIRE is a fully staged theatrical event, earning standing ovations and repeat bookings worldwide.


Perdido Key Wine & Art Festival Saturday, March 24th, 1-6 pm Arts Festival 1-6pm & Wine Tasting 2-5pm at the Villagio Shops at Perdido Key 13700 Perdido Key Drive, Perdido Key, Fla.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

It’s becoming one of the area’s most popular festivals, featuring live music, works by local artists and craftsmen and unique shopping and dining at Villagio. Casual wine drinkers and seasoned connoisseurs alike will enjoy meeting the wine representatives, asking detailed questions and learning about the origins of favorite wines. Ticket price includes commemorative wine glass, all day admission and unlimited wine tasting.


198th Anniversary of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend Saturday, March 24 This annual event recreates frontier life in the year 1814 and emphasizes the importance of the battle in United States history through a variety of special demonstrations and interpretive programs. Experience the life of the Creek and Cherokee Indians. Visit authentic hunting camps, learn how to make Cherokee baskets and participate in an authentic Creek stomp dance. Experience the life of Andrew Jackson’s frontier army. Watch Tennessee militiamen and soldiers representing the 39th United States Infantry fire smoothbore cannon and flintlock muskets. Location: Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, 11288 Horseshoe Bend Rd., Daviston, AL 36256. 256-234-7111, email:, Web: hobe


Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama March 30-April 1 This unique event brings nearly 80,000 fans from around the world to watch drivers of the IZOD IndyCar Series compete on the 17 turn, 2.38 mile-road course at Barber. This year, the event will again feature some of the most dominant names in open-wheel racing, including defending champion Will Power. Fans will be able to enjoy “Fan Walks” on pit lane, an interactive Fan Zone with a ferris wheel, autograph sessions and much more. Tickets are available starting at $15 and kids under 12 are admitted free with a ticketed

adult. Barber Motorsports Park, 6040 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35094,


Eufaula Pilgrimage, 47th Annual March 30-April 1, 9 am Alabama’s Oldest Tour of Homes features beautiful Southern mansions, churches, day tours, candlelight tours, an art show and more. 9 a.m. until. For more info: 334-687-3793.


52nd Annual Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo Opp, Alabama March 30-31 Opp Channell-Lee Stadium-Weekend filled with food, children’s activities, musical entertainment, snake races, buck dancing, karaoke contests, beauty queens, arts, crafts, and a headliner concert. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. 334-493-7840 or 334-858-6624. www. Admission charged.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN James Gregory “The Funniest Man in America” Saturday, April 14, 7:30 pm Tickets: $30, $20

Gregory’s success, like his comedy, is the direct result of the values he grew up with. And now, twenty something years later, it is this unique brand of humor that packs the crowds into his sold-out shows. The absence of vulgarity sets James apart and his stories are carefully crafted art. “I have lived long enough to know people, know life”, Gregory reflects. “My comedy is based on my life experiences. It’s real, it’s funny and the audience loves it. That’s why I’m still in business. r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

March 2012



A Christian Perspective

Sherry DeBray

“Grow Where You Are Planted - Plant Where You Grow.” When Plans Change A common question asked of the young is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Recently, I was watching the Today Show when a boy, of about six was interviewed. The young boy, with a mind for memorizing details, was brilliant.

Recognizing his son’s gift, the father elected to spend many hours introducing him to facts surrounding our history as a nation. His son could quote all the Presidents, as well as rattle off important facts and dates. As the interviewer brought the segment to a close, she had one last question for the young boy, “Because of your gift, you can be anything you want to be. So, young man, what do you want to grow up to be one day?” Without hesitating the young boy answered, “A daddy.” From this story, we could surmise the importance of fathers’ spending time with their children. We could spend an entire column on that one fact, but as important as it is to spend time with our children and grandchildren, that is not the point I wish to make.

I’m sure as this young boy grows and his talent is cultivated, he will become a gifted adult. However, his plan of importance is to become a daddy.

What happens when our lives don’t happen as we planned? This young boy may or may not become a daddy in the future. If he doesn’t, what then? Is his life a waste? Is it a disappointment beyond recovery? It doesn’t have to be…

All of us have made plans only to see them fail or fall short. Disappointed, we either replant ourselves or continue trying to grow in areas where the soil doesn’t support our plan. God calls each of us to different walks in life. Your journey may have taken you to a life as a single person. Your journey may

30 BOOM!

March 2012

Remember, God works things for good - the good of the field, His Kingdom. He doesn’t put happiness as His number one priority, but instead focuses on the outcome of the harvest.

find you sharing your life plans as a married person. As people age, some may find themselves once married now single.

Others may have dreamed of a career in private practice only to find their journey took them to teach - educating those to whom private practice is their destiny. Whatever your lot, if we will live by these words we will grow and bloom: “Grow where you are planted and plant where you grow.” Life Brings Change A one- word definition to describe life, is change. Life is change. My husband and daughter don’t care for change. Sadly, for them, this can make life stressful. I even have found as I grow older that change is not as welcomed as I once enjoyed. If my husband, daughter and I are to live in God’s will… then we have to learn to accept life’s changes.

What I have planned may not be where God has designated me to grow at this season of life. The same may be true for you. Sometimes, when we become too comfortable in the soil where we are planted, we drain all the nutrients. Then it happens. We’re dug up and replanted: new job, new city, new church, new spouse or single. God sees we are in need of growth, so He challenges us to grow where we are newly planted. The replant may be for us, and then again, may be for the growth of others, too.

Enduring Change Spring is busting out early this year. The trees, grasses and flowers have adapted to the change of a short and mild winter. Yet, they have still awakened to bloom. If God dresses the flowers of the field to bloom, when conditions have changed, how much more will He provide for us, His children, to bloom where we are planted, no matter what the conditions? As long as we trust in the one who created the seasons of life, we will find joy and yes, even happiness, where we are rooted.

Sometimes our plans work out. Sometimes they don’t. We don’t always know why, but God does. When we trust Him, as the changes in life replant us, we will adapt, grow and plant new seeds. God is the gardener who provides just the right amount of water, sunlight and fertilizer for our growth. If you found yourself in a new field, such as a new job, new city, new church, later retirement than planned for, unexpected loss or maybe in a field of unexpected physical complications…, we need to remember to “Grow where you are planted and plant where you grow.” If you do, you will bloom as will others.

One last thought: I don’t know if the boy in the interview will be given a harvest of parenthood, but I do know if he will trust the Gardener to plant him and use the gift he was given for God’s glory, he will prosper and so will all whom his life touches. (Jeremiah 29:11) Sherry DeBray is an Author/Columnist and owner of It’Za Gift in the Pepper Tree Shopping Center. You can write to Sherry at

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! March 2012  
BOOM! March 2012  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine