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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2017




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


March 2017 Volume 7 Issue 8

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

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

Carl Bard

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 8 Publisher’s Letter 10 Raising Awareness about Parkinson’s Disease 12 Actively Aging Leigh Anne Richards

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13 Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives


38 Island Hopping

34 Experts Warn Against

46 Carol Burnett

14 Avoid These Financial Traps, Brandt McDonald

Fifty Years of the Carol Burnett Show

Georgia’s Historic Coast: Tybee Island

Supplements for Brain Function

17 The Impact of Hearing Loss on the Brain, Casey Gonzalez

Departments 18 This and That

Getting You “In the Know”

44 {12} Things

Special Events for Boomers

40 Greg Budell

18 Leadership Montgomery 2017 Unity Award Breakfast

The Force Was With Me

20 Vann Vocal Institute’s 10th Anniversary Gala Celebrity Recital



22 Autism Crawfish Boil

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23 All American Weekend! 26 BOOM! Cover Profile 30 Dating Coach: Don’t Make These Dating Mistakes page 10

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31 Should You Get Another Dog? 32 Know When to Hold ‘Em Ask an Elder Law Attorney 42 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Why Choose Organic

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

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2017



Publisher’s Letter

BOOM! Readers We have a Cover profile this month that many of you will recognize because she gets lots of exposure from her real estate business. Her name is Sherry Weeks and she’s the owner of ERA Weeks and Browning Realty. Sherry has an interesting story on what led her to Montgomery and how she used her survivor skills to carve out a successful living in a very competitive business. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know Sherry in this month’s Cover Profile and I hope you’ll share it with your friends.

The mission of BOOM! is to serve the folks of the River Region age 50 plus with information and ideas to inspire new experiences, better quality of life and new beginnings.


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Jeff Barganier Tracy Bhalla

We welcome back one of our local writers, Jeff Barganier, who has decided to do some Island Hopping and he starts in Georgia. Anytime you read Jeff’s work you want to pack a bag and go where he goes, welcome back Jeff! Nick Thomas continues his Tinseltown Talks this month featuring Carol Burnett, one of TV’s most loved performers. Jim Watson, Publisher

Greg Budell

Lisa Copeland Casey Gonzalez Diane C. Lade Brandt McDonald Leigh Anne Richards Nancy Stein Wina Sturgeon Nick Thomas Sherry Weeks Raley L. Wiggins

Leigh Anne Richards shares an exciting class that MetroFitness is offering called Actively Aging. It’s exactly what we all need to prepare for our potential longevity. Aging is definitely more challenging when we lack fitness and good health, so prepare to age well and read what Leigh Anne has to say, she can help us all. Greg Budell shares another story that will melt your heart, what a great dad Greg has become! Our Eating Smart columnist, Tracy Bhalla will lay down some fundamentals about organic food that will be helpful as you strive for more nutrition for that body of yours.

Cover Photography Jeri Hines Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

I want to thank our advertisers for valuing our readers, these businesses know what great customers they are. I also want to encourage other businesses in the River Region to think about marketing your services to BOOM! readers - they have more money than Millennials and more reasons to spend it. Call or text me and I’ll share their story, 334.324.3472. There’s plenty more to check out this month, so enjoy the best reading experience for the 50+ community in the River Region. Please share BOOM! with your friends and your comments with me. I love to listen. Please sign up for the free subscription to the Digital & Interactive BOOM! online at Thanks for being part of our BOOM! Community.

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text

Digital & Interactive

When you read the Digital & Interactive version of BOOM! on your digital device you will be interactive with every website and email link in the magazine. You can click through to a writer’s source, an advertiser, send comments and suggestions, request more info and share your favorite reads on Facebook and Twitter. The Digital & Interactive version was built for the new you so go ahead and sign up for a free subscription at “BOOM!, the best reading experience for the 50+ community”


March 2017

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2017



Raising Awareness about Parkinson’s Disease From a Montgomerian with Strong Commitment to Community Service spending several years in private industry, Lindley finished his career as the Executive Director of Lighthouse Counseling Center.

Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2009, Doug Lindley has worked tirelessly to increase awareness of the disease and funding for research. That’s no different than how he’s always lived his life - helping others any way he can.

Lindley was one of the original board members of the One Place Family Justice Center that provides one-stop, coordinated services for victims of domestic violence, and served on the strategic planning committee that laid the groundwork for opening A Montgomery the first Family Justice native, Lindley Center in the state. As began his career Doug Lindley speaking at a PACA event. a devoted member of as the director of First United Methodist Desmond Abuse Church, he was instrumental in the Treatment Center and then worked for creation and success of the Respite Care the Alabama Department of Mental ministry at the church, for which Lindley Health before returning to school. After

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continues to provide funding support through PACA. When his daughter attended LAMP High School, he devoted countless hours to fundraising, engaging community support, and publicizing the school. Lindley has also given freely of his time to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Montgomery, including serving as president for a number of years. He has also raised financial support for Christian ministries in Alabama’s prisons, personally cared for the financial needs of many young people who otherwise would have gone without necessities, and become a mentor to many. When he received his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Lindley had never known anyone with Parkinson’s disease. That quickly changed when he went to a symposium in Birmingham. He says, “I saw my first cousin there, who was attending with her husband who had

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Parkinson’s, as well as a childhood friend and prominent Atlanta attorney.” He became a member of the Parkinson Association of Alabama based in Birmingham, and just a few short years later founded the Parkinson Association of Central Alabama (PACA). PACA was formed in 2013 in response to those Lindley met who wanted to gather monthly to share joys and sorrows, and get the latest information on Parkinson’s and research. With the help of PACA board member Mary Morgan, a local support group was formed, and has now grown to about 80 participants each month. The group meets at Frazer United Methodist Church to have dinner and fellowship time and hear from speakers on a number of topics related to Parkinson’s. In addition to helping host the support group meetings, PACA hosts the annual Party for Parkinson’s each year to raise awareness and vital funds to support medical research towards a cure for Parkinson’s as well as respite care programs for patients and caregivers in

central Alabama. The party is held each year in April in recognition of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and this year will be held April 8 at Wynlakes Country Club. Attendees will enjoy a fun night for a great cause featuring dinner, drinks, and a performance by music group Chevy 6.

learning about the latest research into a cure and quality of life issues and exercise. Learn as much as you can about non-movement issues as we have learned in the last 5 years that Parkinson’s is not solely a movement disorder; it is a full body disorder. And don’t be embarrassed about tremors or other outward symptoms, we simply Lindley has been have a disease not PACA’s primary unlike stroke victims fundraiser over the or people with Doug greeting an attendee at a past years, and each year diabetes. I have been Party for Parkinson’s. solicits many of the inspired over the party’s sponsors. Because more than years to learn everything I can about one million Americans are diagnosed Parkinson’s and let others know it is with Parkinson’s and the prevalence of possible to live a quality life in spite of the disease is expected to double by this disease.” 2040, he knows the importance raising awareness and educating others about For more information about Parkinson’s Parkinson’s. and this year’s Party for Parkinson’s, visit PACA’s website at To those living with Parkinson’s, Lindley says, “Stay positive, keep reading and

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

SIDEbySIDE singers singers

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

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine



2416 W. Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106 334.834.8990

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March 2017



Actively Aging Over the past year, many of the columns I have written for BOOM! have focused on fall prevention, balance, and strengthening those muscles to help keep us from falling. I also wrote an article about how the brain is involved with our balance and doing cognition drills while in movement. Falls are the leading cause of accidental deaths among older people. About 1/3 of the elder population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually. The following are some interesting statistics: • Those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again • About half (53%) of the older adults who are discharged from a fall related hip fractures will experience a fall within six months • Fall as the leading cause of death due to injury – 87% of all fractures in the elderly are due to falls • Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions, 40% of those do not return to independent living; 25% die within a year • For the elderly who fall and are unable to get up on their own, the period of time spent immobile often affects their health. Muscle cell breakdown starts to occur within 30-60 minutes of compression due to falling. Dehydration, pressure sores and pneumonia are other complications that may result. MetroFitness has a large number of members over 60. As I looked at what all our fitness schedule was offering, I realized there was nothing that worked on the primary things to prevent falling. This kind of class was the “missing link.” In January, with the consulting of Tiffany Higgenbotham, MEd. PT, and the assistance of Delisa Boswell and Melvenia Redding, certified personal trainers, we developed a class for people 60 and over that we now call Active Aging. The class is free to Metro members but only $10 for non- members.

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This active aging class is a very unique class. We focus on walking correctly, picking up the feet, walking backward, walking laterally. We even make games out of our walking drills like Musical Chairs but where we must “freeze” when the music stops. This kind of activity in a group makes it fun but very functional like things

our stabilization, and upper body work to help us do daily activities like lifting and reaching are incorporated in this hour class. Finally, we save the end of the class to work on some flexibility in the hips, legs, back, neck, shoulders, and chest. We are continually reinforcing posture as well.

Fitness over Fifty by Leigh Anne Richards

we do in life. As the class progresses, we do some isolated balance exercises with standing in tandem or standing on one foot. As we gradually progress we move our eyes and our head because the movement of the eyes and head will completely change the balance. We know most people fall when they become distracted- not when they are just focused with their eyes in one place. Brainteasers are implemented with movement. One of my very favorite things to do is to have one side of room be fruits, other vegetables, the front liquids and the back “sweets.” According to the word I call out, they have to move in that direction. Let’s make it even harder- take 2 steps for vegetables, one step for fruits, 3 steps for sweets, and 1 step for fruits. Now, they are having to move while using their brain. These kinds of drills make it fun while the brain is being challenged. We have done things like stand on one foot (holding on to a chair for those who need it) and spelling our name, saying our phone number backwards, and other brain teasers. The active aging class incorporates muscular strengthening with light weights and with resistance bands. Some of the strength work is done seated and some standing, but the option of staying seated is always available. Both lower body work to strengthen those muscles that aid in

As the class progresses we can add balance pads and other unstable surfaces. The active aging class has endless possibilities to aid us in our fall prevention and keep us challenged.

The ages of the class range from 60’slate 80’s. Each person is individually challenged. Several of our class members have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and felt like this class was exactly what they needed. One of our very active members at MetroFitness, Colonel Mike Keeting (81) was diagnosed a year ago with this disease. He says not only does he feel like the class is a huge benefit but that it is fun!! Joyce Moore (81), a retired health and physical education professional, is also a part of the group. Joyce does spinning class on a regular basis but this class “has made her conscious of what I do every day.” I have a tendency to fall so this is just what I needed.” The class is growing each week so that tells me there is a huge need for it in our community. Many people who could never participate in a group fitness class can join this one and enjoy the benefits physically, mentally and socially. I love teaching this group and have a passion for our aging group. We all are aging and we want to actively and gracefully age. The class meets at MetroFitness on Mondays at 10:45 and Thurs at 9:30. For more information contact Leigh Anne Richards at or 334396-0040 Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General ManagerMetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives Adult Day Care Can Be A Valuable Resource

Q: My Husband is 67 years old and has dementia. I work full time, and must be available for meeting and have time to work at home. We have a caregiver who comes in a few days a week for just a few hours, but I need more help. Can you suggest ways to have full time assistance that isn’t so expensive? _Anna P., West Palm Beach, FL. A: Have you considered Adult Day Care Services? Adult day care centers provide structured activities and social engagement in a safe environment for those who require close supervision. Many specialize in providing day care for Alzheimers’ patients. This could be a good solution for you. There are more than 3,500 Day Care Centers throughout the U.S. operated by private companies, non-profit organizations, or government agencies, and while they can be pricey _ up to $60 a day including meals and transportation, they cost significantly less per day than 8 hours of companion care at home. There

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

ones’ needs and links to individual states day care associations, along with lists of individual centers.

are Day Care Centers to meet all budgets and many, even privately run, take Medicaid Waivers. Adult Day Care for those with Dementia can provide stress relief for spouses and other family caregivers. This may be a viable option for you. A good resource for this is the National Association of Adult Day Care Services, www.Nadsa. org, where you’ll find everything you need to know about Adult day Care: how to choose an individual center, how to make certain it addresses your loved

There are also other programs that provide some respite care for family caregivers that operate through state, county and municipal Government Agencies. A good place to start searching for such programs would be the Administration on Aging’s Website This will lead you to information on programs in your area. As you start exploring different resources, you’ll meet many like-minded individuals who are traveling the same path and will share their experiences. Whether it’s on your smartphone, or a pad of paper with a pen, always be ready to take notes. Nancy Stein, Ph.D., is the founder of Seniority Matters (, a caregiver advisory and referral service in South Florida for seniors and their families. You can contact her at (c) 2017, Seniority Matters, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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March 2017



Avoid These Financial Traps -- They May Be Hazardous to Your Wealth Managing finances responsibly takes a lot of time -- and experience. Learn from your mistakes and try to avoid the traps described here. Short-term debt will become long-term debt if you’re paying only the minimum amount toward your balances. Planning and a dose of common sense can guide you through some of the key financial traps of life. Money. It’s hard to get and easy to lose. It doesn’t take long for the wealth you’ve accumulated to disappear if you don’t manage your money well or have a plan to protect your assets from sudden calamity.

Financial Thoughts

with Brandt McDonald

Snares like the ones mentioned below could easily threaten your financial security. Planning ahead can protect you and your loved ones from getting caught. Undisciplined Spending The more you have, the more you spend -- or so the saying goes. But not paying close attention to your cash flow may prevent you from saving enough money for your future. Manage your income by creating a spending plan that includes saving and investing a portion of your pay. Your financial professional can help identify planning strategies that will maximize your savings and minimize your taxes. High Debt With the easy availability of credit, it isn’t hard to understand how many people rack up high credit card balances and other debt. Short-term debt will become long-term debt if you’re paying only the minimum amount toward your balances. If you can’t pay off your credit card debt all at once, consider transferring the balances to a card with a lower interest rate. Unprotected Assets Your life, your property, and your ability to work should all be protected. Life insurance can provide income for your family

if you die. Homeowners and automobile insurance can help protect you if your home or car is damaged or destroyed and provide liability coverage if someone is injured. Disability insurance can protect your income if you’re unable to work. Unmanaged Inheritance A financial windfall is great, but it also can be dangerous. Without solid advice on managing and investing the money, you could find that your inheritance is gone in a much shorter time than you would have thought possible. Your financial professional can help you come up with a plan for managing your wealth. Setting aside a portion of the money to spend on a trip or other luxury while investing the rest may be one way to reward yourself and still preserve the bulk of your assets. Neglected Investments Reviewing your investments to make sure they’re performing as you expected -- and making changes in your portfolio if they’re not -- is essential. But it’s also essential to periodically review your investment strategy. You may find that your tolerance for risk has changed over time. You’ll also want to assess the tax implications of any changes you plan to make to help minimize their impact. Retirement Shortfall If you’re not contributing the maximum amount to your employer’s retirement savings plan, you’re giving up the benefits of pretax contributions and potential tax-deferred growth. Maximizing your plan contributions can start you on your way to a comfortable retirement -- hopefully with no traps along the route. Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager Direct comments and questions to or 334.387.0094

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber’s or others’ use of the content. © 2016 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor, and separate entity from LPL Financial.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The Impact of Hearing Loss on the Brain Brain health and robust cognitive abilities are important to adults of all ages but are of special concern with the aging population. Recent findings have proven hearing loss can have significant effects on brain health. Left untreated, hearing loss has been linked to increased risks of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cognitive decline. A study by hearing experts at Johns Hopkins University found adults with hearing loss experience a 30-40% faster decline in cognitive abilities than their peers with normal hearing. Possible factors leading to this increased cognitive decline include social isolation and constantly straining to hear, requiring additional brain energy to process speech (Lin, et al., 2011). Johns Hopkins also investigated other possible explanations and found that older adults with hearing problems lose brain volume more quickly than

their peers with normal hearing. Those with impaired hearing lost more than an additional cubic centimeter of brain tissue each year, compared with those with normal hearing. They also had

Healthy Hearing

By Casey Gonzalez Tusa, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA Montgomery Hearing Services

significantly more shrinkage in the regions responsible for processing sound and speech, which also play a role in memory and sensory integration (Lin, 2014). “Our results show that hearing loss should not be considered an inconsequential part of aging, because it may come with some serious longterm consequences to healthy brain functioning,” says Johns Hopkins otologist and epidemiologist Dr. Lin. These findings emphasize the

importance of early detection and treatment of hearing loss to ensure better long-term brain performance. According to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, wearing hearing aids has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline associated with hearing loss. Casey Gonzalez Tusa received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University, and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Louisiana State University Health Science Center. Casey holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.

Free Hearing Screenings

In honor of Brain Awareness Week, March 13-17 Montgomery Hearing Services will be offering FREE hearing screenings! Call us to schedule an appointment: (334) 651-0500. Sources: 1. Lin, F. R., Yaffe, K., Xia, J., Xue, Q., Harris, T.B., Purchase-Helzner, E., … Simonsick, E.M. (2013). Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults. JAMA Internal Medicine,173(4), 293-299. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1868 2. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society


Untreated Hearing Loss Impacts Your Brain Health In honor of Brain Awareness Week, March 13 -17 we will be offering FREE Hearing Screenings. For your FREE Hearing Screening, call:


Adults with hearing loss experience up to a 40% faster decline in cognitive abilities compared to peers without hearing loss.


Seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia than those who retain their hearing.

334.651.0500 The good news? Wearing hearing aids reduces the risk of cognitive decline associated with hearing loss.


Adults with hearing loss can experience impaired memory, loss of ability to recognize and disorientation.


Adults with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety and paranoia than peers who wore hearing aids.


Located in the Park Place Building 1758 Park Place, Suite 101 • Montgomery, AL 36106 * References Available Upon Request The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

© 2016 SMPN. All Rights Reserved. 02/16 42952-16

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March 2017




This & tHAT

Leadership Montgomery to Host 2017 Unity Award Breakfast

Peggy Wallace Kennedy

Leadership Montgomery is excited to host the 2017 Unity Award Breakfast on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 7:30 am – 9:00 am at The Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center. The Unity Award is a Leadership Montgomery award recognizing collaborations that build bridges, foster understanding and enhance the River Region community. The award was precipitated by the successful efforts of Leadership Montgomery Founders Lanny Crane, George Goodwyn, Sr., J.M. “Mike” Jenkins, IV and Solomon Seay (deceased) to partner with other individuals to make our community a better place for all its citizens. This year’s Keynote Speaker is Peggy Wallace Kennedy. Peggy is recognized as one of America’s most important voices for peace and reconciliation. She will share her unique perspective of living behinds the gates of the Alabama Governor’s Mansion as her father, George C. Wallace, rose to become one of America’s most influential populist. Peggy’s personal journey of redemption and the love of her two sons captures the hearts of those who hear her voice. Peggy demonstrates the best notion that none of us can be held responsible for the circumstances of our birth, but all of us will be held responsible for who we can become. Information regarding the event can be obtained by visiting the Leadership Montgomery website at, calling the Leadership Montgomery office at 334.262.2261 or emailing drichardson@ The event is open to the public. Sponsorships are available. Registration is $22.00 for members and $25.00 for non-members.

Community Foundation Awards $53,000 in Arts & Community Building Grants The Central Alabama Community Foundation (CACF) awarded $53,848 to nonprofits providing services in the areas of arts and community building in Elmore, Montgomery, and Macon counties. The presentation took place at the Capri Theatre. ARTS: ClefWorks, Inc. -- $5,000, The Cloverdale Playhouse --$7,000, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association -- $4,000, Tuskegee Repertory Theatre -- $6,500; COMMUNITY BUILDING: Bridge Builders Alabama -- $6,200, Common Ground Montgomery -- $6,200, Girls on the Run -- $ 5,000, New Beginnings Educational Center -- $5,000, ELMORE ARTS & COMMUNITY BUILDING: Bridge Builders Alabama -- $2,500, Alabama Shakespeare Festival -- $1,000; TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS: Boys and Girls Clubs of the River Region -- $2,000, Easter Seals Camp ASCCA (Alabama Special Camp for Children and Adults) -- $2,500, The Cloverdale Playhouse -- $948. CACF was founded in 1987 and has grown to hold over $58 million in charitable assets while distributing over $50 million to organizations that serve the community. CACF serves several counties including Autauga, Coffee, Dale, Elmore, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes, Macon, and Montgomery. For more info visit

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Hope Inspired Ministries Fundraiser...Will You Go Over the Edge? We’re excited to announce our newest fundraiser Over the Edge (OTE)! OTE is a fundraiser for Hope Inspired Ministries where individuals and businesses will raise money for HIM in exchange for an opportunity to rappel off the 40 Four Building in downtown Montgomery! This one-of-a-kind event has never been done before in the River Region, and we’re excited to bring it to downtown Montgomery! Remember, all the money you raise will go directly to HIM! Date: Friday, March 31 & Saturday, April 1. Location: 40 Four Building, Downtown Montgomery (44 Market Plaza, Montgomery, AL 36104), Cost: $1,000 per person. For more info and to sign up visit Hope Inspired Ministries is directly addressing an important issue that affects people in poverty, which is the lack of employment. HIM’s mission is to equip low-skilled, poorly educated, and/ or chronically unemployed men and women how to obtain and maintain employment. Our ultimate goal is to break the harmful cycle of dependency and create a life of self-sufficiency for our adult students. This campaign is dedicated for individuals and businesses who are willing to “go over the edge” to raise money and awareness to HIM!

MMFA Needs Docents and Volunteers

Volunteers play an integral role at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. There are many opportunities to help the Museum, all tailored to the interest of the individual. Volunteer opportunities have a flexible time commitment, so choosing a position that fits your schedule is easy! The docent volunteer program is a year-long program within the Museum’s education department that prepares docents to present adult tours, school tours, studio activities, ARTWORKS presentations, and outreach programs. Teaching credentials or artistic backgrounds are not required. The education department will supply the necessary training that is needed to effectively lead tours and docent_trainindeliver other programs for visitors of all ages. For further information on volunteering at the MMFA, please telephone the Volunteer Coordinator at 334.240.4349 or visit Mattie Dejarnette

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Sheryl Rosen

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This & tHAT



Plan to Experience the Vann Vocal Institute’s 10th Anniversary Gala Celebrity Recital This year marks the Vann Vocal Institute’s 10th Anniversary Celebration! Metropolitan Opera Principal Artist David Cangelosi, who serves as the Institute’s Artistic Director is bringing an all-star guest faculty of artists to join him at Huntingdon College. The Montgomery Symphony’s Vann Vocal Institute program will be held again this year at Ligon Chapel, Huntingdon College on Friday, April 7th and Saturday, April 8th, 2017. On Friday will be the acclaimed Celebrity Recital with accomplished singers from the Metropolitan Opera and the great opera halls of the world singing beautiful selections of classical music from opera, Broadway, and popular music. These marvelous singers will perform with piano accompaniment only. As one completes his or her song, another opera star will appear immediately, prepared to sing. It is safe to say that Montgomery has never before had so many voices of this caliber performing on the same night in the same location. We will have sopranos, mezzo-sopranos, tenors, baritones, and even great bass voices. There will be solo performances, duets, and even all together as a chorale. For encores, there will be duets and even an entire chorale of David Cangelosi, Vann Vocal Institute Artistic Director the nine singers performing together. It is a fantastic evening of great singing, the likes of which has not been experienced in the Montgomery area outside of the Vann Vocal programs. Since it is free and open to the public, we expect a full and overflowing audience, so early arrival is suggested. On Saturday, these same great singers will conduct Masterclasses for the lead voice majors at Alabama colleges and universities. The Masterclasses are also free and open The 2016 class of Vann Vocal Institute to the public. For more information visit

Big Daddy Weave in Concert Big Daddy Weave will be in concert on March 17th at Eastmont Baptist Church. We Are Messengers and Zack Williams will also be apart of the night of worship. Montgomery will be one of the final stops as part of the Set Free Tour. The current singles from the three artists are all chart toppers within Christian music radio – Big Daddy Weave’s -“The Lion and the Lamb,” We Are Messengers’ “Magnify” and Zach Williams - “Chain Breaker.” “We are excited to bring these God-gifted artists and worship leaders to Montgomery,” said Lance Maddox, Worship Pastor at Eastmont Baptist Church. “These are real people with real stories of hope and healing that can benefit this community and we are honored to be able to host them.” Doors will open at 6 pm and the evening will begin at 7 pm. To learn more, or to purchase tickets visit

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Wow, this 80-year-old bodybuilder looks great!

Ernestine Shepherd defies nearly every physical stereotype for an 80-year-old woman. For one thing, she’s ripped. In fact, she’s a record-holding bodybuilder who spends more than 30 hours each week exercising. But get this: she didn’t so much as pick up a dumbbell until she was in her 50s! Now she’s training other women and completely embodying her nickname, “Granny Six-Pack.” Ernestine begins her day at 2:30 in the morning with worship and a 10-mile run. She started competing in bodybuilding competitions in her 70s, and a few years ago was named the oldest female body builder by the Guinness book of World Records. You have to see her amazing story! Watch this video and discover how she proves age is just a number,

The 12th Annual Fountain City Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, April 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Pratt Park in Downtown Prattville, Alabama. This fine arts festival features an Artists Village with a variety of hand crafted and custom designed items from fine art paintings, to woodcarvings, photography, clay sculpture, handmade soap, and much more. A Writers Village will feature local and regional writers with books for children, books for adults, books of photography, and everything in between. A Traditional Crafts area will feature demonstrations of basket weaving, gemstone polishing, fiber arts, and more.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2017



This & tHAT



Annual Autism Crawfish Boil Time! New location downtown! One of Central Alabama’s most highly anticipated events is back! Save the date, bust out the elastic pants, and purchase your tickets to the Annual Autism Crawfish Boil benefiting Easter Seals Central Alabama! 4,000 POUNDS of all-you-can-eat crawfish and sides, cold beverages, live music featuring Federal Expression, BPM and Blackberry Breeze. Raffle prizes, crawfish souvenirs and fun will all be waiting for YOU! Grab your friends and come support the autism services provided at Easter Seals Central Alabama through the 13th Annual Autism Crawfish Boil. Your belly and your heart will be full! Saturday, April 1st at Railyard Brewing Company, 12 West Jefferson Street, Downtown Montgomery, 12 pm - 5 pm (early bug and VIP ticket-holders get in at 11:00). Hosted by the Mudbug Ball Volunteer Committee. The BEST crawfish boil in the GUMP along with live music and cold beverages! All proceeds are donated to assist with Autism programs provided by Easter Seals Central Alabama for families in the River Region. These programs include Autism diagnosis which is costly and difficult to receive here in Central Alabama. Autism affects 1 in 88 children... Easter Seals is one of the premier organizations to get help for your loved ones! Early diagnosis is a must for these children. We hope you will help us by supporting this event. Get your tickets (regular, VIP, kids) online at or by stopping by office at 2125 East South Boulevard, next to Baptist South!

His Last Round of Golf While golfing, I accidentally overturned my golf cart. A very attractive golfer, who lived in a villa on the golf course, heard the noise and called out, “Are you okay?” “I’m okay thanks,” I replied as I pulled myself out of the twisted cart. She said, “Come up to my villa, rest a while, and I’ll help you get the cart up later.” I noticed her silky bathrobe was partially open, revealing what appeared to be a very nice figure. “That’s mighty nice of you,” I answered, but I don’t think my wife would like it! “Oh, come on now,” she insisted. She was so pretty, and very, very persuasive, I was weak. “Well okay,” I finally agreed, “But I’m sure my wife won’t like it.” After a couple of Scotch and waters, I thanked her and said, “I feel a lot better now. But I know my wife is going to be really upset. So I’d better go now.” “Don’t be silly!” she said with a smile, letting her robe fall slightly more open. “Stay for awhile. She won’t know anything. By the way, where is she?” I replied, “Still under the cart, I guess.”

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This & tHAT Junior League of Montgomery Presents New Fundraiser: Shop, Save, Serve

This innovative fundraiser, which is a new project for the Junior League of Montgomery, gives shoppers the opportunity to purchase a Shop, Save, Serve Pass for $30 through the Junior League of Montgomery and select retailers. Pass holders receive a 20% discount at over 150 participating businesses during a designated ten-day shopping period scheduled for March 9-19, 2017. A retail guide, including the name of the business, location(s), and exclusions will accompany each Shop, Save, Serve Pass. The extensive list of merchants includes retailers and restaurants such as Dillards, Kinnucans, Gap, Painted Pink, LaJolla, The Name Dropper/Storkland, Vintage Year and Welle Studio. A full list of retailers is available online at the Junior League of Montgomery website The passes will be available for purchase from any member of the Junior League of Montgomery, or at the following locations: The Shoppes at EastChase Guest Services, Barb’s on Mulberry, River Bank & Trust, The Shoppes of My Kids Attic, and Welle Studio. The passes will can also be purchased online at, with a nominal shipping fee. A kickoff party for the event will be held on March 9th, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 PM at Blackfinn Ameripub in The Shoppes at Eastchase.

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




PREMIUM SEATING | $50 GENERAL ADMISSION | $25 SENIOR/MILITARY | $20 STUDENT | $10 Tickets will also be available at the door for purchase with cash, check or card.




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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

S.K.I.P. Bocce Tournament

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Save Kids of Incarcerated Parents (S.K.I.P.) is a local non-profit organization with over 30 years of providing supportive services to children of incarcerated parents and their families. Its goal is to help stop the cycle of incarceration. Aldersgate United Methodist Church (AUMC) and S.K.I.P. are partnering to organize a bocce (Italian Lawn Bowling) tournament as a fund raiser. Since bocce isn’t a well-known game, but can be played by all ages and skill levels, there will be an “Introduction to Bocce” event held at AUMC, 6610 Vaughn Road on Saturday, March 25. This introductory event is to enable first time, or experienced players, to enjoy a FREE game of bocce. Bocce sets will be provided. Donations are welcome, but not required, and are tax deductible. The bocce tournament is planned for Saturday, May 20 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Pre-registration is preferred, registration ends and pairings announced at 8:30 am with the 1st round of competition commencing immediately after the pairings. Teams of two players each will be matched up in a single elimination tournament. The competition will be divided by age groups with kids, youth, adult and seniors’ categories. The cost per team is $20 and individual participants will be paired to create a team. A raffle for the bocce sets, a 50/50 drawing, and a closest to the line contest will be held. Food and refreshments may be purchased during the day. To register or for more information about S.K.I.P., visit its website at or contact Dennis Charlesworth at 334-272-3420 or The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2017




Sherry Weeks, Survivor & Home Finder

Sherry with husband Russell

This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is Sherry Weeks, the owner of ERA Weeks and Browning Realty. Sherry made her way to Montgomery a little more than twenty years ago. Her circumstances called for a change so she and her two daughters began a new life in The Capital of Dreams...and dream she did until she achieved many of those dreams with a successful career in the real estate industry. Some of Sherry’s life has taught her how to be a survivor which is probably one of the best qualities to have as all of us begin to embrace how to age well. Today, Sherry and her husband, Russell, find plenty of time for weekly family meals and weekend equestrian events with granddaughter, Madyson. We think you’ll enjoy getting to know her as much as we have. BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc?

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Russell and Sherry loving on grandson Barrett

Sherry’s selfie with daughters, Jamie and Lauren

Sherry: I was born and raised in the equestrian team. Jamie and her Monroe County, Alabama. I was one husband Pete Williams have a one year of six children; four older brothers old son, Barrett. Russ and his wife Azure and a younger sister. I started in real live in Orlando, FL with their three estate at the age of 19 and started children Ayden, Owen, and Lily. my own company at 23. I moved to Montgomery in BOOM!: You are the December 1996 and Broker/Owner of ERA started working with Weeks and Browning Aronov Realty. I Realty, what gives then opened my own you and your team company, ERA Weeks the edge when it & Browning Realty, in comes to selling real 2001. My two daughters estate in the River both attended school Region? How would in Montgomery; my your agents describe oldest daughter Lauren your leadership style? graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Sherry: I believe our 2000 and my youngest greatest competitive Jamie graduated from advantage is our Grandson, Barrett with his Gram Saint James School franchise through in 2010. I married ERA. I decided to Russell Levy in 1999, gaining a son, franchise when I opened the company Russ Levy. Lauren and her husband because it gives us international Drew Blankenship have one child, exposure, great marketing tools, and Madyson, who is 13 and attends Saint the best training and education anyone James, where she is very active on would ever need to be successful. In

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

the real estate I have 2003, I was awarded by ERA the top business on sold many overall selling broker in the nation. I a daily basis. houses could not have done it without the The business from the support of my ERA family. Most of the is one that internet brokerage firms are based on single you have to and the agent production; the thing I like most control or it first time about being part of the ERA franchise will control they saw is it is more of a family atmosphere. you. I tell my their new Our agents work together to support agents when home is each other, rather than competing making your when they against one another. Another schedule, go picked advantage that our team has is our ahead and up the relationship with Cartus Relocation. put family key. That Our office has the only contract in the Mother of the bride, Sherry, daughter, Lauren and son-in-law, Drew time as an makes me city of Montgomery, which gives us the appointment. In this business, you can very nervous because I’m always afraid opportunity to work with Cartus clients work 24/7 and you have to schedule they will find something they don’t such as USAA, Navy Federal, and local “your” time just like an appointment to like. It hasn’t happened yet! corporate companies. We have a team show houses. Real estate is a business of agents, called our “A-team”, which that you, as a realtor, own. BOOM!: Many Boomers are is specifically trained You are in business for experiencing a renewed sense of to work with these yourself. You control your purpose, new goals, new careers, special clients. As destiny. especially if they’ve experienced the far as my leadership empty nest syndrome of their kids style, I have always BOOM!: With technology, moving on. How would you describe had an open-door people can buy most this sense of renewal in your life? policy and am anything online today, Any advice for the rest of us seeking available 24/7. My what’s the importance of renewal? agents know they can real estate agents in today’s reach me anytime technology driven market? Sherry: Being a baby boomer and they need me. Every having worked my entire life in real day, I bring a positive BOOM!: Technology is the estate, it is renewing to me to see my and upbeat attitude greatest thing that has children graduate college, find careers, to the office. When happened in this industry. and then find that real estate is a each agent walks Most lifelong through the door, I anything desire greet them by saying, Sherry with granddaughter, you they both “It’s another great Madyson, age 13 wish to have, day at ERA!” purchase in the world perhaps can be bought and because BOOM!: There seems to be more delivered to your that’s women than men in the real estate doorstep with the what they business, can you explain why? exception of one grew up What advice would you give to other thing – your home. in. I have Boomers, especially women, wanting The technology helps gained to start their own businesses? us deliver an image a new of what they will sense of Sherry: The flexibility of hours makes see, however, most purpose this career path very attractive to people prefer to walk Daughter, Jamie with son Barrett and husband, Pete Williams by training women because they can work around through a home prior new conflicting schedules with children and to the purchase. Don’t get me wrong, agents and teaching them the ways of school. I encourage people to get in

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March 2017



cook. I truly enjoy cooking and baking. My husband says I never cook the same recipe twice!

the business. It is so rewarding to teach someone from the ground up and see how successful they become. Several of my top producers in my company started their career in my real estate school.

Sherry with daughter, Jamie

planned for the future?

BOOM!: What are you most passionate about? Sherry: I am most passionate about my family. My granddaughter Madyson keeps us busy going to equestrian shows on the weekends. I have loved watching her progress in this sport that she loves so much. My husband and I have really enjoyed the time we have gotten to spend with our youngest grandson, Barrett, who turns a year old in March. He is changing and growing every day! My family is my life. Sunday nights are always special because we all gather at my house and cook a huge meal. Gathering around the kitchen has always been something we enjoy. I have been blessed more than I deserve, and sharing time and making memories is very important to me.

Sherry: Our family loves to travel together and we usually end up somewhere near water. We love the 30A area of Florida, but we also love snow skiing. This Christmas we plan to take the family to ski in Utah for a week.

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Sherry: I truly enjoy being involved in the

Granddaughter, Madyson with Russell

March 2017

Sherry: I have recently taken up cycling. I joined the Montgomery Cycling Club and am looking forward to spring so I can get some miles in. BOOM!: You have seen a lot of changes in Montgomery, especially in the downtown area, how would you rate the quality of life in the River Region? What do we need more of?

BOOM!: As a busy entrepreneur, do you have time to be involved in community, civic or other activities?

BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work? Sherry: The way I relax and wind down after a long day is to

BOOM!: Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams

also participates in various fundraisers. For example, we held a yard sale early one Saturday morning to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or activities that grab your attention?

Daughters, Lauren, Jamie, with Sherry

community. I currently serve as a co-chair on a committee for Leadership Montgomery. This program totally changed the way I viewed the city. I encourage anyone interested in seeing the inside of how our city works and how one person can make a difference to get involved. My company

Sherry: The downtown area has truly helped us sell Montgomery. When I first moved here in 1996, I would have never been able to use it as a selling point! We have many clients that fly into town to view homes and the first thing they want to know after looking at houses all day is, “what should we do tonight?” We love telling them all about our nightlife downtown.

BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your priorities changed? Sherry: Thinking over my career as a realtor of 39 years, life has changed tremendously. Losing the girls’ dad to brain cancer 22 years ago, drastically changed my life forever. I up and moved to Montgomery and hit the ground running. I truly didn’t know but one person when I moved here. I was scared to death but I was a survivor. I knew I had to rear my daughters and that I was the only person to financially and physically take care of them, I put The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

all my skills to work. Having earned all my designations in real estate (GRI, CRS, CRA, ABR) it was time to prove I could do this. Now that the girls are grown, my grandchildren are my life.

Sherry: Retirement might mean slowing down…a little bit. I truly enjoy helping people find, not a house, but a home. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to help clients find their dream home. I don’t want to stop doing that.

BOOM!: Sherry, technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives. How is your relationship with technology? How has it made your BOOM!: Give us three words Sherry with her brothers, Darrell, Dewayne, life and Ronnie and Jerry Browning along with work more that describe sister Lisa Browning Darby effective? you? Did we see you do a Facebook Live Sherry: Determined, Enthusiastic, Video? Personable. BOOM!: If you weren’t in the real estate business what kind of work would you be doing? Sherry: Something that would help people. BOOM!: Many of us may think about retirement but we’re not sure how to define it…how do you think about retirement?

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it. I use it in my presentations, I use it to send information to clients, and yes, I use it to prospect on Facebook and other social media. I love Facebook live because people can get an ounce of my energy! We want to thank Sherry for sharing her time helping us put together this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. If you want to learn more about Sherry, please visit her Facebook pages at or www. You can also email her at for more info. As always, thanks to Jeri Hines and Haley Kintner, from Total Image Portraits for the professional cover photo of Sherry. We would also like to thank Montgomery Country Club for the use of their dining rooms for our cover shot. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to

Sherry: Starting out when we didn’t have any technology to where we are today is mind blowing. I have embraced Granddaughter Madyson with Sophie, my new Bernedoodle the change that technology has offered. I feel very comfortable with

Read all of the BOOM! Cover Profiles at www.riverregionboom. com/archives

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March 2017




Don’t Make These Dating Mistakes

Ever feel like you make a lot of mistakes when it comes to dating in your 50s? I know I sure did! Dating mistakes happen all the time. The good thing is... once you know what these mistakes are you can, of course, correct and take a different path that works. I’m going to share with you the three most common dating mistakes I see women in their 50s or older make every day that keeps them alone and single. Mistake No.1: Falling in love with a man’s potential Ever meet a man you thought might be a pretty good catch if only you could get your hands on him to fix him up a little bit? Know what I’m talking about? Chances are you do because as a woman you’re designed to look for the potential in people. But falling in love with a man’s potential sets you up to fail at finding the relationship you want because men don’t want to be your fixer-up project.

To get the true love relationship you want this year, you want to fall for the real man, not his potential. Mistake No. 2: Looking for Mr. Perfect Divorce is hard on the soul and the idea of making another relationship mistake can be terrifying. To protect yourself, you unconsciously start looking for the “perfect man.” Over time, your list of qualities grows longer and longer and if he’s missing even one ‘must have quality,’ he doesn’t stand a chance with you. Looking for Mr. Perfect means you’re playing it safe. You’re guarding your heart so you won’t get hurt again. Here is a dating mantra I share with my private clients that is perfect for you too .... You will experience practice relationships. Yes, you might get hurt along the way, but you’ll also have moments of pure joy and bliss you’ll never get to experience hiding behind the hunt for the perfect man.

Often second marriages are based on this type of chemistry and the reason they are over in the blink of an eye is because a friendship was left out of the equation. The best chemistry is one that’s slow burning because it’s sustainable. Sometimes it might not appear until the third or fourth date. I remember going on three dates with a man. I felt nothing, not even a little spark. On the fourth date, he reached across the table to touch my face and suddenly the chemistry and attraction kicked in. Maybe we were smarter in our youth than we thought. We weren’t looking for immediate chemistry. We just had fun hanging out together laughing, playing and getting to know each other. Could be worth trying again at this time in your life.

Mistake No. 3 (and probably the biggest!): Immediate chemistry Ever experience hot chemistry with a man?

You might find a slow burn turns into a hot sizzle based on the total connection you create with a man versus just a connection based on chemistry.

He invited her to his home. She walked in and immediately began assessing the potential of his kitchen. She told him why he should remove the wallpaper, where to place each appliance so the kitchen would be more efficient and how to paint the cabinets a new color so they would be in style.

It feels mighty good, as it should because you’re releasing Oxytocin, the bonding hormone like it was your job.

You owe yourself a chance to find true love at any age.

What she did with his kitchen is exactly what women do all the time to men.

You might move in together or you find yourself engaged within months of meeting without really knowing much about this person other than the sex is hot.

A male friend told me this story about a woman he’d started dating.

They try to make a man a better version of himself.

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The problem with this type of chemistry is you move swiftly into the bedroom and end up turning a blind eye to a man’s faults.

Lisa Copeland, “The Dating Coach Who Makes Dating Fun and Easier after 50!” Find out more at (c)2017, Lisa Copeland, Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Should you get another dog? By Wina Sturgeon

It happens to all dog lovers as they get older. Your frisky pup that used to romp over hiking trails with you and run through tall grass starts slowing down. Eventually, your beloved dog either dies of old age and illness or must be euthanized to end their pain. After a while, maybe years, you may start missing the presence of a dog in your life. But now you are middle-aged, and perhaps slowing down yourself. Should you get another dog at this time in your life? It’s a good question and one that deserves a lot of careful thought. The first question to consider is if you have the energy to look after a young dog? Think about that for a while. Then ask yourself other important questions. Do you have a fenced yard where your dog can run and play? If not, are you going to want to walk your new dog every day, or drive them to a nearby dog park where they can socialize? Do you actually have time for a new dog in your life? Is there someone who will look after your pooch and allow it to live its natural life span if something happens to you? What exactly will you want done with

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your furry friend if something happens to you? Remember, most dogs only live about one-seventh as long as humans. According to online research, that’s usually between 10 and 13 years. Small dogs live longer than big dogs like Labradors and German shepherds. Let’s say you’re 60, and very active for your age, and you believe you could handle that cute little puppy being offered for sale. The only way that would be true is if you had little else going on in your life. You may have forgotten how much time and commitment a puppy takes to train. When you were in your 20s and 30s, you may have had both the time and the energy to adopt and train a very young dog. It may have also then been a family dog, so you weren’t stuck with being the only caretaker.

But dogs are part of everyday life when you yourself are young. You may take them over to friend’s houses, friends who are in their family years and will usually welcome your well-behaved pooch. When you’re 50 or older, your friends in that age group may not want dog hair or dog damage in their homes, so you may not be able to take your canine sidekick with you when you go to visit. Will your new dog be happy to be locked up in the house while you spend the day working and the evening socializing? Should you decide that you really do want another dog in your life, the best thing you can do is to give an older, already housebroken dog, another chance at a forever home. Look for your new dog at the Humane Society or another animal shelter. The staff will know whether a particular pre-owned dog is suitable for an older owner. An older and already trained dog will allow you to have the dog presence that you want, without having to start all over with a mischievous puppy. An older dog will appreciate the fact that you chose it, so it could get out of the shelter and go home with you. Wina Sturgeon is the author of “The love of a shorter lived species,” which tells the story of her own dog, Arwen. Wina Sturgeon is an active 55+ based in Salt Lake City, who offers news on the science of anti-aging and staying youthful at: She skates, bikes and lifts weights to stay in shape. (c)2017 Adventure Sports Weekly Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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March 2017



Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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

Know When to Hold ‘Em When I was in college the No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em fad was sweeping its way through the dregs of ESPN2 and other cable “sports” networks. It even found its way into my circle of friends, which I found irritating since I wasn’t interested in having a seat at that table. Personally, I’ve always been a gambling agnostic—I don’t particularly have a problem with other people gambling if that’s how they choose to spend their money. I understand that for some, the competition and the little rush they get from winning a big hand is exciting. What I could never understand, what I will never understand, is the appeal of watching other people play poker on television. To each his own. Plenty of people have made analogies about life and card playing. Perhaps the best known example is the Kenny Rogers tune, The Gambler and it’s hook which I’m confident, after you read this article, will be stuck in your head for at least the next several hours: You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em / know when to walk away, and know when to run. / You never count your money, when you’re sittin’ at the table / They’ll be time enough for counting / when the dealin’s done. Since this is an estate planning and elder law column, I’ll do my best to see what we can learn about planning your estate from a classic country song. Know When to Hold ‘Em. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to do nothing at all. Consider this: leaving an inheritance to someone who doesn’t have the tools to manage it can lead to disaster. For example, leaving a teenager even a relatively modest amount of money, without any strings attached, can be a recipe for disaster. Likewise, loved ones may be ill-equipped to handle an inheritance due to substance abuse problems, or even gambling problems. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone you love is to leave them an inheritance in a way that benefits them, without giving them unfettered access to money that may only exacerbate

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their problems. Consider a testamentary trust provision to protect your heirs from themselves.

truth. We have no way to know who will be alive at the time we die, or what kind of property we will own at our deaths. We may have more property as the result of Know When to Fold ‘Em / Know When successful investments, inheritance, or even to Walk Away. Sometimes you’ve got a the lottery (in another state, of course). On bad hand, and you’re sitting across the the other hand, we may have much less table from someone you can’t bluff. Time property due to poor investments or due to to cut your losses and fold. In my line of the cost of a nursing home stay (currently about $6,000 per month) or some other Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop financial pitfall. As a Wednesday, March 29: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 result, your pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This estate plan educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins must include contingencies covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living for dealing wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, with these ups bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and downs.

Attend Free Workshop

and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at

business, I sometimes have to counsel clients who, after much angst and heavy thought, decide to disinherit one or more of their children. For whatever reason, the relationship between the parent and child has deteriorated to the point where the parent feels as though leaving that child an inheritance would not be appropriate. This is part of my job that I do not relish, but the fact is that sometimes it is the right thing to do under the circumstances. When a parent has tried everything they can to encourage a wayward child to change their ways, cutting their inheritance may be the last best way to get their attention. Don’t Count Your Money While You’re Sittin’ at the Table. Most people assume that everyone in their family will die when they are “supposed to.” That is, they assume that their children will outlive them, that their grandchildren will outlive their children, and so on. Most people also assume that they’ll die in pretty much the same financial condition as they are in on the day that they create their estate plan. Nothing of course could be further from the

Consider for example that the day you wrote your will you had $220,000 in the bank. Your will leaves a gift of $20,000 to your church, and splits whatever is left between your four children. Ten years pass, and your health declines. After a long stay in a nursing home, you pass away with only $15,000 left in the bank. In that case, your church would receive $15,000, and your children would receive nothing. While leaving it to the church is a good and noble thing to do, it probably wasn’t what you intended when you drafted your will. But, by assuming you know what you will have when you die, your children wound up with no inheritance at all. You never know what hand life will deal you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a strategy before you ante up and turn your cards over. You have to know when to hold ‘em . . . Raley L. Wiggins Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC 334-239-3625 | 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Experts Warn Against Supplements for Brain Function By Diane C. Lade

to Quincy Bioscience regarding several potential violations of FDA manufacturing, clinical trial and marketing rules. Among them: Prevagen’s advertisements and testimonials implied it would prevent or ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a claim that only prescription medications approved by the FDA can make.

Promoting fixes for fading memories has become big business. Yet consumer advocates and scientists like Dr. Bob Speth, of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., say some dietary supplement marketers are making millions by tapping into the deepest fears of seniors and aging baby boomers. They say there is little proof such products can stave off cognitive decline by beefing up brain function, as some of the companies selling them advertise. The latest example Speth and others are pointing to is the supplement Prevagen. Speth, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy, said he filed a complaint about Prevagen with the Federal Trade Commission in 2016. His are among the concerns echoed in a lawsuit brought by the FTC and New York State Attorney General. The lawsuit accuses Quincy Bioscience Holding Co. Inc. and its affiliates of making false or unsubstantiated statements about Prevagen’s benefits and clinical validation. “We are seeking ... to stop them from making allegedly unfounded claims, and (also) money for consumer refunds,” said Michelle Rusk, an attorney in the FTC’s division of advertising practices. Wisconsin-based Quincy Bioscience, Prevagen’s marketer and manufacturer, says the product contains a synthesized version of a protein found in jellyfish, called apoaequorin, that improves memory. Prevagen, carried by most drug store chains and other major retailers, is widely promoted through television commercials featuring scenes of whitecoated researchers in a laboratory and happy seniors reading to their grandkids. Speth calls Prevagen “one of the most fallacious products I have seen come

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on the market,” and one that, like some other brain health supplements, uses questionable science in promotions aimed at desperate seniors facing brain disorders like Alzheimer’s or other serious medical issues. “They’re thinking, ‘This guy on television says it will help me. And it probably won’t hurt me.’ A lot of people take these supplements because they can’t afford doctors or don’t trust them,” said Speth, a neuropharmacologist who lectures nationwide on the dangers of dietary supplements. In a written statement, Quincy Bioscience denied the lawsuit’s allegations and said that the “sole dispute” rested with how the company analyzed the results of its own Prevagen clinical study. The FTC is attempting to “hold the company to a standard that is unreasonable, scientifically debatable and legally invalid,” the statement said. “Quincy has amassed a large body of evidence that Prevagen improves memory and supports healthy brain function.” While the number of people who have bought Prevagen isn’t known, court documents said the product has raked in $165 million from 2007 to mid-2015. A bottle of 30 pills sells for $24 to $68, according to the lawsuit. Prevagen also has drawn fire from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In 2012, the agency sent a warning letter

The letter allows companies to make corrections or show why the findings are incorrect before facing legal sanctions, FDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Meyer said. FDA investigators conducted inspections at two Quincy Bioscience locations in late 2016, she said. The FDA could not provide more details or comment further, as the warning letter’s file remains open, Meyer said. Quincy Bioscience spokesman Todd Olson said the company could not discuss the FDA letter’s status due to the FTC litigation. In recent years, the FTC has made investigations of supplements and products targeting age-related memory decline a priority, Rusk said. “Our population is aging, so concerns about dementia will be more on the forefront. And more companies will be marketing to those concerns,” she said. A year ago, Lumos Labs agreed to pay $2 million to settle with the FTC. The trade regulators charged the company’s ads contained unfounded claims that its Lumosity brain games could prevent cognitive decline. In 2015, the marketers of the dietary supplement Procera AVH agreed to a $1.4 million settlement related to similar FTC allegations. Speth said Prevagen has been on his radar since viewing one of their infomercials years ago, and seeing the company’s claims that the calcium-

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binding apoaequorin protein could reduce calcium ion imbalances in the brain that could lead to memory loss. “It’s crazy. You can’t take a protein that’s been put in a pill that you swallow, have it go into your brain ... and bind to any calcium that might have accumulated in your neurons,” he said. “I have an obligation to try to convince people to use science-based medicines. I take an interest in unproved, untested products that have no scientific evidence to support their claims,” added Speth, who also is a research associate for the Institute for EthnoMedicine in Wyoming, dedicated to finding new treatments for brain diseases. Among his complaints, which also were cited by the FTC: that Quincy Bioscience tinkered with its study’s analysis, displayed in a chart on their promotions, that showed memory task scores for test subjects taking Prevagen improved dramatically over 90 days. In reality, the placebo group not on the supplement scored slightly better, according to the FTC’s court filings, which also named two of the company’s top executives. Those who work with Alzheimer’s disease patients and their families say people sometimes turn to supplements hoping something will work against the devastating disease. “I get upset when people are being misled and think there is a magic bullet,” said Karen Gilbert, vice president of education and quality assurance at Alzheimer’s Community Care in West Palm Beach. “And there is a possibility that ingredients in supplements could do more harm than good when coupled with prescriptions.” Gilbert said good nutrition is important for all seniors, and that some vitamins or supplements might be helpful. However, older adults always should speak with their doctors first, Gilbert said, and bring their supplements as well as their medications to their medical appointments. (c)2017 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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March 2017



March Featured Artists

Playtime 16x20 oil on canvas, Anne Hugghins

La Sua Casa, 16x20 oil on canvas Pamela Wesley Copeland

Dance 30x15 oil on canvas, Anita Westerberg

Moon Series: Rampant by Bradley Moon

The Virgin of Guadalupe 40x30 oil on canvas, John Wagnon

Break of Day 48x48 acrylic on canvas, Shirley Esco

Alchemy 36x48 mixed media, Cecily Hulett

Moon on the Rise 16x20 oil on canvas Trish Gober

Study for Robert Belfour 22x15 watercolor, Clint Herring

Brief Encounter 40x30 mixed media, Carol Barksdale

By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

Happenings at Gallery One Fine Art Art and Fashion our quarterly trunk show of the Carlisle Collection, NY was very successful and we are now preparing for Spring/Summer (please put on your calendars) we will open the Carlisle Collection Trunk Show April 7 close the show on the 24th. Remember this show is shown by appointment and we try to reserve at least an hour for each of our clients. Art Opening featuring Cecily Hulett and John Wagnon which opened Thursday, February 9th was well attended by friends, clients and local artists. We were pleasantly surprised to see Wiley White (she now lives in Troy, Al), clients from Birmingham, Enterprise, Auburn and more were here to meet Jake and Cissie while enjoying the show. If you were unable to attend the reception, we hope you will come by as the show will close March 31st.

the Dixie Art Colony Foundation paintings as examples of different taught the fifth class and John medium, subjects, perspective Wagnon is teaching and skill our final class on level. Shirley the fundamental Esco taught elements of drawing. the second class with a Thanks so much for demonstration. all who support us. She painted a Spring is the perfect landscape with time to clean, paint her beautiful and update. We clouds. Dr. tend to decorate Michael in the Spring and Panhorst entertain in the Fall. with the Remember our sale Montgomery program of pre-loved Museum Cecily Hulett and John Wagnon painting, let us help of Fine Art you in choosing just the right taught the third class. He curates pieces for your home or business. exhibitions and explained the process from beginning to end. Tara Sataoras, a ceramic artist, taught the fourth class and gave Sandi Aplin, a presentation using the mural Director of Gallery One Fine Art A freelance writer living in Montgomery, AL commission she created for or the City of Montgomery. Mark Harris, the Executive Director of

Gallery One Fine Art is teaching again this year, the Winter Quarter at the OutReach at Auburn Montgomery, Senior Program, OLLIE at the TechnaCenter. We are teaching on Mondays from 10:30 to 12:15, six classes (we were given Presidents Day off to enjoy our long weekend). Carol Barksdale taught the first class giving a general discussion using several The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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March 2017



Island Hopping

By Jeff Barganier

Georgia’s Historic Coast: Tybee Island

Following an Atlanta business trip that concluded on a late-January Friday morning, Cindy and I decided to go island hopping for the weekend on Georgia’s coast. We programmed our navigation system for Tybee Island as a first stop. The nice people at Tybee’s Mermaid Cottages fixed us up with a cute cottage 99 and ½ steps from the Atlantic Ocean. The tiny turquoise house with white picket fence was appropriately named “Old Love.” Constructed about 1921, it was made famous by Coastal Living Magazine. The temperature was about 40 and the wind howled as we arrived but we didn’t mind. Tybee Island is a treasure trove of great restaurants, history, and laid-back, friendly locals. There’s plenty to do and see—even in January. In the dead of winter, you can just walk in off the street and get a table at the best eating establishments; whereas, during peak season you’re likely to incur a long wait. And Tybee’s character is enhanced by having retained its hometown atmosphere. You won’t encounter any high-rise condominiums in this sleepy fishing village. On the contrary, Tybee’s structures appear to be no more than four stories. Ask a Tybee local what local’s do in winter and you almost always get the same answer. “Eat and drink.” So, that became our first priority. We eased down the strip to The Social Club for some of their famous blue crab stew. Delicious! More of a “local hangout” than a “social club,” this casual bistro features live entertainment and has received accolades in a number of national publications. We loved the atmosphere: candles on all the tables, string-lights, turquoise lanterns over the bar, and friendly staff.

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lighthouse. This, by the way, will be the site of the Tybee Island wine festival in April, a five-day event with celebrity chef dinners and food and wine pairings. The lighthouse is adjacent to historic Fort Screven, named for Revolutionary War Hero General James Screven. Fort Screven was in continuous use from 1898 up through both world wars. A few miles away on Cockspur Island between Savannah and Tybee Island is another historic military site worth seeing: Fort Pulaski National Monument. In 1862, the Union Army successfully tested a new rifled cannon in combat against Fort Pulaski, the success of which rendered brick fortifications obsolete. The evidence is stunning.

The next morning, we had a hardy breakfast at another “club,”—The Breakfast Club. Even in the beachlifelessness of winter, The Breakfast Club was packed with hungry patrons. I enjoyed a traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon, grits and toast. But they also offer a variety of fancy omelets. The interior design is unremarkable but the atmosphere is one of good old American comradery and boisterous laughter. Every time the cook gets a tip, a special chime rings out and people clap. We spent the balance of our first day sight-seeing. After shopping at Seaside Sisters, we headed over to the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum, featuring Georgia’s oldest (1736) and tallest

The evening of our second night in Tybee, we dined at the Sundae Café, an upscale restaurant with great ambience and a menu to match. But its location belies its inner graciousness as it is surreptitiously tucked between a liquor store and gas station. Who cares? That’s vintage Tybee. Be sure to call for a reservation if you want to eat there. Sometime during the nippy-night, Old Love lost its electricity—no pun intended. Georgia Power arrived promptly the next morning to investigate and heat things up again. Meanwhile, to ensure we were not inconvenienced, the nice folks at Mermaid Cottages immediately moved us down the beach to another delightful condo with a fine view of the ocean. It was there that I found a memoir and read some comments left by other guests. I think

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they’re honest representations of how visitors feel about the Tybee experience. One wrote: “We have had a great week on Tybee Time! Loved being so close to the beach!! If you want to share a lunch, walk over to the BBQ window across from the pizza joint and get some Redneck Nachos! Yummo! We will be back to share more dreams!” A young mom-to-be penned: “We came back this year for our ‘Babymoon.’ We hope to come back next year with our baby boy and every year as our family grows.” Another: “Such a great place for our family! Make sure to eat at Coco’s Sunset Grill. Sit ‘up top’ and watch the sunset!! It’s the best place to eat on the Island, #Friedstrawberries.” A lady from Kentucky wrote: “We will definitely be back and bring others with us! We kayaked, went to Wormsloe Plantation, played on the beach, and toured

downtown Historic Savannah. Don’t forget to read the ‘Beach Rules.’ They are strictly enforced.” Lastly, a terse note from that memoir summarized Tybee Island well: “Transformation, the sea, the land, the sky, the spirit.” After reading these testimonials, it didn’t surprise me to learn that Tybee Island has been named by Southern Living as one of the South’s “Perfect Little Beach Towns,” and Parents magazine has recognized Tybee as one of America’s “Best Beaches for Families on the East Coast.”

Before we headed south to Jekyll Island—the topic of my next travel feature in BOOM!— we drove around Historic Savannah, only twenty miles west of Tybee. This was my first ever trip to Savannah! Now that I’ve seen this amazing place, it’s hard to believe that I waited so long to visit! Savannah proves it is possible to fall in love with a city by merely driving through it. The homes, the parks, the trees, the history, the arts, the architecture—so much to see and learn. We are determined to go back and loiter for a few days! Island hopping on Georgia’s Historic coast is more fun than I ever imagined it would be. Follow our adventure as we explore Jekyll Island in the next issue of BOOM! For More Info Jeff S. Barganier is a freelance writer and business manager of Cindy Barganier Interiors LLC. He travels far and wide upon the slightest excuse for something interesting to write about. Jeff can be reached at

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March 2017



By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

The Force Was With Me

I was leaving my house for the afternoon drive to Radioland- a nice, warm afternoon a few years back- when I saw something that touched me deeply.

BOOM - I got calls from multiple listeners who stopped by and helped the young lady sell out her entire supply in half an hour. She had a successful adventure in capitalism and the DODs who participated no doubt felt good about it, too.

A sweet, early-teenish young lady had set up a lemonade stand in front of her Mom’s townhouse. Welcome to the I’d never met Parental Karma the girl or Club! her mother even though It is inevitable they were a Greg “Vader”, Princess Emily (AM show), Joey Jedi (Happy Hour) that every stone’s throw child comes away. My crazy hours can be prohibitive home from school with some type of in that way. fundraising project. For years I have bought cases of Girl Scout cookies, What touched me was the memory of Boy Scout popcorn, Boston Butts and my own daughter, ambitiously setting up gift wrap from catalogues to help the a lemonade stand in front of our Florida children of neighbors and co-workers home years ago. Janelle did a beautiful with their fundraising efforts. These are job but the location was tough because “karma” there was little traffic on our cul-de-sac. investments. After a couple hours, and a few sales, Sure, I’m she folded up shop, disappointed her glad to help a business venture didn’t produce a better good cause, result. but when my time comes Needless to say, I felt badly, too. to help my kid you’ll be So, when I saw my neighbor’s girl set there for me, up her labor of love, I stopped by, right? bought a glass and asked if she’d like me to advertise her lemonade stand My daughter on the radio for free. I insisted she get (Janelle) is permission from her Mom. She returned not a kid from inside the house quite excitedly anymore but with an “OK”. she’s still my little girl, so When I hit the air at 3PM I made a direct when I received an email from her a few appeal to my fellow Dads of Daughters weeks back (Subject line- “REMINDER”) it (DOD), saying “wouldn’t it be nice if we was my time to make a withdrawal from helped her have a big afternoon?” and the Bank of Karma.

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Janelle is graduating with her degree in Graphic Design from Florida Atlantic University in May. An excellent photographer too, she is already working full-time in her dream job as a lead designer for Zoo Miami, one of the world’s most prestigious animal habitats. From the time she was old enough to understand “what do you want to be when you grow up”, I urged and encouraged her to find something she was passionate about, so work never felt like work. I wanted her to enjoy a career like mine, because I’ll never confuse broadcasting with digging ditches. I’ve had fun making money my entire adult life. Janelle loves animals. You can imagine my pride when I toured the zoo last year and saw her credited work on display everywhere. Still, she wanted the degree, and wisely so. The “reminder” email contained a link to a GoFundeMe account she and her 20 fellow graduates set up.

FAU Student Thank You

A week before graduating, these kids are required to stage an exposition to display their talents, requiring a venue, insurance, invitations and catering as they invite the people who will consider The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

them for internships and jobs to view their carefully showcased final projects.

generosity. The students gathered and produced a Star Wars style thank-you to my listeners. The video was so impressively done (proving beyond doubt they are a talented group worthy of investment) that it registered 3000 Facebook views in 2 days!

I happily donated $100, but something moved me. It was the picture of Janelle and her very diverse group of fellow students gathered on a stairwell. I studied the photo, and fell in love with the entire bunch. Thanks to years of great listener support for my shows and those who sponsor them, Janelle will graduate with $0 student debt. Her Mom and I asked only that she work hard, get good grades and stay focused. When I got the call she’d be working full time in her Miami animal kingdom, it was my greatest DOD moment.

Between the overwhelming generosity of my listeners and the genuine love and appreciation in the student video, my eyes were in a deeply moistened condition for days. I am preparing to watch Star Wars, a mere 40 years after its debut. In a note to the FAU BFA Graphic Design class, I referenced another movie.

Many of the students pictured will have loans to re-pay, and I wanted to help them too. My listeners have “watched” Janelle grow up during my decade in Montgomery radio. The next morning, I mentioned the fundraiser and simply asked anyone interested to donate $5 so the FAU Design Group could get past the money issues and focus on the work that will open doors to their futures at their exposition this coming April 28th .

Janelle’s Tiger Photography as seen at ZOO Miami


I agreed- if we could get to the $1000 mark. We hit that goal just hours later. Donations were pouring in, in amounts ranging from 5 to 100 dollars! Within 24 hours we were at $2000! All I said on the air was “this is a chance to show Alabama heart to kids in a galaxy far, far away (Florida)”. On Day 2, I promised to show up at Baumhower’s restaurant dressed as Darth Vader if we could hit the $2500 amount. The Dinner With Darth promise sent fundraising rocketing past the 3K goal by several hundred dollars.

A listener challenged me to watch it (I have proudly refused since 1977) and

Meanwhile, Janelle said her classmates were “freaking out” over this unexpected

What happened next exceeded my highest expectations by light years, in large part because I have proudly never seen the movie “Star Wars”.

“Sometime down the road, when you’re successful and established, remember the kindness of people you didn’t even know existed, who wanted to do something to help you- and Pay It Forward”. I just know they will! Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, children and dogs. He’s a 30 year veteran of radio who hosts the Newstalk 93.1FM Morning Show with Rich Thomas, Jay Scott & LaDonna Brooks, 6-9AM Monday-Friday. He returns weekday afternoons from 3-6PM for Happy Hour with sidekick Joey Clark. Greg can be reached at

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

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March 2017



Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Why Choose Organic

What exactly does the word “organic” mean, especially when we are talking about products that we use, whether food or skincare? When we see the word Organic, it can be a little deceiving. Sometimes it says “made from organic ingredients” which may only mean that SOME of the ingredients are organic. On food products - for humans and animals - look for the USDA Organic label. Providing their certification is actually up to date, use of this label means that they have passed a rigorous testing period. Organic products are grown and processed under a set of strict ecological regulations. Soil that the products are grown in has to have been pesticide and chemical free for at least 3 years. Organic always means: • Fewer pesticides and toxic chemicals • No artificial colors & preservatives • The highest standards of animal welfare • No routine use of antibiotics • GM Free • Skincare products are never tested on animals • All ingredients are rigorously checked, sustainably sourced and traceable. • Use only natural colors and fragrances from plants and flowers • Green chemistry principles are followed, minimizing the environmental impact of ingredients and products. The creation of waste during the manufacturing process is also minimized. • Restricted use of petrochemical ingredients • The manufacturing premises are inspected annually

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Did you know that over 320 pesticides can be routinely used in non-organic farming and are often present in non-organic food? That means that even if you vigorously wash your food before you cook it, you are still consuming pesticides at every meal. If you didn’t see this Huffington Post report when it came out in May 2015, take a look at it now, In The Healthy Living Section, “What happened after one family went organic for just two weeks”. ( In brief, it describes an experiment run by a Swedish food supermarket chain on a family who ate “regular”, non-organic food. The levels of pesticides tested in all of them was high, but after just two weeks of eating organic food, all members of the family had significantly reduced levels of pesticides (poisons) in their bodies. Organic means the very highest standards of animal welfare. Organic animals are truly free range and are reared without the routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers. Also, good for you as those harmful chemicals will not be passed on to you too. I am sure you are aware of the national outcry at the superbugs resistant to all known antibiotics. Even large producers like Tyson have finally succumbed to not using antibiotics as a precautionary measure. Those antibiotics are passed on from animal to human and as a result we have the antibiotic superbug crisis we see today. Animals that are allowed to graze out in the pasture, as nature intended, do

not need all those drugs. Organic farming is better for the planet. Organic means working with nature, not against it. No system of farming does more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, or protect natural resources like fresh water and healthy soils. Organic is higher in nutrients. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition found significant differences between organic and non-organic farming. For every 3 portions of organic produce you eat, you would have to eat 5 of non-organic in order to get the same amount of nutritional value. So you need to eat (and buy) less in order to eat well. Organic farming combats climate change. The impact of switching to organic farming could save 64 million tons of carbon over 20 years across all UK cultivated land - the equivalent of taking nearly a million family cars off the road! Imagine what it could do in the US! Organic farms are havens for wild life, particularly the all-important pollinators. They provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies – there is up to 50% more wildlife on organic farms! If all that is not enough reasons to go organic, how about this last one - it just tastes better! Especially if you’ve grown it yourself. Tracy Bhalla, Independent Consultant with NYR Organics, website: email: You can also visit Tracy’s blog at, Continuing my obsession with all things organic, I have been working with NYR for two years now, using their skincare products myself for over 25 years! Your skin is the body’s largest organ, it deserves to be well looked after. I am here to answer any questions you may have.

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March 2017



March 2017

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond



Connery. Sean Connery. But if you really need to know more than that: James Bond (Connery) is tasked with finding out how Auric Goldfinger (Grobe) smuggles gold. Unsurprisingly, Bond finds out the answer and so much more - an international plan of murder, intrigue, and women even deadlier than flying hats Intrigued? You should be. Bond’s intrigues are nothing if not intriguing. Phone: 334.262.4858 Capri Theatre, 1045 E Fairview Ave Montgomery, AL 36106 For more info and tickets visit

Join the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts for their biennial Bazaar d’Art on March 9. This event features works of art donated from some of Montgomery’s finest homes and offers a great opportunity to find that hidden ‘pre-loved’ treasure for your new or growing collection. Guests will enjoy a taste of the orient with Chinese inspired hors d’oeuvres and drinks are included with the price of the ticket. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 334.240.4333. More Information and tickets at . Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Museum Dr Montgomery, AL 36117

The Capri Classics: Goldfinger The Capri Theatre Thursday, March 9, 7:30 pm


30A Wine Festival Alys Beach, FL Thursday-Sunday, March 9-12 The Sixth Annual 30A Wine Festival returns to the beautiful community of Alys Beach Thursday, March 9 through Sunday, March 12. Showcasing renowned vintners and local culinary favorites, the four-day celebration will benefit Children’s Volunteer Health Network. The festival kicks off Friday night with “Bourbon, Beer, & Butts”, a lively barbeque and bourbon tasting featuring some of the country’s best pitmasters and distillers. Saturday offers wine lovers a number of wine tasting seminars throughout the day, followed by an evening grand tasting and after party at the Alys Beach Fire Pit. “Rosé & Croquet” on Sunday features rosé tastings, a delicious brunch, and the beloved croquet tournament (croquet whites encouraged). For more info/ tickets visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Sherlock Holmes ASF March 9 - 25, various times

A new adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes story by Geoffrey Sherman, this gripping tale of the world’s most famous detective features amazing twists and turns, accompanied by a healthy dose of comedy. For more information, call 334.271.5353. Alabama Shakespeare Festival, One Festival Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 Recommended ages nine and up. For more info visit

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Bazaar d’Art Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Thursday, March 9th, 7 - 10 pm

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

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


ZOO Weekend Montgomery Zoo and Mann Museum Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12, 9-6 pm Join the Montgomery Zoo for Zoo Weekend on March 11 & 12, 2016. Enjoy a festive environment with live entertainment, games, rides, concessions and animals from around the world. There will be many activities and fantastic food, so come have fun together at an The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

affordable price. It is also an excellent opportunity to take advantage of discounted memberships. $15 for adults, $11 for children ages 3-12 years old, FREE for toddlers 2 years old and younger and Montgomery Zoo members. Special discounted admission for the Mann Museum: $3 all ages. Montgomery Zoo, 2301 Coliseum Pkwy, Montgomery, AL 36110For more info visit or call 334.240.4900

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Rockin’ Road to Dublin MPAC-Downtown Montgomery Sunday, March 12th, 7:30-9:30 pm

Rockin’ Road to Dublin is the new sensation changing the Irish Dance world. A fusion of rock and Irish, Rockin’ Road combines the best of both worlds to thrust Irish Dance back into the spotlight. This stylish, can’t-miss spectacle is the perfect balance between concert and stage show!For more info and tickets visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Mid-Century Modern Tour of Homes Landmark Foundation Sunday, March 12, 12-5 pm

Explore modernism right here in Montgomery with period music and cars and a variety of Mid-Century Modern style homes! Join Landmarks Foundation on Sunday afternoon, March 12th, at the Mid-Century Modern Tour of Homes. This tour will address Montgomery’s history, architecture and aesthetics, but for many, will offer a nostalgic trip back in time! Tickets for the tour are $20 if purchased in advance online at, over the phone at 334.240.4500 or in the Old Alabama Town Gift Store. Tickets will be $25 the day of the tour ($20 for Landmarks members). All guests must meet at the Capri Theatre the day of the tour to check in and receive tour wristbands and materials. Capri Theatre, 1045 E Fairview Ave Montgomery, AL 36106


Piney Woods Arts Festival (A Juried Arts & Crafts Show) Enterprise State Community College Saturday and Saturday, March 18, 19th The 43rd annual Piney Woods Arts Festival is one of the oldest juried arts and crafts show in the area, Piney Woods features original art and crafts by a variety of artists, a children’s fun center, food and entertainment. The children’s fun center will include face painting, Jumper Roos, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Enjoy great entertainment Saturday and Sunday featuring a variety of local bands, choirs and dance groups. Special events include a Civil War Living Display and the Weevil City Cruisers Car The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

and Truck Show (Saturday only across campus from the arts festival). Admission is free. For information, call 334.406.2787 or visit


Member Day Trip: Gibbs Gardens Daffodil Festival Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Thursday, March 23rd, all day At Gibbs Gardens, guests will attend a Garden Talk by horticulturalist and author Erica Glasner. Erica Glasner is the author of Proven Plants: Southern Gardens, co-author of Georgia Gardener’s Guide, as well as Month-By-Month™ Gardening in Georgia. A well-known gardening expert, Erica Glasner also hosted “A Gardener’s Diary” on HGTV for fourteen years. Be certain to bring your book to have it autographed after the talk! After the Garden Talk and enjoying a catered lunch, guests will explore Gibbs Gardens and its Daffodil Festival showcasing 20 million daffodils. Along with admission to Gibbs Gardens, each guest will receive a ticket to ride the tram through the beautiful landscapes. For more info visit www.bbgardens. org or

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA The Price Is Right Live The MPAC, Downtown Montgomery Friday, March 24, 8-10 pm

The Price Is Right Live™ is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to “Come On Down” to win. Prizes may include appliances, vacations and possibly a new car! Play classic games from television’s longest running and most popular game show from Plinko™, to Cliffhangers™, to The Big Wheel™, and even the fabulous Showcase. If you enjoy the rush of emotions experienced while watching the show on television, just imagine the possibilities if you were actually in the audience watching it live. For more info visit www. or


Max Capital City Classic, Alabama vs Auburn Riverwalk Stadium Tuesday, March 28th, 6:30 pm The rivalry between The University of Alabama and Auburn University continues! The Montgomery Biscuits, along with the City of Montgomery, have announced that the two schools will play the eighth annual MAX Capital City Classic on Tuesday, March 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm at Riverwalk Stadium. Gates will open at 5:30 pm. For tickets and more info visit

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Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

Fifty Years of the Carol Burnett Show A couple of years ago, visitors to Carol Burnett’s home might have observed the comedy legend glued to the TV set, binge-watching every episode of her old variety show. But it wasn’t a case of extreme celebrity vanity sweeping through the Burnett household. “I’d been getting calls from writers wanting to interview me about the show,” said Ms. Burnett from Los Angeles. “So I thought, maybe I should write a definitive history of the 11 years I worked on ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ because, after all, I was there!”

“We all improved over the first 3 or 4 years. Harvey (Korman) was brilliant from the beginning, but even he honed his craft. Vicki (Lawrence) was 18 and right out of high school at the start, so Harvey took her under his wing teaching her accents and giving her acting tips. She absorbed everything like a sponge and millions of viewers watched her evolve into a brilliant comedienne.”

Her timing was perfect. “In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox” was published late last year as a prelude to this year’s 50th anniversary of the show, first broadcast in September, 1967. Scrutinizing the episodes, Burnett jotted down notes to help with the book preparation.

Audiences were also treated to a parade of weekly special guests throughout the series, which collectively could be considered a history of Hollywood from the period.

“I watched all the episodes – over 270 of them – in a period of several weeks. I fast-forwarded through the sketches that I remembered, but really wanted to jog my memory about the ones I’d forgotten. Watching also helped me remember behind-the-scenes stories and the great variety of guests that appeared each week.” As she progressed through the viewing marathon, Burnett says it was fascinating to observe the cast evolve.

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March 2017

“We might have had more famous guest stars than any other TV show,” Burnett suggested. “My husband (the late Joe Hamilton) was producing the show and we would say let’s call so-andso and ask him or her on the show.” But their guest wish list wasn’t always fulfilled. “We wanted Bette Davis and had a standard fee for all our guest stars, but she asked for too much money,” recalled Burnett. “I wanted to pay her more but

we couldn’t because everyone would have wanted more.” In addition to its impressive guest list, the show is legendary for the cast ‘breaking up’ during filming. “People remember those sketches and think we did it all the time but we really didn’t,” she laughed. “Nor did we ever do it on purpose and it was mostly when Tim (Conway) was on. We’d tape two shows on Fridays with different audiences. Tim would do it the way we rehearsed for the first taping, then go crazy for the second without telling anyone what he would be doing.” For all her television work, Burnett amassed an incredible collection of honors, including 3 personal Emmy’s just for “The Carol Burnett Show.” “Of course, I’m proud of the awards and they’re sitting on a shelf – but I don’t go and polish them every day!” she laughed. Already an author of several other popular books on her life and career, her latest 320-page memoir on the show has been warmly received by critics and fans. She says she wasn’t too concerned about finding an audience for a book about a 50-year-old TV show. “It still airs on cable and there are old and new fans watching it. But I really just wanted to get the memories down on paper for myself and if others enjoy it, that’s the cherry on top of the sundae.” Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 600 magazines and newspapers. Nick can be reached at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Digital & Interactive When you read the Digital & Interactive version of BOOM! on your digital device you will be interactive with every website and email link in the magazine. You can click through to a writer’s source, an advertiser, send comments and suggestions, request more info and share your favorite reads on Facebook and Twitter. The Digital & Interactive version was built for the new you so go ahead and sign up for a free subscription at “BOOM!, the best reading experience for the 50+ community”

Women of Hope

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

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

Purpose For Your Pain

Presented by Nita Grizzard, Breast Cancer Survivor

The Business Mini Directory

A Business Mini is a little fatter than your old business card and for a limited time we’re offering a Business Mini to fit your budget. Fifty dollars will get your business message in front of thousands of people over 50 who have the money to buy stuff. Every business needs one more customer, where will yours come from? Call today and get your $50 Business Mini, 324.3472 or

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

March 2017



BOOM! March 2017  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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