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November 2016

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


November 2016

for Boomers and Beyond

Who needs the shot? Pneumonia


accines can prevent many illnesses. Some of those vaccines—like the one for flu—are well-known. But others—like the pneumococcal vaccine—don’t seem to get the same attention. This vaccine helps prevent pneumonia. You and your family may be among those who should get the shot.

A bad bug Like the flu, pneumonia can make you very sick. It causes the air sacs in your lungs to fill with pus and liquid. That makes it hard for oxygen to get into your bloodstream and for your body’s cells to work the way they should. In some cases, pneumonia can lead to death. Very young children and older adults are at greatest risk of getting pneumonia. People with chronic health problems and weak immune systems are also at great risk.

Staying safe There are two pneumonia vaccines. One is for children younger than 5 years old, all adults 65 years or older, and people 6 years or older with certain risk factors. Most kids get this vaccine in four doses starting when they’re 2 months old. They get the last dose when they’re between 12 and 15 months old. Children younger than 5 years who didn’t get the vaccine on schedule can still be protected. They won’t need four doses, though. The second type of pneumonia vaccine is for adults 65 and older and for people 2 through 64 years old who are at high risk for pneumococcal disease.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

You are at high risk if you: • Have long-term health problems, such as heart or lung disease, asthma, or diabetes. • Would have a hard time fighting an infection because of illness or its treatment. • Smoke. • Live in a nursing home or long-term care facility. Most people need only one dose of this pneumonia vaccine. Some people, though, will need a second dose. If so, you get it five years after the first one. Both pneumonia vaccines are considered very safe. Side effects may include pain or redness at the site of the shot and a fever. Are you protected? Talk to your doctor to learn more. Ask if or when you or your loved ones should get this vaccination. Looking for a primary care provider? Call 334-293-888 or visit

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November 2016



Super Tailgate Party

Starts at 5 p.m. November 19th

DINNER, DANCING, & SILENT AUCTION with the Sweet Young’Uns at The Biscuits Stadium

to benefit Alzheimer’s-Autism Outreach Group with $10,000 cash drawdown! Celebrate with Barbeque Dinner, Dancing and a Chance to win Big as we raise funds to help protect persons with Alzheimer’s, Autism or other special needs when they go missing. Proceeds go to purchase a modified drone for Search and Rescue for First Responders of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department

Purchase a $120 ticket for a chance to win $10,000 in a Cash Drawdown – You will receive two barbeque dinners and two drink tickets Dinner and Dancing - $50 per ticket For tickets call Lynn at 334.215.4483 or email:

It’s not just your joints that are suffering.

It’s your life.

Introducing the Joint Center of Alabama at Baptist South. Is joint pain making you miss out on life? It’s time to stop hurting and start living. The new Joint Center of Alabama at Baptist South offers joint replacement surgery, recovery and rehab all in one convenient

Joint Center of Alabama


location. And our specialized doctors and surgeons know how to get you back to living. So call us today to schedule a visit. (334) 273.4444

Bring the pain. 5


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


November 2016 Volume 7 Issue 4

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 7 Facts You Need To Know Now About Alzheimer’s 12 Chronic Disease and Resistance Training Leigh Anne Richards

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17 Healthy Hearing Casey Gonzalez


36 Culinary & Artistic

28 Marathon Swimmer

48 Healthy Aging Secret There’s something else you control that can help...

Food that is edible art and art that is a feast for the eyes.

“I’ve wanted to swim the English Channel since I was a little kid”

Getting You “In the Know”

18 Plan With the Grandkids to Experience Santa! 19 The Korean Cultural Experience

Departments 18 This and That

14 Planning the Withdrawl of Your Retirement Assets Brandt McDonald

44 {12} Things

40 Greg Budell

Special Events for Boomers

23 St. John’s Episcopal Church 64th Annual Bazaar


24 BOOM! Cover Profile



30 THANKSGIVING Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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32 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Paleo page 12

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33 Warm Up Wine for Fall 34 Dating Coach: TRY DATING DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEN

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39 The Story of Tinkerbelle Sandi Aplin

BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 6398 Eastwood Glen Pl., Montgomery, AL 36117. The phone number is 334.324.3472. Copyright 2016 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

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November 2016



Publisher’s Letter

Grateful 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 Tracy Bhalla Dick Brewbaker Ruth Brewbaker Greg Budell

Lisa Copeland Casey Gonzalez Treva Lind Brandt McDonald Leigh Anne Richards Raley L. Wiggins Kathy Witt

Cover Photography Kim Bethea Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

Jim Watson, Publisher

I’m grateful for many things that touch my life. The opportunity to publish BOOM! and share stories of people over 50 each month. The joy in worship when I glorify God’s presence in the world. The many people who engage in service to others. My family who loves me unconditionally and looks forward to our next reunion. My friends, who are few, but loyal. But I’m especially grateful for new friends because I have been refreshed by their relationships. Being interested in new conversations and sharing ideas has helped me embrace my future in a way I wasn’t sure I could after losing my wife Jackie back in January. Thanks for helping me heal and grow.

Our Cover Profile this month is a man with a heart of compassion who loves his family and community. Many of you know Dick Brewbaker from his car dealerships, Brewbaker Motors and maybe as a tenacious State Senator but we got to know more about his heart when we had the opportunity to share some time with him and his wife Ruth. His family has been in the local car business for more than 70 years and that says a lot about his relationship with his community. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know Dick as much as I did. There are many other good reads in this month’s issue including an interesting story about a marathon swimmer who describe some of her training like she was swimming in an aquarium. Kathy Witt has just gotten back from a cruise where you combine the culinary arts with art. It was a new experience. Everyone is concerned about healthy aging and everyone has a new way of trying to achieve it. We’ve got a few secrets for you to consider...very simple to implement too! Greg Budell is talking about his Cul-de-Sac, sharing some memories before moving on. Leigh Anne Richards has valuable insight for people who suffer with chronic disease and how her ideas might help out. Sandi Aplin shares a sweet story about Tinkerbelle and Tracy Bhalla gets us acquainted with Tea Time, as only a Brit can do. There’s plenty more to this month’s issue and I hope you’ll sit back grab your favorite beverage and 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. Happy Thanksgiving!

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”


November 2016

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2016



7 Facts You Need To Know Now

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and here are some points you may not know but should. It is the following information that will hopefully stimulate discussion and promote a better understanding of the disease. With more discourse, we can begin to erode the lingering stigma that currently prevents some people with early symptoms from seeking timely medical attention.

1) We generally detect Alzheimer’s at the end-stage of the disease. On average, Alzheimer’s follows a 14year course from the onset of the first symptoms until death. There is some variability across patients but 14 years is pretty typical. The more surprising news is that, on average, we diagnose Alzheimer’s in years 8-10 of that disease course. This means that for most patients, symptoms go undiagnosed and untreated for at least seven years, during which time the lesions spread through the brain and cause irreparable damage. Please be aware that we diagnose Alzheimer’s disease far too late to optimize the effects of currently available treatments. 2) Memory loss is not a part of normal aging. The point about end-stage detection raises an obvious question about “why”

we diagnose this disease so late. There are many contributing factors but most of them can be reduced through awareness and education. Some patients resist medical attention in the early stages because they fear a stigmatizing label or because they are misinformed to believe that Alzheimer’s cannot be treated. Many people, including a startling number of physicians, incorrectly believe that memory loss is a normal part of aging. Improving the timeliness of diagnoses for Alzheimer’s is, in many ways, a problem that can be addressed through awareness and education. Please be aware that memory loss is not a part of normal aging and, regardless of the cause of the memory loss, timely medical intervention is best. 3) Current Alzheimer’s drugs are probably more effective than you think. Our widespread practice of late

detection has many negative consequences. For example, one of the reasons that current treatments are often deemed ineffective is because they are routinely prescribed for patients with end-stage pathology who already have massive brain damage. With earlier intervention, treatment can be administered to patients with healthier brains, many of whom will respond more vigorously to the recommended therapy. Yes, we need better treatments, but a great start would be to intervene earlier with the treatments we already have. Please be aware that currently approved treatments may be more effective than some headlines indicate. 4) Alzheimer’s disease can be treated. Another treatment related concept about which everyone should be aware is this. Preventing or slowing further brain damage is preferable to letting

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. 10 BOOM!

November 2016



2416 W. Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106 334.834.8990

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

the damage spread without constraint. Yet, many physicians, patients, and caregivers conclude that any treatment short of a cure is not worthwhile. While today it is true that we have no cure for Alzheimer’s, that does not mean there is no treatment. With a good diet, physical exercise, social engagement, and certain drugs, many patients (especially those detected at an early stage) can meaningfully alter the course of Alzheimer’s and preserve their quality of life. Please be aware that “we have no cure” does not mean “there is no treatment”. 5) The Alzheimer’s drug pipeline is full. Here’s another fact of which you should be aware. Through an intense research effort over the past twenty years, scientists have gained a lot of insight about Alzheimer’s disease mechanisms and about other factors that increase the risk for the disease. Much has been learned and some very promising drugs, based on sound theoretical approaches, are in FDA clinical trials right now. While much of the disease remains shrouded in mystery and we may still be a long

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

way from better treatments, it is possible that an effective agent is already in the pipeline. Please be aware that, although we don’t know when, better treatments for Alzheimer’s are certainly on the way. 6) Taking good care of your heart will help your brain stay healthy. Know this; the health of your brain is very closely tied to the health of your body, particularly your heart. Researchers have shown conclusively that high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity all confer greater risk for cognitive decline. The mechanisms that keep oxygen-rich blood flowing through your body play a key role in maintaining a healthy brain. Everyone should be aware about the close association between vascular health and cognitive health. Please be aware that maintaining good vascular health will help you age with cognitive vitality. 7) Managing risk factors may delay or prevent cognitive problems later in life. There are well-identified risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease that are within our power to manage. These include

diabetes, head injuries, smoking, poor diet, lethargy, and isolation. With greater awareness of these facts, we can imagine a world where diabetics take more care to control their blood sugar, where helmets are more prevalent in recreational activities that are likely to cause head trauma, where people smoke less and eat more fruits and vegetables, and where everyone makes a better effort to exercise and to stay socially engaged on a regular basis. While these facts may not be well known, they are all well proven. Galvanizing an effort to publicize them is one purpose of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Please be aware that many risk factors for Alzheimer’s can be actively managed to reduce the likelihood of cognitive decline. By reading this article, you have increased your understanding of the problem and raised your awareness about what can be done. In the spirit of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, please share this article with your friends to promote more widespread awareness. Source

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November 2016



Chronic Disease and Resistance Training Last month’s article on resistance training and fall prevention, got rave reviews, so I decided to continue along the lines of the importance of resistance training. This month we will focus on the current evidence on how resistance training helps people with chronic diseases. What are considered chronic diseases? Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are some autoimmune diseases. It is currently estimated that half of all American adults have at least one chronic disease. In 2010, 86% of all health care spending was for those with one or more medical conditions, and 7 of the top 10 causes of deaths were chronic disease. Regular physical activity (exercise) is a behavior that can positively impact many of these chronic diseases. Aerobic exercise, walking in particular, has been the most widely promoted method of activity. Resistance training is not promoted as much for people with chronic diseases so we want to look at the positive effects resistance training has on chronic diseases and symptoms associated with them. There is now new research that describes the effect resistance training has on the symptoms and management of various chronic diseases. Some examples are as follows: • Cardiovascular disease- can increase muscle strength, functional capacity, and quality of life in patients • COPD- can reduce fatigue, shortness of breath, and enhance the ability to

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perform activities of daily living. Also, helps lung function • Type 2 Diabetes- increases muscle mass and potentially alter insulin sensitivity via increased muscle glucose storage. There are more benefits for less obese people.

People experiencing chronic diseases will differ on the types of resistance programs they should be doing. It is very important that it be safe and matched with the exerciser’s goals. It can be complex and requires significant planning with a knowledgeable person/ practitioner. One should always adhere to the principles of progressive overload, specificity, and variation when designing a program. I would Richards highly recommend getting a personal trainer knowledgeable in training people with a chronic disease.

Fitness over Fifty by Leigh Anne

• Parkinson’s Disease- reduces deterioration of muscle strength and aids in improved balance and walking performance. • Fibromyalgia- combats the symptoms of muscle weakness, muscle pain, and fatigue.

• Multiple Sclerosis- increases muscular strength with smaller but positive effects on functional capacity, balance, fatigue and quality of life. As with any disease, always consult your physician before you start on any exercise program.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease of the nervous system. Patients with MS experience a variety of symptoms that can be attributed to the disease itself as well as an inactive lifestyle. Some of the symptoms people with MS experience involve loss of function and feeling in the limbs, a loss of balance/coordination, reduced muscular strength (especially in the lower body), fatigue, and depression. Aerobic exercise can sometimes be more challenging for people with MS because of balance impairments and gait problems. Resistance training may be more beneficial and practical. There are numerous studies that have consistently shown resistance training to induce improvements in muscular strength, muscle size, functional capacity, fatigue, and mental health in patients with MS. Several types of resistance training equipment are appropriate to use-

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

elastic bands, free weights, machine weights, and pulley systems. More high functioning MS patients may use free weights and machines, while lower functioning may be better suited with resistance bands and pulleys. It is recommended MS patients do a full body routine of 3 sets per exercise of 10-15 reps with the appropriate weight for that person. Intensity can be progressed gradually. Significant improvements in muscular strength can be seen in as few as 8 to 12 weeks. It is also important to remember that people with MS are sensitive to temperature, especially heat. Exercise sessions should be scheduled to avoid the hotter part of the day. Body temperature is typically lower in the mornings so mornings would be a better option to exercise if heat sensitive. Eighty percent of our population fails to meet the nationally recommended guidelines for strength training. More and more evidence supports the use of resistance training to manage and treat symptoms of several chronic diseases. We know resistance training produces meaningful increases in muscle mass, strength, physical function and quality of life. Those benefits are for people with or without chronic diseases People with chronic disease should never fear strength training because it is found to be a safe and effective way to alter the disease “trajectory” and reduce the negative impact of different disease states. * Ciccolo, Joseph, Ph. D, and Nosrat, Sanaz, M.A. “Resistance Training and Chronic Disease- A summary of the Current Evidence, ACSM Health and Fitness Journal, Sept/Oct 2016, pp44-49

Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General Manager- MetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at

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November 2016



Planning the Withdrawl of Your Retirement Assets You’ve worked long and hard to accumulate the assets that you are using to help finance your retirement. Now, it’s time to start drawing down those assets. Exactly how you liquidate your assets will affect your tax and impact how long those assets last, so it pays to plan a withdrawal strategy that is efficient and maximizes the benefits of different types of investments.

income ($1,500 for married individuals who file separate tax returns). Losses in excess of the limits can usually be carried forward for use in future years. • Liquidate assets in taxable accounts that will generate neither capital gains nor losses. As you consider which assets to sell, keep your target asset allocation in mind. You may be able sell assets from a class that is currently over weighted in your The first step in planning your withdrawal strategy is to make portfolio. By focusing on reducing the over weighted class to a precise inventory of all the assets you have in your portfolio, restore balance, you can minimize net transaction costs. paying particular attention to distinguish between taxable • Realize gains from taxable accounts or withdraw assets from accounts, such as ordinary bank or brokerage accounts, and tax-deferred accounts to which nondeductible contributions tax-deferred accounts such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans, and have been made, such as after-tax contributions to a 401(k) IRAs. From this inventory, you can estimate how much cash you plan. Which accounts to tap first within this category will will receive from dividends, interest payments, redemptions, depend on a number of factors, such as the cost basis relative and distributions in the coming year. You can also assess how to market value of the accounts to be liquidated and the tax much you will need to hold in reserve in characteristics of the assets in the order to meet the associated federal and taxable account. When liquidating state tax obligations. taxable account assets, liquidate the holdings with long-term capital gains If your total net cash flow from the before those with short-term gains, and with assets in your taxable accounts is strong liquidate assets with the least unrealized Brandt McDonald enough to meet your budgeted cash gain first. needs for the year, you may consider • Take additional distributions from yourself to be fortunate. You need not tax-favored accounts. RMD rules, state weigh the transaction costs of different tax treatment, and other features and asset sale strategies or consider the added income tax effects of characteristics of the different IRAs and employer-sponsored withdrawing assets from employer-sponsored plans and IRAs. plans may make some accounts better candidates for earlier But if you do need to liquidate assets in order to meet your cash withdrawals. For instance, withdrawals from a traditional IRA flow targets, then you should consider the plusses and minuses would usually precede withdrawals from a Roth IRA. of each withdrawal strategy as outlined in the following savings withdrawal hierarchy. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) For traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement As you consider these options, keep in mind that no single savings plans, individuals must begin taking required minimum order can be right for every person and every situation. Among distributions no later than April 1 following the year in which the additional issues you should consider when designing your they turn 70½. RMDs from a 401(k) can be delayed until actual withdrawal strategy are the management of portfolio risk, your retirement if the plan participant continues to be employed by tax bracket, and the cost basis of the investments. With that in the plan sponsor and he or she does not own more than 5% of mind, below is a high-level summary of guidelines for creating the company. The size of an RMD is determined by the account an appropriate strategy. Remember, this is a conceptual ranking. owner’s age. An account owner with a spousal beneficiary who Your circumstances may require a different sequence, so be is more than 10 years younger can base required minimum sure to obtain relevant financial advice before taking any action. distributions on their joint life expectancy. Note, too, that estate tax considerations might have an impact on withdrawal priorities. Estimating the Required Minimum Distribution • Meet the rules for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). This is the most broadly applicable required minimum Owners of traditional IRAs and participants in 401(k), 403(b), distribution table -- the Uniform Lifetime Table for unmarried and 457 plans must follow IRS schedules for the size and timing owners, married owners whose spouses are not more than 10 of their RMDs (see below). Those who fail to do so face a years younger, and married owners whose spouses are not the penalty tax equal to half of any required distribution that has sole beneficiaries of their accounts. Other tables apply in other not been taken by the applicable deadline. situations. • Sell losing positions in taxable accounts. If you have an Age 70 75 80 85 investment that is worth less now than when you bought it, you Projected life expectancy (years) 27.4 22.9 18.7 14.8 may be able to create a tax deduction by selling that investment. RMD (% of assets) 3.6% 4.4% 5.3% 6.8% This deduction can be used to offset any investment gains you realize. It can also be used to offset up to $3,000 in ordinary

Financial Thoughts

continued on page 16

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2016



A Potential Tax Benefit for Company Stock Held in a Retirement Plan. For individuals who hold company stock in their 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan, the IRS offers certain tax advantages when withdrawing company stock from the plan. Rather than paying ordinary income tax on the entire amount of the withdrawal, you may elect to pay it on the original cost basis of the stock, assuming it was paid for in pre-tax dollars, then pay capital gains tax, usually at a lower rate, on the net unrealized appreciation when you eventually sell the shares. Keep in mind that the IRS has exacting requirements for exploiting all of the tax management strategies discussed above and that tax laws are always subject to change. You should review your cash management plans with your tax and investment advisors before taking any specific action. 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. 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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Help Your Loved One Stay Connected this Holiday Season

November marks the start of the holiday season. The sounds of the holidays: joyous music, lively conversation and family gatherings are a cherished part of every holiday season. But if a loved one has trouble hearing in crowded, noisy situations, or suffers any degree of hearing loss, the holidays may lose some of their luster. A person with hearing loss may have difficulty hearing the higher pitched tones of children’s (and women‘s) speech. Missing out on a grandchild’s recitation of a wish list, or not being able to contribute to a family conversation about holiday memories, can be frustrating for both the person suffering from hearing loss, as well as family

members who may not be aware of the hearing problem.

There are ways to help a loved one with deal with their hearing problems during the holiday season. It takes observation, awareness

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

and a healthy dose of patience – communication skills that are useful year round- but may be even more important when families and friends gather to celebrate. However, the best way to help your loved one stay connected this holiday season is by encouraging them to seek treatment now and get their hearing tested by a hearing professional.

With the support of family, a person with hearing problems may be more willing to accept the need to get hearing loss treatment. Imagine how much sweeter this holiday season can be for your loved one if they take the first steps towards better hearing. Casey Gonzalez received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University, and earned 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

Avoid unnecessary frustrations this holiday season. Montgomery Hearing Services is offering free hearing screenings and demonstrations of hearing technology. For an appointment, call (334) 651-0500.

Fall Open House Event There is nothing more important than being tuned into the world around you, especially during the holiday season.

Join us for our Fall Open House Event! 3 Days Only! November 28th - 30th

(334) 651-0500

Call to make an appointment during our Open House Event and receive the following: • COMPLIMENTARY hearing screening • COMPLIMENTARY ear exam to check for wax buildup • COMPLIMENTARY demonstration of the newest hearing aid technology • COMPLIMENTARY clean & check of your current hearing aids, if applicable 1758 Park Place, Suite 101 • Montgomery, AL 36106 © 2016 SMPN. All Rights Reserved. 10/16 48667-16

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November 2016




This & tHAT

MACOA’s 12th Annual International Tasting Sunday, November 13th, 2 pm- 4 pm at Southern Homes & Gardens, 8820 Vaughn Road. Take a trip around the world as you experience International cuisine, entertainment, and an afternoon of cultural surprises. This special “invitation only” charity benefit is reserved for those who provide monetary support to MACOA and Meals On Wheels. For more information on how you may be added to the guest list to attend this international event contact Chacolby Burns-Johnson, Development Coordinator, at 334.263.0532 or cjohnson@ For more info visit

3rd Annual ASF Tree Lighting On Saturday, November 19th at 4:30PM, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) will hold its third annual holiday tree lighting. Santa will parade through Blount Cultural Park and light a beatiful 40foot Leland Cypress Christmas tree on display in front of the theatre. Bring the whole family out for this fun event and enjoy pictures with Santa, festive carols from the Montgomery Chorale, free carriage rides throughout beautiful Blount Cultural Park, free hot chocolate and Krispy Kreme donuts, and cast members of ASF’s a Christmas Carol. For more information, call 334.271.5354 or visit

Make Plans With the Grandkids to Experience Santa! Santa Claus will arrive in his magical sleigh during a spectacular ice show at the Eastdale Mall Ice Palace, Friday, November 11th, 7 pm. Ice Palace skaters will perform whimsical vignettes featuring traditional Holiday tunes that will delight children of all ages. The Eastdale Express will be up and running, so make sure and catch a ride! This event is FREE. Come have your photo made with Santa on the big green sleigh! Santa will be available for photos from November 11th through Christmas Eve. Packages start at $15 and Digital Files are also available! For more information call 334.277.7380. Kick off the Holiday Season with The Shoppes at EastChase Lights Up Christmas Parade and Fireworks Show. This year, we’re combining both events into one magical celebration on Saturday, November 19 from 7 - 8p.m. Click here for the parade application. For more information call 334.279.6046 or visit www.

Honoring Veteran’s Brunch @ The Capital City Club The Capital City Club is opening its doors to veterans and their family and friends on Sunday, November 13th. Along with our members, we wish to show our appreciation to all of Montgomery’s military veterans with an enjoyable brunch for all ages. Complimentary for Veterans when a regular Brunch is purchased. Adults $26.95, ages 6-9, $9.95. For reservations or more information, contact Heather Logan at, or by calling 334.834.8920. Sun., Nov. 13, 2016, 11:30 - 2 pm. Capital City Club, 201 Monroe St #2100, Montgomery, AL 36104

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The Korean Cultural Experience The Korean Cultural Experience (KCE) is a two-day event, starting November 4th and ending on November 5th, 2016 in Montgomery, Alabama. The event is hosted by the Alabama-Korea Education & Economic Partnership (A-KEEP) and features the Alabama-Korea Community Conference, “The Lady Hwang Jinee,” and Taste of Korea! The purpose of the KCE is to promote multicultural diversity education in Alabama through critical cultural components, such as social discussion, performing arts, and cuisine. We are excited to bring such a comprehensive cultural learning experience to Alabama for the first time and hope that others will be encouraged by our efforts! Taste of Korea is a fun buffet-styled dinner event where guest can try authentic Korean foods and learn about their history and cultural experience. Experience Korea in a brand new way! Full menus and ingredients list will be present with every dish so you will always know what you are getting. So don’t be afraid to try something new! Now, the story of “The Lady Hwang Jinee” comes to Alabama for the very first time! This musical is the bestselling Korean traditional musical opera and will be told by the Korean Traditional Music and Performing Arts, Women’s Association. Founded as the first female performing arts association in 1948 right before the Korean War, the group has fought for women’s civil rights and performing and creative rights and are still the best national performing team in Korea. Tickets: Adults $29 and Student/Military/Senior (62+) w/ID $19. Package with Taste of Korea: Adults $45 and Student/Military/Senior (62+) w /ID $35. For more info visit or call 334.625.8515

Get Your Affairs in Order, FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop Wednesday, November 30: 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

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November 2016



This & tHAT



Mannheim Steamroller Christmas with Chip Davis Tuesday, November 22nd at the MPAC, Grammy Award® winner Chip Davis, founder and creator of Mannheim Steamroller and the industry’s largest independent record label, American Gramaphone, will direct and co-produce 2016 Christmas Tour performances with MagicSpace Entertainment. The show features classic Christmas hits from Mannheim Steamroller all with dazzling multimedia effects in an intimate setting. The spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller. This year marks the 32nd Anniversary of the Christmas Tour. The group’s first Christmas album, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, was released in 1984 and revolutionized the Holiday Season music category. In addition to being a holiday tradition for many families, the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour regularly attracts repeat attendance from multi-generational guests and is one of the longest running tours in the music industry. This year’s tour includes many of the performances in a PBS special broadcast airing this year, “Mannheim Steamroller 30/40 Live” featuring the group’s legendary concert. For tickets and info visit

Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy In Lights, in Pine Mountain, Georgia, is not only the South’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show, it is one of the world’s “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights,” as named by National Geographic Traveler. Hop in your car and enjoy the 8 million lights with all of the dazzling holiday scenes. The Fantasy in Lights experience will be a real delight for everyone. For more information about the many events and schedule, visit

A Montgomery Family Christmas: Celebrate Christmas with Natalie Grant and Danny Gokey The Baptist Health Care Foundation proudly presents A Montgomery Family Christmas: Celebrate Christmas with Natalie Grant and Danny Gokey. This special event will take place Thursday, December 1, 2016, at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. This fun, family-oriented Christmas event is presented by the Baptist Health Care Foundation and benefits Baptist Hospice. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased directly through the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre box office (800-7453000) or through Ticketmaster, Ticket prices are as follows: Theater Seating-$35; Balcony Seating-$25; Groups of 10 or more-$5 off the ticket price per ticket. Natalie Grant is a four-time GRAMMY nominee and five-time Dove Award-winning Female Vocalist of the Year. Danny Gokey is a two-time Dove nominee and K-LOVE’s newly-named 2016 Male Artist of the Year. For additional information, please call the Baptist Health Care Foundation’s office at 334.273.4565. and

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

A Community Celebration: 11th Annual Interfaith Nativity Exhibit

2016 Seniors of Achievement

The Montgomery Area Council On Aging (MACOA) honored the 2016 Seniors of Achievement during an awards ceremony and luncheon at the Montgomery Country Club on October 20, 2016. Seniors were nominated and selected based on their significant personal, professional, and civic contributions. During the presentation, David Woods- President Woods Communications Corp and WCOV Fox, also received the Special Friend of MACOA award. MACOA is proud to recognize these special seniors in our community! First Row L to R: Richard Forster and Doris Sanders Second Row Center L to R: Viola Jordan and Kay Miller Third Row L to R: Judy Huett and Emery Kyle Kyser, Sr. Fourth Row L to R: Lenore Kirkpatrick and David Woods Fifth Row Center: Loveless Johnson Photo Credit: Paul Robertson

This event aids in promoting the interfaith of all Christians through their love of the nativities, For more info visit

People Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia ...Let’s Sing!

The Side by Side Singers are dedicated to sharing music to keep our minds strong. Music can improve our mood and boost cognitive skills. Those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care-partners are invited to join the 8-week sessions each Tuesday, 1-2 pm at First United Methodist Church located at 2416 W. Cloverdale Park in Montgomery. The music ranges from Sinatra to Elvis. No fee. For more info call 334.834.8990 or visit The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2016



This & tHAT



Hands On River Region’s Christmas Clearnghouse The Christmas Clearinghouse would be a perfect recipient of your generous giving during the holiday season. The Clearinghouse helps those in need feel special and that someone really does care! For 30 years the Christmas Clearinghouse has partnered with the community to help solve enormous problems for poor families. The Christmas Clearinghouse, a program of HandsOn River Region, is a partnership of churches, organizations and service providers who join together to assist those in need during the holiday season and avoid duplication of giving. The success of the Clearinghouse depends on the efforts of thousands of volunteers. We encourage clubs, organizations, individuals, churches and agencies to “adopt” families who have registered for help. “Adoption” means providing food and gifts for each member of the family. Another important way the community can help is by making donations to the Christmas Clearinghouse to provide gift certificates for families who have not been “adopted” so that they too can experience the joy of the season. The Christmas Clearinghouse is a central file of needy families who have registered with local churches and service providers in the community. All registration forms come to HandsOn River Region where the information is entered into the Clearinghouse database. Some agencies are able to help those families who register with them. These names are entered for clearing and to help avoid duplication of giving. Families who are not helped by agencies or organizations where they registered are also entered into the system. The Christmas Clearinghouse tries to assist these families through community “adoptions” or gift certificates made possible through fundraisers and donations to the Christmas Clearinghouse. With the combined efforts of our community, about ten thousand individuals are cleared and helped annually during the holiday season. The Christmas Clearinghouse creates a bonding experience for the citizens of our community. There is a generosity and kindness which crosses all lines. The program works and makes a difference in thousands of lives. Partnering with the Christmas Clearinghouse is a wonderful way to spread the joy of the season to others. To participate contact Leslie Martorana, Volunteer Coordinator, HandsOn River Region at 334.264.3335 or visit

THE 1990’s Feminist Manifesto Movie

Do You Have Prediabetes? Take the Test!

THE 1990’s Grrrl Power, Feminist Manifesto, Gal-Pal movie seems perfectly appropriate, and up-to-date as our post-election classic. Sarandon & Davis are on the road and on the run after Louise shoots the face of a guy beating and trying to rape Thelma. Chased by the cops and FBI, Thelma & Louise and their ‘66 Thunderbird convertible make a run for Mexico in this wincingly funny and heartbreaking road film. Capri Theatre, 1045 E Fairview Ave Montgomery, AL 36106. Phone: 334.262.4858 or visit

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

St. John’s Episcopal Church 64th Annual Bazaar November 16th The Episcopal Church Women of St. John’s Episcopal Church in downtown Montgomery are preparing their 64th annual bazaar to be held Wednesday, Nov. 16th, from 10 am to 2 pm. Serving as chairs of the bazaar this year are Mary Margaret Kyser and Emily Wise. Assisting L to R (front row): Mary Margaret Kyser, Chair; Emily Wise, Chair; Murray Bennett Back Row: Kathleen Bradford, Merri Moody, Mary Ward Wisnewski, Jean Smyth, Debbie them are committee Schremser, Marla Foster. Not Pictured: Jane Barganier, Nancy Bradford, Libby Fitzpatrick, Katherine chairs Katherine Harris, Caroline Lawson, Betty Matthews, Florence Tyson, Suzy Stevenson, Catherine Woodson Harris (Auction), Debbie Schremser and Jane Barganier (Pantry), Caroline Lawson (Treasure Attic) Marla Foster, Merri Moody and Florence Tyson (Fine Arts Gallery), Jean Smyth, Murray Bennett, Nancy Bradford, Suzy Stevenson and Mary Ward Wisnewski (Handmade Arts and Crafts) and Kathleen Bradford, Allison Ross and Libby Fitzpatrick (Luncheon). A long-time tradition in the community, the bazaar will once again offer a variety of enticing items for sale. From one of a kind hand sewn or needlepointed heirlooms, handmade crafts, jewelry, and fine art by well-known local artists to just about anything and everything in the Treasure Attic, there will be something for everyone, especially for your Christmas list. Artists Camilla Armstrong and Catherine McLemore, as in the past, will thrill us with their creative and beautiful works-they never disappoint! And always a big favorite, the Pantry will be stocked with casseroles of chicken tetrazzini, chicken and wild rice, shrimp and green noodles, Spaghetti Bake, sweet potato casserole, squash casserole, cornbread dressing, breakfast casserole, Ilouise Hill’s cinnamon rolls, Jim Bennett’s Camp Stew, Peter Selman’s Triple Seafood Gumbo and many others… perfect for Thanksgiving or just a family dinner. Lunch prepared and served by ECW members will be offered from 11 to 1. Call the church office at 334.262.1937 for lunch tickets which are $10 each. For more information and updates on items offered at the bazaar, visit or instagram: or #stjohnsmontgomerybazaar .

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November 2016




Dick Brewbaker, Loves Family & Community

Dick and Ruth celebrating a special moment at their son David’s wedding to McKenzie (photographer Nick Drollette)

This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is Dick Brewbaker. Many of you are familiar with Dick because of his family’s business, Brewbaker Motors, which has been serving the River Region for seventy years! Dick is also an Alabama State Senator who has been advocating for improved education for many years in Alabama. One of Dick’s other important commitments, thanks to his wife Ruth’s leadership is helping families who have children with disabilities. In fact, the Brewbaker family has a passion for their faith and serving others in our community who have special needs. We recently had an opportunity to share some time with Dick and his passion for helping others was very evident. He’s a tough-minded advocate with plenty of compassion. We enjoyed getting to know Dick and believe you will too.

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area,

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did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Dick: I was born in Harlingen, Texas where my father was serving as a JAG officer in the USAF. We moved to Montgomery when I was about 3 and I’ve lived here ever since. I attended Bear Elementary and attended Montgomery Academy for Jr & Sr high. I graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1983 with a degree in History and Economics with a minor in Education. My first job out of college was as a teacher & coach at Trinity Presbyterian School and later at Montgomery Academy. I entered the car business in 1987. I married Ruth Wible in 1989 (best decision I ever made) and we have been blessed with five boys: David, Tom, Mac, Ben & Alex.

BOOM!: You are the owner of Brewbaker Motors, with locations in Montgomery and Prattville. Your family has been operating this business for more than 70 years, a remarkable feat for any business. Would you please share the history of your family business? What is the Brewbaker business philosophy that has created such a trusted name in the River Region? Dick: My Father put our business philosophy this way:” Live in your community and not off of it,” a belief I share. He also taught me to value our employees. We try and create an environment at Brewbaker that makes employees want to stay. We have far more long serving employees at Brewbaker than you will find at most dealerships.

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BOOM!: Before you decided to join the family business, you were a high school teacher, and a wrestling coach; what led you into the education profession? Dick: I’ve always enjoyed working with students more than just about anything else. Even after I left full time teaching, I have taught and coached part time at several local schools mainly Georgia Washington Jr. High and Eastwood. As a legislator, most of the work I’ve done has been in the field of Education and Youth Affairs. BOOM!: Your interest in education reform led you into the political arena. Would you please share some of your political journey with our readers? How would you describe your vision of education reform in Alabama?

seeking His will for your life. Through Him, we learn to reach out to others in love and in that reaching out we find our purpose. BOOM!: What are you most passionate about? Dick: My wife and sons, in that order. BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work? McKenzie & David’s Wedding: L-R, Tom, Mac, McKenzie, David, Ruth, Dick, Ben (in the wheelchair), Alex. (photographer Nick Drollette)

Legislature. In 2003 I ran for and was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. I did not seek reelection to the House but in 2010 I was elected to the State Senate after the retirement of Larry Dixon. I have served as the Chair of the senate Education Policy and Youth Affairs Committee since that time. In my view, the best education reform measures emphasize local control and parental choice.

Dick: I started out (like most legislators) as an “issue activist.” In my case, the issue was education reform. In 1993 Stephanie Bell (now a member of the State Board of Education) invited me to be Director of an advocacy group she had founded called SCORE 100 which advocated a back to basics, standards based approach to improving schools. After Fob James was elected Governor in 1995 he invited me to join his staff as his Education Mary Glen Montgomery (my niece, as the Autism Frog mascot), Liaison to Ben, Princess (Ben’s service dog), Ruth, Alex, Dick. the State Our son, Mac was playing in the Success Unlimited Academy praise band that day for the walk. Board & the

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Dick: I love to read, mainly history. I also enjoy shooting. I still have two children at home so outside of work I spend a lot of time with them.

Mac Brewbaker in Ukraine with Bridges of Faith Mission, July 2015

BOOM!: Many people over 50 are experiencing a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, new careers ... How would you describe this sense of renewal in your life? Any advice for the rest of us seeking renewal? Dick: Renewal, as in made new. The only renewal worth mentioning comes from faith in Christ and

BOOM!: Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams planned for the future? Dick: Not really. BOOM!: You have given back to the River Region Community in many ways. Please share with us the importance of community service? What organizations are you currently involved with? Dick: Since 2003, most of my community service has been in form of serving in public office. I’m also involved with Bridgestone Ministries which seeks to find Christian homes for Ukrainian Orphans. Another ministry (which was begun by my wife Ruth) Rooftop Friends, or R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

November 2016



Friends Ministry, ministering to families and individuals touched by disabilities.

334.244.1385. This ministry seeks to minister to families touched by disability and help local churches develop ministries for families dealing with disabilities. Our son Ben was born with spina bifida so issues touching the disabled are very important to Ruth and me and we spend a lot of time seeking ways to support families dealing with these very tough issues.

we are growing by: working with other churches to help them include people with disabilities in their own church body through respite care and training; prayer ministry; connecting with our families and friends throughout the year; collecting for the Ryan Prince Memorial Wheels for the World wheelchair drive going on now; and for the future, hopefully and prayerfully, jobs and community housing.

Rooftop Friends is a non-profit which began All of that takes a lot of people working as a result together, but if we are aware of how to of Young help one another within the churches Meadow around Alabama, what a difference this Ruth Brewbaker with Katherine Wolf of the ministry, Presbyterian state could be and we might could even Hope Heals. Church’s change some of our problems we are initial We recently connected with Jay and hearing about on the news at night with, involvement with the Joni and Friends Katherine Wolf. When they came back for example, the Medicaid deficit. Jesus International Disabilities Ministry. Our for the second summer as speakers for said in John 4 to His disciples, “Look up, family attended our first Joni and Friends family retreats in Alabama, the two for the fields are white for harvest.” That Family Retreat when our, then, four ministries began talking and praying is certainly the case when connecting boys, were all very young, in during the summer of 2016 about July of 2001. It was in North joining together to serve more families Carolina. There was nothing and individuals touched by disabilities like it at all close to our area. throughout Alabama and other states Seeing the great need to have in the Southeast. The Wolf’s recently something that ministered released their story through the book to families and individuals in “Hope Heals”, the same title as the such a way, enabling them ministry, and many people are truly to be shown the love of finding hope and encouragement Christ and to be treated like a through what they share. It has become normal human being sparked a National Bestseller. ( a burning desire to have that for the people of our own BOOM!: Ruth, since Dick mentioned Dick at Lake Martin hosting a Bridges of Faith state. Through the years of your involvement with Rooftop Friends, event for Ukrainian Foster Children our church going to many would please share how this ministry Joni and Friends with those touched by disabilities. The got started Family Retreats in GA, name Rooftop Friends, comes from the and how our TN, SC and even two scripture, Mark 2:1-9. Jesus looks at the readers can times on Lake Martin friends who bring their paralytic friend support their in 2007 and 2008, the on the mat having gone through the roof efforts? opportunity came to bring him to Jesus and says that the through Camp ASCCA faith of the friends is why He was going Ruth: It is for us to have our to heal the man. So many times, we because own Family Retreat in think we are the ones doing someone promoting life Alabama. This June else a favor and helping them out when issues is what will mark our fourth really, we are the ones who are changed. motivates Dick, summer of working Being a part of Rooftop Friends has he has been a with the wonderful changed not only Dick and me, but our huge supporter staff at Camp ASCCA whole family. Our family of four little of both Bridges on Lake Martin. boys attending a family camp with us in of Faith, 2001, has now grown to five young men ministering to Rooftop Friends also and a daughter-in-law who all help run orphans from The “Campaign Team” featuring the Brewbaker Boys seeks to minister the family camps. Ukraine and in other ways as the Rooftop

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Rooftop Friends needs your help. Our families need your prayers; families and volunteers need help being able to attend our camp in the summer; and we need volunteers to sign up for camp as well. Feel free to contact Young Meadows Presbyterian Church at 334.240.1385 or you can contact me at ruth.brewbaker@gmail. com; 334.399.3031.

Dick: Collecting firearms, working with orphans and politics! BOOM!: You and your wife, Ruth, have shared many years together, what are some of the special ingredients to your successful marriage?

BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives and some of us are reluctant to embrace it. How is your relationship with technology? How has it made your life and work more effective?

BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/River Region area that you like? Dick: I love living here. Sure, we have some problems but Montgomery is still a great place to run a business and raise kids. It’s still a “small southern town” in that people here still know their neighbors and care about them. BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you? Dick: You should probably ask my wife for those! Ruth: The three words that came to mind first for Dick are: loyal/faithful, generous, and tenacious. He believes in fighting for what promotes life. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention?

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Dick: The older I get; I find I am more and more reluctant to pass judgement on my fellow man. Family is number one, and the main priority at the car lot is more and more about providing people with good jobs and customers with a fair deal than it is about bringing every last cent down to the bottom line.

Dick: I’m not sure it has. Technology increases the speed of life, not its quality. The Brewbaker family hanging out at Lake Martin

Dick: We both share faith in Christ and hold on to the belief that marriage is “until death us do part” with no escape clause. I’m the most blessed man in the world to have a wife who loves me and puts up with me and believes in me in spite of my many failures and shortcomings. BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your priorities changed?

We want to thank Dick and his wife Ruth for sharing their time helping us put together this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. Dick and his family car dealerships are a great examples of what it means to do business with people who love our community as much as we do. If you what to learn more about Brewbaker Motors, visit www. If you want to reach out to Dick, please email him at You can learn more about Roof Top Friends at www. As always, thanks to Kim Bethea, the award winning photographer from Total Image Portraits for her professional cover photo of Dick. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to

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

November 2016



Marathon Swimmer Susanne BaabSimpson plunged into the English Channel’s chilly waters at 7:10 a.m. Aug. 14 to embark on a challenge that marathon swimmers equate to a climber’s Mount Everest.

By Treva Lind

Catalina Island, Calif., to San Pedro near Long Beach, Calif., mostly at night in 11 hours and 17 minutes. Remaining is a 28-mile trip around Manhattan Island, “which I’m going to do, most likely next summer,” she said.

A SPRINTER FIRST At age 56, the longtime Spokane A mother of three, Baabcompetitive Simpson moved to Spokane swimmer in 50-meter in 1995 where she stayed Competitive swimmer Susanne Baab-Simpson swam across the English Channel last month in 11 hours, 47 minutes. (Courtesy Susanne Baab-Simpson/TNS) pools successfully more than 20 years. Raised completed the 21in Seattle, she started in mile crossing in 11 hours and 47 minutes. competitive swimming at age 5. She Nearly 10 hours into her journey, BaabThe average time is about 15 hours. continued in the sport until 18, then took a Simpson came close to seeing her quest 20-year hiatus. aborted. A buoy line got caught around the “I’ve wanted to swim the English Channel boat’s propeller, causing a stall. since I was a little kid; it was on my bucket “As a child, I was a sprinter,” she said. “I list,” said Baab-Simpson by phone. She is swam 50 free, 100 free, 50 fly, and 100 fly.” “I thought I was going to have to abort living temporarily in Sacramento to train because that had happened to a friend for open water swims. “It’s 21 miles if you Her return to the pool at age 38 came after earlier that week at midnight, and they can swim it straight, but it’s impossible trying an aerobics class on land and feeling couldn’t see her, but I sprinted back to the to swim straight because the tides are so awkward. boat and treaded water. They were able to strong.” fix it quickly; it was maybe about a 10- or “I thought I should go back at least to what 15-minute pause.” “With my day’s weather report, we thought I’m good at.” the water was going to be relatively smooth, but in reality, there were white caps. I had about 3-foot white caps. In England, they call them white horses.”

Under channel swimming regulations, she couldn’t wear a wetsuit _ only one swimsuit, a cap and the same pair of goggles _ to traverse stroke after stroke in the choppy water, averaging about 60 degrees. It’s officially an unassisted swim, so she couldn’t touch the accompanying boat, or another human. The boat captain determines the start time based on conditions, and a separate observer on the boat must keep the swimmer in sight. Baab-Simpson’s nourishment, mostly electrolyte carbohydrate drinks or gel mixtures, got tossed out with a rope. “They blow a whistle for a feed,” she said. “I had it set up every 30 minutes, but I swam the first hour straight. You need to have that energy throughout the swim.”

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Another challenge came in the final leg, when the tide proved so strong that she kept moving parallel to the coastline. “I could see the coast of France every time I was breathing to my right, for three hours. I said to the people on the boat, ‘I’m not getting anywhere.’ The tide was so strong; I couldn’t push through it and turn in towards the land.” “Eventually, the tide started to change and the boat was able to guide me, so I could actually start swimming toward the shore.” Baab-Simpson finished her swim a little before 7 p.m., ahead of darkness. A swimmer has a glow stick or light attached, in case the journey lengthens into nighttime. With the English Channel checked off, she’s completed two of three open water swims considered marathon swimming’s Triple Crown. A year ago, Baab-Simpson swam a 21-mile route called Catalina Channel, from

She started doing laps at the Spokane Club, later at other regional pools, and Baab-Simpson eventually set FINA Masters Swimming world records at age 42 in 200-meter butterfly and freestyle. She also did a stint coaching for Spokane Area Swimming. Slowly, her preference for swimming turned to open water events, and BaabSimpson only recently discovered a love for ocean swimming. Divorced about three years ago, she traveled in November 2014 to a Southern California swim camp with a friend, another open water swimmer. At that camp, they joined a 3-mile swim to distant caves. Baab-Simpson couldn’t believe how vividly the water came alive around her. “It’s like we’re swimming through an aquarium,” she said. “There were fish everywhere, and the clarity of the water was absolutely beautiful.”

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When Baab-Simpson returned to Spokane from that 2014 swim camp, she realized she was ready for a change. California, and more ocean swimming, beckoned. She continued to journey back and forth between California and Spokane, until her stay in Sacramento, Calif., to train in cooler-temperature waters the past year. Baab-Simpson sold her Spokane home in October but still returns often. She also has a home in Poulsbo, Wash. “To train for the English Channel, the No.1 thing is to acclimate yourself to cold water,” she said. “You have to train in cold water for a long time and not have your core body temperature get too low. I also traveled to the San Francisco Bay frequently, and there, the water was usually 58 degrees.”

“The weather can change so quickly, and it can be so windy. Every day I’d have to call my boat captain at 7:30 at night to see if I could go in six hours, and that was mentally very challenging.” But now that the swim’s completed, the entire experience resonates with her. “I feel like you’re never too old to pursue your dreams,” she said. “That’s one of the things people ask, ‘What do you think about when you’re out there for

that length of time?’ I honestly was continuously thinking about how grateful I was to have this opportunity, whether I was successful or not. “Just the fact that at my age, I have my health. I’m strong enough.” (c)2016 The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

“In training, I didn’t wear a wetsuit.” An official English Channel swim also requires an application process, medical exam, proof of swimming, and evidence of a six-hour certification swim in water at 60 degrees or less, she said. ENGLAND-BOUND After her 2015 Catalina Channel swim, Baab-Simpson turned her focus on the English Channel. Generally, swimmers have to wait two to three years to charter a boat, but in January she found an opening for this summer. “I really lucked out in getting my spot,” Baab-Simpson said. “A woman who is a coach in Australia had bought the position three years’ prior for people she coaches, and she didn’t have a person to fill one of those positions, so I was able to purchase it.” An English Channel swim must be timed during what’s called a neap tide, a tide of minimum range occurring at the first and third quarters of the moon. “There are 12 boats you can charter,” she said. “They’ll sell one to five positions per boat during each summer of the neap tide.” Because of changing weather and her position on the boat, she stood ready beginning Aug. 7 in England. She didn’t get the green light to swim until a week later, when she departed from Samphire Hoe, south of Dover.

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November 2016



Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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


memory loss that disrupts daily life, or get something from the kitchen. My November is here, which means the holiday confusion with time or place. grandmother looked at us, with a puzzled season is in full swing. To me, Halloween look on her face, and said, “Steve? His is like a warm-up for the “real” end-ofIt was the third warning sign on their list name’s not Steve.” the year holidays. Gorging myself on my that caught my attention: “Difficulty with kids’ Halloween candy is just a preview We quickly figured of the upcoming battle against the out she wasn’t culinary temptations of Thanksgiving, joking. In fact, she Christmas, and countless holiday parties in between. Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop couldn’t name a single person in Wednesday, November 30: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 the room. What Of course, the holiday season is pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This was particularly ultimately about spending time with educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins strange is that the people you care about the most, she knew who we and people go to great lengths to covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living were—her daughter, do so. Thousands of Americans will wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, son-in-law, and her suffer through the monotony of a bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care grandchildren— just long drive, the mild humiliation of an and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. not what our names airport TSA security screening, or even Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at were. the unique odor emanating from a seat partner on a long-distance bus A trip to the hospital trip, just to be home for the holidays. ultimately provided a diagnosis—vascular dementia, a condition completing familiar tasks at home, at work In my line of work, the holiday season is a with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms caused by or at leisure.” They provide examples as busy time. It’s the time of year when adult a series of small strokes. In the short-term having trouble driving to a familiar location, children take time off from the distractions she did improve and remembered all of our managing a budget, or remembering the of their everyday lives, and everyone is back names. However, over the course of the rules of a favorite game. It’s the last line in town to see Mom, Dad or Grandma. next ten years, her memory slowly slipped that really spoke to me. It states: “What’s away. typical? Occasionally needing help to use This is the time when many families begin the settings on a microwave or to record a to notice, to suspect, and even to discuss, This year, pay attention while you’re home television show.” the fact that a loved one may be showing for the holidays. Ask questions and talk signs of cognitive decline. with your family if you think a loved one In the mid-1990’s, no one on earth could may be experiencing diminishing capacity. operate a VCR as well as my grandmother, As a lawyer, I typically use the term If they are, the time to plan for their future who lived with my family during childhood. “cognitive decline” rather than “dementia” She had a true skill for deciphering VCR is now. Talk about who they would want or “Alzheimer’s.” These are closely related to care for them or manage their affairs if recording instructions clearly written by medical issues, of course, but I feel that they are no longer able to do those things someone with only the faintest grasp of cognitive decline more accurately addresses the English language. She always managed for themselves. Encourage them to have a the legal consequences of these conditions. to record all of “her shows,” as she called good power of attorney, advance directive, them, and has a vast library of reruns to living will, and last will and testament in It is rare for someone to suddenly become place. choose from. incompetent (to use the legal term) overnight. Instead, it is usually a gradual This can be a tough conversation for We didn’t know it then, but looking back process in which a person’s cognitive children to have with their parents. Just now it’s obvious. Gradually, she began to function slowly declines. The difficulty remember that you’ll be the one picking up struggle to operate the VCR the television. is distinguishing between ordinary, old In hindsight, this was a sign of things to the pieces, whether your parents do any age forgetfulness, from something more planning or not. The best time to get their come. serious. affairs in order is now, while they are still in A few years later, on Christmas morning, relatively good health and spirits. The Alzheimer’s Association ( we finally learned that her cognitive lists 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s on Raley L. Wiggins decline was neither minor nor attributable their website. The complete list is worth Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC to old age forgetfulness. I recall my reviewing if this is a topic that concerns 334-239-3625 | mother calling for my father, Steve, to you. The warning signs on their list include 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104

Attend Free Workshop

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Time for Tea Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am an avid tea drinker (along with most Brits) and usually black tea with a splash of milk. This time of year, however, draws me to drinking more herbal teas. I’m not sure if it’s just that as the cooler days are upon us, a warm beverage is required more often or that it’s something that my body just yearns for due to their health benefits. (If you listen to it, your body will usually tell you what it needs.) I find that a cup of soothing chamomile tea just before bed ensures a much more restful night’s sleep. A cup of elderberry or echinacea works wonders in warding off colds. Peppermint tea is great for digestion – drink a cup after a particularly heavy meal and see how much better you feel. Any tea with ginger in it will help with nausea or tummy issues. Recently I discovered chrysanthemum tea, and yes, you can use the “mum’s” right in your garden, which, of course, are everywhere at the moment. Chrysanthemum tea is surprisingly easy to make yourself and yet it has numerous health benefits. The Chinese have been using it for centuries to help treat a variety of ailments, such as eye conditions, dizziness, inflammation, rheumatism, and any illnesses whose root cause is poor circulation. Apparently, it will help with eye brightness and help conquer that fuzziness of focus that you get as you age (goodness knows I need that!)

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Chrysanthemums contain: • Beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A, which assists the immune system and relieve skin problems. • High levels of potassium and calcium, and other minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. • Vitamin B, such as choline, folic acid, niacin, and riboflavin. • Vitamin C, which helps to relieve sinus congestion, cold and flu symptoms. Chrysanthemum tea also has antiviral and antibacterial properties and can help to inhibit bacterial infection. Sounds like a great tea to drink when you feel like you’re coming down with something. You can pluck the flower heads yourself and dry them out for a few days somewhere warm and dry. Then steep them in hot, not boiling, water for around 5 minutes to achieve a light floral brew. I will be trying this myself soon and will post my efforts on my blog, tracybhalla. com (If you’d like to check it out, I would love to know what you think. This is a bit of a new venture for me, with daily “bites” of our new life in Pennsylvania, with a dog, a horse and a chicken thrown in. Plus, all the other wonderful wildlife we have on our small 5-acre homestead. There will be recipes occasionally and crafts and diy too!) Of course, you can also buy the dried chrysanthemum flowers from a specialist

tea shop or Asian market. The same flower can be used more than once, though the flavor will weaken with each steep. Try to reuse within a day or two, you don’t want it to go bad. Chrysanthemum is known as cooling tea and therefore is useful in warmer weather to cool the body down. Or whenever you have a fever or hot flush, this tea will be cooling and calming. Maybe we can use it to replace HRT?! As with all herbal teas, it is caffeine free and has zero calories (unless you add sweeteners of any kind to it.) The pluses just don’t stop! If you’re not up to making fresh leaf tea, there are plenty of good tea-bag herbal teas. One of my favorites is NYR’s Calming Tea, with Lime flower, Lemon balm, Chamomile flower, Passion flower leaf, Skullcap, Pink rose petal. All organic ingredients ready packaged in an easy to use compostable tea bag. Individually wrapped so you can take them anywhere. Paper wrappers and card box made from recycled products and recyclable. I drink this at bedtime for a good night’s sleep, but you can also drink it when you are feeling stressed or worried. Plus, it tastes great! Especially with a drop of honey:-) Use the link below to take you right to the Calming Tea and please feel free to browse the other wonderful organic products in the NYR range. https://us.nyrorganic. com/shop/tracybhalla/ product/8351/organiccalming-tea-x18-bags/ 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. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Warm Up Wine for Fall There’s a nip in the air. The leaves on the trees are turning brilliant shades of red. And it’s time to pull the boots and sweaters from your closet. Well, not exactly in Central Alabama! But it will get cooler and that’s when mulled wine may fit the occasion. Mulled wine will also provide a rich aroma to fill the room. This recipe, from Williams Sonoma, uses whole cloves, which are the dried flower buds of a tropical evergreen tree, to complement the spicy notes in red wine, while citrus gives it some zing to keep your palate fresh as you cozy up to a roaring fire.

Ingredients: • 12 whole cloves • 2 nutmegs, cracked into pieces with a hammer • 2 bottles (each 750 milliliter) dry red wine • 1/2 cup sugar • Stripped zest from 2 oranges and 2 lemons, plus more zest for garnish • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice • 2 cinnamon sticks Directions: 1. Tie the cloves and nutmeg pieces in a small square of cheesecloth, or put them in a large metal tea ball. 2. In a large, non-aluminum pot, combine the wine, sugar, orange and lemon zests, orange and lemon juices, and cinnamon sticks. Add the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. 3. Heat over medium-low heat until steam begins to rise from the pot and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes; do not let it boil. Remove the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Keep the wine warm over very low heat until ready to serve. 4. Ladle the wine into cups or heatproof glasses, garnish with the citrus zest and serve warm.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2016





I love joining computers with clients so we can look at men on dating sites together.

If your type had worked in the past, wouldn’t you be with him now?

My clients have told me how helpful this is because often times I can see men who would be a good fit they might have passed over.

You’re attracted to your type because he feels good to you, as he should because you’ve lived with this type of man your whole life.

Recently I was working with a client who happened to live in my area and as we were scrolling through pictures of men, I noticed a familiar face. This man had contacted me over 10 years ago using the same picture. I recall giving him a name, “KFC Man.” To this day, I remember exactly where I was and why I gave him this tagline. We were talking on the phone while I was walking my dog in the park. It was fall and the leaves on the trees were gorgeous shades of gold, orange and red. I remember the smell of the earth and the crispness in the air. And I remember “KFC Man” jabbering away about how he didn’t care what a woman looked like as long as her body was fit and toned. As I’m listening to this, I’m thinking, “Is this guy for real? Does he think this alone will make him happy?” I was mad that someone could be this narrow minded so when he asked about my body type, I told him my aide wheeled me up to the ‘KFC’ counter every day for my daily dose of fried chicken. None of this was true but I could tell my words shocked him because for a full

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minute he went silent until I finally said, “Just kidding.” 10 years later, there he was,. back onlineprobably because no one could meet his stringent expectations of what would make him happy. By the way, I know how frustrating it can be to go back on a dating site after a relationship has ended and see the same guys with the same profile and pictures that you saw posted years ago. It makes you start thinking there are no good guys out there to date. Ok, I gotta fill you in here. There are a lot of really good guys on every dating site but right now, you probably can’t see them.

He may have had a different job or different clothes but basically, you’ve been dating the same type of guy over and over again with the same disastrous results. The question is; how do you get out of this pattern? You do what I call ‘Out of the Box’ Dating. You try dating different types of men. At first, this will take you way out of your comfort zone, so you’ll want to start slowly by changing one quality you usually look for in a man; maybe someone who has a different type of job, lives a bit further from you or is a little bit older or younger than your usual type.

That’s because like the ‘KFC man’, you probably have a type of man you think will make you happy.

By doing this, you open up the doors to good men who could be a better fit for you and who want to truly make you happy in a long-term relationship.

And like most women I speak with, chances are your type isn’t interested in you online.

Try some new dating sites as well so you don’t see the same guys you saw five years ago.

But the guys who aren’t your type write you like it was their job, right?

Lisa Copeland, “The Dating Coach Who Makes Dating Fun and Easier after 50!” Find out more at

Here’s something to think about.

(c)2016, Lisa Copeland, Distributed by MCT Information Services

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2016



Travel Trending with Kathy Witt

Culinary & Artistic Oceania Cruises Offer Unique Adventures

Food that is edible art and art that is a feast for the eyes _ Oceania Cruises serves up both on its six luxury ships. Two programs in particular, Culinary

“Most food is truly regional,” said Kelly. “For example, there isn’t really ‘Italian’ food; there are regions with very unique ingredients, techniques and recipes. We get more ‘granular,’ which celebrates the unique regional cuisines and wine where we travel.”

Santorini is one of the ports visited on Oceania Cruises’ Grecian Delights itinerary. (Kathy Witt/TNS)

Enrichment and Art Experiences, let passengers sink their teeth into different cultures through culinary and artistic adventures. In both cases, the “curriculum” is satisfying to the senses and enriching to the soul. A TASTE OF THE CULTURE At Oceania’s Culinary Center, the first hands-on cooking school at sea, passengers aboard Riviera and Marina can immerse themselves in the cuisine of a given culture by cooking dishes at their own well-equipped workstation and joining master chefs on a variety of Culinary Discovery Tours. For instance, on Oceania’s Grecian Delights itinerary, you can see Corfu _ or you can dive into the very heart of this enchanting island known for its proliferation of olive trees by visiting the local fresh market with your chefguide. Smell the tomatoes, thump the watermelons and forage for ingredients for the cooking class that takes place in the state-of-the-art teaching kitchen once you return to the ship.

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In addition to the marketto-table chef market tour and cooking class, Culinary Discovery Tour topics include the technique-driven, fishfocused What Mermaids Know; Viva Tapas; and Cretan Food & Wine with Farm-toTable Lunch.

Lunch al fresco among the locals, sitting at one of dozens of tables set up outside eateries of every stripe in Corfu’s maze of crowded shopping streets. Treat your taste buds to a spicy fish stew and a real Greek salad (no iceberg lettuce here!) topped by a cake of delicious, crumbly feta.

Dining aboard Oceania’s six ships _ celebrated for having the “finest cuisine at sea” _ is also a foodie adventure, and one that feels like going to your favorite special occasion restaurant. Of course, when you have thousands of pounds of foodstuffs being turned into culinary “I design masterpieces both tours by a and classes 136-person to bring team of authenticity cooks headed to our guests by Senior _ and a better Executive understanding Chef Alban of where they Gjoka _ are actually maestro of travelling,” all things said Executive Part of the fun and adventure of an Oceania cruise is accompanying gastronomy Chef Kathryn the chef on an excursion to the local fresh market to choose _ you get ingredients for the cooking class to follow. (Kathy Witt/TNS) Kelly. Kelly is very happy the director guests savoring every single mouthful of of culinary enrichment for Oceania the meals they are served, to say nothing Cruises and the creative force behind of afternoon tea, tapas, late night snacks the program that has morphed into a fan and more. favorite among passengers.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE Sample each of the and emotions through color Oceania Cruises’ six award-winning ships restaurants (without as it takes form through the sail to more than 330 ports around the paying an up-charge): unpredictable movement of globe, including destinations in Europe, Toscana’s for authentic water.” Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Italian and Polo Grill, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Onboard a clubby steakhouse Allen’s workshops offer amenities include the Canyon Ranch (reservations required); passengers a platform for SpaClub, fitness center, casino, Englishthe Terrace Cafe for further appreciation of the art style library, Internet cafe, Baristas American favorites surrounding them, both on specialty coffees, boutiques, nightly and the Grand Dining the ship and off. Oceania ships entertainment and sports games/courts Room for Continental are floating art museums, (shuffleboard, paddle tennis, croquet, golf cuisine (open seating). exhibiting exquisite, multiputting and golf chipping). Riviera and Marina also million dollar art collections offer Jacques Bistro that were hand-selected from Visit the website and click on “Enriching with its French flair and around the world by the line’s Activities” to see the classes offered in fare and Asian-fusionfounders, Frank Del Rio and The Culinary Center. Artist Andre Allen inspired Red Ginger, Bob Binder. will be aboard Riviera from Dec. 15 the most popular through March 27, 2017, for sailings to among passengers. The thousands of pieces span Museum-worthy art is the hallmark of the Caribbean. Additionally, aboard a number of eras and genres, Oceania cruise ships. Riviera and Marina, from the etchings of Picasso Information: guests may opt to dine privately at La and Expressionist works of Mariano Reserve by Wine Spectator and Privee. Rodriguez to the elegant oil on canvas 855.623.2642 Each restaurant features distinctive, paintings of Paolo da San Lorenzo and unrushed and impeccable service, style Michal Zaborowski, whimsical blown glass BONUS RECIPE and epicurean savvy. of Beverly Albrets and brilliant still life Oceania Cruises’ Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly imagery of Daniel Q. Adel. and Chef Instructor Kellie Evans compiled MEET THE ARTIST some of The Culinary Center’s favorite recipes Passengers have the opportunity to According to Binder, the collectors in a cookbook collection that is available stretch their artistic muscles with selected pieces that are “bold and onboard for purchase. Oceania’s Artist in Residence program, interesting, that make a statement, offered aboard Insignia, Marina and provoke conversation and inspire TRADITIONAL ITALIAN TOMATO SAUCE Riviera. Aboard the latter, W. Andre Allen, emotion, much a self-taught artist and graduate of the Art like the ships Ingredients Institute of America, is one of the artistthemselves.” 3 cups canned whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano instructors. Hundreds of pieces of Allen’s 3 cloves garlic, minced complex and unique works on glass grace And set the 1 shallot, minced the walls of Oceania ships. tone, mood and 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin atmosphere to olive oil The artist offers workshops in the ship’s draw passengers { cup basil leaves, coarsely Artist Loft where guests learn about his in and open them chopped artistic process, which includes painting up to the art to 1 tablespoon oregano leaves, on the “opposite” side of clear glass, a be discovered minced form he favors due to his dyslexia. shore-side, from Dash of Worcestershire sauce Santorini’s pretty Kosher or sea salt, to taste “The great thing about being an abstract blue-domed and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste artist with dyslexia is working backwards white stone houses Preparation and seeing people’s interpretation,” said stepping up the Place all ingredients except the Allen. “Their vision is totally opposite mountainside in salt and pepper in the bowl of of what I was putting across. It’s a great Greece to Alaska’s a food processor. Pulse mixture Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly’s passion feeling to produce such work that is massive glaciers and for learning about cultures through their until well blended but not always viewed positively and never mammoth wildlife, cuisine is the genesis of Oceania’s popular pureed. Season to taste with negatively.” the canals and Culinary Discovery Tours program. salt and pepper. cathedrals of St. Students also create their own piece of Petersburg in Russia, the lush rainforests art during a series of classes wherein and breathtaking volcanoes of Central Author, travel and lifestyle writer, and travel goods expert Kathy Allen invites them to explore his drip America and more. Witt feels you should never get to the end of your bucket list; there’s just too much to see and do in the world. She can be reached at technique and “capture their thoughts or (c)2016 Kathy Witt Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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November Featured Artists

Leung II 30x22 watercolor, Clint Herring

Into The Open 30x40 mixed media, Carol Barksdale

Serving Girl, 30x24 oil on canvas Pamela Wesley Copeland

Visby Sweden 20x16 oil on canvas, Anita Westerberg

Sunflowers in Glass 28x22 oil on canvas, Anne Hugghins

Daisy, 14x11 acrylic on canvas Shirley Esco

Sylacauga Marble Bowl 2”x12” marble sculpture, Ken Lever

Ths Belle of Tupelo 20x16 oil on canvas, John Wagnon

Anniversary Orchids 24x12 acrylic on canvas Trish Gober Touchtone 36x48 mixed media, Cecily Hulett

Vision Quest I 12x12 acrylic on canvas, Jane Segrest

Moon Series: Winter 3”x14.5” copper sculpture, Bradley Moon

Gallery One offers a wide selection of original art by gallery artist members. As an Alabama not-for-profit cooperative gallery, Gallery One is actively engaged in the community. Gallery Director Sandi Aplin,

Art & Soul

The Story of Tinkerbelle

About a year ago, I was leaving my home early in the morning to go to work when a very weak little kitten voice cried for help. She was so tiny, scared, cold and starving, her mother had abandoned her and she was hiding in the hedge. Petco sells formula for infants/young kittens, after mixing it in a dish, I placed it near the hedge. She waited until I was in the car before she began to eat. The meals continued morning and night for about a month, those little eyes in the hedge, she would not eat until I moved a safe distance away. Tinkerbelle knew her name and would wait for me to call her. She would let me know where she was in my garden, but never came close. She was so tiny and after about four months, she began to gain weight, just in her tummy. Yes, a baby herself, she was soon to be a mother. Then one day, she did not come to breakfast or dinner. The next morning, she was waiting for breakfast and was very thin again. She ate quickly and ran back to her hidden kittens. That afternoon a bad storm was brewing, I went home early worrying about her and to my surprise she had moved her three babies to the door on my back porch. She was so proud and sat a safe distance away. I picked up her three little male kittens, their eyes still closed, Tux, Tiger and Tinker, moved them to my utility room and she followed. This is how the socializing began, the kittens did not know fear, sitting in the middle of the room, playing with their mother, Tinkerbelle.

By Sandi Aplin

our pets is to improve the health and behavior of pets, prevent unwanted litters, by reducing the number of stray animals. This also helps reduce the number of dog bite reports. Their Veterinarians, Dr. Rebecca Davidson, DVM and Dr. Catherine Byars, DVM are not volunteers or students. They are licensed veterinarians who have more than 40 years of combined experience. Dr. Davidson examined them ten days later and all are fine.

Montgomery 36109, telephone number 334-239-7387 or e-mail: and I encourage you to contact them. The mission of the Alabama Animal Alliance is to significantly reduce the overpopulation of dogs and cats in Alabama through prevention, education and collaboration. Their purpose is to reduce the number of animals abandoned, homeless and euthanized in animal shelters. The benefits of spaying and neutering

Two weeks ago, Tinkerbell and her three kittens were adopted by a family in north Alabama. They have a forever home; I went to visit them on Sunday and they are a very happy and lucky family. Please visit Alabama Animal Alliance at to learn more and help if you can. “Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice they send forth a ripple of hope.” Robert F. Kennedy Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art A freelance writer living in Montgomery, AL or

When the boys were about four or five months old, it was time for mother and boys to visit the Alabama Animal Alliance, Inc. for their surgeries. They are located at 5316 Atlanta Highway, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

Behold my cul-de-sac!


That bedroom became a radio station when OK. It’s an everyday, my January 2006 spinal garden variety, middlefusion surgery went class cul-de-sac. bad, and I was forced What’s the Big D? to work from home. Nicknamed “Brokeback Well, it’s November, Boudoir”, my room Thanksgiving month, was equipped with a and every year I try remote microphone to find something that allowed me I’m thankful to have to live the dreamenjoyed in my life. I broadcasting in am paying sentimental various states of dress tribute to my CDS or undress, while because by the time propped up on my BOOM! hits your eyes, “flatress”; a well-worn Hershey, King of the Cul-de-sac The Boodles will have king that had all the moved to a different cul-de-sac on the far give of asphalt. Old and beaten, it no east side of Montgomery. longer had the legal mattress tag dangling on the side. Getting dressed (and for When I first moved to this little piece of who, exactly?) was so painful, every day heaven, I was sharing the house at the became “casual Friday”. peak of the circle with 2 other guys. We were all in survival mode. Somehow the It was a long winter in my Cul-de-sac. 3 of us managed to co-exist under one After 3 months in solitary, the docs roof in a place we nicknamed “Animal cleared my return to the regular studio. House”, and for good reason. Long before I arrived, the décor was Early American The house felt like home but after almost Chaos. “Wild Bill” put his furniture in the a year, the neighborhood itself was still a living room, straight from the “I’ve Seen circle of strangers. I came home with the Better Days” collection at Salvation of purr-fect social network starter. Army. Every Cul-de-sac needs a king and I I got the largest bedroom of 3, with a delivered ours in July of 2006- eight walk-in closet and garden tub bathroompounds of silky chocolate hair- and 20 well worth the extra $150 per month pounds of mouth- named Hershey. He when the rent was due. Ben (as in Hagler) marked the circle as his, and was very and Wild Bill paid less. helpful in meeting the neighbors. With my

By Greg Budell

radio career taking root in Montgomery, and the friends Hershey was helping to make, I began to feel connected. Animal House, however, was becoming a challenge. One afternoon, fresh from a nap and ready for my afternoon talk show, I opened my bedroom door and walked into a solid wall of smoke. All I could see were sparks coming off the stove, so using my shirt as a mask, I made my way over to find a frying pan of sausages burnt beyond recognition- and the “chef” passed out on the sofa. Animal house smelt like burnt wiener for weeks, but it could have been worse. The last straw was early on a Saturday morning when I took Hershey for a walk. As we passed through the living room, there was a stranger flopped out on the couch. My Vigilant King barked. Couch stranger lifted a ragged head and announced “tell that damn dog to shut up”. “He lives here and you don’t”, I fired back. You have 3 minutes to leave before I call the cops, pal”. I saw clear signs he was using, uh, illegal substances, so he was actually out the door in 2. Wild Bill understood my angst, and I really loved the guys as friends, but it was time to vacate.

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

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

King Hershey, meanwhile, had fallen in love. Her name was Carla, and no walk was complete without a visit to her house in the culde-sac, where he simply barked at the door until Carla’s momma (Sherry) let her out. When two houses in the cul-de-sac went up for sale at identical prices in the spring of 08, I attempted- and succeeded- in purchasing the one right next door to my hairy son’s betrothed. As you can see from the second photo, they’re an odd couple. From our new HQ, a daily ritual ensued. Hershey, sensing Carla and demanding OUT. If she wasn’t there he’d simply walk over to the front window- put his paws on the outside sill- and yap until Sherry (a saint) accommodated Hershey’s BBWD (Big Beautiful Woman Dog) lust.

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The Hershey and Carla romance continues to this day, and I wonder how he’ll adjust in the new place. When I closed on the old home, the realtor said something about “when you go to sell” and I cut her off, announcing that I planned to die in this house. I hadn’t counted on a wife and stepson and a second dog, and eventually surrendered to the cramped circumstances of 3 pounds of family in a 2-pound house. So I’ll die somewhere else, I guess. I cherish the second photo, Hershey and Carla- a little heavier than a decade ago, graying in the muzzle (just like me)- enjoying their rendezvous. The Cul-de-sac is a social petri dish. A few friends who were here before I arrived, remain. A few have retired and moved, and believe it or not, there is one house where in 11 years, I have never met or seen the occupant! The nice lady who now lives in the fully-renovated Animal House thinks they have bodies buried in the yard. She mentioned her suspicion as I was visiting my old haunt one evening. I told her Animal House represented the Wonder Years of my life in Montgomery. As we chatted, days before saying goodbye to my beloved petri dish, I swear- the northerly breeze bore a familiar aroma - a life changing smell from the long ago past. Hershey and Carla, an affair to remember

A decision made, under the wafting scent of burnt wieners.

Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, children and dogs. He’s a 25 year veteran of radio who hosts the Greg & Susan morning show 6-9 am and Happy Hour 3-6 pm on NEWSTALK 93.1, Greg can be reached at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s isn’t easy. Reaching us is.

If you care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss or dementia, you are not alone. We’re here day or night — whenever you need us — offering reliable information and support. Free 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900 Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center:

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2016



November 2016

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA Fall Color Tour Oak Mountain State Park Through Mid-November

Alabama is beautiful throughout the year but especially in the fall. As the greens of summer surrender to glittering yellow poplars, scarlet dogwoods, orange maples and golden hickories, Alabama unfolds its patchwork quilt of color. This blend of brilliant autumn foliage, coupled with cooler temperatures and an occasional gentle breeze, makes for an unforgettable experience. Fall colors will begin showing in the mountains of North Alabama in early October and then sweep across the region. Colors will be at their peak from late October to early November. Visit


Pike Road Arts & Crafts Fair Pike Road Saturday, November 5th, 9-4 pm

after they were formed, the quartet attracted international attention in 2004 by winning the Frits Philips String Quartet competition in Eindhoven. The Quartet then took First Prize at the Vittorio Rimbotti competition in Florence in 2005 and won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York in 2006. “One of today’s best quartet in the world -- Balance, transparency, symphonic comprehension, confident style, their performance reached a very high and inspiring level.” Suddeutsche Zeitung Germany. For more info visit


The Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles tribute due to their precise attention to detail. With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs, the Fab Four will make you think you are watching the real thing. This incredible stage show includes three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-changing career. This loving tribute to the Beatles has amazed audiences all over the world, including Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, The United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Brazil. Hear record-perfect live performances of such classics as “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day In The Life,” “Penny Lane,” “Here Comes The Sun,” and “Hey Jude.” For more info and tickets visit

Celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day Capital City Club Thursday, November 17th, 6-10 pm Celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day with a toast at the 3rd annual Chefs Unite, and a night full of special tenor performances by James Seay, accompanied by his wife, Mabs, and talented pianist, Becky Taylor. Plus, John Mark Davis of Pinnacle Imports will be pairing five amazing wines with the masterful dishes created by 4 celebrity Chefs, who will be churning out a 5 course French inspired dinner right before your eyes. The event will be hosted by the Capital City Club’s own Patrick Skelton. 5 French-Inspired Courses; 5 French Wines; 4 Incredible Chefs; 1 Thrilling Tenor Performance. Cocktail Hour begins at 6 pm, $85 Members, $100 Non-Members. Call to reserve your place now, 334.834.8920. Capital City Club, 201 Monroe St #2100, Montgomery, AL 36104



The 49th Annual Arts & Crafts Fair is a wonderful holiday shopping opportunity! More than 250 artists and craftsmen will display their wares at the historic Marks House (circa 1825). Enjoy BBQ, fried chicken and other specialties. $5 admission. 890 Old Carter Hill Road, Pike Road, AL. For more information and directions visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA The Fab Four, Beatles Tribute Band MPAC, Downtown Montgomery Thursday, November 10th, 7:30 pm

Modigliani Quartet in Concert Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Wilson Auditorium Tuesday, November 15th, 7:30-9:30 pm The Montgomery Chamber Music Organization presents the Modigliani Quartet, formed by four close friends in 2003, a regular guest of the world’s top venues like Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Philhamronie de Paris-Cité de la Musique, and more. Only one year

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The Atlanta Pops Orchestra There’s Christmas in the Air Elba High School, Elba, Alabama Thursday, November 17th, 7 pm Under the current direction of Dr. Jason Altieri, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra is the premier orchestra for the state of Georgia and the Southeastern U.S. With a rich history spanning seven decades, the

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Pops has captivated audiences throughout the world with a diverse repertoire of popular music - pop, jazz, folk, hip-hop, light classical and country. The Enterprise State Community College Concert Choir and Entertainers, directed by Dr. Ken Thomas, and the Elba High School Show Choir, directed by Jason Tucker, will join the Pops Orchestra with holiday selections. For information, call 334.406.2787 or visit


Artist Market MMFA Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, MMFA Friday and Saturday, November 18-19

Please join us for our 7th annual Artist Market beginning with a preview event on Friday, November 18 from 5:30-8 pm. The market will continue on Saturday, November 19 from 10 am-4 pm in the Lowder Gallery and Rotunda of the MMFA. In addition to our outstanding regional artist featured daily in the Museum Store, we are delighted to welcome Kathleen Nowak Tucci as our Featured Artist. Kathleen is a jewelry designer who incorporates recycled motorcycle tubing and Nespresso cups into her couture pieces. Tucci’s work has graced the cover of and she has been juried into shows at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Finish your holiday shopping early and support local artists, purchase truly unique items, and support the MMFA during Artist Market 2016. For more info visit


Alzheimer’s-Autism Outreach Group The Drone Project, Super Tailgate Party Biscuits Stadium Saturday, November 19th, starts 5 pm

Celebrate with Barbeque Dinner, Dancing and a Chance to win Big as we raise funds to help protect persons with Alzheimer’s, Autism or other special needs when they go missing. Proceeds go to purchase a modified drone for Search and Rescue for First Responders of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. Purchase a $120 ticket for a chance to win $10,000 in a Cash Drawdown – You will receive two barbeque dinners and two drink tickets-Dinner and Dancing - $50 per ticket. For tickets call Lynn at 334.215.4483 or email:


A Christmas Carol Alabama Shakespeare Festival November 20 -December 24, various times

The River Region’s favorite holiday tradition! A heartwarmingmust-see that will get you into the swing of the holiday season with Scrooge’s search for redemption and a spectacular, magical evening of ghosts, spirits, festivity and goodwill. “God bless us, every one!” Recommended for ages four and up. For more information, call 334.271.5353 or visit Alabama Shakespeare Festival, One Festival Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The Christmas Tour of Homes Downtown Eufaula Southern Mansions

Saturday, December 3rd, 1-6 pm The Christmas Tour of Homes was started in 2005. This delightful tour boasts lovely, unique homes decorated for Christmas as only Eufaulians can do. Experience Christmas as never before in some of the South’s finest homes! Stroll through history and experience how Southern halls are decked in the mansions of Christmastime! Ticket Information: 6 Homes: $30.00, 1 Home: $6.00. Homes available from 1 – 6 pm. Payable at door. For more info visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Sara Evans At Christmas MPAC, Downtown Montgomery Sunday, December 4th, 7:30 pm

Since emerging in the late 1990s, Evans has had a prolific recording career that has seen the sale of more than 6 million albums. She’s had five #1 songs, four others appearing in the Top 10, two #1 Billboard Country Albums, five appearing on Billboard’ s Top 200 all-genre chart and four consecutive RIAA certified Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum albums. She’s received awards from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, and Billboard Music Award and has garnered nominations for Grammy Awards (2), American Country Awards (10) and CMT Music Awards (5). For more info and tickets visit or

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA STYX MPAC-Downtown Montgomery Thursday, March 2nd, 7:30pm

Harmony. Chemistry. Balance. Grit. Dexterity. Determination. Solidarity. Terms that describe a Super Bowl champion? Well, almost. These are words that define the core essence of Styx, the multimegamillion-selling rock band that has forged an indelible legacy both on record and onstage. The six men comprising Styx have committed to rocking the Paradise together with audiences far and wide by entering their second decade of averaging over 100 shows a year, and each one of them is committed to making the next show better than the last. For tickets and more visit or

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November 2016



The Surprising Secret to Healthy Aging You probably know that exercise and diet are important when it comes to aging well. But there is something else you control that can help you along: a positive attitude.

the power of positive thinking when older people were asked whether they see themselves as “wise” or “senile.” People who thought themselves smart

Research shows more and more that your approach to life may be just as important in making your “golden years” your best years.

Optimism can be good for your blood pressure, one of the most important factors in heart health. One study of more than 2,500 men and women who were 65 and older used a scale to measure just how positive or negative the people were. They took into account whether they smoked, drank alcohol, and what medications they were on. What they found: People who were positive had lower blood pressure than those who were gloomy.

Aging: It’s in Your Mind


Growing older brings with it some natural changes (think those creaky knees). But folks who see good years ahead and who don’t accept stereotypes about aging -- such as you’re less useful -- may actually live longer. And there’s science to back that up. One study found that thinking positively about getting older can extend lifespan by 7.5 years. And that’s after accounting for things such as gender, wealth, and overall health. Some 660 women and men in Ohio joined this study, and they were monitored for more than 20 years. If you see the glass half full, it could play an even bigger role in living better and longer than things such as low blood pressure and cholesterol, which have each been shown to increase life span by about 4 years. A good attitude also seems to have a greater effect on living longer than not smoking, low cholesterol, or a healthy weight, a Yale study found. The researchers’ earlier work showed

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may actually lower the chance of getting sick. For instance, it may play a role in keeping your heart working at its best.

November 2016

did better with memory, stress, and even with math.

The Power of Optimism

It’s difficult to know what comes first -the good health or the positive attitude. One possible answer is they build on each other: A rosy outlook may help you exercise more and eat better. And that in turn helps you stay hopeful and happy because you feel better. You may hear that called a “virtuous circle.” Optimism has been linked to living longer. The Mayo Clinic found this out in a study they conducted over decades. They gave more than 800 people a test to figure out whether they were optimists, pessimists, or something in between. Thirty years later, they checked to see just how long these people lived. The optimists did better; the pessimists had a 19% greater chance of dying in any given year.

Less Chance of Getting Sick

Part of the power of optimism is that it

Being optimistic may help you with thinking and remembering. People who are hopeful about their futures are less likely to be forgetful, a recent study out of Europe found. More than 4,500 adults age 65 and older were in it. The optimists were also better at problem solving and making sound decisions.

Learning to Be Happy

What if you feel like you’re a naturalborn pessimist? All is not lost. Optimism can be learned; it takes practice like anything else. Things you can do include: • Check yourself. If you’re having negative thoughts, pause and see whether there’s a better way to look at what’s bothering you. • Seek out humor and laughter • Make time for things that give you joy • Find positive people and hang out with them SOURCES: Levy, B.R. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, August 2002.Press Release, Yale University. Maruta, T. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, March 2000.Ostir, Glenn V. Psychosomatic Medicine, August 2006. Gawronski, K.A. Psychosomatic Medicine, June 2016. News Release, University of Michigan. Mayo Clinic, “Stress Management (Focus on Positive Thinking).”Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO,MS on 8/17/2016© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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

November 2016



BOOM! November 2016  
BOOM! November 2016  

The River Region 50+ Lifestage Magazine