“ASK LAURA ABOUT REAL ESTATE”
Many Americans are rethinking where they live
"Work from home" has been a stop-gap way for employers to keep their employees
productive. Employers are now admitting it's working out pretty well, and
employees are in many cases realizing that they can work from anywhere —
including somewhere other than where they currently live.
Accredited Buyer Representative ® (ABR)
At Home With Diversity (AHWD)
Broker Price Opinion Resource (BPOR)
Certified Distressed Property Expert ® (CDPE)
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
Distinguished Real Estate Broker ® (DRB)
Graduate, REALTOR ® Institute (GRI)
Pricing Strategy Advisor ® (PSA)
Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist
Seniors Real Estate Specialist ® (SRES)
Equator Platform Platinum Certification
Equator Short Sale Agent Certification
Advanced Evaluations Certification
NVS Institute BPO Certification
Five Star BPO Designation
NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswoman
Call Laura Today!
As coronavirus cases continue to spike and working from home seems permanent
for many people, a large number of Americans (approximately 20 million of them)
intend to relocate to a different city or region as a result of the ability to work
remotely. People are no longer required to live where their job is. A lot of
companies have been rethinking their business approach based on adjustments they
have had to make due to the corona virus after experiencing success with
employees that have been working from home. In turn, the employees are seeing
this shift as an opportunity to move where they can afford to live, where they want
to live, or are moving closer to family. Most are looking to move 2 hours or more
away from their current home.
On the average, national moving companies are reporting that there is a 32%
increase in moving interest compared with this time last year. The most common
reasons associated with their customers potential moves were: concerns for health
and well-being, wanting to be closer to family, changes in employment status or
work arrangement (such as the ability to work remotely), and desires for
improvement of quality of life. The pandemic has made many people reevaluate
what was important to them.
The Las Vegas Valley is definitely the recipient of many of these relocating buyers
(who wouldn't want to live here?). We are also seeing a lot of local moving as those
who are working from home are looking for homes that have the space they
need. The Las Vegas Valley is still attracting large numbers of retirees as well, as
our weather and our tax structure are favorable. In comparison to the demand, our
overall housing inventory is relatively low, especially in the price ranges under
$500,000, so our local real estate values have remained strong with relatively short
days on market.
If you are thinking of selling your home or are interested in purchasing a home,
please call for more helpful information. My office is open seven days a week for
your convenience, and we are looking forward to hearing from you!
Laura Harbison, ABR, AHWD, BPOR, BS, CDPE, CRS, DRB, GRI, PSA, RSPS, SRES
Realty Executives Southern Nevada Properties
License # B.0026537.LLC / PM.0164922.BKR
770 Coronado Center Drive, Ste. 100
Henderson, NV 89052
2335 Garnet Star St.
SOLERA Upgraded Freemont floorplan on
premium elevated lot w/ 3 BR/ 2 BA/ 1425
SF! Fresh interior paint, new laminate wood
flooring, ceramic tile flooring, new SS
appliances! Kitchen w/ corian countertops,
upgraded cabinets, nook and pantry.
Spacious MBR suite w/ceiling fan. Raised
panel doors, lever door handles, dual pane
windows with blinds. Finished 2-car garage.
Mature low maintenance landscaping.
Covered Patio & more! Age-restricted, 55+
2176 Chapman Ranch Dr.
SUN CITY MACDONALD RANCH Spacious
2 BR/2 BA/1633 SF Alabaster floorplan w/
Formal living & dining rooms, island kitchen
w/ breakfast bar & nook w/ bay window.
Family room w/ built-in shelving & tile floors.
Private Master w/ ceiling fan, walk-in closet,
dual sinks & shower. Raised panel doors,
shutters, blinds and pot shelves. Fully fenced
rear yard w/ extended covered patio, lush
landscape & 2-car garage w/ keyless entry!
55+, Age-restricted. $355,000
12402 Mosticone Way
SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS Stunning 4 BR+loft/2
full BA & 2 half BA, 2638 SF home in gated
community! Open concept 1st floor w/ great
room; gourmet island kitchen w/ upgraded
granite counters, breakfast bar, W/I pantry &
recessed lighting. Formal dining room, loft w/
ceiling fan & slider to balcony. Upstairs/
downstairs powder bath. MBR w/ ceiling fan,
walk-in closet & slider to balcony. Covered
patio, 2-car garage & more! $434,900
1068 Tropical Sage St.
PARADISE HILLS Beautifully upgraded 3
BR/2.5 BA/2480 SF modern split level home!
Gorgeous island kitchen w/ granite counters,
upgraded cabinets, SS appliances, W/I pantry
& recessed lighting. Spacious MBR with large
W/I closet. Highly upgraded flooring, 2-tone
paint, raised panel doors & ceiling fans.
Beautifully landscaped back yard w/ covered
patio & fruit trees. 2 Car garage. $390,000
635 Glenwood Ln.
HIGHLAND HILLS Dual Master floorplan w/ 3
BR/2.5 BA/1855 SF & 2 car garage. Large lot w/
RV parking. Covered/enclosed patio. Formal
living & dining rooms, separate family room w/
gas fireplace. 2 tone paint & raised panel
doors. Primary MBR w/ ceiling fan & balcony.
Secondary bdrms w/ ceiling fans & mirrored
closet doors. Large back yard. Needs TLC, lots
of potential. $285,000
480 Elm Dr. #101
PARADISE COLONY Lovely 1 BR/1 BA/462 SF
Condo located on the 1st Floor in gated
community with community pool. Great Room
with tile flooring, dining area and kitchen with
breakfast bar and tile flooring. Security Door.
Covered parking space and plenty of guest
parking! Just needs some TLC. $78,000
30 Strada Di Villaggio #534
LAKE LAS VEGAS 2 BR/2 BA/967 SF condo
offering dual MBR floorplan, with incredible
lake & mountain views! Kitchen w/ granite
counters, new SS appliances, recessed lighting
& tile flooring. Great room/dining room combo
with crown molding & slider to balcony
overlooking pool & Lake Las Vegas. MBR w/
mirrored closet doors & bath with shower &
tub. Fresh 2-tone paint, new carpet, gym, 2
pools, spa, secured building & more! $248,900
9624 Silver City Dr.
SILVERADO RANCH Adorable 2 BR/2.5
BA/1230 SF townhome in gated community!
Featuring great room w/vaulted ceiling & gas
fireplace, dining room w/ ceiling fan & kitchen
w/granite counters, new cabinets, breakfast bar
& all appliances included! Raised panel doors,
Berber carpet & 2-tone paint. MBR w/walk-in
closet. 1-car garage w/keyless entry, solar
screens & yard w/patio. Community pool &
NIGHT LIFE EDITOR
Volume 17, Issue 11
OUR FANTASTIC COLUMNISTS
Rich Natole / Jon Lindquist
Success City Online
About The Vegas Voice
In 2020 The Vegas Voice received six national awards from the North
American Mature Publisher’s Association. The awards were for our investigative
articles, front-page design, editorials and columns.
As the judges stated (and we humbly agree): The Vegas Voice gets
credit for pulling no punches, striking hard… with its articles.
It’s unequivocal style leaves no room for readers to wonder where
it stands on senior issues.
2021 Plans (Hopefully)
By: Rana Goodman / On My Soapbox
’m sure I am not alone in saying that I
welcome the end of 2020. I wish everyone
a Happy New Year with an addendum that
hopefully COVID-19 will vanish as we begin 2021.
On a brighter note, 2020 gave me my 5 th great grandchild and a
whole new direction for Publisher Dan and myself with new Vegas
Voice additions. There will be several Sun City Anthem community
blogs featuring writers known to most in this community. The blogs
will include Dan’s Anthem Journal, Anthem Opinions, Anthem
Voices & Anthem Today.
And our local Vegas Voice TV presence has begun on the CW network.
Hosting with Dan, we will be featuring guests from the entertainment
industry as well as our fantastic columnists. And that’s only a start.
Like everything else in life, we need the end of this horrible pandemic
so we can get back to the resumption (and fun) of entertainment shows
around the city.
Concerning the election results, Vegas Voice readers know our
mission was making sure that Judge Charles (Chuck) Hoskin was not
returned to the bench. Thank you to those that followed our plea not
to vote for him, however I’m sorry to say, we didn’t generate sufficient
votes to reach our goal. Rest assured though that we will be watching
Moving forward (and of course subject to the pandemic) our Vegas
Getting ready to face the cameras for our Vegas Voice Live
Voice plan is to expand our legislative efforts by, not only going to
Carson City but now Washington D.C. Dan and I have been selected
by the national senior publishers association (NAMPA) to discuss/
lobby for all important senior (starting with guardianship and scam
protections) and veteran issues too.
Another reason to be excited about this Washington adventure is that
I have never been there. There are many places (starting with the White
House, Capitol, Holocaust Museum, Veteran’s Memorial, and so much
more) that I’m eager to see and explore.
I was just 12 when my family immigrated to America, coming right
to Las Vegas. Yes, you are right in thinking that’s a little odd without
considering other US cities, but my father was stationed in Africa during
the war and fell in love with the desert.
To him, coming from the rain and dampness of England, the dryness
and climate of Las Vegas was a natural place to settle down. I must
admit, I have seen very little of this wonderful country.
Hopefully with the assistance of Dan’s buddy and our travel editor
Stu Cooper (and a COVID vaccine) we will all be able to explore new
Do you agree with our columnists?
Did anyone get you angry, make you
think or simply put a smile on your
face? Please tell us by forwarding
your comments, thoughts or
suggestions to Publisher Dan at:
My End of Year Story
By: Dan Roberts / Roberts Rules
Wait, wait…what?” I admit that wasn’t the
brightest statement I’ve ever muttered but
Let me first acknowledge that
my tale is based on a very tragic
series of facts.
It began with our Vegas Voice
Live TV broadcast. We wanted to
do a Thanksgiving segment with
our Bill’s Blurbs columnist (and
my Bronx brother) Bill Caserta.
We came up with the idea
that the family segment should
include his Barbara and his 95
year-old mother Mary. And we
would film it at my and Rana’s
Rana and I have known
“Mother Mary” for years. She
was a frequent guest and always welcomed at our home. Just like Bill
and Barbara, Mother Mary was a part of our family.
Anyway, we did the filming without any problems. It turned out
exactly as we wanted; no drama but plenty of laughs.
A few hours later, back in Bill’s house, Mary complained that she
couldn’t breathe. An ambulance was called, and Mary was rushed to
the hospital. Diagnosis: COVID-19.
Sadly, Mary passed away four days later.
It goes without saying that everyone at The Vegas Voice sends our
deepest sympathies and condolences to Bill and his family. Believe me,
Mother Mary was a very special lady, and we will all miss her.
Now comes my dilemma.
As soon as Bill told me about his mom, Rana and I realized that we
were (in our home, no less) in very close contact with one who had the
coronavirus. Rana contacted her primary physician who “ordered” her
(and by extension, me) to stay-at-home and quarantine for 14 days.
We immediately postponed and cancelled all upcoming family and
Vegas Voice meetings and events – including our future TV segments.
(Our TV show will now be “dark” in December and resume in January).
It was the only responsible option.
So, as we made sure there was enough food and toilet paper (and
of course, dog treats – God forbid my Ladylove’s canines had to
“sacrifice”) we hunkered down.
Thankfully, we had no symptoms. Then some good news. Bill and
Barbara tested negative even though Mary lived with them.
When Rana and I finally left our home after 5 days to be tested,
we were thereafter told that, while our results were negative, out of
an abundance of caution, we should continue to quarantine for the
complete two week period.
While Bill was discussing funeral arrangements with me, he
mentioned that before his mom passed (at Bill’s insistence) she
was tested again for COVID-19 and…it was negative. Even her
death certificate listed another cause for her demise – but it was not
Hence my rambling opening
sentence. Bill started to
apologize, but of course I made
it clear there was nothing to
It’s apparent that the hospital
made the COVID-19 diagnosis
Now that you know my story,
what should my reaction be?
Should I be annoyed or angry
for being stuck in the house
surrounded only by my PILL
(not that I minded that, I better
quickly add about my partner in
love & life) and her dogs (always
the freakin’ dogs).
I am likewise extremely aware that things could have been a lot
worse. And yes, Rana and I do smile that our last moments with Mother
Mary were indeed joyful.
All in all, let’s just say that I’m looking forward to 2021.
By: Yvonne Cloutier / Musical Moments
Who would have thought that a song
written in the southwest, with the verse
about orange and palm trees,
would become one of the greatest hits of all times?
Well, that is what happened with a song
called White Christmas. It was written in 1941-
- words and music by Irving Berlin. It was the
highest grossing hit for almost 60 years, won him
an Oscar for best song of 1942, and is a perennial
best seller during the holiday season.
Actually, Berlin didn’t like the Christmas holiday
season because it reminded him of his only son
who died at 24 days old on a December 1 st . But
songwriters are always looking for that special song
that will become a standard, and that was what Berlin was looking for.
Berlin wrote the lyrics first, as he usually did with his songs, and then
could pick out the melody on his piano. However, he needed someone
to write the harmony.
This was done by his musical secretary, Helmy Kresna. With White
Christmas, he told her: “Grab your pen and take down this song. I just
wrote the best song I’ve ever written - heck, I just wrote the best song
that anybody’s ever written!”
Berlin felt that the lyrics made a song a hit, and the tune made it last.
Al Jolson though, said the singer has much to do with
a hit song. Bing Crosby was the engine behind White
Christmas bringing it to the 50,000,000 mark, when
it was released.
He first sang it on his radio show The Kraft Music
Hall on Christmas Day, 1941. He actually thought it
an “okay” song the first time he heard it.
Bing sang it in the 1942 movie Holiday Inn with
Marjorie Reynolds, not Rosemary Clooney as some
people think. Marjorie, unable to sing well, lipsynced
Martha Mear’s voice.
Berlin was asked to write holidays anthems, so he
also wrote Easter Parade and Happy Holidays, both big hits.
Irving Berlin, a creative Russian Jewish American genius, whose
songs will live on forever, died in 1989.
Yvonne Cloutier, a former teacher/principal, with a music
background, specializes in ragtime piano. She researches and
reports about music on SCA-TV.com/Anthem Alive! You can
contact her at www.mytimeisragtime.com.
The Great Conjunction: Saturn & Jupiter
By: Kate Wind / Kate’s Insight
Jupiter and Saturn, two powerful planets,
are meeting on December 21 st at 00 degrees
Aquarius. This is extremely notable because,
although these planets meet up every 19.5 years;
they haven’t been together in Aquarius since January 1405 AD.
Jupiter stands for expansion and growth, fortunate timing and
bringing unlikely people together while Saturn deals with structure,
boundaries and discipline. Simply said, these two planets get stuff done
when they are together and set a tone.
When Jupiter and Saturn meet up in Aquarius, it will mark the
beginning of a 200 year cycle inspiring unconventional yet progressive
thinking, humanitarian efforts and rebellion.
For the past 200 years, the Jupiter and Saturn meetups have been in
Earth signs with the exception of two. Unlike Earth, which is slow and
stable, Air is unpredictable and quick to move, so we need to prepare for
unlikely and fast change!
When Jupiter and Saturn met in Aquarius in 1405, innovation,
social change and breaking from the past to incorporate creativity was
A Jupiter and Saturn meet up provides a theme for the following 20
years. We are currently finishing the energy that kicked off in 2000 -
Looking at historical events, themes and even the topics of TV
programming over the past 20 years “surviving” has been the theme.
We kicked 2000 off with Y2K followed by 9/11, the 2008 crash and now
ending with Covid-19, just to name a few.
We can’t ignore that 2000 opened with the program Survivor
and ended with Schitt’s Creek (9 Emmy’s) - both showcasing how to
overcome the toughest of situations.
On December 21 st , we open a new 20-year chapter of determination.
We will rewrite our history and watch the modernization of old/
ancient thinking (think astrology) and old constructs take place. With
Aquarius activated, medical and technological breakthroughs will
forge us forward.
Get ready - because we can’t stop it!
Kate Wind is second-generation Astrologer and Feng Shui
Consultant. She speaks on an array of topics, from astrological
influences, Chinese New Year, Feng Shui and Tarot. You can contact
her at: the email@example.com. Her podcast, Mom and Me
Astrology can be found on any of the major podcast apps.
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OSTERIA FIORELLA, OYSTER BAR*, PASTA CUCINA, STEAKHOUSES, TIDES SEAFOOD & SUSHI BAR
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Mottos for the New Year
By: Heather Latimer / Heather’s Self-Help Tips
“Solitude is a good place to visit but a
poor place to stay.” American Humorist Josh
Billings. (1818-1885) That’s a phrase we could
have uttered ourselves in these troublesome times.
Here are a few more quotations worth attention, not just for the
moment, but as inspirations for the rest of our days:
“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new
dream.” Theologian C.S. Lewis. (1898-1963)
“Wisdom is to live in the present, plan for the future, and
profit from the past.” Member of UK Parliament Lord Hailsham.
“Anything is easier to get into than to get out of.” Baseball
Player Agnes Allen. (1930-2012)
“Laughter is the best medicine.” Author Norman Cousins. (1915-
“You are young at any age if you are planning for tomorrow.”
Philosopher Eric Hoffer. (1902-1983)
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” President
Theodore Roosevelt. (1858-1919)
“Those who have no time for bodily exercise will sooner
or later have to find time for illness.” UK prime minister Edward
“It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s the way you play the
game that counts.” Sportswriter Grantland Rice. (1880-1954)
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” Novelist James Joyce.
“To err is human. To forgive divine.” Poet Alexander Pope.
“A soft word turneth away wrath.” Bible Proverbs 15.1
“It’s not the world I was brought up in. But we have to live
in the new one.” Queen Elizabeth’s jockey Dick Francis. (1920-2010)
Heather Latimer is a nationally recognized specialist in making
difficult subjects easy and author of 17 books. See amazon.com/
heather latimer/how to overcome.
You Gotta Laugh
By: Bill Caserta / Bill’s Blurbs
1. I’ve reached the age where my train of thought
often leaves the station without me.
2. The truth always comes out as the Tequila
3. You never realize how anti-social you are until there is a pandemic
and your life doesn’t really change that much.
4. It’s a shame nothing is built in the USA anymore. I just brought a TV
and it said, “Built in Antenna.” I don’t even know where that is.
5. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that pleasing everyone is impossible,
but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.
Questions Heard All the Time in Sun City:
1. What was I going to say?
2. How did I get this bruise?
3. Did I already take my pills?
4. Did the dryer shrink these pants?
5. Who in the world is calling me at 8:30 pm?
* Last Joke of the Year: After nearly 50 years of marriage, a Sun
City couple was lying in bed one evening, when the wife felt her husband
begin to touch her in ways he hadn’t in quite some time. It almost tickled
as his fingers started at her neck, and then began moving down past the
small of her back.
He then caressed her shoulders and neck, slowly worked his hand down,
stopping just over her stomach. He then proceeded to place his hand on
her left inner arm, working down her side, passing gently over her buttock
and down her leg to her calf.
Then, he proceeded up her thigh, stopping just at the uppermost
portion of her leg. He continued in the same manner on her right side,
then suddenly stopped, rolled over and became silent.
As she had become quite enamored by her husband’s actions, she asked
in a loving voice, “Honey that was wonderful. Why did you stop?”
To which he responded: “I found the remote.”
Bill Caserta is the Project Director for The Vegas Voice and
has a very “unique” sense of humor. He welcomes all funny
submissions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Different Resolution for 2021
By: Liz Breier / This & That
Auld Lang Syne, time for New Year’s
Resolutions. Bah, humbug! How many
I gave up making them years ago
because it just never stuck and then there
was the guilt of not following through as
I had promised myself. Who has truly
stuck to that diet, given up a bad habit
or turned over a new leaf on January 1st
and kept that going to fruition?
I have a new outlook on resolutions.
Mine will be about how I celebrate New
Year’s Eve this year.
When I was younger, like many, I
sought out or hosted a party, went to a
Club, restaurant, show or perhaps Times
Square. Is there a reason we need to
stop enjoying these activities because we
have matured (I never said aged)?
How much we looked forward to those
events and enjoyed ourselves. Therefore,
my New Year’s Resolution this year, (and I hope you consider doing the
same) is to make every effort to make New Year’s Eve special.
Don’t just sit home with the excuse that “it’s safer” or “I fall asleep
before midnight anyway.” I may sleep late and/or take a nap on
December 31 but I am determined to cheer in 2021.
I think it is important to return to our Happy Days when we were
not aching and creaking and enjoy
ourselves. We deserve it!
With whatever the New Year brings,
it’s still a time, more so than ever, for us
mature adults, to be glad to be saying
good-bye to this year (especially this
year) as it closes. More importantly,
hello to a New Year that we have lived
to see and one, that hopefully, will not
bring any strange phenomenon that
disrupt our lives.
As Van Halen sang back in the ‘70s
“Once we had an easy ride and
always felt the same. Time was on our
side and we had everything to gain.
This could be like yesterday, is this me
with your happy days.”
My wish for everyone is for good
health, good times and a great 2021!
Liz Breier is an ex-New Yorker who retired to Florida for 24 years
before deciding that Nevada means home to her. You can contact
Liz at: email@example.com.
Grab Bars + Ramps
Curbless Showers + More
Gifts For a Maturing Woman
By: Adrea Nairne-Barrera / Senior Moments
December is the month of giving but I
find that as I age, I get gifts all year long
without even asking!
Benefits of getting a little older include hair changes. I may not have
to shave my legs as often, but I have new places to pluck.
And the hair on my head experiences major color changes all on
its own. Instead of a smooth transition to silver, it gets a skunk-like
pattern as it grows.
Wearing make-up is problematic too. It is meant to enhance your
features but if you have prominent laugh lines or birds feet, it settles
into the worst parts of your face and you are a wicked witch.
No make-up at all isn’t always a great solution either. The permanent
make-up tattoo thing is terrific actually.
Old signs. New technology.
This revolutionary art uses
sight and sound to transport
you through time and bring
long dormant signs back to
life. You literally have to see
it to believe it.
What turned me on to it was how so many older women’s eyes look
kind of hollow and just a little touch of shade between the lashes
changes all that. I hated doing it, but I loved the result.
Now the spidery veins start showing on top of your hands and
sometimes your forearms. If your hands are in a downward position,
they pop up all over the place.
The only way to hide it is to keep them elevated so the blood flows
down and they collapse. It’s hard to eat that way.
And how about that crepe paper leg stuff? The shape is still OK but
my old beach days have caught up with me big time! No amount of
Gold Bond will smooth that out anymore.
So, let’s talk about skin tone. I always had a smooth olive complexion
that now has designs all over it.
They’re just random spots with no particular pattern and freckles!
I never had freckles before, and I can’t figure out how to give them
back. I’ve been checked over carefully and nothing is suspicious, just
not very flattering.
I have now received my gifts for the holidays and all I need is a very
glittery outfit to go with them. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!
Adrea likes to opine and find the lighter side of life as a senior.
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It’s June Cleaver!
By: Beverly Washburn / Hollywood Memories
Well, here it is, the end of the year. And
oh, what a year it’s been. I wish you
all happiness, peace and love during this very
unsettling time .
I’m sure you recognize Barbara Billingsley from the iconic show
“Leave it to Beaver.”
In this photo, I had the honor of playing Barbara’s daughter in an
obscure TV show called “Professional Father.” This show was a few
years before she played Wally & Beaver’s mother .
The year was 1955 and it was in the days of live TV at CBS Television
Studios. It lasted only one season, but it was a wonderful experience for
Barbara Billingsley played the mom, Steve Dunne, the father and Ted
Marc and I played their two
children. It was a situation
comedy. The ratings were
never that great, yet it
was one of my fondest
Every month when I
turn in my column and
meet with Publisher Dan,
I have to laugh because he
always tells me he’s waiting
for an article where I say
something “bad” about
someone I worked with!
Well, that sure can’t happen
this month, because
honestly, Barbara was one
of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever worked with.
She had many credits to her name, having worked on many shows,
stage, radio and even as a fashion model, but Leave it to Beaver is what
truly made her a household name.
She became quite well known for always wearing “pearls” as she did
her housework. Wearing those pearls was actually her idea because she
felt she had a “hollow” in her neck and that by wearing pearls it could
help camouflage it on camera.
Little did she know what an impact it made. I also feel forever indebted
to her because she was the one who introduced me to Tony Dow.
Tony played Wally and was every teenage girl’s heart throb, including
me. Tony and I are still friends to this day and he also was kind enough
to write the foreword for my book.
Barbara lived to be 94 and died in 2010. The world truly lost and
angel on that day. She will always have a place in my heart.
Until next time, remember to try and find something beautiful in
Beverly Washburn graced the silver screen as a child actress and
is the author of Reel Tears. You can contact Beverly at: bjradell@
By: Gayla Kalp / Life is Laughter
have been trying very hard to obey the
I government virus rules.
I go to the grocery store only when I am fighting
the house mouse for the last grain of rice; cross to
the other side of the street to pass another
person while walking; and spray down all
packages and mail arriving at my house.
I even make my husband stay 6 feet
away from me ( I think he likes this one).
There are many more precautions I take
but they are a little extreme, and you
would think I was crazy if I told you.
I am going “Bonkers.” I am used to
being very active, so being “Housebound”
is totally against my nature.
I have tried everything to keep
busy and entertain myself. Some have
suggested cooking. Unfortunately, I am a terrible cook.
I had to go on the internet once when a recipe called for 1 cup of
“boiled” water. I had no idea how long you boil water before it was
Next suggestion was gardening. I went to the Nursery. I always had a
gardener, so this was a foreign area.
I was excited! Until…. endless decisions on pots, fertilizer, gardening
tools, sun or shade, watering rules, etc. This and more for a pansy!
Next - Scrapbooking. Who knew glue, special pens, albums, stickers
and all that expense is involved!
Next - Genealogy. Give the Mormons a standing applause.
Endless research and patience. I gave up when the branches on my
family tree started adding horse thieves,
a dubious preacher and a wealthy
schoolteacher who ran a popular saloon
in the basement of the school.
Though my hopes were lifted when
I discovered a great-great uncle who
supposedly discovered the cure for
“anythang that be ailing ya.” It made
everyone who used it feel fabulous
because of the 90% alcohol content.
I then discovered puzzles. Twelve failed
puzzles later, I have learned my puzzle
expertise is “250 pieces, 3 rd grade level.”
The important thing is I am very happy, busy, healthy and combined
with a little bit of “anythang that ailes ya”, makes this quarantine
not bad at all!
Gayla is a speaker, author, psychologist and humorist. She has
been a guest speaker for television and radio programs, plus a
featured speaker for business and charity organizations. She also
happens to be Ms. Sr. California, Nevada and Universe England.
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By: Dianne Hahn / Back in the Days
grew up with an image of Santa in my
I Christmas dreams. The whole caboodle: the
red suit, the white beard, the jolly laugh, and the
twinkle in his eyes.
I couldn’t wait to sit on Santa’s lap each year!
I had my Christmas list memorized and eagerly
awaited to rattle it off. “Were you a good little girl
this year?” he asked.
Oops! My confidence wavered a tad, but he never
disappointed me. There was magic in my life!
It never occurred to me that it was impossible to
circle the world, in a single night, in a sleigh filled
with millions of gifts - never mind that reindeers
don’t fly! My mother and I baked cookies for Santa every year, and we
left carrots on the front porch for the reindeer.
Christmas music filled the air, and it was like welcoming an old
friend back. We only heard the songs once a year and we sang along.
Then there was the excitement of shopping for a Christmas tree, getting
out the treasured decorations, and putting up the lights.
The Magic of Christmas
Latkes - Fried White Potatoes
By: Susan Goldfein / Susan’s Unfiltered Wit
As much as I gripe about the holiday season,
there’s one time-honored December
tradition to which I happily succumb. As we near
the eight days of Hanukkah, I’m overtaken by an
urge to cook a traditional dish - potato pancakes, affectionately known
But first, one must consult the calendar to verify its precise arrival.
Unlike Christmas, Hanukkah has no consistent date.
Rather, each year, it tends to hover over the month. Not being a
student of the Hebrew calendar, its arrival always seems to be completely
arbitrary, though I’m sure that’s not the case.
But, like most Jewish holidays, it’s never on time. It’s either early
or late. In fact, I can recall one year when Hanukkah was so eager to
arrive, it actually collided with Thanksgiving.
Back to latkes. For the uninitiated, a latke (pronounced lat kuh,
with emphasis on the lat) may appear to be nothing more than a fried
But the little latke is so much more. It’s a potato pancake with a soul.
The making and eating is a treat for all the senses.
Therefore, once a year, I throw food caution to the wind, swallow an
extra statin, and prepare to enjoy starch cooked in oil.
Like all things Jewish, the proper preparation is not without
controversy. Traditionalists claim the only authentic way to make them
is grating the potatoes by hand.
Since I don’t believe a preferred methodology is discussed in any holy
text, I stand with those who grate by food processor. The outcome is
Back in the day, we had a tree decorating party every year. I carried
that tradition on. What could be better than eggnog, good cheer,
precious family and old friends?
I’ll never forget the year our daughter was married. She and her
husband moved across the state and spent her first
Christmas away from home. On Christmas Eve she
called to wish us a Merry Christmas.
Before she hung up she whispered into the phone.
“I miss you, mom. I feel I should be home with all
Tears in my eyes! My heart skipped a beat - how
I missed her! “We love and miss you, too!” It’ll be
our turn to have Christmas here next year. Enjoy
your time there.”
Ah, but wait! Now we go to their house to see the grandkids experience
their Christmas…and the magic continues!
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy
New Year to all!
A former schoolteacher, Dianne also writes for children. Presently
she has six kid’s books available on Amazon.com. You can also
see her on SCA-TV.
just as good, and one’s knuckles
My tactile fix comes from
squeezing liquid from the
shredded potatoes, then
combining with the other
ingredients. Want to relive the
gratification of playing with
your food? There’s nothing like being up to your elbows in potatoes,
onions, eggs, and flour (or matzo meal, if you prefer).
And what can compare with the aroma of frying the latke? Nothing,
except for eating the latke. Garnish as you like – apple sauce, sour
cream, even caviar.
And voila! The dull potato has been elevated to a luxurious treat.
There is a downside to this otherwise joyous experience. I must repair
the damage that was my kitchen.
But not even the splotches of potato starch that landed on counters
and floor, and the splattered oil on my stove, can detract from my
satisfaction. And the secondary benefit? The memory of the experience
due to the lingering odor which permeates the house long after the
eight days are over.
And once everything is nice and tidy, I know I’ll forget the mess and
do it again next year. Whenever Hanukkah decides to arrive.
Susan Goldfein’s newest book, How to Complain When There’s
Nothing to Complain About, is available at Amazon.com, BN.com,
Read her blog at: www.SusansUnfilteredWit.com. Email Susan:
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46 Blackmail Scam of the Month
Looks like Publisher Dan is being
blackmailed. Fortunately, even he’s not
that stupid to fall for it (besides, he has
no idea what a “bitcoin” is).
Once again, those are NOT typos but the
actual email. We know scammers need
to only deceive one (out of the millions)
but we ask again: Is anybody that stupid? Remember:
Think, think, think before you click! If in doubt, don’t.
Ι knοw every dirτy little secreτ αbοut your life. To ρrοve
my poιηt, τell me, does “dan001” ring aηy bell to you? Ιt
wαs oηe of your ραsswords.
What dο Ι know abouτ you?
To stαrτ wιth, I knοw all οf yοur ραsswords. I am αware
οf your whereabouts, what yοu eατ, wiτh whom you τalκ,
every litτle τhiηg you dο ιη a day.
Whaτ am I caρable οf dοιηg?
Ιf I wαηt, Ι could eveη iηfecτ yοur whοle fαmιly wιth
the CoroηαVιrus, reveαl all of yοur secrets. There are
countless τhιηgs I can do.
Whαt shοuld you dο?
Yοu ηeed τo pαy me $4000. Yοu’ll mαke τhe ραymeητ
νiα βιtcoiη το the belοw-menτiοned αddress. Ιf yοu don’τ
κnοw how τo dο this, search “how tο buy bιtcοiη” in
(Ιτ is cAsE sensιτiνe, sο cοpy and ραste ιτ)
Yοu hαve 24 hours τo make τhe ραymeητ. I haνe a
unιque ριxel wιτhιn this emαιl messαge, and righτ now, I
κηow that you have read thιs email.
If I do ηοτ geτ the pαymeηt:
Ι wιll iηfecτ eνery member of yοur fαmιly wιτh the
CoronaVιrus. No mατter how smαrt you are, believe me,
ιf I waητ τo αffect, I cαη. I will also gο ahead αnd reveal
yοur secreτs. I will cοmpleτely ruiη your life.
Nonetheless, ιf I dο geτ pαid, I wιll erαse eνery lιttle
infοrmaτiοη I have αbοut you ιmmedιαtely. You will
never hear from me agaιη. Ιt ιs α nοn-negoτiable οffer,
so don’τ wasτe my time αηd yοurs by reρlyiηg tο τhis
Timeless Beauty During the Winter
By: Linda Bateman-Gomez / Timeless Beauty
With winter fast
we often see changes
in our skin and need to alter our regimen to
combat the seasonal issues. The dry, cold air
and constantly running the heater in our
homes can quickly zap the moisture from your
environment and leave you combating itchy,
Beginning with your cleansing routine,
make sure to use a face wash that doesn’t strip
away any natural oil that will aggravate the
problem. There are many gentle face washes
to choose from, but a favorite of mine is the
CeraVe Foaming Cleanser.
You can check them out at www.cerave.com
for a full line up of their products and detailed
info. They were at the top of my dermatologists
recommended list since it gently cleans your
face without drying it out.
It’s easy and inexpensive to buy at your
local drug store and they usually have the rest of the line as well. When
deciding on what to buy, even if you are buying in the store, checking
reviews prior to purchase can be helpful.
As I’ve shared before, buying online can be risky so if you are
shopping online it’s usually best to use the
products’ direct website, not a 3rd party seller.
Additionally, while a good moisturizing
cream is important year-round, you may find
the one you use for summer may not be heavy
enough for winter. CeraVe’s formula may be
worth a try as it is non-greasy and absorbs
quickly, but a nice layer at bedtime does
Last, we often forget that with the cooler
weather we need to continue drinking water.
Making sure you’re getting adequate hydration
during the day will make a huge difference in
the feel of your skin.
And if the dry air becomes particularly
troublesome, adding a humidifier to your
room at night can really help as well.
Meanwhile, throw on a soft sweater and enjoy
this beautiful season, it goes all too fast!
Linda Bateman-Gomez has an international beauty company
based in Las Vegas that specializes in cosmetics and other beauty
products. Contact Linda at TimelessBeauty2020@gmail.com or
through her website www.fullips.com.
(Evan note: This space is
By: Sam Wagmeister / People & Places
Christmas came early to Mark OToole’s
home. Christmas always comes early to
OToole’s home…since his earliest days growing
up in Boston.
A nearly 2-story living room Christmas tree explodes with 4,000
lights and 450 personalized ornaments. A ledge adorned with half a
dozen 6-foot trees shines halfway up the living room wall; 24-inch
glitter snowflakes hang from the ceiling; the Beach Boys Christmas
albums plays in the background.
In all, OToole and his husband of eleven years, Chad Blochowski,
a former Disney on Ice set designer, have ten trees brightening their
home. “We always do it big,” he says, adding that in 2020, “we need to
look for things that make us feel good.”
As a longtime Las Vegas crooner, OToole is considered a “gig worker”,
one of the estimated 70,000 (according to KSNV Channel 3 TV) who
work as on-demand performers and behind the scenes. Unemployment
assistance definitions have been vague, and the group has had trouble
receiving financial assistance during the pandemic.
While restrictions complicate reopening shows, OToole expresses his
concerns. “I’m for getting music back in our lives, but not for me right
Days before the world shut down, OToole was booked to perform
My End of Year Roundup
By: Evan Davis / Entertainment Editor
Here below is the 2020 Year in Review:
So much for 2020. What about
future entertainment in Las Vegas?
The end of COVID-19?These are
questions that are on everyone’s
mind as our community looks
ahead to the resurgence of tourism
in Vegas. It may seem like we are
taking a step backwards, but I
assure you that the building blocks
of this town are fundamentally strong.
Things are changing daily - from tighter restrictions to easing
constraints. Shows are starting to open again on the Strip.
Smaller venue shows and even some lounges are slowly coming
back. To name a few, Absinthe, Tape Face, Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club,
Fantasy, David Copperfield, Laugh Factory.
Of course, that may change by the time this reaches your mailbox,
but what the heck, Vegas is resilient. The Rio is scheduled to open in
OToole Needs a Little Christmas
mid-December and new hotels such as Circa, Virgin Hotel and Resort
World are not too far behind.
There are still plenty of live streaming shows where any donation is
welcomed (as performers are still trying to make a living) but mostly
because they love to perform. You have Keith Thompson hosting The
Composers Showcase as well as
Travis Cloer doing both live and
The same is true for performers
like Frankie Scinta, Jimmy Hopper,
Chase Brown, Randy Anderson,
Vinny Adinolfi and Vin A, plus many
As soon as The Vegas Voice
gets the “ALL CLEAR”, we will be
bringing you some great shows
with top notch talent. Some you
may know and some you may not
know… yet. So, once we get back to business, we all need to get out and
support live entertainment.
You can see a full listing of the local scene in my calendar on my
Vinny Adinolfi prepares for his
Celebrity Corner TV interview
You can read Evan’s entertainment blog and sign up to receive
his free email weekly Calendar of Events at www.EvanDavisJazz.
com. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
his show on an exotic, luxury cruise.
The journey turned into a coronavirus
nightmare of cabin confinement, lost
luggage, lost passports and port closures
that forced the ship to remain at sea.
The ship was denied docking
privileges in Sri Lanka, India, Dubai,
Egypt, Greece and England. Barbed wire
was strung around decks and armed
guards protected the ship through
pirate infested waters.
And when OToole finally returned
home, the city had shut down.
For OToole, his home’s Christmas display brings back memories of
happier times. “I wanted to get festive.” He keeps his spirits up with
daily phone calls to friends, regular posts on Facebook and one hour of
rehearsal after suffering a hemorrhage of his vocal chords.
The veteran of 30 years performing in Vegas expressed, “It’s great
that others are working. I have an older fan base. It’s not fair for me to
ask them to come out. I have to accept responsibility for other people.”
Sam Wagmeister is The Vegas Voice Nightlife Editor. He loves to
hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact him via email:
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By: Carol Chapman
It’s hard to believe we’ve arrived at the
holiday season. None of us knows how this
year will affect
our family traditions, but there’s one
thing you can count on. Whether
we’re celebrating alone or with a
small group, we’ll try to make it as festive as possible.
What doesn’t change is the reason for the season. It’s still a time to
think about the many things for which we are grateful. The Foundation,
despite the many challenges of 2020, has much to be thankful for.
We have a dedicated and energetic group of volunteers who work
tirelessly to deliver durable medical equipment, maintain our HowRU
program, answer phones and greet clients, process paperwork, keep the
books, and spread the word about the services we provide. For them, we
are truly grateful.
Donations keep this organization running and allow us to serve the
community. We could not do it without the generosity of our individual
donors, many of whom have been clients as well.
We send our gratitude to the senior healthcare professionals who
tell their patients about our services, sharing our mission of keeping
seniors comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible.
Finally, our sponsors provide The Foundation with sustainability. We
send our deepest thanks to the Gene Haas Foundation and First Service
Residential for their support.
We wish all of you a holiday season filled with love and hope.
Volunteering for a Great
By: Liz Palmer / NSG
Have you ever
help serve your
with only a few hours a month spent
in the company of like-minded people
who are working toward improving the
health and wellness of seniors? Consider applying for a position on our
Board of Directors!
The Nevada Senior Games will
hold its (virtual) annual meeting on
January 16, and if you’re interested
in joining our group and becoming
an advocate for seniors, send me
a paragraph about yourself, your
background, and why you would
like to be a member of our Board.
We are an engaged friendly group
who likes to have fun while helping
other seniors improve their health
and fitness, and we’d love to hear
from you! We need to know of your
interest by January 2, 2021. My email
address is nevadaseniorgames@
*Another exciting development –
we will launch a fundraiser soliciting donations to the NSG. 100% of
your tax deductible donation goes to support of the Games.
Plus, with a minimum $10 donation, you will receive (via email) a
copy of my historical romance novel “The Lord Of Her Heart,” which
is getting some pretty darn good reviews – thanks friends and family!
The Lord of Her Heart is a historical romance novel and I reiterate
that 100% of all proceeds will benefit The Nevada Senior Games, a
501(c)3 non-profit organization that promotes senior health and
wellness through annual team and individual sport competitions in
the Las Vegas area.
It will be available starting December 7 th . You can donate via PayPal
(link on our website) or send in a check (details on the website). Need I
say it would make a great Christmas gift for a fan of historical romance?
Check out our website www.nevadaseniorgames.com beginning
December 7 th for more details. We thank you for your support!
*Finally, NSG wishes to publicly thank a very generous donor
who wishes to remain anonymous. This wonderful person helped
our organization with a fantastic financial gift which will help our
Liz Palmer is the Executive Director of the Nevada Senior Games.
For more information on how you can participate, contact Liz at:
702/242-1590 or by email: Nevadaseniorgames@outlook.com.
Fans Return to the PGA!
By: Mike Landry / Golf Fore Ever
It was great to see fans on the golf course last
month for the Houston Open, the Champions
Tour and again at the Masters. Now that’s how
we’re supposed to watch golf - with fans cheering on their favorite
I don’t know if anyone’s been noticing, but two of my favorite players
turned 50 and both have made it on to the Champions Tour. And they
won their first two starts – how about that sports fans!
I’m talking about Jim Furyk and Phil Michelson. Congratulations
After watching the Masters, I realized that I witnessed some great
golf by a number of fantastic players. Dustin Johnson betters the field
by winning with an impressive 20 under par - best ever at the Masters.
Tiger and Phil both played and made the cut but didn’t do so well.
It’s always great to see those two veterans compete with the younger
players now on the tour.
How about a couple of firsts for the Masters? Bernard Langer became
the oldest player to make the cut at Augusta and CA Smith of Australia
was the first ever in the Masters’ 84 year history to shoot 4 rounds in the
sixties. Well done gentlemen.
On a personal level, most of us play golf because we like the game,
its challenges and complexity. We return daily or weekly striving to
improve our scoring and show everyone (including yourself) how good
Golf is a game that can humble everyone, myself included. I once
shot a 75 at the old Desert Rose GC (known as the Ditch), and upon my
return home I told my wife what I scored and announced that I had
finally figured out the game.
I went back the next day to play and promptly shot a cool 92. I sure
got a good dose of humility that day. No matter - just enjoy all your days
on the golf course.
Until then, hit “em” straight!
Mike Landry resides in Sun City MacDonald Ranch and is a
member of Winterwood Men’s Golf Association.. He can be reached
By: Sandi Davis / Fashion “Cents”
am really getting tired of wearing the casual/
I lounge wear that now inhabits the front of
my closet. Same format every day.
While the tee top has changed to long sleeves or to my favorite “This
is my Hallmark Christmas Movie Watching Sweatshirt”, the bottoms
are the casual pants. ENOUGH!
Last month I had to go to the dentist for a bad tooth, which became
an emergency root
canal. I decided
no more too- too
Pulled out a
sequined top, and
fancy shoes. Not
really a good idea
when getting X-Rays
or being under the
scrutiny of those
bright lights in the
Sparkles on the
ceiling called for
Gloria Gaynor and
“It’s Raining Men”
and the like. OK, so when going to the Doctor or Dentist is NOT the
time to wear glitter or sequins. Lesson learned.
I was also online for a homeowners meeting where I was running for
an office. I did NOT dress well for that event, and I lost. I placed 3 rd , and
did get five votes, but there were only three nominees for that position.
I really should have dressed better from the waist up, instead of
looking a bit homeless on the Zoom meeting. Another lesson learned.
But when or where to get dressed up and feel sequin special? I
recommend checking our Vegas Voice entertainment editor’s column
or website for what is going on around town.
There are a few places that are safely operating where you can go and
DRESS UP. Or if you are still being very safe at home and doing online
events, DRESS UP!
OK so it is just you, but that gorgeous dress can be paired with comfy
slippers, which make it easier to dance around to the music.
We are Women In Progress… or I AM anyway.
I would like to hear from you on what dressing up lessons you have
learned this year of the “Sloppy Pig” (not all of you will fit into this
I am going to spend my dress up goals for my Christmas Tree. It will
Sandi Davis is the Fashion Style columnist and Behind-the-Scenes
Research Analyst for The Vegas Voice. She welcomes all questions
and opinions. You can contact her at Sandidavis@cox.net
By: Pat Alexander / Art of Entertaining
’m sure it comes as no surprise that I love
Christmas. It seems if there’s a holiday, I find
a way to embrace and celebrate it.
So, let me tell you about the year I nudged my family, sisters,
brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews to have a Christmas celebration
in the snow. We rented a huge cabin in Big Bear, California that had a
slew of bedrooms.
But even so, my niece and her beau still wound up sleeping on the
floor of the kitchen (mostly because it was the warmest room in the
house). We ate, we drank, we cooked (Italian background, remember)
played games, squabbled, laughed, and generally just had a wonderful
On Christmas Eve, at midnight, just after the wished-for snow fall,
we decided to take a walk. It was one of those glorious nights when the
stars lit up the sky with no city lights to dim their beauty.
As we walked through the frosty night, we sang Christmas carols,
all off-key, but, really, we didn’t care because our singing voices are
uniformly bad. It’s a family thing.
What I remember most is the closeness we felt. We were together as a
family and the common bond was our love for each other.
We’re scattered now, from one coast to another, and we’ve not had
another Christmas all together since then. But when I hear their
voices in our Christmas Day calls, I have the memory of a wonderful
Cooking & Sweets & Treats, Oh My
By: Renee Riendeau / Movie Revelations
Netflix offers a lush cinematography of
locations and costumes as it presents
director Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of Daphne du
Maurier’s novel, “Rebecca.”
In 1938 it was a best seller, and it was eighty years ago that Alfred
Hitchcock won an Oscar for his rendition of “Rebecca”, a popular
British, romantic, thriller. As one film critic said, “This version is
ravishing to behold!”
The female archetypes were perfectly cast, and the men paled
by comparison. Armie Hammer is the archetype of a prince - tall,
charming, fairytale-like, Maxim De Winter.
Lily James as Mrs. De Winter, Kristin Scott Thomas, the housekeeper,
Keely Hawes, as Beatrice, Maxim’s sister.
The main scene is the imposing, castle-like family estate on a
windswept English coast. A young newlywed arrives at her husband’s
family home only to find herself battling the shadow of his first wife,
Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house after her death.
She must contend with his sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers and the
snobbish servants who make her life miserable and refer to her as “the
girl.” Evidently Rebecca was charming, sophisticated, and untouchable
in everything she did.
The new Mrs. De Winter was penniless, yet inquisitive, plucky and
proactive. Everyone around her seems obsessed with the previous wife,
Christmas when we were all together and I remember that I am blessed
with a fun, caring family held together by love.
We suffered sugar overload from the dozens of homemade cookies
and sweet treats we brought with us that year because, what’s Christmas
without cookies? I’d like to share one of my favorite recipes for you to
try. I think you’ll enjoy it.
PAT’S SNO-BALLS - 350 Degree Oven
Cream 1 cup softened butter, ¼ cup Confectioners Sugar, pinch of
salt and 2 tsp. vanilla. Mix in 2 cups flour and 1 cup finely chopped
walnuts. Roll into a ball, wrap in Saran, chill overnight. Roll into 1”
balls, space 1” apart on greased cookie sheet, bake 20 minutes.
Toss in Confectioners sugar while still warm, then again when cool.
Pat Alexander writes about all things home. She is well known for
her cooking, parties and interior design, and consults on kitchen
and bath remodels.
She was tormented by all the family secrets, and Maxim was negligent
in protecting her from the servants. However, when she learns the truth
about Rebecca and that Maxim really didn’t love Rebecca, she takes
charge of her new life, becomes the wife he really loves and grows into
I’ve thought a lot about this film and still haven’t decided how to rate
it; somewhere between 3 and 4 in my movie realm scale. It’s definitely
worth seeing and or reading the novel, “Rebecca”, at your leisure.
Renee Riendeau is the movie critic for “Renee’s Revelations”
on Anthem Alive SCA-TV. As a dog sitter she operates “ Renee’s
Roommates” out of her home and can be reached at
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By: Chuck Dean / Vet 2 Vet
Christmas time brings everyone closer to
It is interesting how “home” can become so
much more than just a building or place where we reside. It has a
very special meaning for those serving our country at far-away posts or
stations, especially during the holidays.
For most individuals when deployed home, it becomes a kind of
mystical place that fills their dreams so much that counting the
days until they return becomes a favorite pastime. While serving,
home becomes its own world in our minds, and it’s hard to keep our
imaginations from thinking about what it will be like when we got
Time, however, has its own way of changing the reality of things, and
time in a war zone changes it even more. Its called transition, and a
time to accept some needed adjustments.
When it’s done, there’s an excitement, like none other, when service
members come to the end of a tour of duty, enlistment, or military
career. Veterans of years gone by have had to figure out things pretty
much on their own, but thankfully, our current military now recognizes
some of the hurdles in getting back.
They are working with service members on transitions, especially
when they are separating from their military duty. Still, there really is
no guidebook that can universally advise every transitioning service
member on how to make the change, or what they can expect. This is
because each person’s end-of-service-time is unique to them.
These days every military member, who is anywhere from 18 months
Now that this horrific year is almost over
I can only wish you all a happy holiday.
I hope your mind
finally finds peace, and for as long as you
can, stay healthy, eat well, and keep a warm
and cool roof over your head.
I noticed The Hallmark Channels
are playing one after another warm-hearted
holiday stories. Although these feel good
stories are fictional they help with raising
your emotional way of thinking.
I recall every year as a kid, (not until I
was ten years old when we got our first TV) I would watch Miracle
on 34 th Street and White Christmas. It was only when I finally
landed in Hollywood that I discovered my favorite holiday movie, It’s
a Wonderful Life.
In these trying times of uncertainty It’s a Wonderful Life may
cause you to think about your own journey and the many people you
might have touched with your kindness and your general caring for
Homing in on Home
Holiday Wishes Via Movies
By: Morris Heldt / A Senior’s P.O.V.
to 30 days out from their separation or retirement, is asked what
concerns them the most and what they most look forward to about
leaving military service. Every month, the list is almost identical:
List of what concerns them most: Family, healthcare, second career,
List of what most excites them about getting out: Less stress and
structure, new career, freedom to choose more options.
Perhaps we can look at those lists and trust, along with the returning
service members, that all will be well, and their transitions will be full
of peace and cheer.
Chuck Dean served as an Army paratrooper in Vietnam and
through that experience was led to address the many transitional
issues veterans struggle with. He is the author of several important
books for veterans. All can be found on Amazon at: http://www.
your fellow man.
And, although there are times we all feel alone in our life, in reality,
we still depend on each other’s grace and in that dependence we have
no idea how we have influenced another life
and helped perpetuate the truly best of our
So, I suggest this holiday season you make
yourself a glass of your favorite beverage
and get comfortable in that couch or chair
in front of your television and take in a
holiday movie and let your mind remember
some of those past people you have met in
your life. Don’t be surprised if some of those
thoughts will put a big smile on your face.
May you all have a wonderful holiday season and I wish you all the
very best. And, as trite as it reads I hope we as a “people,” a “nation”
and a “world” will try to remember the Golden Rule for 2021: Do
unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Morris Heldt is a retired award winning film and television
producer and published author. He and his wife moved to the Las
Vegas valley from the beach in 2004.
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So Happy to Say Goodbye to 2020
By: Mary Richard / Health Fitness
After what we’ve been through in 2020 - a
terrible year, I’m so happy to say goodbye
to this year! Looking forward to 2021 and a “new
Will we be getting into the “holiday” theme and snacking? Oh boy,
with the upcoming holiday goodies, the average person already gained
5 to 7 pounds during the pandemic!
Shocking, isn’t it? But we can do something now to help get rid of
those extra pounds.
Here are some easy and low calorie snacks to prepare and enjoy:
Parmesan Popcorn: 1 cup air-popped popcorn, tossed with ¼
teaspoon garlic powder and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese – 56
calories per serving! (one of my favorite snacks and very easy to make!)
Mini Cheese Plate: 2 Rosemary crispbread crackers, 1/3 ounce
Gouda cheese and 5 red grapes - 64 calories per serving.
Easy Hors D’oeuvre: 1 Pillsbury Savorings Frozen Appetizer, Cheese
and Spinach - 65 calories per serving.
2 Creamy Salmon Rolls: For each roll, wrap ½ ounce smoked
salmon around 2 teaspoons 1/3-less-fat cream cheese and 1 watercress
sprig - 74 calories per serving.
Brie & Roasted Pepper Toast: ½ ounce Brie cheese melted on thin
baguette slice, topped with 1 small strip roasted red pepper - 64 calories
The Side Effects of Some Drugs
By: Kyo Mitchell / A Healthier You
As everyone knows, pharmaceuticals may
produce some side
Sometimes these are minor. At other times,
the side effects may be so extreme that it is
questionable whether the drug is doing more
benefit than harm.
Some of these side effects, however, can
be ameliorated fairly simply. Let’s give a few
Metoprolol is a beta blocker given to
patients who have high blood pressure and/
or atrial fibrillation. It is designed to block the
effects of adrenaline on the heart and blood vessels.
Where some people handle metoprolol well, others can show fairly
extreme side effects. The list of possible side effects is very long but two
of the more common side effects include insomnia and fatigue.
Studies have shown that metoprolol blocks the body’s ability to make
melatonin. Melatonin is a precursor to serotonin, a chemical the brain
needs to make the transition to sleep.
This is what is contributing to insomnia in patients taking metoprolol.
The lack of sleep can then lead to fatigue and a host of other problems.
I also microwave some crackers with low-fat cheese for 10-15
seconds, then put salsa on top. This concoction is very filling and helps
to get rid of some hunger while I’m waiting for dinner to cook.
Also, other suggestions: keeping string cheese handy. One stick can
also help to cut down on snacking urges. And when I purchase carrots
or celery on a weekly basis, I cut them into bite size and place them into
a Ziplock bag to grab whenever hunger strikes!
Be extra cautious during the holidays - even more than previous
years. Wear your masks, wash hands, and social distance whenever
POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND HAPPY HEALTH TO ALL!
Mary Richard is a long term supporter of senior fitness. She
teaches Zumba, toning and dance classes throughout the Las Vegas
Valley. She can be reached at email@example.com.
The solution: If the body cannot make melatonin on its own,
supplementing with melatonin which can be purchased over the
counter at any pharmacy may help patients taking metoprolol sleep
Another example is statin drugs which help
decrease cholesterol. Statin drugs deplete the
body of Coenzyme Q10.
Coenzyme Q10, as its name implies, is
part of an enzyme. It is a crucial piece of the
process by which the cells make energy.
If you are depleted in Coenzyme Q10, your
cells have a much more difficult time making
the energy they need to function properly. This
can lead to a number of medical problems
including fatigue and cramping. Coenzyme Q10 can also be purchased
over the counter at any pharmacy.
While not all side effects of drugs can be ameliorated so easily, there
are some that can. As always this should be done under a doctor’s care
making certain there are no interactions and that the dosage is correct
to provide the most benefit.
Dr. Kyo Mitchell served as faculty at Bastyr University in Seattle
and Wongu University in Las Vegas for over a decade. Dr. Mitchell
practices in Summerlin and can be reached at 702-481-6216 or
Carrie Ash-Mott, M.D.
Steven Tsang, D.O.
Laura Addis, D.O.
Mike Wong, D.O.
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Automotive Holiday Gifts
By: BJ Killeen / Down the Road
Once again, it’s gift-giving time (Hooray!).
If you have a car enthusiast in your family,
here are a few ideas to put some twinkle in their
LEGO Creator Expert Ford Mustang Building Kit: ($150)
For those who love building with LEGOs, and also love Mustangs, this
is the perfect kit to keep them busy for weeks. It’s not cheap at $150,
but it is a project that can be done with the grandkids when they come
to visit. The kit has almost 1,500 pieces and includes a supercharger.
Available at Amazon.com.
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker: ($33) If you’re tired of hearing
the phrase, “where are my keys,” this is the perfect gift. The Tile Pro
Bluetooth tracker will help locate those car keys, or anything else you
attach to a Tile, within 400 feet away from you.
You can get Tiles in a pack of one, two, or four. Visit thetileapp.com
to find out where to buy and see other Tile products designed to make
your life less stressful.
Spar Double Layer Inverted Umbrella: ($22) Is there
anything more miserable than trying to stay dry in the rain while
getting into your car? A solution is the Spar inverter umbrella, designed
to fold in not out, trapping the water and keeping you dry.
The umbrella is available in a wide variety of colors and designs.
Available at Amazon.com.
Classic Cars Coloring Book: ($9) Looking for a gift for those
younger car-crazy family members? Check out this Classic Cars
There are over 100 cars to color, including Corvettes, Mustangs and
Challengers. Three other automotive coloring books also are available
for American muscle cars and luxury cars. Visit Amazon.com.
Ultimate Exotic Car Racing Experience: ($269 and Up)
Support a local business! For the ultimate gift, visit exoticsracing.com,
and give your favorite enthusiast a once-in-a-lifetime track experience
to drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Aston-Martin, or other
You can even create your own multi-car package. As a bonus, it all
happens at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
BJ Killeen has been an automotive journalist for over 30 years.
She welcomes all questions and inquiries, and can be reached at
By: Judy Polumbaum / Our View
No matter how grown-up and self-sufficient
your children become, you never stop
worrying about them.
Ordinarily, the further away a kid is, and the
less you see him or her, the more likely you are to
fret. As this stupendously crazy year draws to a close, however, I face an
inversion of that general rule.
Our elder son lives
abroad. I typically see
him once or twice a
year, when he visits
Vegas, or when I get to
the country where he
He’s a jazz
many artists do, but
happy in his chosen Judy’s son Nathaniel performing at
profession, teaching Guangzhou Jazz Festival last month
and playing at
festivals and concerts and clubs.
Our younger son lives in New England. He’s comparatively settled,
married to a great gal, with a house and a mortgage and a fulltime job
plus some moonlighting.
I see him three or four times a year, when I journey east to visit my
nonagenarian mother, or when he visits here. With travel on hold, the
younger is the one I now fear for.
He’s an emergency doctor, working in hospitals seeing mounting
numbers of COVID patients in this second – and in some places, third
– surge, plus the myriad of other problems that arrive in ERs.
Caregivers are inundated. Even with decent management and
protective supplies, frontline workers face the daily (and nightly)
prospect of contracting the virus themselves.
The elder son, meanwhile, is back to in-person teaching, traveling
and playing gigs. And guess where he lives? China.
Yes, the country where the virus originated has things under control.
My jazz guy was quarantined for a couple of months last spring.
The country reopened cautiously, and now he’s out and about, still
cautiously, but safely.
US COVID casualties have topped 250,000. China, with four times the
population of the US, has fewer than 5,000 reported deaths.
Even if that number is understated, it’s far less than our fatality rate.
And China’s vigilance is ongoing. When small outbreaks occur, people
take shelter, testing ramps up, and the problem is nipped in the bud.
We’re not the only ones doing poorly – so are France, Spain, Russia,
UK, India, Brazil and others. But many places have done far better –
New Zealand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Nicaragua…
It’s a medical issue, not a political one. Here’s hoping your kids are
By: Dan Hyde / Call to Action
Let’s dissect a tragedy. Now that the
election is over, is it over? No! It’s just
As we went to press, lawsuits from both parties are muddying up the
electoral process. From President Trump’s endless stream of lawsuits,
to two U.S. Senate special elections in Georgia in January 2021, to
still pending results in several Congressional elections and two court
actions contesting a local County Commission race, this celebration of
freedom process has become an unmitigated nightmare!
The good news? Like the pandemic, sooner or later, it will end. The
bad news? When it does, the beginning of a new and predictable
acrimonious process begins – gridlock!
Don’t think for one minute that once this mess is sorted out our
governing and doing the people’s business will commence anew. History
has taught us, that whichever party is in power, the other party will act
in a manner to subvert those holding control over policy!
Elections are about power. Getting it, keeping it and most importantly
getting MORE of it! Us, (that’s you and me) suffer the consequences of
these politicians endlessly seeking power at any cost.
That cost carries a very steep price! If what I’m saying isn’t true then
why are millions of Americans, especially children, going hungry every
day? Why are there homeless in Anytown USA?
And why are 12 million Americans, through no fault of their own,
going to lose their unemployment benefits December 31 st because of the
pandemic? I dare say, politicians, regardless of the public persona they
present, are focused on one thing and one thing only - maneuvering
behind the scenes to grab a power.
They will never admit this. But I have witnessed this behavior firsthand
in my many years involved in the political process.
So, what to do? May I suggest the creation of a third party? That
would certainly dilute the influence of the other two parties.
Perhaps getting new candidates who are interested in feeding the
hungry, giving shelter to the homeless and providing financial relief to
the millions that deserve it. Now that is what I call doing the people’s
Dan Hyde is a passionate and effective advocate for the senior
community. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some Origins of
By: Ali Guggenheim / Psychic Phenomenon
Most people celebrate Christmas and
other universal Holidays without ever
questioning their origins. But if these holidays did not come from the
Bible, they must have been created by man.
History informs us that even though it wasn’t Jesus’ actual birth date,
the Romans marked the first Christmas on December 25, 336 A.D. The
Romans chose this date because midwinter festivals (with their pagan
roots) were already being
Also, members of the
upper classes often celebrated
Mithra (Persian god of light),
an infant god on December
25th. For some Romans, this
was the most sacred day of the
The winter solstice was also
a great time for celebrations
since all the harvesting was
over and very little was left to
do. Additionally, the longest
night and shortest day of the
year falls on December 25 th
in the Northern Hemisphere.
These “dark times” were a
great time for feasting and
festivities since people needed some “cheers.”
Yule was celebrated by Scandinavian Norsemen when fathers and
sons brought home Yule logs. At the beginning of the winter solstice,
they would light one end of the Yule log, which took 12 days to burn out
as the people feasted through the season.
Although many Christmas traditions originated in Germany and
spread worldwide, the most popular practice was the Christmas tree
(1550). The first to have an indoor Christmas tree was Martin Luther.
After being awed by the twinkling stars amidst the fir trees on his way
home one night, he recaptured the ambiance for his family by placing
candles on a fir tree in their main room.
Some believed that the Tannenbaum (Christmas tree) was a symbol
of everlasting life that replaced the oak tree, which pagans worshiped.
They thought that evergreens and lights would keep away witches,
ghosts, evil spirits, and illness. Eventually, families could afford to
decorate trees with apples and paper to bring out more color.
In his novel, A Christmas Carol (1843), Charles Dickens introduced
the new modernized Christmas, changing the public’s view of how
traditionally Christmas should be a time for kindness, charitable acts,
with family’s emphasis on being together.
To contact Ali or for spiritual consultations, coaching, workshops
and readings, email: email@example.com.
Protecting Against Cold Spells
By: Howard Galin / Happy Gardening
As we enter the winter months, be aware that
there can be brief but intense cold spells.
You should take preventative measures to protect
your landscape as well as preparing it for the Spring growing season.
You should check all irrigation tubing to make sure that it is buried
at least two feet below the ground so that it does not freeze and split.
Open up the underground irrigation box and look for leaks.
Place insolated fitted “mitten” covers over exposed irrigation valves.
These pipes, if frozen, can burst leading to water loss as well as costly
Make sure to cover all hose spigots to prevent bursting. Drain any
fountains or ponds to protect from freeze damage as well.
Now is a good time to replenish rock and organic mulch. This will
protect soil, roots and underground irrigation systems from freezing.
You should complete any remaining leaf or rubbish removal from
your landscape to prevent plant damage. This will also discourage
rodents and rabbits from building nests.
Finish up any remaining pruning on deciduous and cold-hardy
plants. Lantanas can be pruned to ground level, while roses should
have about 1/3 of their top and side branches pruned.
Jasmine, Hawthornes, Texas Rangers and bushes that flower
throughout next year’s growing season should be appropriately pruned
as well. Dormant fruit trees should be pruned so that small branches are
sunlight and air to
the trees during the
Trees! Their fronds
protect them from
frost and wind damage.
There are certain plants that should not receive any irrigation
during winter months. These include succulents, as well as Mesquite
and Joshua trees.
Cold sensitive plants, such as warm weather cactus, should be
wrapped with burlap. Young and smaller plants can be protected by
putting Styrofoam cups over their tops.
Potted plants should be taken inside or placed close together. Ideally
they should be facing south, as close to the house as possible to take
advantage of the sunlight and reflected heat from the exterior walls of
Have a question? Contact me at: Theplantwhisperer28@gmail.com.
Howard Galin, a/k/a: “The Plant Whisperer” is a retired NYC
school administrator, transplanted in Las Vegas who devotes his
time to communicating with and lecturing about our native
By: Stu Cooper / Happy Adventures
believe with all my heart that we will make
I the Vegas Voyagers Travel Club great again
and build it back better than ever. Our travel club
has achieved great success and we have truly brought thousands of
people together through the
love of travel.
Thankfully, we are
beginning to see a
reawakening of the urge to
travel. We are receiving phone
calls and emails concerning
when we will announce
our “Welcome Back” Vegas
Vegas Voice readers are
making inquiries about
individual travel. There are
rumblings and a pent up desire to travel.
And the real good news, especially as it deals with cruises, is that the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has lifted the “No Cruise” order in
the U.S. and replaced it with a “Path to Cruising Rules” that the cruise
lines must meet to reopen.
There are “hoops” that the cruise lines must jump to get the
necessary certification from the CDC to open. For example, the cruise
When Can We Start?
When you need to
choose a Medicare
plan, Humana can help
Talking it through, helping you choose, getting
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Call a licensed Humana sales
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lines will have to provide social distancing plans for their ships.
The cruise lines will have to follow the enhanced medical rules,
regulations and facilities they will have for each ship. Additionally,
the ships will be required to have “trial” cruises with employees as
passengers to actually see how all these “new normal” procedures work
on a real time basis.
The next question: When
can we expect the first
cruise to sail with paying
passengers? The answer is not
before we get the pandemic
The sooner we tamp down
the infection rates, the better.
If we do the things that public
health care officials are
telling us to do, the quicker
the travel world will open up.
And of course, an effective
vaccine will help tremendously.
In my opinion, if the public does all these things, we could see the
first cruises as early as mid-March. But like everything in our lives, it’s
all dependent on that damn virus cooperating.
Stay safe, stay well and MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH
Keep up with the
Local Scene at:
for weekly newsletter
and calendar at:
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Lyft or Uber - Part II
By: Crystal Merryman-Sarbacker /
Out & About
Last month, I wrote about the transportation
convenience offered by either Lyft or Uber.
But there’s really much more to this story,
than vacation planning.
Although it was our first experience with
these competitive car services, Lyft and Uber
are already well known in the USA and even
around the world. In fact, both of them
have acquired international reputations for
providing a dependable private taxi service for
individuals and families alike.
And of special interest to us, both are
beginning to gain acceptance by seniors.
Whether a person’s automobile needs are occasional or every
day, countless adults are finding these companies have given them
flexibility which can solve the “I wish I had another car” blues. For
many people, these on-call drivers, who provide their own vehicles, just
might eliminate the expense and upkeep of owning an extra car.
And the importance of having a personal car and driver available on
your schedule might be a real game changer. After all, at one time
or another, haven’t we all wondered how we were going to get to the
doctor’s office? Or how we’d get that friend picked up at the airport?
Conceptually this is all pretty simple, especially if you are a computer
guru. But don’t be surprised that you will need a smart phone to take
advantage of these car services.
Actually, your first requirement will be to open an online website
on your smart phone, which will be the ongoing centerpiece of your
account. Your car selection, pick up address
and destination, approximate cost, number
of passengers traveling, and scheduled
departure time will all be required to place
And you may be asked to type in this
information. Online operators might help
you, but don’t be surprised if they expect you
to be familiar with their requirements.
While I was visiting my daughter, I watched
her easily handle the car ordering process in a
couple of minutes. She was completely at ease, but I was so intimidated
I became a “thumb’s Mendelssohn” and didn’t even want to try to open
But I recently noticed a series of ads for newly designed smart phones
which feature “Alexa” type assistance for seniors and includes hiring
rental cars and drivers. Does this really work? Stay tuned!
Crystal Merryman-Sarbacker is a travel agent and the owner of
Vegas Vacationers Inc. She can be reached at:
By: Kathy Manney / Around Our World
Recently I told a friend that John and I
were going to visit friends in Ridgecrest,
California, near China Lake. Her reply was “Cool,
maybe you can take time to relax at the lake.”
Ridgecrest is located in an out-of-the-way area of California. And
while “China Lake” sounds like a place to relax on or near the water,
that is not correct here.
Ridgecrest is the town outside the China Lake Naval Weapons Base.
However, don’t expect to glimpse swimming or watercraft here.
China Lake is not a body of water, it’s a dry lake.
“China” comes from Chinese laborers who came to the area to
harvest borax from the lakebed. The operation was called “The Little
Chinese Borax Works.”
Today China Lake sits on the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station,
which opened after World War II. The Naval Air Weapons Station is
a large military installation that supports research, testing and
evaluation programs of the U.S. Navy.
China Lake Naval Station occupies land in three California counties
– Kern, San Bernardino and Inyo, making this the U.S. Navy’s single
largest landholding. The restricted and controlled airspace at China
Lake makes up 12% of California’s total airspace.
Readers may remember the July 4 th earthquake felt in the Las
Vegas valley a few years ago. The epicenter of that quake was adjacent
Ridgecrest and the Naval Weapons Air Station.
Buildings and roads were damaged, including cracking of Highway
178. Multiple aftershocks were among area challenges. Due to secret
navy operations, the California Seismic Safety Commission was denied
The San Andreas Fault is the sliding boundary between the Pacific
Plate and the North American Plate. The Fault cuts California in two.
Letter to the Editor
Please pass along my thanks to Kathy Manney for her (Around
the World) article on Pat Tillman and the Tillman Foundation. In
addition to the main “Pat’s Run” that takes place in Tempe, AZ, there
are a number of Shadow Runs around the country organized by local
ASU Alumni Association Chapters – including one in the Las Vegas
Although the date for the 2021 event hasn’t been announced, I expect
that it will be April 17 or April 24 – obviously close to the date on which
Pat was killed.
As a personal note, my daughter, Erica was a student at ASU at the
same time as Pat; she was in the Sun Devil Marching Band and had
some contact with Pat. She is a Navy Petty Officer First Class and while
stationed in San Diego, reenlisted on January 31, 2019.
She managed to convince her chain-of-command to allow her to
have her reenlistment ceremony in front of Pat’s statue. I think the
fact that I was doing her reenlistment and out-ranked her commander
Off The Beaten Path
San Diego, LA and Big Sur are on the Pacific Plate while San Francisco,
Sacramento and the Sierra Nevada are on the North American Plate.
Ridgecrest and China Lake sit on the North American Plate.
For travelers interested in discovering off the beaten path places, this
southern area of the Sierra Nevada is certainly worth seeing - especially
while social distancing.
Kathy Manney enjoys visiting interesting places and being an
Adventure Diva. Her “Must See” travel journeys continue - always
I’ve attached a photo from the ceremony; you can see that I’m a
pretty proud dad of a pretty great daughter.
R. Wayne Headrick, Colonel, USAF (Ret)
Sun City Aliante
Dutch Harbor in Alaska
By: Burt & Dianne Davis / Our Vacation
Dutch Harbor, a small northern community
in Alaska, was a stop on our cruise from
the Far East to Alaska in the spring of 2019. The
trip, which began in Hong Kong and ended in Vancouver, included
numerous major tourist
attractions in Japan, Korea,
Taiwan and Alaska.
But the cruise also included
visits to less traveled locations
in Far East Russia and Alaska’s
Aleutian Islands. These visits
broadened our knowledge
and gave us insight into some
After sailing across the Bering
Sea, we docked at Dutch Harbor,
Alaska, a small (population 4,761) fishing village on tiny Unalaska
Island in the Aleutians. The town does not offer the spectacular Alaskan
scenery we would see a few days later, but it provides a great sense of life
in this remote barren region.
We stopped at Alaska Ship Supply, the area’s only general store which
sells everything from fishing tackle to washers. Bald eagles perched on
the store’s roof and most everywhere else in town.
We visited The Museum of the Aleutians which was fascinating,
showcasing the area’s history and the Aleut or native people. We learned
that the indigenous population was virtually enslaved by the Russians
who arrived in the 1750s.
United States citizenship was conferred on the people when Alaska
became part of the United
States, but during World
War II they were forcefully
evacuated and sent to camps in
At the World War II Museum,
we learned that Dutch Harbor
became a major military
base which was bombed by
the Japanese during World
War II. The United States
expected a major invasion at
Dutch Harbor, but it never happened, however Dutch Harbor was the
launching point for the recapture of the few Aleutian Islands occupied
by the Japanese.
This visit off the beaten path provided enlightening insights into life
in less traveled parts of the world.
Thanks to Dianne and Burt Davis who continue to travel the world
and share their adventures with our readers.
December 6, 1939
By: John Beilun / Time Traveler
Chicago, January 1939. Despite having
graduated Phi Betta Kappa from Dartmouth
College thirteen years earlier, Robert May toiled as
a poorly paid copywriter for a department store.
He, his wife Evelyn and their four-year old daughter Barbara lived in
what was essentially a hovel. To make matters worse, Evelyn was dying
from cancer and spent her days in agony.
Robert’s employer, Montgomery Ward, had a custom of buying and
giving away coloring books at Christmas. In 1938, their number had
grown to two million. Their costs increased as well.
To cut expenses, Robert’s supervisor recommended that the
company produce its own book and give that out in the future. And
notwithstanding Robert being Jewish, management told him to create
one for next Christmas.
Robert didn’t think he could do it. However, not having been steeped
in Christmas tradition he could, and did, think out of the box.
He reflected upon his childhood, when he had been picked on for
being small, shy and far from athletic. He also thought about how
much his daughter enjoyed animated animal stories - especially the
one about an ugly duckling.
With this in mind, Robert decided to write a story about a cartoon
animal. But he couldn’t figure out what kind. Not until he remembered
how much Barbara loved to visit the deer during her trips to the zoo.
Robert didn’t think that your garden variety deer would do. It had to
be a different kind of deer. A reindeer.
Then, recalling the tale of the ugly duckling, he also felt that his
protagonist should have some sort of deformity. Robert toyed with
names. He initially considered Rollo, then Reginald, before finally
settling on Rudolph.
Now it was time to work on the story. Because Barbara loved nursery
rhymes, Robert decided to use rhyming couplets.
Then, he began writing and re-writing, and reading and re-reading
his efforts to his daughter. All the while, Evelyn’s cancer continued to
spread until she mercifully passed away in July.
Robert made an all-out effort to perfect his poem, not only in memory
of his wife but also for the sake of his daughter. By August, Rudolph the
Red-Nosed Reindeer was complete.
However, because of its connotation with insobriety, it took a lot of
arm-twisting for management to accept the red nose. And it was not
quite the same story that Gene Autrey and Burl Ives have led us to
Santa didn’t come onto the scene until one very foggy Christmas Eve.
He discovered Rudolph by accident when, while delivering presents, he
noticed a glow coming from the reindeer’s room.
Concerned about the weather, Santa asked Rudolph to light the way.
Montgomery Ward began distributing booklets about Rudolph on
December 6, 1939. It issued two and a half million before running out.
And, that marvelous reindeer has been with us ever since.
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A Christmas Gift from Dad
By: Vicki Wentz / Vicki’s Voice
It is my belief, that we need the spirit and
delight of the Christmas season injected
corner of this country. No lockdowns, no
hesitation, no apologies, and NO “permission”
- either sought or given!
It’s frickin’ Christmas (or Hannukah,
or Kwanzaa - whatever you like) and I will
#$%^ celebrate Christmas!
Virus? Riots? Getting “canceled” for
speaking my mind? I choose not to be afraid
now of ANYTHING.
I choose to commemorate, to acknowledge
my Savior’s birth, to eat (unheard-of amounts
of food), drink (unheard-of amounts of…
uh…eggnog) and BE MERRY!
I’ll put up the lights, go caroling in the
snow, shop exhaustively at local stores (who
are hurting now, if they’re still in business!)
for Christmas presents, and send cards to
everyone I know. I’ll invite friends over for
Cookie Day, get a fire roaring and Mannheim
Steamroller on the stereo.
I will sit on the floor and wrap packages while I watch “A Christmas
And why all this sudden merriment? Why am I totally bypassing
Clouds One-through-Eight, to land squarely and indefinitely on Cloud
He was born on August 18, 2020. Eleven days late, God bless his
mother. He weighed 8.5 pounds and was 21 inches “tall” (said my son,
who didn’t know that medically they use “long” for newborns).
He stared intently at his parents in the delivery room as his mother
held him to her breast, as if he were contemplating whether these two
smile-teary, unkempt, exhausted-but-delirious-looking people were
actually the ones he’d been given.
As the days went by, he cried lustily, slept
purringly, ate heartily and smiled early and
heartbreakingly. He went about the business
of growing and of inserting himself firmly
and inescapably into his parents’ lives.
His grandmothers, like the Wise (Wo)Men,
came to visit and adore. One a first-timer who
was simply in awe, filled with pure delight
and adoration. And me, the other Grandma.
The one who, with her daughter, has
welcomed three previous grandchildren into
this world, but who has prayed fervently
for her son, first to find and commit to the
woman he loves, and then to have children.
And here he is - Liam Alessio Wentz.
He may cry and fuss when he doesn’t get
his way, but his smiles would melt your heart
as they do mine. Because his smile is my
I don’t believe his mother would mind me saying so because Liam
looks so much like her, as well. He is definitely her son!
But, when he smiles, he’s my Dad.
My parents are both gone now. They died almost exactly six months
apart, at the same Hospice Center, amazingly, in the same room with
all five of their children around the bed. I miss them beyond anything
and have had a tortuous journey with my columns since their deaths.
But now, Liam is here, and he’s brought my father with him! I’m a
big believer in heaven after you die (as long as you’ve done what you
should do on this earth) and I even believe that my parents have met
and have sent this baby to my son (and to me) to say, “We love you!
We’ll always be near, and here’s proof…here’s Liam! Put
him squarely in the center of your heart, cherish and
And Liam is also bringing Christmas back to me…to all of us this
year if we’ll just open our eyes and see it. His first Christmas, the lights,
the tree, the music. As the picture shows he’s enthralled with it all - and
I’m enthralled with him.
Liam doesn’t see or need fear or anger or darkness. I will make
sure, instead, that he sees and feels Christmas joy, family gatherings,
celebration! And hope, and faith.
It’s time NOW! Smile with me, and with Liam, and with my Dad. Let’s
bring it all back!
Merry, Merry, Merry!
Vicki Wentz is a writer, teacher and speaker living in North
Carolina. Readers may contact her - and order her new children’s
book! - by visiting her website at www.vickiwentz.com.
you are welcome
our doors are open and
safety measures are in place!
pastor paul block
Join us for Church In-Person or Online.
We have taken precautions to create a safe
worship space. Come to hear the Good News
of God’s love for you!
Saturdays In-Person at 5:00pm
Sundays In-Person at 8:30am and 10:00am
Online Sundays at 8:30am and 10:00am
New Song Church is located at 1291 Cornet Street
in Henderson. Call us at (702) 492-1771 or visit us
online at www.NewSongAnthem.com
Oliver Sacks & The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat
By: Jan Fair / A No-Brainer Minute
enjoy reading about all aspects of brain functions, the enigmas of neurological
conditions & real life case histories. I especially love ones that are loving & uplifting.
You, too, might enjoy reading one or more of the many fascinating books & some of the hundreds
of magazine articles (New Yorker, NY Times, etc.) written by neurological researcher Dr. Oliver
Sacks. He's also a historian, who writes about the history of science, natural history and nature.
Books by & about Dr. Sacks
• Awakenings [inspired the movie]
• The Man Who Mistook his Wife
for a Hat & other Clinical Tales
• The River of Consciousness
• Everything in Its Place
• Musicophilia: Tales of Music
and the Brain
By Lawrence Weschler:
• And How Are You, Dr. Sacks: A
Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks
Jan Fair is a writer, consultant & public speaker who has published over 40 books PLUS the
No-Brainer Brain Games series. Sign up for her FREE newsletter at www.JanFair.com
1. In one minute,
2. Make an
A No-Brainer Pick
Check out this terrific
movie from your library
or other sources:
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