The Vegas Voice 12-20



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.

Laura Harbison


B.0026537.LLC/ PM.0164922.BKR

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!


Realty Executives Southern Nevada Properties


License # B.0026537.LLC / PM.0164922.BKR

770 Coronado Center Drive, Ste. 100

Henderson, NV 89052

Office: 702-777-1234


December 2020


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.


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


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


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.


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 &

more! $248,888















Pat Alexander

Adrea Barrera

John Bielun

Liz Breier

Yvonne Cloutier

Dianne Davis

Sandi Davis

Chuck Dean

Jan Fair

Howard Galin

Susan Goldfein

Volume 17, Issue 11


Linda Gomez

Ali Guggenheim

Dianne Hahn

Morris Heldt

Dan Hyde

Mike Landry

Heather Latimer

Gayla Kalp

BJ Killeen

Kathy Manney

Kyo Mitchell

Dan Roberts

Ray Sarbacker

Debbie Landry

Rana Goodman

Evan Davis

Sam Wagmeister

Stu Cooper

Rich Natole / Jon Lindquist

Michael Roberts

Ross Roberts

Matthew Moore

Success City Online

Bill Caserta

Liz Palmer

Judy Polumbaum

Mary Richard

Renee Riendeau

Crystal Sarbacker

Jim Valkenburg

Beverly Washburn

Vicki Wentz

Kate Wind


December 2020



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

TV broadcast.

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

places too.

What Do

You Think?

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:


December 2020

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

how would

you react?

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

apologize for.

It’s apparent that the hospital

made the COVID-19 diagnosis

without testing.

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.


White Christmas

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 Alive! You can

contact her at


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

ushered in!

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.

December 2020

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 Her podcast, Mom and Me

Astrology can be found on any of the major podcast apps.

















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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

Stanley. (1799-1869)

“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

heather latimer/how to overcome.

December 2020

You Gotta Laugh

By: Bill Caserta / Bill’s Blurbs

Deep Thoughts:

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

goes in.

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:


A Different Resolution for 2021

By: Liz Breier / This & That

Auld Lang Syne, time for New Year’s

Resolutions. Bah, humbug! How many

resolutions have

been kept?

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:

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Curbless Showers + More


December 2020

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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December 2020

Sandy Rhody


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

each day.

Beverly Washburn graced the silver screen as a child actress and

is the author of Reel Tears. You can contact Beverly at: bjradell@

Mentally Bonkers

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

considered “boiled.”

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

as latkes.

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

potato pancake.

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

December 2020

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

of you.”

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 You can also

see her on SCA-TV.

just as good, and one’s knuckles

remain intact.

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,,

Read her blog at: 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.



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December 2020

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,

dry skin.

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

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 or

through her website


(Evan note: This space is

intentionally EMPTY!)

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

December 2020

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

streaming shows.

The same is true for performers

like Frankie Scinta, Jimmy Hopper,

Chase Brown, Randy Anderson,

Vinny Adinolfi and Vin A, plus many

other entertainers.

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:

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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Always Grateful

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

wanted to

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 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

operations continue.


December 2020

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:

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

to both.

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

we are.

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



Lessons Learned

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

dental chair.

Sparkles on the

ceiling called for

Gloria Gaynor and

Donna Summers:

“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

be gorgeous!


December 2020

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


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

time together.

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,

December 2020

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

full womanhood.

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.

December 2020

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

per serving.

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.

December 2020

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



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

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.

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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

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

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

Classic Cars Coloring Book: ($9) Looking for a gift for those

younger car-crazy family members? Check out this Classic Cars

coloring book.

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

Ultimate Exotic Car Racing Experience: ($269 and Up)

Support a local business! For the ultimate gift, visit,

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

December 2020

Pandemic Facts

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

musician, living

hand-to-mouth like

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


A Postmortem

By: Dan Hyde / Call to Action

Let’s dissect a tragedy. Now that the

election is over, is it over? No! It’s just

another beginning.

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:



December 2020

Some Origins of

Christmas Traditions

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

widely celebrated.

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:

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

removed allowing

sunlight and air to

circulate through

the trees during the

growing season.

Refrain from

pruning Palm

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

your home.

Have a question? Contact me at:

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

Voyagers trip.

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

answers, finding resources—human care.

Call a licensed Humana sales

agent for a free consultation*

Saba Hendaia

702-215-9525 (TTY: 711)

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.



December 2020

* No obligation

to enroll.

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

under control.

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

to all.

Keep up with the

Local Scene at:




A website

and calendar

for local



for weekly newsletter

and calendar at:

It takes just five minutes

to nominate a teacher –

and those five minutes can change that teacher’s life.

AWARDS FOR ccsd teachers

Top 20 finalists will receive $5,000

and a Heart of Education Award

Plus $1,000 for their school

The Smith Center and The Rogers Foundation are proud to shine a

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Do you know a CCSD teacher who goes above and beyond?

Nominating them is simple – tell us their story!

Nominations Now Open at


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

your reservation.

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

an account.

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:


December 2020


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

base access.

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

probably helped.


Off The Beaten Path

December 2020

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

with enthusiasm.

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

unfamiliar regions.

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

Southeastern Alaska.

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 2020

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


joyously…into every

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

protect him.”

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!


December 2020

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

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


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

• Gratitude

• 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

Mental Minutes


1. In one minute,

name words

associated with

the brain.

2. Make an

alphabetical list.


Brain Games,

Cerebellum, …

A No-Brainer Pick

Check out this terrific

movie from your library

or other sources:


December 2020


December 2020


Speaking to and for Las Vegas

Valley Seniors since 2003

#####ECRWSS EDDM#####





PERMIT #3235

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