Get Funky with Charleston’s Ranky Tanky

by Donna Clayton, RCAC Cultural Arts Coordinator

Photo above, left to right: Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, Quiana Parler, Clay Ross, and Quentin Baxter of Ranky Tanky. Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

Every so often, a band comes to town that you just have to see live. This year, that band is critically acclaimed quintet Ranky Tanky, who will perform at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center on February 16.

With a sound that has been called “soulful honey to the ears” by NPR and an album that reached the number one position on the Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon Jazz Charts, Ranky Tanky takes their name and their inspiration from the timeless music of the Gullah culture born in the southeastern coastal region of the United States. “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” and “Gullah” comes from West African language, meaning “a people blessed by God.”

Ranky Tanky has toured extensively over the past year, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues, Carnegie Hall Presents, Lincoln Center Education, and the World Music Expo.

Each member of the quintet is an accomplished musician in their own right, and they have worked with such artists as Houston Person, Freddy Cole, Cyro Baptista, and René Marie. The band’s dynamic vocalist Quiana Parler rose to national prominence after her success on the 2003 season of American Idol. From there, she toured and recorded alongside Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, and David Foster, with performances featured on national broadcasts like NBC’s TODAY, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the American Music Awards.

Ranky Tanky’s rousing performances celebrate the unique music of the Gullah culture that introduced such indelible parts of the American songbook as “Kum ba yah” and “Michael Row the Boat Ashore.” From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, updated with gospel vocals, jazz trumpet solos, and an R&B rhythm section, this one-of-a-kind performance is not to be missed!


Tickets are $30 and may be purchased online at Roswell Cultural Arts Center or by calling 770-594-6232.

Saint it Up A Notch

By Tara Gary

Brace yourselves, the day (you know the one) that many of us dread is nearly upon us. A day of expectations, heightened awareness for singles, false admiration for the over indulged high maintenance co-worker who is the recipient of the most thoughtful Valentine’s gifts ever, cheesy balloons and giant teddy bears that will end up in the attic because they are too big to fit anywhere else. I was told I wasn’t the most qualified individual to give advice for Valentine’s Day. It’s true. I prefer not to recognize it in the generic, mushy card, expensive flowers kind of way. I personally would be delighted to stay at home and grill steak on the Big Green Egg and a super thoughtful addition to the steak dinner would be a variety six pack of craft beer from my significant other. I know, that’s not what most women want thus the reluctancy by the publisher for me to share my advice for Valentine’s Day.

I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m so excited about Valentine’s Day!” Nope, never. I completely get it. If you’re a guy with a significant other you’re stuck in a catch 22. If you ask, “what would you like for Valentine’s Day?” you’ll most likely get a response of “oh, nothing really.”

Personally, my opinion is not to ask. If you’re in a relationship you should know what she is interested in and what she might be expecting. If you don’t know, you may not be in the best relationship but then again who am I to say?

Either way I’d just like to share a few ideas and give some hopefully helpful advice.

Please do not buy those preassembled bouquets full of carnations at your local grocery store. It’s cringe worthy to see a man show up with a bouquet wrapped in that awful plastic and those large price stickers still attached on the side. It screams, “I knew I needed to get you flowers but I put absolutely zero thought into it.” And while I’m on a roll, “Here. I grabbed a cheesy heart-shaped box of chocolates that taste like the cardboard they are wrapped in.” You know what I’m talking about. The chocolates that haven’t changed since the early 70s. The ones that you bite into and spit out only to find the one or two that you will actually consider eating.

Trader Joes Flowers
Try choosing some flowers at Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, or a local florist who sells by the bunch. Read below on the simple things you can add to them to surprise your Valentine.

Instead of the thoughtless last-minute grocery store grab, consider this. Trader Joe’s or The Fresh Market. Yes, I know they are grocery stores, but their flowers are significantly nicer and last longer. Purchase a bouquet with some greenery, like eucalyptus, take off the plastic wrapping and rubber bands and wrap them in a piece of tissue paper. It’s a little more time consuming than the alternative, but the presentation will suggest that you took the effort to buy her a thoughtful bouquet and you didn’t break the bank either by ordering flowers on the biggest flower-giving day of the year when the prices are inflated. Trust me, if you are gifting a level-headed individual, they will appreciate your price consciousness as well. If not, you may want to reconsider your partner. My opinion, just saying.

As for the chocolates. Say no to the cardboard box. Again, “thoughtless” comes to mind. Find a specialty store for sweets. I discovered Kilwins located in the Alpharetta City Square on my way to my weekly cornhole game last week. As I was walking by the store, I noticed a former college fraternity brother (I was a little sister). We laughed and reminisced as Todd eagerly shared samples of his hand-crafted chocolates, fudge, confections, and ice cream. Consider purchasing a mix of goodies or one of the Valentine boxes of chocolate. I can assure you the recipient will appreciate your thoughtfulness and the chocolates won’t end up in next week’s garbage pick up like the box the guy picked up in the grocery store.

Find something out of the ordinary realm of what you typically do as a couple. Most of us tend to entertain ourselves with Netflix and other cable options so how about going to a special showing of The Notebook? Ha, I know I just lost the majority of male readers but trust me, it really is a great movie. Can you imagine the gratitude you might receive for being so thoughtful?! Aurora Cineplex in Roswell will be showing The Notebook Thursday Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. The ticket price is $9 and includes a flower and Aurora Bakery Treat, which I can tell you from experience is absolutely delectable. If you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you bring tissues. You may think you’re tough enough to avoid shedding a tear, but I dare anyone to watch that movie in its entirety and make it through the last ten minutes without having you’re “eyes water” because you “accidentally” got salt in them from the popcorn.

If you feel the need to eat out, please make a reservation before the 14th. Nothing is worse than endlessly waiting for an overpriced dinner and then being told there’s nothing available because you forgot to make a reservation. If you decide to stay in, which I do, make a nice dinner, hire a baby sitter if you have kids, and give your loved one the night off. Put down the electronics, cuddle up and spend time together. Sadly, this should happen on a regular basis, not just one day of the year. Which leads me to this piece of advice. If you are the fortunate recipient of considerate efforts and gifts, RECIPROCATE! Valentine’s Day should not be one-sided. If it’s about “love” then MAKE it about “LOVE”. ❍

When not writing, Roswell resident Tara Gary is busy making industrial furniture, charcuterie boards, and local art. Most nights she can be found with her friends at local breweries and pubs drinking craft beer.

State-of-the-Art Cardiac Care, Close to Home

With the expansion of WellStar North Fulton Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, cutting edge heart procedures are close to home. A catheterization (“cath”) lab is an examination room where physicians perform minimally invasive tests and procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease. WellStar North Fulton Hospital now provides not only coronary procedures, but diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disturbances and peripheral abnormalities, such as arterial blockages of the legs.

WellStar North Fulton Hospital Now Offers Increased Range of Cardiac Procedures

“We’re excited to offer high-end, super-specialized treatments to patients with heart rhythm disturbances right here at North Fulton Hospital,” said Anand Kenia, M.D., WellStar Cardiovascular Medicine electrophysiologist. The hospital’s capabilities now include the full spectrum of the latest treatments to normalize heart rhythm, from radiofrequency ablations and implantable cardioverter debrillators (ICDs) to pacemakers, including leadless (or wireless) pacemakers. Leadless pacemakers, appropriate for patients who need a single-chamber, right ventricle pacemaker, are implanted directly into the heart instead of under the skin, minimizing the risk of infection and speeding recovery.

North Fulton Hospital is the first in metro Atlanta to offer robotic-assisted coronary intervention using the Corindus CorPath system, which increases precision and decreases radiation exposure to physicians. “With the robot’s assistance, our physicians can place a stent exactly where they want it, with one-millimeter-increment precision,” explained Jeffery Penton, director of cardiovascular services at North Fulton Hospital. And for patients who require diagnostic caths, interventional cardiologists at North Fulton Hospital now offer methods which are safer and more accurate, including rotational angiography, which substantially decreases the amount of radiation and contrast material.

“We are thrilled with the substantial capital investment by WellStar at North Fulton Hospital,” said Hunt Anderson, M.D., WellStar Cardiovascular Medicine interventional cardiologist and medical director of Cardiology at North Fulton Hospital. “This multi-million dollar expansion illustrates WellStar’s significant commitment to our community.”

To schedule an appointment with a WellStar Cardiovascular Medicine physician at North Fulton Hospital, please call 770-956-7827. ❍

Roswell Gathers

By Ethan Craig

When I think about Roswell, the word “community” is the next one that pops into my head. We see that in action every time we open the doors at Tap & Six. People of all ages and walks of life gather to catch up with friends, network, play UNO with the kids and grandparents, or to discuss issues that impact the our communities. We are a passionate bunch, as reflected in the packed house turnout at Gate City in January for the 2019 kick-off event for Roswell NEXT and Positively Roswell. We come together over drinks and food out of a deep human need to connect.

We are fortunate to live and work in a city where opportunities abound for our community to come together. Roswell Restaurant Week is just one example with the dinner table representing the quintessential symbol of friends and family coming together

Monthly, we host North Point Community Church’s NP Nights podcast for young adults to “create community experiences where people are empowered to become more alive.” The Drake House YPAC (Young Professionals Advisory Council) was created to support the nonprofit’s mission of providing housing and education programs for homeless single mothers. And then we have numerous organizations such as the Friends of Mimosa Hall and Gardens who bring together community volunteers to help preserve the rich history of our city

In March, we have another awesome opportunity at the seventh annual Roswell Beer Festival to gather, socialize, and support the STAR House Foundation with 100% of net proceeds going directly to the charity. The months of planning alone bring together so many individuals and businesses from all around our community before the gates are opened at the festival. And since we are talking beer—something I’m just a tad bit passionate about—I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there will be approximately 400 beers including many of our favorites from local breweries Variant, Gate City, From the Earth, Pontoon, Cherry Street, and Monday Night just to name a few.

So, mark your calendar for March 23rd and get your tickets now. Last year all tickets sold out well in advance, and this year the excitement is only growing stronger. While at the festival, look for the Tap & Six tent, and please drop by to say hello. That’s what communty is all about! ❍­­­­

Ethan Craig is Craft Beer Curator at Tap & Six Craft Beer House, a craft beer bar and market in historic Roswell at 23 Oak Street.

Love the One You’re With

By Joe Duffy

“Katz’s Deli Syndrome” is a term of no-so-endearment I coined years ago. Once upon a time, in a cyberland a long time ago (meaning before crowdsourcing sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor overtook the regular guy review existence), restaurant posting boards were the place where food nerds confabulated on cross-referencing endorsements concerning area restaurants.

Be it to impress fellow nerds with one’s worldliness or simply spewing genuinely unrealistic expectations, a common damning-with-faint-praise synopsis would include something akin to, “It’s good for Atlanta, but not nearly as great as the top-rated places in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles” etc. The most common fill-in-the-blank paragon mentioned was New York’s Katz’s Delicatessen for corned beef and pastrami. And hence the origin of the phrase.

Oh, I’ve thoroughly rejoiced in both corned beef and pastrami at Katz’s, not to mention Hershel’s East Side Deli in the foodie promised land that is Reading Terminal in Philadelphia. Add to that several other rightfully touted in-house meat Nirvanas in the northeast. Expecting every sandwich to be the peer of the bellwethers of Manhattan isn’t a realistic yardstick. Be that as it may, this area has a flourishing number of corned beef and pastrami vendors who gratify those who can’t eat at the Manhattan deli they love, so they love the corned beef sandwich they are with.

Sans pleasuring those wreaked with Katz’s Deli Syndrome, here is an impressive catalog of corned beef or pastrami sandwich outfitters.

Golden Reuben, Chipper’s Club, Roswell
The pastrami gets smoked in-house (as are their other meats) and parallels the Big Apple’s most exceptional much more than New York apologists would like to acknowledge. Yes, I did correctly affirm in the Roswell Restaurant Week article last month that nearby Gracious Plenty was Roswell’s most outstanding new restaurant, but newcomer Chipper’s Club, in the location best known as previously home to the Roswell Kitchen is also a worthy Rookie-of-the-Year entrant. Chipper’s Club.

Roswell’s soup and sandwich thaumaturge Mitch Manoloff proves variety is the spice of life. Photo by Joe Duffy

Corned beef (or pastrami) on rye, Mitch’s Meat’s & Fish, Roswell
Dear Yankee expats, Roswell’s soup and sandwich thaumaturge* Mitch Manoloff proves variety is the spice of life. Most northeasterners favor said meats on a Reuben, or with brown mustard, or perhaps supplemented with coleslaw and Russian dressing. All the above are great elsewhere but Mitch’s ensures getting out of one’s comfort zone is worthwhile. You will cherish corned beef topped with his homemade creamy bacon and sweet onion dressing. Both his corned beef and pastrami are leaner than conventional while still exuding flavor. Mitch’s Meats & Fish
*If you stumbled on this 25-dollar word, as I did, a thaumaturge is a worker of wonders and performer of miracles; a magician. –Ed.

Pastrami Reuben, Barleygarden Kitchen, Alpharetta
The meats are creations by co-owner, famous charcuterie The Spotted Trotter. Avalon’s top rooftop bar and restaurant finalize their interpre-tation with gruyere cheese. A little more meat would make their somewhat bantamweight sandwiches better. Stick around for the best beer selection this side of Decatur. Barleygarden Kitchen

Pastrami Reuben, Bite Bistro & Bar, Alpharetta (photo at top of page)
Possibly still Alpharetta’s best restaurant, Bite also deviates from the usual Mid-Atlantic formula, rounding out house-smoked brisket with their house-made kimchi, smoked gouda, and signature “krussian sauce,” which is essentially Russian dressing.

Bite remains Alpharetta’s answer to Roswell’s Foundation Social Eatery. Both have addresses that predate the alluring Avalon and downtown nexuses Each remains perched high atop any casebook of the premier restaurants in the AlphaRoz environs. Bite Bistro & Bar

The Garr-O, Peach & the Pork Chop, Roswell
Another house-made corned beef provider, ironically the most traditional Reuben with Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing, and sauerkraut can’t just be named a Reuben. Despite curtailing portions in recent years, this is the second largest rendition on the list behind Mitch’s. Or better yet, get the 50/50 with half pastrami. Owner and Pittsburgh native Chuck Staley incorporates said staple meats into other laudable creations as well. Peach & the Pork Chop

The Reuben, Coalition Food and Beverage, Alpharetta
Ryan Pernice, owner of Canton’s Street’s top two restaurants, Osteria Mattone and Table & Main, has expanded into Alpharetta’s flourishing downtown, as anchor of Teasley Place, one of the latest walkable communities. Also made with house-smoked pastrami, add Coalition to the gruyere cheese bandwagon. Coalition Food and Beverage

Southern Reuben, The Fickle Pickle, Roswell
Fickle Pickle was putting out excellent food on Canton Street long before it became the area’s first synergistic destination stretch. “Southern” because it is topped off with coleslaw rather than kraut. The Fickle Pickle

Reuben, Fancy Pantry, Alpharetta
“Senator” John Kennedy has packed them in forever at this lunch-only cafe. Accordingly, his recipe is the classic with Swiss cheese. Fancy Pantry

The Underwood, Butcher and Brew, Alpharetta
B&B was at the forefront of the house-made meats explosion in the area. The pastrami has unique accompaniments—giardiniera and remoulade. Butcher and Brew

The influx of New York emigrants has undoubtedly had a positive effect on area dining. No cuisine has advanced further in the last six to ten years than pizza. In the even shorter range, the lunchmeat fortes of corned beef and pastrami have erupted onto the dining scene. Hopefully, intown big wig Todd Ginsberg will eventually be enticed to expand his Jewish deli concept the General Muir (corned beef) or sandwich king Fred’s Meats & Breads (pastrami) a few miles to the north. Regardless, the options are plentiful. Now if only the Empire State can export us an NHL team.

When he’s not eating, which is rare, the author is CEO of Sports Handicapping website Offshore Insiders. His bride’s gift site, Duffy Gifts is the place to go for gifts for all occasions from My Thirty One Gifts. 

Trees, Then & Now

Article and Photo by Geri Laufer

­­­­­I’ve been thinking about trees. Trees are phenomenal organisms (I nearly wrote creatures). Their magnificent size and longevity dictate the scale of the landscape. Generations of people have discussed policy and sheltered under the spreading limbs of Meeting Trees (does “Home Tree” in James Cameron’s movie Avatar immediately come to mind for you, too?). More than any other type of vegetation, trees are the most important natural element in landscapes.

Who doesn’t love a tree? Trees bring pleasure to all of the senses: the sight of a tree in full autumn color, the feel of cool shade, the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze, the taste and nutrition of fruits and nuts, or the smell of a pine tree. 200,000 flowers on one cherry tree can perfume the air in spring. Trees provide habitat for a wide variety of living creatures. As living placeholders, trees also help record history, and pretty much everyone has personal memories linked to trees. As a girl, I used to read in our neighbor’s old cherry tree in Ohio, and a generation later, my boys turned our Southern Magnolia into their Georgia hideout.

To encourage tree planting and care, Arbor Day was started by J. Sterling Morton back in 1872. The Arbor Day Foundation celebrates the planting of trees in many ways. Of course there is National Arbor Day on the last Friday in April (April 26 in 2019). Or earlier in southern climates (like ours in north metro Atlanta), since trees are best planted earlier in the spring (e.g. the third Friday in February: Feb. 15 for Georgia). Check the interactive map for Arbor Days around the country.

When deciding on a tree for the north metro home landscape, the first thing to consider is mature size, so it won’t outgrow the space intended for it. Once the size has been determined, there are two basic leaf ­­­types to choose from: evergreen or deciduous.

Peeling or exfoliating bark on Paperbark Maple Acer griseum for winter interest. Photo: Derek Ramsey/Wikimedia Commons
Plant Paperbark Maple, Acer griseum for it’s winter interest.
Photo: Derek Ramsey/Wikimedia Commons

Deciduous trees change color and lose their leaves in the fall. Some are blessed with flowers or exfoliating bark. Although common deciduous trees include large shade types like oaks or maples, there are also smaller varieties such as dogwoods, Japanese and paperbark maples, redbuds, and flowering apricots that are used as ornamentals in the landscape.

Evergreens remain green year-round, and can have either needle leaves or broad leaves. For an ideal, native, broadleaf evergreen, consider a specimen ‘Emily Bruner’ holly, or one of the dwarf southern magnolias with dense upright branching and huge (six- to eight-inch), fragrant flowers borne from May through Nov.

For an ideal narrowleaf evergreen tree, try the slow-growing, multi-trunked Hinoki False Cypress (Chamaecyparis), with lovely, evergreen, scalloped foliage, or a Dwarf Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria) to add a summer green to your landscape.

A container-grown tree can be a “Valentine’s Day gift with roots;” it is more permanent than transient flowers. February is not too late to plant a tree; just make sure it is thoroughly watered once a week through next November. Really!

What is your favorite small ornamental tree? Email me 

Geri Laufer lives in Atlanta, where she, graphic designer husband David, and English Coonhound Lily are working on designing and installing a never-finished landscape.

Diggin’ My Roots

By Di Chapman

It’s last November on a cold morning. Temperatures were 18 to 24 “above.” Snow began to dust the ground. I patted myself on the back as I handled the temperatures in boxer shorts, sweatshirt, and socks. (I’ve never said I make any fashion statements in my version of pajamas.)

I decided to video the snowfall outside from an excellent vantage point on the sidewalk. I left the door behind me and stepped out into the cold. Annie, the resident kitty and escape artist, was thrilled to sneak outside, no doubt gleefully singing “Free again!” Oh, oh. I couldn’t let her run amok in the snow on my watch. My camera continued rolling, recording the blur of my running legs in the snow, boxers, socks and all. I just knew the neighbors were probably watching, “Well, dear, Yvonne and George, (my aunt and uncle) have another nutty visitor.” I finally made a leaping tackle, grabbing Annie’s hindquarters to a seriously loud meow.

I was visiting the place of my birth, Park River, North Dakota. It’s a town of 1508 people, established in 1884, about 40 miles from the Canadian border. The folks are salt-of-the-earth, the fields extend for miles, and the highways feature little to no traffic.

Most everyone is surprised when I tell them where I’m from. I mean, who knows anyone from North Dakota? I might as well say Tanzania, Liechtenstein, or the Galapagos. Are there really people in North Dakota? Yup. Look at me. Look at Josh Duhamel, Peggy Lee, Angie Dickinson, and Lawrence Welk. You didn’t know? There are farmers, universities, merchants, and fast food. And, yes, there are town post offices. As my Aunt Yvonne once said, “We have U.S. mail delivery. It’s not by Pony Express.”

My heritage is sometimes a hoot. Yours probably is, too. North Dakota had a Homestead Act in the 1800s, to bring in settlers. Never mind the wicked winters. They were given 160 acres free, with mandatory tree planting on 10 acres. Voila! Settlers came from Iowa, where land for new folks was gone. My people, like my maternal grandfather William Skjerven, a Norweigian, came. Icelanders came through Canada. Some snuck illegally over the Canadian border, like my grandmother Gudrun Thorstiensdottir, from Iceland. (Never say I don’t have interesting party material!) The French, Swedish and Scottish came from Canada as well, and settled in towns with their own countrymen, as did the Slovakians and Bohemians.
Grandpa Chapman, a Brit, came from Europe after WWI, in 1915. Grandma Chapman, originally a Kohnen, was of German descent. Whether I share any blood with Kaiser Wilhelm, I know not.

I’m talkin’ about, you know, the kind of ancestry info that everyone wants. We’re all on a mission to find out if we’re related to historical folks like Ghengis Kahn, George Washington, Pancho Villa, Charles De Gaulle, Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, or any others, good, bad, notorious, jerks, geniuses or otherwise.

Admit it. If you volunteer DNA for a look at your roots, you secretly hope you’ll find somebody famous, right? In my case, so what if my lineage does go back to Eric the Red, the red-haired, firey-tempered Viking who was banished from both Norway and Iceland because he couldn’t help killing people, so he ended up in Greenland??? I have gutsy ancestors. North Dakota is where they all come together.

When I was a child, we moved to Seattle, and traveled back to Park River each summer. With my mom riding shotgun with dad, we five kids tussled over the backward-facing third seat of our nine-passenger station wagon. We’d hang our feet out of the open window. Dad’s love of speed meant we traveled like lightening from rainy Seattle, traversed the Rockies with white knuckles, and with “pedal to the metal” in Montana.

We cruised through Badlands, wheat fields and on empty highways, still the norm in North Dakota. Park River gave us a sunny place to run free, frequent the Dairy Queen, and play barefoot in the warm, soft black soil of the fields.

Amusingly, the Icelanders had settled on a tiny mound outside of Park River and called it “Mountain.” My mother’s Uncle Ole lived there, and we kids visited him every summer. Uncle Ole was an eccentric bachelor in his 70s or 80s, and we could never understand a word he said. He lived in an Icelandic-style home, basically a box with a funky severely slanted roof sticking up on one side. Scandinavians are a very practical people, but what in the heck…?

And there was Concrete, a town about 15 miles from the Canadian border, housing another Icelandic relative in what was essentially a doublewide and an old country store. Imagine, this little place became home to an anti-ballistic missile underground command center in about 1962, overseeing 50 missiles, part of an installation of 150 silos from the Canadian border to the southern border of North Dakota. Park River had its own silo just half a mile away. Live on top of a nuclear missile launcher, anyone? Anyone?

Ancestry knowledge is fascinating and useful. I really dig this stuff, and you probably do, too. I’m lucky I don’t have to throw my DNA into the pool with millions of others. We’ve talked about our ancestors all of our lives. I take my roots wherever I go—Midwestern by birth, Northern European and Scandinavian by heritage.

In the 80s, I contacted the little Park River hospital where I was born to ask for a copy of my birth certificate. Could they send me one?

The woman who answered the phone exclaimed, “Diane, I remember the day you were born! You are Blair and Donna Lou’s girl!” No DNA needed.
So, this Valentine’s Day, I’m going to do something unconventionaI and corny. I’m writing this Valentine’s column dedicated to my home town, a place dear to my heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day dear readers!

Di Chapman is an inspirational author and speaker, and a branding consultant. Di’s latest book is “Rekindle Your Purpose: Break through your disappointments, discouragements, and detours to resurrect your purpose and live it!” Write to Di.

Lessons Learned

By Robert Fezza and Steve Siders

We all experience different feelings when things don’t go as planned. It’s human to want to avoid pain and fear. When it comes to investing, we all struggle with the fear of losing money, which is why we want to share some perspective. If you don’t take it from us, take the advice of a 19-year retiring Wall Street reporter, Adam Shell, from his last article relaying the best lessons he’s learned over his career (Source: “Dow: The secrets of successful stock investing from veteran market reporter” 1/7/19).

Respect the Market: Shell’s first day on the job was just ten days after the market high in March 2000, followed by 19 months of a bear market. His conclusion after 19 years is that market up and downs are inevitable—don’t get caught up in market euphoria only to be blindsided by a whipsawing market. By creating and sticking to a plan, you can weather the tumultuous seas and enjoy smooth sailing ahead.

Timing the Market Isn’t Easy: Shell learned this lesson the hard way. After, when he moved almost $80k of his 401k account into cash as a reaction to the flash crash on May 7, 2010, he never reinvested that cash. As a result, he missed out on ten years of bull market returns, and it cost him $123,000 in lost upside. Timing the market requires that you be right twice—even lightening can’t do that consistently. It’s time in the market, not timing the market that counts.

Don’t Let Your Investments Keep You Up at Night: If each tick of the tape sends your pulse racing, causing you to worry about losing money, investing the majority or all of your portfolio in stocks may not be for you. There is wisdom in aligning your asset allocation with how you tolerate market swings. If you’re more wired for a conservative portfolio, accept your truth, invest that way, and move on with your life. There’s no sense putting your emotional, mental, and physical health at risk for the latest and greatest “sure-thing.”

Beware of The Talking Heads:  The media is in the business of selling advertisements. What would a news show be without the crisis-du-jour? The sky can’t be falling every day, but the talking heads can make you feel that way. The market pundits have to have a “shtick” to get air time—perma-bulls, perma-bears, markets don’t operate in absolutes. No one has a crystal ball, so avoid the voices of doom by turning off the TV.

What we learned from Mr. Shell’s article is that emotions can take over and mistakes happen. In our lives, we all have examples of “Lessons Learned” on our journey to saving and investing for our future. It is at those times that a professional advisor can be your calm voice of reason, preventing you from making costly mistakes.

Whether you are a financial novice or an experienced investor, having a trusted partner to help you plan ahead for the unpredictable market ups and downs is a wise decision. Life is a journey, navigate it wisely. ❍

Robert Fezza, CFP® and Steve Siders, CFP® own Odyssey Personal Financial Advisors, 500 Sun Valley Drive, Suite A-6, Roswell, GA. Their firm specializes in working with people who are serious about making progress toward financial goals. Odyssey manages portfolios greater than $250,000. 770-992-4444, Visit their site at www.odysseypfa.comOdyssey. Securities offered through Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Cetera entities are under separate ownership from any other named entity.

What is on Your List of 2019 Goals?

By Robert Fezza and Steve Siders

Hello 2019! It’s a new year, which means new opportunities abound. Are you laser focused on new goals? What are the chances getting prepared for retirement is on your list? If so, you’re in luck. Whether you are planning to retire in 1 or 10 years, here are some things you should consider.

There is a misperception that preparing for retirement is strictly about money. Although this may be of most importance, we’ve witnessed enough transitions into retirement, and stages of living throughout it, to know most people need a broader perspective regarding retirement.

We highly recommend you have meaningful conversations in anticipation of what retirement “looks like” for you (and your spouse). If you’re within 10 years of retiring – it’s prime time. Assess your own circumstances, desires, goals and dreams. Retirement isn’t the end, it’s a new beginning! Are you ready?

HEALTH How would you describe your health today, your family history, your life expectancy? It’s less costly to maintain your health than to spend time at the doctor or in recovery. Your diet and exercise habits are important in 2019 and beyond. Make physical and mental health a priority as you prepare for the transition into retirement. A good attitude is everything. If you are struggling – seek help. Make the most of your next 20, 30, or 40 years!

FAMILY/FRIENDSHIPS Assuming your children are grown and off your payroll, it is critical that you and your spouse reinvest in yourselves. Marriage is life-long and the comfort of a companion is valuable throughout retirement. Married or not, it’s also important to rediscover or develop new interests to create social wellness. Social connections throughout retirement are incredibly healthy.

LOCATION Ideally, where do you want to retire? Remember, you have the freedom to choose. Will kids/grandkids be nearby? What energizes you—sunny skies, an outdoor lifestyle, what size town or type of geography? We agree that Atlanta is a great place, but if you’ve never dreamt of living elsewhere, now is your chance.
Activities/Travel What do you enjoy doing? Now is the time to reassess your hobbies and interests and to create new ones if desired so you will have activities and events you look forward to enjoying in retirement. What places are on your travel bucket list in Georgia, the U.S., the world? Oh, and don’t forget about volunteering. Serving others creates an incredible opportunity to also serve your own passions and purpose.

FINANCES The key to living a fulfilling retirement is knowing you can do what you want, when you want. This sense of independence can be uplifting with a proper plan. You’ll want to identify your desired spending goals over time and have a plan to achieve them while also addressing various risks (inflation, cost of care, interest rates, market returns, etc.). Determine when and how to best receive income from pensions and/or social security and make tax efficient withdrawals from your different investment accounts—all so you can live out your years in comfort.

What do you think? Are you on track? Be sure to prepare a thorough, comprehensive, risk-wise plan for yourself and review it regularly so you can proactively make adjustments as needed. Or, seek a trusted professional to help. Life is a journey, navigate it wisely. ❍

Robert Fezza, CFP® and Steve Siders, CFP® own Odyssey Personal Financial Advisors, 500 Sun Valley Drive, Suite A-6, Roswell, GA. Their firm specializes in working with people who are serious about making progress toward financial goals. Odyssey manages portfolios greater than $250,000. 770-992-4444, Visit the site. Securities offered through Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Cetera entities are under separate ownership from any other named entity.

The Hoppy Vibe

By Ethan Craig

Go to your local supermarket and you will find more than the ordinary domestic beer we are used to seeing. More and more beers are flooding the market from our local breweries and from breweries out of the state. This is because of the increase in Georgia Breweries as well as the demand for more craft beer. In fact, not only are more breweries opening in Georgia, they are incentivized to release more specialty beers. As a response to consumer demand, breweries are releasing beers at an unprecedented pace, sometimes with a new beer coming out on nearly a week to week basis.

Variant Brewery puts a new beer on every Wednesday, along with any other special releases they decide to do. At Tap & Six, we have 40 taps behind the bar; I do keep a Pilsner, a Golden Ale and a Root Beer on all the time, however, everything else we carry rotates through. This means that when I run out of one beer, I have a completely different beer ready to go on right after it. As I am writing this, I am also contemplating three new beers I want to go on next. Because so many breweries are coming out with beer so frequently, we now have Facebook groups, websites, podcasts, and more content all discussing new beer coming out on a weekly basis.

Personally, I have my favorite beers that I always keep stocked in my fridge; One is “All I want for my Birthday is a Big Booty Baltic Porter” by Blue Tarp, all right, you got me, I got this one first because of the name… and now I just can’t get enough. If a brewery makes a great beer that I enjoy, of course I will still buy it, but I’m not going to stand in line or savor every last drop, because I can always get more. On the flip side, when I pay over $20 for a bottle, I want it to last, I want to share it and I am drinking to take in as much flavor as I possibly can. Yes, beer can be expensive, and I have bought multiple bottles for over $50. Because I want to taste as much as possible out of these expensive beers, they are going to be the first ones popped open, followed by one of my go-to beers to finish off the night. All these new beers mean that it is more difficult than ever maintain a good reputation in the beer community, they cannot simply brew one beer that everyone likes, they now have to compete against themselves and consistently create and replicate great beers or else risk their consumers getting bored. My job is to keep up to date with all of these new and special releases in order to make sure we have the best selection available to us. Stop in to see what’s new on tap.❍

Ethan Craig is Craft Beer Curator at Tap & Six Craft Beer House, a craft beer bar and market in historic Roswell at 23 Oak Street. tapandsix.com