Columbia Missourian - Boomtown

Boomtown: How to live your best life in Columbia over 50

In today's special section, Boomtown, we take a look at how Columbia residents over 50 are living their best life. Here is a sampling of stories from Boomtown:

Theresia St. Vrain brought her experience and training in metalsmithing from Sante Fe, New Mexico, to Columbia. Read about her journey to find her passion and how she helps other artists in Columbia.

From insurance to a hair and nail salon, read how Paul Rubenstein took a leap of faith and grew Varsity Clips into a Columbia favorite.

Lloyd and Fontella Henry, the founders of “Big Daddy’s BBQ,” studied the basic sauces and ingredients from the region to create the Columbia staple. Read how they created their popular sauce and about their quest to make a spicier BBQ sauce.

Rusty Bell’s commitment to driving his mother to the Columbia Senior Activity Center turned into a commitment to working there and directing volunteers five days a week. Read about Bell’s journey through the Air Force and being a NCAA referee and how the senior center has handled COVID-19.

Michael Cox volunteers to help Columbia residents file their tax returns. “I like helping people,” he said. “I do enjoy helping people fix complex problems. Taxes is kind of a complex money problem.” Read about how his journey through MU and as a firefighter led him to help people in this unique way.

Read about how Kathleen Neason, a retired nurse, uses her skillset and experience to provide emotional support and care through the domestic violence shelter, True North.

In 2003, Pete Szkolka put a recording studio in the extra bedroom of his Columbia home after almost 30 years working at Bob Pruitt’s recording studio, Electric Looney Land. Now, he owns Szkolka Studios and uses his space to help out local musicians and schools. Read about how Szkolka uses his knowledge to teach and empower the next generation of musicians.

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