2018-02-01 / Features

Having a ‘senior moment’ and a lot of fun with it

My granddaughter got a game for Christmas that rewarded participants who could recall culturally significant facts of the 21st century. No one even invited me to play the game, although I have a solid reputation for being a winner when the original Trivial Pursuit is spread out on the table.

I admit to a few moments when I experienced feelings related to self-worth in freefall as my children and grandchildren challenged each other over movies, TV, music, advertising campaigns, tech gadgets and what passes for present day humor.

Significantly, I thought, there were no questions about politics, religion or international affairs. Had there been, I could have given them a run for their money, because I have not been living in a cave the last 20 years. I’ve just been selective about how I spend my time and what information I choose to store in memory cells already crowded with lots of important stuff.

For instance, I know the lyrics to a songbook’s worth of honky tonk hits from the last half of the 20th century. I can tell you who coined the phrase “I like Ike” and to whom it referred. I know what a dress made out of green velvet curtains looks like on the silver screen, and I am willing to let you listen to my collection of long-play records, including hits by piano duo Ferrante and Teicher and “soul men” Sam and Dave. If you are sufficiently grateful, I will also let you read my copies of the Bobbsey Twins’ multiple adventures, Cherry Ames’ experiences as a nurse and Nancy Drew’s biggest mysteries.

Those are just a few of the culture-related memories I can rely on to prove myself a viable at-home contestant during “Jeopardy” reruns.

So, when staff started discussing this month’s Splash! Magazine and some upcoming editions of Gulf Breeze News and the consensus was that seniors would be the focus, I knew I could handle the assignment. I knew I wanted to handle the assignment.

Beginning with this issue of Splash!, we will be doing some overviews of topics, opportunities and subjects of interest to seniors and their families and friends. Since the possibilities are so varied, interesting and rich in significance and importance, we will be carrying over stories in February editions of Gulf Breeze News.

Welcome to the wide world of seniors.

It’s a fascinating place, peopled with men and women who not only share decades of memories and experiences, but who are expecting to add to that storehouse in a variety of exciting ways in years to come.

Come along with us as we explore just a few of the possibilities open to those who recall what life was like before phones were something you couldn’t leave the house without, and words you uttered on them were rarely rooted in four letters strung together either purposely to shock and appall or to advertise, inadvertently, one’s lack of good manners and imagination.

Take a look back with those of us who once used “passwords” not to get to our own carefully stored private information on a machine but to gain access to carefully designed private clubs in trees and neighborhood basements – gatherings usually organized by other

8-year-olds.

Share a few nostalgic moments with folks who not only remember, but delighted in, the reaction when feminine skirts inched up to mid-thigh and masculine locks inched down to mid-shoulder.

Learn from some well-versed people who can define “Sputnik,”

“beatnik,” “Twiggy” and “Mod Squad” for you.

You’ll be glad you made the exciting journey, and you’ll learn a lot in the process, because seniors not only have so much to share from the past – with each other and with those who missed fascinating things that happened in another century – but so much to contribute to the present and the future.

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