The Merry Month of May

 

Wow. Here we are in the third and last month of spring already. Seems like we just celebrated New Year’s. But as the legendary Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes said, “I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.”

While none of us know how big our roll is or how long it will last, the fact is we all have a limited number of days ahead. But let’s not focus on the end of the roll, let’s direct our attention to the soft, white, paper that unfurls from the spool.

May is Older Americans Month, a celebration of the lives of seniors, established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Back then, about a third of older Americans lived in poverty and few programs were available to meet their needs.

Now, every May, the government’s Administration for Community Living leads the celebration and has designated this year’s theme as “Age Out Loud.” It’s a shout out, a call for seniors to make their thoughts and needs and talents known.

As a whole, we older folks are working longer, techno-literate, striving for wellness, focused on independence, and advocating for causes we hold dear to our hearts. We have more money too, with Baby Boomers controlling 70 percent of U.S. Disposable Income.

We are living longer and with improved quality of life due to advances in medicine, enhanced vision and dental care, a decline in smoking, better diets and more active lifestyles. And we look younger than our parents did at this age thanks to all of the above and, yes, advances in cosmetic surgery.

In this issue we celebrate Older Americans Month with a list of inspirational people who kept dreaming, achieving and creating in unexpected ways – even in their 9th decade of life. Take Teiichi Igarashi of Japan for example. At age 99, he climbed 12,395 feet to the
top of Mount Fuji. So whether it’s that novel you want to complete, the recital in Carnegie Hall you want to perform, or the parachute jump you want to make, set your goal and get crackin’.

We hope you’ll enjoy our Mother’s Day tribute which remembers our “other mothers” — those women on TV who helped raise us when Mom was busy. It’s a nostalgic trip back to the days when TV shows ran on three networks. You didn’t even need a remote, just a
pair of rabbit ears and maybe a bit of foil.

Also for Mother’s Day, our columnist Iris Ruth Pastor, the mother of five adult sons, shares a wistful look back to her carpooling days. How many of you miss those trips with the kids in the car and all the wonderful eavesdropping opportunities you had back then?

This issue includes some recipes that should come in handy for Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. There’s a preview of a military museum, some travel stories, and on the lighter side, some children’s letters to God. We’ve added a new feature too, the joke of the month.

Finally we pay a visit to Mar-a-Lago back when socialite and owner of General Foods, Marjorie Merriweather Post, owned the 120-room Palm Beach mansion. She donated it to the U.S. government in 1973 in the hopes that it would become a “Winter White House.” Now, in a strange twist of fate, that has come true.

Richard Reeves
President
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