by Jo Slade - Story: 88522
Mar 11, 2013 / 5:00 am
Mar 11, 2013 / 5:00 am
When I was a kid, I sometimes wondered what I’d end up doing when I grew up. The decades passed, and each decade brought the same question back to mind, except somewhere along the way ‘growing up’ became ‘growing old’, because that’s where I’m at, along with about a zillion mostly gerontophobic baby boomers. I am not gerontophobic, but then, I’ve always seen the word ‘old’ as simply something you do when you’ve grown older than most other people. I’ve seen the word ‘old’ as having great value.
My mission statement.
All the euphemisms, all the evasions, they bother me, because as long as we feel the need to hide the word ‘old’ in shame, to treat it as a dirty word, as long as we act as though it is a choice, as long as we insist that old is something you only ‘do’ when you’ve given up all hope of being something else, as long as we make old people feel as though they have to hide behind silly euphemisms like ‘senior’, we do a real disservice to people who are old. By thinking of ‘old’ as something wrong, it negatively colours our view of an entire segment of society.
However, today’s column isn’t about my views on the word ‘old’. Today’s column is simply a tribute to a few coolio oldies I’ve stumbled across online. Oldies who take ‘old’ and stomp around on it a bit until it is good. Damn good. Inspiration ahead:
First up, here’s a video shared on Facebook by fellow columnist Cate Eales, ‘Dancing Nana’. Nana Feole has clearly not lost the art of having fun:
Here’s a rockin’ old broad, Ruth Flowers, DJ, whose motto is, “I’d rather sign a contract with a record company than to sign up for the nursing home.”
Gladys Burrill, at 92 years old, runs marathons. She’s old as dirt, and inspires me to run a marathon, but I’m far too young yet. I’ll wait until I’m 92:
And Biker Granny, aka Joni Miles, is an easy rider oldie from White Rock:
Next up, crime caught short, as shown on CCTV when a cranky old woman is not as intimidated with a bad guy as most might be:
One of my favourite stories, Mayor Hazel McCallion, a Canadian political legend:
Nola Ochs, at 95, the oldest person to be awarded an earned college degree:
Another easy rider oldie, Bess Tancrelle celebrated her 102 birtday with a ride on a Harley Davidson. Along for the ride in a sidecar was her spring-chicken sister of only 97 years:
Think being old is all about creaks and groans? Think again. Here’s gymnast, Johanna Quaas, 86:
And in closing, here’s Leonard Cohen with one of my favourite songs, one about new love, and old love. It kinda makes me want to reach right out and hug that Jim of mine:
Read more Old as dirt. Twice as gritty. articles
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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- My life as a penguin Oct 22
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For more stories from Jo, please visit the Old as Dirt. Twice as Gritty. archive
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