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It is not just sad, but wrong, how society sometimes treats its elders.
You could get the impression that getting old is bad and that at a certain
point the elderly should be shuffled off and kept out of sight.
The treasure of age, and the accompanying life wisdom, contain great value
that should be honored and passed on to others, especially younger people.
To stay vibrant in to the sunset years is possible and I was excited to
read about a group of people who have created some places to age gracefully.
senior communities has designed assisted living centers that are in the
heart of urban areas. The therapeutic environments are complimented by
a spirited staff and holistic programming that cares for physical as well
as social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
It started as something of a family affair. Three brothers — Nader,
Ali and Amir Shabahangi scraped all their money and incurred credit card
debt to create their first elder assisted living community. Now the success
is recognized and their company is growing and you can read their wonderful
in the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate.com.
of the most influential people in developing southern rock, as well as
a great friend, manager and music lover, has passed away. Phil Walden,
the founder of Capricorn Records, died of cancer at the age of 66. He
was instrumental in launching the career of Otis Redding (best known for
the song, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay") who died tragically
in a plane crash in 1967. He was not just Redding's manager, but a good
friend. According to Redding's widow, Zelma Redding, Walden's passion
for black music made him "the little white boy who everybody was
wanting to beat up on."
Walden also took Duane Allman under his wing. Duane died tragically too
young from a motorcyle accident in 1971 (he was only 24 at the time),
but the Allman Brothers were on the map and Phil continued to support
him and many others through his career.
He started Capircorn Records in the small Georgia town of Macon. I grew
up listening to much of the music on that label, which also featured the
Charlie Daniel's Band, Marshall Tucker and Wet Willie.
All was not easy in Walden's life. He dealt with bankruptcy and overcame
substance abuse. I know a few people in the record industry from my years
in radio broadcasting, and those who knew and worked with him said he
was quite the gentleman. He supported Jimmy Carter in his run for the
presidency and in later years had a small record label, Velocette, with
the entire staff made up of Waldens, including his son, Phillip Jr., and
"Phil was one of the preeminent producers of great music in America,"
former president Jimmy Carter said in a statement.
This Rolling Stone article
on Phil Walden is a good read.
This weekend is quite the celebration in the city I live in. Albuquerque
is three hundred years old and the festivities are well underway for our
Albuquerque was founded April 23, 1706 when Spanish governor Don Francisco
Cuervo y Valdes wrote a letter that established the Villa deAlburquerque
de San Francisco Xavier del Bosque. What a mouthful! Today it's just Albuquerque,
although residents sometimes refer to our city as the Duke City, or 'Burque
(roll the r's).
One of the things the city has done for our 300th birthday is create a
visual timeline on a wall in the Convention Center downtown. The timeline
creator Tom Miles put 600 years of concentrated history into 4-by-16 feet.
Quite an accomplishment. Timelines are a great way to see a variety of
events and dates and give some perspective. This timeline contains a lot
of information including the various settlers through the years (Spanish,
Filipino, Chinese, Syrian and Lebanese and Bolsheviks among them), as
well as marking significant historical events recent and past. There was
the bloody Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and the starting of Microsoft by Bill
Gates and Paul Allen in 1975 (yes, they started it here, not in Seattle).
Happy birthday, Albuquerque! | more on the Tricentennial at the official
website - www.albuquerque300.org
Picture this - photographs of locals in a very small town in Iowa, 21
years apart, is a way they are displaying their personal history. Interesting?
You bet! See the story, "An Iowa Town's Story told In Portraits 21
Years Apart", from the NY Times here.
Telling your story and preserving it in writing can be done in varied
ways (as I discuss throughout this website). However, some people are
often in situations that make it difficult to do this. Finances are frequently
a consideration. But, there are also those who are in institutions, assisted
living or incarcerated. Their stories are just as important as anyone
Paula Yost, a successful Personal Historian and member of the Association
of Personal Historians (APH)
recently posted to our email discussion information about a fascinating
and positive program for women in prison in Texas.
"Truth Be Told is a non-profit organization devoted to helping women
behind bars in Texas tell their stories through an evolving curriculum
of classes within prison walls that integrate the expressive arts of public
speaking, writing and movement with a guided process of personal storytelling.
Another venture involves letter writing between incarcerated women and
Truth Be Told volunteers. Spiritual awareness also plays a role in this
See more about this great program at www.truth-be-told.org
A new study conducted for the MetLife Mature Market Institute finds one in five older working
Americans say they will never retire. I probably fall into that category
and for the same reasons others gave. The continuing need to work for
financial reasons or the desire to stay active. Of course, I think that
the personal history business is a great way to work late into my life
as people's stories and life experiences grow with age.