A paper for those of us a little older…
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Using Our Gears by Nancy Angus

 

June 2017
June is Seniors Month in Ontario. I was going to talk about activities taking place during the month and opportunities for people to get together to share stories and strategies for aging with attitude – a positive attitude that is – but then I watched the Billboard Music Awards and my focus for the column took a turn when I saw her.
Cher. How many people can go through life with just one name? And for someone who was told by her mother that she wasn’t the smartest or the prettiest kid, she’s done well. Her mom and her first husband Sonny Bono told her she was “special” and that she is. She’s fearless, ferocious and funny. When I was growing up her variety show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour was a must-see. When she split up with Sonny – big news in the 70’s – we made the assumption that her career was over. But it wasn’t. She was the epitome of the unmarried woman who reinvented herself as a solo artist and business woman. I was impressed.
Then I saw her at the Billboard Awards in May. I admit it – when she strutted onto the stage in a barely there outfit, including pasties, I asked myself, “How OLD is she?” As if she knew what everyone was thinking, she proudly declared in her acceptance speech as the recipient of Billboard Music’s Icon Award, that she had celebrated her 71st birthday the day before. I immediately thought that she’s gone through a lot of pain to look like that because I’m sure every inch of her body and face and been physically altered through surgery but it didn’t really matter. She felt good in how she looked and that she was able to continue to work and not hide herself away. Good for her!


I hope you can channel your inner Cher to be fearless and step onto the stage during Seniors Month. Try something new. Look to Cher for inspiration on living a creative life whether you pursue singing, dancing, costume design, comedy or business. You’re only as young as you feel and if you’re got the guts to head out in pasties, I just hope you’ll bring along a sweater!

May 2017
Still Restless after all these Years
I’ve been a Y & R fan since the series began in 1973. I know more about the Abbotts, the Chancellors, and Winters’ families than I care to admit. I even remember the Brooks and the Fosters, the original families. Many characters that have come and gone but one major character has endured – Victor Newman. Played by Eric Braeden, Victor has been a major player since 1980. Now 76, he still commands respect whenever he’s on-screen. There’s nothing like watching a good actor playing a villain in action! And what a good, or should I say bad, villain he is. He even had a hand in making sure that killer Chloe Mitchell got out of town on his company’s private jet. Imagine my shock in hearing Victor Newman tell his long-suffering wife Nikki and children Victoria and Nicholas Newman where that jet had touched down. “The pilot flew her to Thunder Bay, Ontario,” Newman said of the character Chloe Mitchell. “WHERE?” – I shouted at the TV. I was able to playback the screen to prove that Victor Newman from Hollywood, California had actually given a shout-out to Thunder Bay, Ontario.
That episode got me thinking about another Young and the Restless connection to Thunder Bay. Don Diamont, the actor who played Brad Carlton from 1985 to 2009 did indeed fly to Thunder Bay for a fundraising lunch for COPA (the Council on Positive Aging) in the 90’s. As part of his promotional duties, he toured McKellar Hospital. My father was a resident in the Chronic Care Unit and when word got out that Brad Carlton was going to visit, a friend of my mom’s said she wanted to go and meet him. My mom wasn’t a Young and the Restless watcher but she went along with it and they met Brad. He came into my dad’s room with his entourage and my mom that day started to watch the Y & R. After Brad’s visit, the nurses also used to turn on the TV around 4:30 when the Y & R would air.
The other day I was visiting my mom and her TV was on. I pointed out that a character on the screen used to be Brad Carlton. He is now playing Bill Spencer on The Bold and the Beautiful. “My goodness, he’s still handsome,” my mom said of the actor. I asked what he was like when she met him in person and she said he was really pleasant. When we were watching him on the TV a young staff person came in to check on my mom. My mom pointed to the actor and recounted the story of meeting him in person.
As we talked about Brad and Victor with this young woman, I was struck that the Young and Restless may want to rebrand their show to appeal to folks our age. How about “Young and Restless: Been There Done That and Happy Not to Have to Do it Again!” Or they can just keep working with the formula they have now. I, for one, love watching the happenings in Genoa City and escaping, if only for an hour, into the over-the-top worlds of Victor Newman and the man formerly known as Brad Carlton!

February 2017

Charles Schultz wrote “Life is like a 10-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.”
This column is designed to inspire you to get out and get going. You’ll read about activities happening in Thunder Bay and beyond. You’ll be inspired to call an old friend or make new friends. You’ll discover new places in Thunder Bay to explore. It’s all about using – not losing – those gears to help us get up the hills of life with more ease and enjoyment!
Let’s start the adventure with doable 2017 resolutions. Some of you may want to continue or start writing personal letters instead of emails. For me, my resolution is to write nine columns a year for the Thunder Bay Seniors Paper and get them to Keith on time! I’m so thrilled to have an opportunity to share my musings with readers. With your encouragement and suggestions, I’ll have plenty of material to share in the column.
Here’s a few more healthy resolutions to help you get in gear this year:
• Drink hot lemon water right when you wake up
• Pour yourself a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar daily
• Spend an hour with your favorite reading material – hopefully Thunder Bay Seniors!
• Cook a veggie-filled soup in the crock pot and freeze leftovers or share those leftovers with a neighbour
• Relax and color, doodle or try a Zentangle!
• Add something green to meals or snacks
• Enjoy a date with a friend just don’t talk about how busy you are
• Clean out one closet. Donate extra “treasures”
• Single-task
I’ve learned in retirement that sometimes you just have to roll with what life throws your way. While sitting in the airport after my flight was cancelled, my mood was lifted by a father and young son who were making their way through the security line. The little boy was fascinated by the x-ray pod that some people have to use for their security scan. The father said that if the little boy went in that pod he may emerge as the “Incredible Hulk.” The little boy thought about this for a few seconds, then very politely asked the security attendant if he could try the pod. She laughed and said that he’d have to wait a few years until he was older. The little boy was OK with that explanation. It was such a lovely moment. I’m glad I could enjoy their exchange while waiting in the airport.
And then on the return trip to Thunder Bay, I made my way down the aisle of the plane to my seat. As there was a bottleneck in the line, I noticed a fellow sitting in an aisle seat that looked familiar. I thought he was someone from Thunder Bay I hadn’t seen in a long time but as our line started to move and I passed by his seat, I recognized him. It wasn’t someone I knew from Slate River. It was Jim Cuddy from the band Blue Rodeo. As I passed his seat I attempted to say “have a good concert in Thunder Bay” but what came out must have sounded like “ sl,flflgo’g…g …bay!” I literally was tongue-tied! He is so handsome! Well, I might have been unsuccessful in communicating with Jim Cuddy but at least I gave it a good TRY!
May you all observe little acts of kindness, humour and grace during 2017! And keep trying to talk to strangers! Happy New Year!