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Before the Title, Past
A Nonfiction Column
By Willie Elliott

60 on Up—Yep, That's Me

I needed a nonfiction book for a column. I like to go to the library and look at the new stuff. Saw a book Changing Places. It's about what kids go through when divorce happens. Was going to use that one until I saw 60 ON Up. I said that's me. The opening sentences were very encouraging: Getting old sucks! It always has, it always will. Not my words folks. Comes right on the first line of the first chapter. The book has to get better as it goes along. Will let you know. Anyway, I have the first paragraph of my column. I love it when a good plan comes together. To read that first page, go to and bring up the book and then click on see inside the book.

The subtitle to the book is The Truth about Aging in America. It isn't pretty folks. The author Lilian B. Rubin, a sociologist and psychotherapist, wrote the book when she was in her 80's so I would assume the woman knows what she talking about. I think her take on the book could be summed up in one of George Jones' songs: “The Cold Hard Truth” which has these lovely little lines: Let me introduce my self/I'm the cold hard truth.

As for being the golden years, she suggest the only thing golden about it is the color of our underwear after a day's use. Now she admits there are the Jack Lanne's of the world, but reminds us to look around us and see how the problems pile up with each rung on the age ladder.

With the added years that science has added to our lives, many people in their 70's are now taking care of parents in their 90's, and it is wearing them out. In many cases these are the same people who had to raise their grandchildren---a double whammy—not fair.

The author mentioned in passing that after 75 for most of us sex was a bygone event. I said, “Bite your tongue.” She had anticipated that line and said, “Well, if it helps, you can sing “Precious Memories.
This living longer than (what the author suggests) than we should affects the next generation down. All that money we were going to give to them (in the trillions), we are now spending on health care to keep us alive to a life that we are not all that thrilled with.

No, folks it looks rather bleak but Scarlett O'Hara and I are going to worry about that tomorrow, and I am going to get a second opinion by reading such books as Aging with Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us about Leading Longer, Healthier and More Meaningful Lives and The Curious Upside of Growing Older (And the 7 Keys That Active Seniors Embrace for the Best Life, Including the Best Food, Exercise, Sleep and Memory) by Caroline Anaya. That should help.


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