Tuesday, June 19, 2012

you're not 'too old'!

"Thunderstorm" painting by Grandma Moses (1948 - at 88 years).

  • My friend Mel started running triathlons shortly before his 60th birthday.

  • My cousin Len began studying Punjabi at 77 so he could talk to his neighbours.

  • Lucille Broderson wrote her first poem at 60 and had her first poem published, in Poetry Magazine, at  73. At 95 she's still feisty, writing and publishing her prize-winning poems. Here she is reading poetry in her home city of Minneapolis Minnesota

  • At 95 Nola Hill Ochs is one of the the oldest people ever to graduate from college. She graduated from Fort Hays State University in Hays Kansas  in 2007 after a career as a student that spanned 33 years (she first enrolled in a correspondence course in 1930). A CBS interview of her shows her with her granddaughter, who graduated with her.
Nola Ochs: "There's a great satisfaction in finishing what you start."

  • Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson: September 1860 - December 1961) took up painting at 76, after her arthritis made it too painful to carry on stitching the embroidery pictures she loved to create. In 1938 art collector Louis Caldor discovered her work. An Encyclopedia of World Biography article about her talks about her meteoric rise to fame: Her first one-woman show was held in New York City in 1940 and immediately she became famous. Her second one-woman show, also in New York City, came two years later. By 1943 there was an overwhelming demand for her pictures, partially because her homespun, country scenes brought about wonderful feelings and memories for many people. (See more of her paintings here.)
"Quilting Bee" by Grandma Moses (1950 - at 90 years)

All that to say, whatever your age, don't give "I'm too old" as an excuse for not working to fulfill your dreams.

(Do you know of more seniors who have accomplished exceptional things? Please tell us about them in the comments)

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Linda at teacherdance said...

Without a little more research, I can't think of more 'exceptional' accomplishments, but a friend's mother is still bowling at age 95, & plays poker with a group on Fridays. She is terrific! We have a little sketch we bought a long while ago of an older man & the writing on it asks: "How old would choose to be if you didn't know how old you were?" Perhaps you've heard it, Violet, but it's something to think about often. Thanks for the inspiring info.

violet said...

Thanks, Linda! Your friend's 95-yr-old mom sounds like quite a lady! Love it.

I have heard that question: "How old would you choose to be if you didn't know how old you were?" I sometimes wonder if kidlit authors aren't hung up somewhere in their tweens or teens (that's where I feel sometimes, even though I write for various ages).

Linda at teacherdance said...

It helps to still be teaching & working with all ages of students, like your writing for kid lit, I agree. I like it still, that plus the grandparenting. Where else could I play 'chase' but with my 3 year old granddaughter?

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