Aging in the Gorge December 18th 2019


Was it in the 60’s that there was a media frenzy about the “Generation Gap”? And were you one of the boomers who challenged their parents and their generation because they were out of touch, espoused different values, and were too slow responding to crises of the times: the Vietnam war and civil rights? And do you remember the phrase popularized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin that summarized that time, “Don’t trust anyone over 30”?

Wow, how times have changed. Now we know how our parents felt because today the boomers are being ridiculed with the catchphrase “OK Boomer” used by the Z generation. It mocks boomers for being out-of-touch, close-minded and too slow responding to many of our current crises: climate change and income inequality.

But we should be careful not to encourage this new “generation gap” because we have been there before - and it perpetuates stereotypes of both the young and old: older adults describing today’s younger generations as pampered, unable to work hard, and without meaningful person-to-person relationships because of their smartphones! And young adults characterizing boomers and older generations as unproductive, a drain on society and technologically inept (So I don’t know anything about Tik Tok! Is that a bad thing?)

We do know more about being young than the young know about being old, but it often seems that we have forgotten when young boomers were described as lazy, pot smoking, unpatriotic hippies. And that we did plenty of stupid things – which I am reminded of whenever I see an egg!

The generations do have different life experiences. With age we see the world with all its complexities, vulnerabilities, and challenges that we may not have appreciated when we were younger.

As a society we should appreciate the strengths of each generation. As the boomers have grown older, experiencing their own personal successes, failures and mistakes, they have become who they are - which isn’t all that bad. And so will the younger generations.

As the end of 2019 approaches, this is your last chance to donate to your favorite non-profits to lessen your tax burden while supporting important community organizations. So this year consider contributing to the Oregon Cultural Trust as well. If you make a donation to any of Oregon's arts, heritage and humanities non-profits including twenty-two in Wasco and Sherman Counties (listed at www.culturaltrust.org) and make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust, you can then claim your contribution to the Cultural Trust as a tax credit. The Oregon Cultural Trust is an innovative public-private fundraising and grant making program that funds local coalitions including the Wasco County Cultural Trust Coalition that annually distributes $500 to $1000 grants to area schools and non-profits which in the past has included the Center.

The name of the singer who pioneered a weekly musical variety television show, but was particularly known for his Christmas television specials beginning on Christmas Eve 1948 was Perry Como affectionately known as Mr. C. I received correct answers from Laura Comini, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Jess Birge, Glenna McCargar, Cheri Brent and Izetta Grossman this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket. And once again I missed several folks last week: Virginia Johnson, Laura Comini, and Barbara Cadwell.

To prepare for Christmas day, the Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Center will also be closed on New Years Day to celebrate the new year but more importantly to watch University of Oregon play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

Another Christmas related question, but this one I believe you will find much more challenging. There are many classic children’s Christmas specials from the 60’s that were narrated by well-known actors. For this week’s “Remember When” question answer one of the following three questions correctly. Who was the narrator In Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (1964)? Who voiced the Grinch in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (1966)? And who narrates and sings the title song in Frosty the Snowman (1969)? You only have to answer one question correctly. Email it to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with the Vince Guaraldi jazz score for the first Peanuts special: A Charlie Brown Special (1965).

Well, it’s been another week, hoping for some “warm” 45 degree days. Until we meet again, as John Fredrick told me, you know you’re getting older when you walk down the high school halls and the students call you “sir”.

Commandment #14 for growing older - You thought growing old would take longer.

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