Monday, February 20, 2012

That late blooming thing

I just gave a talk to a group of seniors in Silicon Valley. People of a certain age are an excellent target audience because of course they make up the grandparent demographic, likely to pop for gifts at any time of year (and yes, a third of them did so pop).

There was no doubt that I was invited more for my length of tooth rather than the beauty of my prose. They were inspired (they said) that anyone of a certain age could learn a new skill, and persevere through years of rejection.

Not that I think it particularly remarkable to crank out a first book fairly late in life. For one thing, there’s more spare time. And though the outside may show wear and tear, the inside seems to stay much the same. Certainly my inner ten year old is still intact.

I forgot to tell the group something that could be more significant on the late bloomometer: the fact that I didn’t start to ski seriously until seven years ago, and now I can actually do it. Pleasure now outweighs fear when I whizz down the intermediate slopes rather fast, as I did last week.

Until recently some of the California ski resorts made terrific concessions to seniors. Sugar Bowl cost only $5 for those over a certain age, and Squaw Valley was actually free. Then the resorts found their slopes cluttered up by wrinkly people who can ski just as well as everyone else, and the prices went up but you still see them in flocks, sometimes labeled as members of the Over 70 Club, or the Over The Hill Gang. And who knows? Maybe half of those seniors have just written their first book.

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