The back nine of life

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – July 9 2021

                          The Back Nine of Life

By Tom P Blake – Columnist

Most Champs—except newcomers–know that I write a bi-weekly column for Picket Fence Media, a syndicate that publishes the Dana Point Times, the San Clemente Times, and The Capistrano Dispatch (San Juan).

Newspaper readers sometimes respond to those articles, providing me with information that I think will be helpful to our Champs. Often, the people who respond live in cities and areas other than the three cities mentioned above. Such was the case this week.

For example, take Laurie of nearby Laguna Niguel, California. She emailed, “While reading your article, ‘Senior Singles can benefit from having an open mind,’ in the June 25 issue of the Dana Point Times, it got me to thinking about my sister, who is 61, widowed after only being married for four months in 2013, and she has not dated since.

“I checked out the link to your website and ta-da! There are so many things I could say about it. I watched your Today Show video and the last video you posted about the two ladies. Your advice is so spot on.

“I’m turning 68 this month. My friends and I tell ourselves we are on the ‘back nine’ now (the back nine in golf is the second half of a golf game). I’m not sure which hole in the back nine we’re on.

“I mentioned this to a 77-year-old surgeon I know and he chuckled and said in his Whales accent, ‘Well dahling, if you are on the back nine, I must be in the clubhouse having my martini.’

“My closest friends and I want our lives to be filled with quality time and friends and people who have value to us. Most of us are quite spontaneous, feeling as we get older to ‘try something new’ because we never know what the outcome could be. I loved your website article about who should pay for the date. The perspectives you presented were so interesting and varied.

“I am sharing your website information with several friends who could benefit from your insight. Do you still own Tutor & Spunky’s deli in Dana Point?

“I live in Laguna Niguel, up Pacific Island Drive, and am a frequent visitor to Dana Point.”

My response to Laurie: “I sold Tutor & Spunky’s five years ago, but still drop in for a sandwich to visit with some employees who worked with me. I am proud that the deli is in its 32year.

“I’ve been busy in my back nine of life. I am finishing a memoir about my 25 years opening, running, managing a Dana Point Deli. The book is titled, ‘Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark.’ It should be published around July 17 (it is live on both as a Kindle eBook and a Paperbook version.

Tutor & Spunky's Deli. A Dana Point Landmark
book cover by author Tom Blake
Tom Blake’s memoir finished July 17 2021

“At age 68, you and your friends may be on the back nine, as you describe it, but probably only on the 10th or 11th hole. You have lots left to do and enjoy.

“We in Dana Point appreciate your visiting us from Laguna Niguel. In 1989, I lived in Laguna Niguel. One night I went to sleep there and woke up the next morning in Dana Point. I promise I had not been drinking. I hadn’t even left my house.

“That was just before Dana Point became a city on January 1, 1990, and the boundaries of Dana Point were expanded to include the Ritz Carlton and Monarch Beach Areas, as well as Capistrano Beach. So, I understand the city of Laguna Niguel, from where you are coming.

“Now that the pandemic has eased, and you and your friends are willing to try something new, three things are important to keep in mind. These three suggestions apply to singles anywhere in the world, not just Southern Orange County.

Three things single seniors should do

“First, get the body moving. Walking helps. Try tai chi, yoga, water aerobics, dancing, standup paddleboarding—whatever is of interest. Just, get it going.

“Second, get off the couch and out of the house and involved in activities you enjoy. Senior centers offer a multitude of activities. For your widowed sister, there are widow and widower clubs. Many people she’ll meet there will be able to relate to what she has gone through. They would be good places for her to gradually reenter the social world.

“Third, aim to maximize social interaction. People need to be among people—laughing, talking, caring, sharing, and hugging—all of those social interactions are good for a person’s health. Meeting new people is healthy

“Those three things are key for senior singles. Pursuing them will keep seniors from finishing the back nine and entering the clubhouse too soon, unless, like your 77-year old surgeon friend, you’re into martinis.”

Have a good weekend.

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at

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