Reasons why married couples read this eNewsletter

Ted and Marcia – Today’s featured couple – married 60 years
On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – August 6, 2021
By: Tom Blake Columnist

Reasons why senior married couples read this eNewsletter

About 10 years ago, I changed the name of this eNewsletter from Finding Love After 50 to On Life and Love After 50.

Why did I make the change?

I had started to hear from Champs that many were interested in topics other than just about senior dating. Some said they had met a mate and now wanted to hear more about other senior issues. Some had given up on meeting a mate and didn’t want to hear solely about dating. Heck, even some got married and had questions about later-in-life marriage issues.

Overall, Champs wanted to hear how other seniors were dealing with and coping with senior age-related issues.

Plus, I wanted to write about other topics in addition to keeping my toe in the dating, relationships-information waters. For example, Champs wanted to hear about the travels that Greta and I had taken, especially after we retired.
So, to keep up with the digital age, I changed the direction of the topics slightly.

However, a good old senior love story was still highly coveted.
I have always known that a good number of Champs are married or in long-term relationships. And I’m always curious why those people continue to read the eNewsletter.

Here’s a summary of what some have said:

“I read it when I was single; now that I’m married, I still enjoy it and learn from it.”

“Because people marry doesn’t mean they stop learning about other people.”

The most frequently stated reason is that when married people read about the woes and challenges of senior dating, it makes them appreciate their spouses more. They’ve said to me, “After reading what some of those singles go through; I’m holding my spouse close and never letting go. None of that senior single stuff for me.”

And when they say that, it pleases me.

One reason I don’t like to hear is when someone says, “I’m not happy in my (marriage, relationship, etc.,) and want to read what single life is like, as I may be back in it soon.” My hope is they will reconsider and stay married.

As always, my hope is to receive stories and comments from Champs. And today’s story comes from a man I’ve known a long time. Finally, this week, he agreed to share his story. He is married. His name is Ted; his wife’s name is Marcia. And that’s their picture above, taken two weeks ago (in July 2021).

And this is their story below, in the next section.
Ted and Marcia
Ted emailed, “Tom, you’d like this gal! Marcia is four years younger than I am and was just 18 and a recent high school graduate when we were married. I had just graduated from Albion College (Michigan) and was headed to the University of Michigan Law School. “People thought such a marriage could never last. But Harriett Pitts (high school English Literature teacher) would have smiled had she heard us discussing Shakespeare and great books while we courting.

“Marcia and I will be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary in August. She grew up in Marshall, Michigan, and worked at the local radio station in nearby Albion during her junior and senior years in high school. I was working there at the time, and that’s where we met. 

“We are planning a short ‘nostalgia tour’ of the Albion-Marshall area to celebrate. Romanticist that I am, the journey will include a trip to the First Presbyterian Church in Marshall where we were wed. We’ll be renewing our vows during the visit.

“Of course, any trip to Marshall involves dinner at Schuler’s (restaurant), and that will be special for us because we grew up in households where dining at an establishment of that caliber was something one aspired to do only once or twice in his or her lifetime. We are grateful that we are in a better place than our parents were.

“Every week, I read with interest your stories about, and your advice to, aging singles. Your advice always seems to be sound, but I’m glad that (so far) it’s not the guidance I need. We’ve been blessed with 60 happy years, three children (two sons and a daughter, all in their 50s), and five grandchildren aged 18 to 26. They have been, and of course continue to be, a hugely important part of our lives.

“Words of wisdom based on 60 years of marriage: ‘Talk to one another. Share your thoughts, whether they are good or not so good.’

“I’ve not purchased your new book yet, but that is my plan. I hope that it will finally satisfy my curiosity about the genesis of the name of your deli (Tutor & Spunky’s).”

Tom’s comment: Now I can confess. Ted and I graduated together from Jackson High School, Jackson, Michigan, a few years ago (64 years, egads) And yes, I ate at Schuler’s restaurant in Marshall many times with my family. I recall their bar cheese to be the best ever.
Tom's new book cover“Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark” book update. Both the Kindle/eBook version and the paperback version are now available on For Champs who ordered the paperback version from me, I should receive the shipment in about 10 days and will immediately mail your autographed copy to you.
Purchasing the paperback version directly from me will save you about $7 compared to purchasing it directly from Amazon. I charge $23.97, including signing, shipping, handling, standing at the post office, and miscellaneous fees. Simply send me an email if you would like a personalized copy. I’ll invoice you via PayPal.
Link to “Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark page on

Why I’m not a matchmaker

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 25, 2019

by Columnist Tom Blake

Why I’m not a matchmaker and don’t fix up senior singles

I’m a newspaper columnist and an eNewsletter writer. My usual topic: people age 50-plus seeking love. For 26 years, I’ve written about hundreds of seniors who’ve found love, and thousands who haven’t.

Knowing I have contact with so many older singles, people ask why I am not a senior matchmaker and why I don’t fix singles up. There’s an easy reason: it’s too darn hard and seldom works. The effort usually isn’t appreciated.

It’s not that I haven’t tried; I’ve done it dozens of times. I’ve known widowers from San Clemente, California (for example), and widows from San Clemente and have suggested they get together. Some have, but in most cases, no match was made. And then, the people get mad at me for wasting their time, even though my time was free. It’s a no-win situation. In a nutshell, that’s why I’m not a matchmaker.

Granted, some couples have met at our Meet and Greet get-togethers at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, the Dana Point, California, restaurant I founded and owned for 25 years. But I didn’t fix those couples up. They did it themselves by getting off their couches and out of their homes and coming and socializing.

Technically, I did not introduce them. But, Carolyn and Alex Rentziperis met at our first Meet and Greet 3-4 years ago. And it led to a marriage. He’s been my barber for 25+ years. (Photo by Tom)

Many couples who met there are still together. But not all. Some of the relationships have lasted for a month or so, while others resulted in marriage.

Sponsoring events like that is challenging. Why? There are always more single women than men, especially as we age. Often, by five or six-to-one. I’ve watched women walk in the door, see a limited number of men, and turn around and walk out. Their loss. Sometimes men arrive late.

It takes time and effort to put those no-cost events on.

Last week, a Dana Point woman emailed: “Maybe you should have Meet and Greets more often so seniors have a place to go and socialize instead of staying home. I know you are busy so maybe you can have someone else take charge. Just a suggestion.”

She’s never attended one of our events; she has no clue what’s involved. My answer to her: “More often? It’s difficult enough having one per month, just trying to round up enough men to make it interesting. More often than that? No thanks.” She read that response and unsubscribed–must not have been what she wanted to hear.

Nearly every day, an email arrives in my inbox promoting new dating sites. This week, one arrived with the subject line: “An Easier Dating Site For Men Ages 50+.”

I usually ignore those emails, but, was curious so I clicked on it. It showed a picture of an attractive woman with this caption: “Local matchmaker has more older women & needs more men to match with female clients.”

I said to myself: “What’s new?”

The opening line read, “Meet Successful Dana Point Singles.” Turns out, it’s not an online dating site, but a matchmaking site, the kind where you pay a professional matchmaker to find dates for you.

The site stated, “Professional Matchmakers work with you to determine the exact type of man or woman that would be best for you, and then do their best to find that person and introduce you.”

“Do their best?” Wow, matchmakers are only as good as the people they have in their stables. Let me tell you, they are aware of the lack of men. I have had many of them contact me saying they were having an introductory cocktail party, and did I know of any men they could invite? No joke, it’s true.

It’s Just Lunch is a matchmaking service and on occasion has contacted me asking for the names of men. I decline, of course.

The ballpark cost for hiring a matchmaker? The article stated between $675 to $25,000. At those prices, maybe I should become a matchmaker. Or, at least a paid fixer-upper.

The site also stated: “Matchmaking is by its nature, a local endeavor. That means local offices staffed by warm, experienced, real people – not algorithms.”

Maybe the office is in Dana Point, or San Clemente, or San Juan Capistrano, the cities near me, but if so, I’m unaware of it. Avoid professional matchmakers. Read the online reviews; they are frightening. People feel ripped off.

So, I’ll remain a columnist, and your weekly eNewsletter provider, and leave the matchmaking to – well, the professional matchmakers, wherever and whomever they are.

Senior Meet and Greet in Dana Point

Tom talking to seniors at Dana Point California Meet and Greet May 22 2019

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – May 31, 2019 – Keeping me focused – The next Senior Meet and Greet in Dana Point California is Thursday, June 27, 2019

by columnist Tom Blake

Get it right, Tom

I received several comments about the singles Meet and Greet recap in last week’s eNewsletter. However, the most frequent comment wasn’t about THAT Meet and Greet, it was about the NEXT Meet and Greet. I wrote it would be Thursday, June 28.

About 20 Champs set me straight (in a cordial and respectful way). In 2019, there won’t be a Thursday, June 28. That Thursday is June 27. I stand humbly corrected.

And speaking of Meet and Greets, Randall emailed, “Tom, I’ve been advised that you have a singles group that meets at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point on a monthly basis. I know your reputation for being honest and would like to attend the next meeting.”

My response to Randy: “With this group of astute Champs, anything less than honesty would be exposed in a nanosecond.

“The May Meet and Greet at Tutor & Spunky’s Deli was the first one since I sold the deli in 2015. Turnout was great, about 100. We will continue to have them as long as senior singles in our area want them.”

I suggested Randy sign up for this On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter on, so he can be updated on upcoming events and singles information that I consider important, interesting (and honest!).

 Romance Scam alert

Randy’s “being honest” comment leads me into a story of someone who wasn’t honest. I’m sharing it today because I never want any of our Champs to be scammed out of money, assets, self-respect, or anything.

I read an article written by Faith Karimi that appeared on CNN on May 24. A woman from Georgia was swindled out of $80,000 by a young scammer. I couldn’t determine from the article the age of the woman but was shocked that she was so naïve and foolish that she gave the man the money after one week of dating.

Here are some of the excerpts from the article:

“John Martin Hill, 35, connected with the woman…on in late March…Hill took the woman out on a date the same day they met (online), and the two agreed to get married a week later… (I thought to myself—you must be kidding–she met him in person on the same day first contact was made, without checking him out, and, agreed to marry him in a week?).

“He told the woman he’s a millionaire, and they decided to invest in a love nest. The woman gave her now fiancé $80,000 (cash) to help with the home’s purchase…

“During their short romance, he convinced her that they were in love and wanted to buy a house together…When he got the money, he cut all contact with the woman… (shocking, I know).

“The man lived with another woman and a child in Duluth, Georgia — and he’s wanted in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey for similar scams, authorities said.

“Since then, several women have come forward and said they were in a relationship with him, or, knew women who were. Hill has changed his name at least five times in two and a half years, police said.

“Police arrested him Wednesday at a hotel in Franklin, Tennessee…”

The CNN story also stated, “’By sharing this story, it is our hope that he is not able to victimize any other women using this scam,’ Gwinnett County Police said in a statement. ‘These types of con men are very good at manipulating their victims. They tend to say everything that a woman wants to hear.’”

Emphasis on sentence above: they tend to say everything a woman wants to hear. 

Apparently, Hill has used several aliases including Gregory Hill and has scammed women in several states. He’s behind bars now, and it seems he will be for years to come. He was busted in 2012 but was still able to operate scams since then.

How anyone could be so naïve is beyond comprehension. However, it happened to women in several states. Wow.

Link to that article:

In fairness to… 

I don’t want to give the impression that all Internet dating sites are bad, and I’m not singling out I am merely re-emphasizing that one must be careful when meeting strangers online or anywhere.

This week, Don, one of our Champs, wrote to say he would attend the next Meet and Greet. Don said, “I met the perfect lady for me on a little over a year ago and she seems to think I am the perfect man for her. Edie is 73 and I am 78 and we are doing great.” is not a dating site, but here’s why it’s a good option for meeting people…

Vicki wrote, “I’m 70. Widowed 5 years. I loved being married and though I don’t want marriage at my age, I do want a companion. I’ve been lucky and I’ve dated a lot.

“I’m a determined lady and I’ve used all the dating sites (and I took dating seriously) and I’ve had horror stories, but I’ve also met some ‘ok men,’ just never ‘my man.’ I always picked men that were 3 or 4 years younger; I’m an on-the-go, fun, lady who attracts younger men, men who also like to get out and have fun).

“I’ve always turned down dates from anyone younger than 3 or 4 years. Even though I’ve always been told I do not look my age, I never strayed from that age range because I was brought up that women date their age or older.

“As for the you-look-younger line I hear, people say that to be nice and your age is going to come up sooner than later when you date, and I’m a bad liar. I always told the truth about my age and ignored the invites from the 50s + group.

“I joined a fun group–single and 55+ was the requirement. I recommend to meet men vs. online dating. Of course, more women than men are in this group, but lucky me, an attractive man 10-years-younger, took a liking to me.

“We went out, he knew my age, he didn’t care! I wrestled with the age differences until I realized how much fun I was having with him, and guess what? We are now companions, spend at least 4 or 5 nights a week together, have gone on two trips and I’m happier than I’ve ever been in a relationship!

“My new advice for all daters over 55 is just go for it, enjoy every minute you have and forget age, be honest and if they don’t care, you don’t care! You are as young as you feel and when anyone asks my age I now say, ‘I’m old enough to know better than to answer that, and young enough not to care that you asked!’ Then I wink! It usually gets a laugh!”

Memorial Day Ceremony and Flower Drop at the Palm Springs Air Museum…

    A P-51 Mustang participated in the Flower Drop flyover.  This plane was flown by the Tuskegee Air Men

Greta and I were in Palm Springs on Memorial Day. We decided to attend the 22nd Annual Flower Drop & Air Fair at the Palm Springs Air Museum, known as one of the best air museums in the world. As a Navy veteran, Memorial Day means a lot to me. I wrote about our incredible day there, and included several pictures and videos. If interested, go to The home page will open on the story. That is the same website with all of our travel adventures on it.

Reminder: The next Meet and Greet is Thursday, June 27, 2019, at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, CA. 5 to 7 p.m.

Senior seeks dating advice at Dana Point deli

Customer service: a senior seeks dating advice at Dana Point’s Tutor & Spunky’s deli

By columnist Tom Blake

When I owned Tutor & Spunky’s Deli on Coast Highway, in Dana Point, California, for 25 years, it became a meeting and gathering place for older singles. One reason that happened was the deli sponsored a “Meet and Greet for singles age 50+” one night each month.

I know of at least 20 couples who met at those events and it pleases me to know many of them remain together years later.

I sold the deli four years ago to Jim and Shelley Mouzakis, who have continued operating it as a popular, locals, place to eat.

Tutor and Spunky’s Deli has won the “People’s Choice Golden Lantern Award” for “Best Sandwich” in the Dana Point Times’ Best of Dana Point Magazine 10 years in a row, including 2019.

I believe one of the key reasons for winning the Golden Lantern award is that employees Teresa (30 years), Debbie (20 years) and Sandy (17 years) are still working there. They were among my favorite and most loyal employees.

Great employees Teresa and Debbie
Teresa and Debbie at Tutor and Spunky’s   Deli in Dana Point, California in 2004

Last week, I received a text from Debbie. She wrote: “A man by the name of Ray asked about the age 50+ singles group that you and Greta hosted here at the deli before you retired. He asked if any of the singles from that group still come here.

“He wanted your telephone number to find out information about other singles’ groups that meet in south Orange County. Here is his phone number,” (which Debbie provided).

I texted Debbie, “Thanks, Deb, you have always been so thoughtful and considerate of customers, always helping them. How old do you think Ray is?”

Always being the diplomat, Debbie responded, “He is older–guessing late 70s, maybe 80. He seemed very eager to find a new lady friend. He took his girlfriend of 13 years to a community center Valentine’s Day party, but something happened, she is no longer his girlfriend.

“He was looking for a place where older singles hang out and knew you could help him. He will be happy to hear from you.”

Thinking that Ray must be very sad, or, he can’t cope being alone–after all, it was just five days since Valentine’s Day—I phoned him and left a message that I’d be happy to talk to him. I feel bad when older couples lose a mate and one or both are desperate to immediately meet someone new.

I was prepared to tell Ray to take a deep breath, think about what happened, and not be so eager to rush out and replace his girlfriend. Also, that there is no place of which I’m aware in south Orange County–or anywhere for that matter–where older men go to hang out to meet older women close to their age. Places like that don’t exist.

Ray called me back on Friday, February 22, leaving this message:

“The reason I called you: I was a single. My woman-friend and I broke up after Valentine’s Day. I was looking for a place where older singles hang out and knew you could help me.

“But, she and I are attached again. That’s just how it is with women: one day it’s one way; the next day it’s another.

“We are happy now, but if it happens again, I will call you. Thank you.”

Some older men can’t handle being alone, not even for a few days. They rush into a new romance, and after a while, realize they weren’t prepared mentally for a new relationship. The result: they often end up breaking the new woman’s heart. Not good.

I didn’t find out what transpired in Ray’s case—why they broke up or why they got back together—he didn’t say.

I notified Debbie that Ray was already back with his girlfriend.

Debbie’s reply: “How funny. Oh well, we gave him the best customer service we could provide. I wish him success.”

Perhaps, in 2020, the Dana Point Times, San Clemente Times, and The Capistrano DispatchBest Of” Magazines will add a new awards category: Best restaurant to dispense senior dating advice.

A  version of this article appeared March 1, 2019 in


and the February 28, 2019, San Clemente Times

aeb8d6_d1217dc996dc4392a46d4bcabc21eb2f_mv2                                                               San Clemente Times