Age is just a number

Age is just a number
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

June 18, 2021
by Tom Blake columnist

(The article today has been edited for length and clarity)
marjorie and hans
Senior dating at 80+ Marjorie & Hans – Love across the pond
Marjorie, 87, (photo above on left) emailed this week about her senior long-distance romance with a man from Amsterdam, “My motto: be interested and interesting. My passion is traveling and enjoying the visual arts.

“My Amsterdam relationship began in 1998 when my engineer companion and I did a house exchange with Hans and his wife, who lived in Amsterdam.
“Hans’s wife died in 2014. He came to California in 2015. We took a trip together and discovered we were meant to travel together. We have crossed the Atlantic six times traveling in Europe and the USA.

The pandemic has limited us to daily Skypes. Will we travel again at our age? I’m not sure. Hans is 84.” The photo of us above was taken in my 90-year-old artist friend’s home (she is in the middle).

More on senior love

Two weeks ago, the June 4 eNewsletter featured three independent women, Paula, Kathy, and Leslie. Champ Art, Margate, Florida, commented about each woman’s situation. 

But first, a reminder about Paula, age 75, who moves to a new city every two years or so, and renovates homes, and then flips them. We included a picture of her two Bassett Hounds in that June 4 issue. Paula said, “The only way I can do what I do is to be single.”

Art said, “It’s interesting that Paula has not grown roots, and still has that wanderlust feeling about herself. I’m 82 and find meeting (potential mates) very easy, but I would not want to become interested in a woman who has not found a man to call a keeper or a place to call home by the time she is 75.

And Art said this about Kathy: “Her issue, being allergic to most animals, could never work for me. I love animals and have two cats at home.”

Regarding Leslie, age 80, who met her fiance four years ago, Art said, “I congratulate Leslie on her engagement. Her independence is a trait I admire if not carried too far. Leslie has found her way to thrive in a singles world.”

Art added, “When my wife passed in 2007 I thought that I would never know love again, but by learning how to use POF (Plenty of Fish) and putting a lot of thought into my writing, I have been blessed beyond my expectations.

“I am currently dating a 79-year-old woman who lives about a half-hour from my house. We are both vegetarians, both of us love live theater, and we each find the other attractive and fun to be with.”

Even more on senior love

One of our Champs is Tammy La Gorce, the New York Times “Weddings” columnist. This week Tammy shared a column she wrote about two 95-year-olds who just got married.

She thought I’d like the last two sentences from her article, which are quoted below:
“Nobody starts life at 95,” Ms. Morrow-Nulton said. “But we did.”

“I’m not lonely anymore,” Mr. Shults said. Better still, “I don’t think we’ll get sick of each other.”

 Here is a link to Tammy’s story:

P.S. You may be asked to subscribe to the Times’s online edition, for a very reasonable rate.

Part 2 – Champ Larry on Lake Michigan
Grand Haven Sunset Larry
Larry and his daughter on Lake Michigan during sunset
Grand Haven Lake Michigan Sunset – June 2021

Last year, Champ Larry, (above, with his daughter a week ago), contacted me, saying he would be in the Dana Point area and asked if we could meet for lunch. He mentioned that he was retired, single, widowed, living in Florida, and spent summers in a beach city on Lake Michigan.

Having grown up in Michigan, I asked, “Where in Michigan?”
Larry said, “Grand Haven.” I was amazed. I told him that my mom had grown up in Grand Haven and our family had rented a cottage there for a month during several different summers.

“What was your mom’s maiden name?” Larry asked.

“Frances Pardee.”

Larry said, “I knew a man named George Pardee. He hired me for my first job in Grand Haven. He worked for the Peerless Novelty Company.”

I was even more amazed. George Pardee was my uncle. Turns out, Larry was the City Manager of Grand Haven for years, before moving to Florida where he was a City Manager in a beach city there. He and my uncle became good friends.

Larry and I met for lunch and found we had even more in common.
Two weeks ago, he was visiting South Orange County again (his daughter lives here) and we met for coffee for a couple of hours. So, Larry is another Champ who has become a special friend.

Is he single? Well, yes, but let’s put it this way. He seems to have met some nice potential mates in Florida. I’m certain he will keep me posted on what happens in that regard.

Thanks to Larry for sending the photo. I encourage other Champs to do the same thing, along with some biographical information.

Senior Marriage – Will our Champ’s Wedding be in the New York Times?

Will our Champ’s wedding be in the New York Times?
On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – April 30, 2021
by Tom Blake Columnist

Senior Marriage

When Champs share their stories and situations with all of us, positive results can follow.

First, the stories often help people who have had or are currently involved in similar experiences and sometimes predicaments.
Second, when we cast our nets far and wide, unexpected positive results can materialize.

I admit that last week when I sent out my eNewsletter for the first time using email-provider Constant Contact, I was holding my breath. I hoped I wouldn’t screw up with the new format.

I wrote about Ginny, age 80, and her significant other Harry, 87, who are contemplating marriage. Champs were amazing, responding in droves giving “thumbs up” to the new eNewsletter look and Ginny’s and Harry’s story.

One of the first responses blew me away. It was from Tammy La Gorce, the New York Times “Weddings” reporter. She wrote:

 “My Friday wouldn’t be complete without your newsletter. I love the new look! Not sure if you remember me — I’m the NYTimes Weddings reporter. “Ginny and Harry’s wedding would be a great one to feature in our section. Would you be able to ask Ginny if she’d like to be featured and if so, when they’re planning to be married?

  “Here’s a look at my latest column: 

I immediately responded to Tammy’s email, writing: “Yes, I remember you. I just heard from Ginny. I know she would love to be in your NY Times column. Hence, I am copying this email to her so you will have each other’s email addresses. “And you have my permission to use whatever you want, if anything, from today’s eNewsletter.

“Too bad you weren’t writing your “Weddings” column in 1968. I was married (the first time) at the headquarters of the Episcopal Church, which was located in NYC at 2nd Avenue and 43rd Street.

“After the ceremony, everyone in attendance walked over to a restaurant named Nell Gywn’s on 42nd Street across from Grand Central Station. We were carrying the altar flowers and lots of people honked and waved at our group. Twas fun. “Let me know if things proceed with Ginny and Harry.”
Tammy responded: “Yes, wish I had been there in 1968 but I hadn’t been born!”

Egads, Tammy’s comment reminded me that I was married for the first time 53 years ago. Holy Toledo! I wonder if our Champs can remember when and where they first married?

Ginny and Tammy have touched base. Ginny shared the email she sent to Tammy: “I was surprised and very pleased that you want to write about Harry and me. I think we may have compromised on a November wedding. But I will let you know for sure, as soon as I can get a definite answer from Harry.  Ginny”

I thought Ginny’s comment: “…we may have compromised on a November wedding.” was hilarious. Sounds like Harry isn’t moving too fast to make the wedding happen.

I hope Ginny will keep us updated and maybe we’ll read about her wedding in the NY Times.