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March 29, 2008


Ronni Bennett

Thanks for this story on The Elder Storytelling Place, David.

I've been blogging about aging at Time Goes By for nearly five years and "ESP" is almost a year old now too, but only a couple of weeks ago did it hit me that elderblogs - those written by people mostly age 60 and older - are the ONLY source for information about what it's REALLY like to get old.

Yes, as you point out, there are focus groups, surveys and academic studies, but they don't tell us about the everyday, ordinary experience of aging.

And because of deeply-held, cultural ageist beliefs, there has been no curiosity among academics (and marketers, with the exception of you) to find out much about old people except what goes WRONG as we age, not what goes RIGHT.

And so what we get from advertisers are exhortations to buy products to "fix" us - that is, to make us more like young people instead of addressing the needs and desires common to our time in life - which are different from those of the 30-year-olds who, apparently, populate advertising agencies.

A commenter on my blog recently left this spot-on note:

"The women in the public eye have their wrinkles removed; there's no gray hair, slumping shoulders, or sagging breasts. The ads make it seem like mountain climbing and wind-surfing are common activities for the over 70 crowd. I wonder what's wrong with me that I don't want to do those things, and I'm not even 60 yet.

“I appreciate elderblogs for their honesty, optimism and experience. I learn so much from the comments here, as well as on the blogs I've found from this site. They make me feel normal.”

I started Time Goes By because after several years of research into aging, 95 percent of what I found was about decline, debility and disease, and I just knew that couldn't be all there is to it.

Five years later, that view of aging still holds in all media - except on elderblogs. Most do not, as I do, write specifically about aging. They write about as many different things in their lives as young people do and they are a goldmine of information and insight about the second half of life that can be found nowhere else.

David Wolfe


I know that gathering and organizing the stories on The Elder Storytelling Place is challenging and at times even frustrating, but you are providing such a valuable service. I still think you ought to draw on the motherlode of insights revealed by the stories posted at ESP and develop a book. If you ever want to pursue that idea I'd be happy to share with you my thoughts on how such a book might be developed.



Glad to see you writing about TGB and the more recent Storytelling Place addition.

Between your blog posts and information at TGB and STP, the advertising community has an untapped gold mine of information. They can only benefit from awakening to truly meaningful valuable source information on how to advertise their products, or even what sort of products appeal to elders (many do have money to spend which should be some incentive.)I am just one of many older bloggers from whom they could gauge a wide range of interests prevail.

BTW I found this blog, David, from a link at TGB well over a year ago and have found what you write here very thoughtful and informative.

FWIW I enjoyed the story you recently shared -- very poignant.


I knew the people at WJZ ilovnved with this event very well. He is LYING big time about the events around losing his hair!! He was suspended from the station until his solicitation for prostitution near Patterson Park was resolved. In fact he had to really compromise (beg) to keep his job.Under extreme conditions & probation he returned to air months later. But, in order for him to show how humbled he was, it was decided that removing his toupee would accomplish that to a certain amount. However, I do not know if that was his choice or a must as part of the deal!Conclusion: How much of the rest of the story is true??

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