When I was hired by Spindle Publishing 15+ years ago, I was in my early twenties and fresh out of college. I had no idea what I was doing at first, but I loved our publisher’s philosophy of publishing guides and websites designed to help audiences going through major life transitions. Our goal is to provide a springboard to understanding various stages of life and finding local resources and businesses that can assist with them — from our Expectant Mother’s Guide for first time expectant parents to the High School Graduate for juniors and seniors in the public high schools to our Senior Citizen’s Guide with “Boomers Resource Guide” supplement. I am extremely proud of our print distribution method – any organization or business wanting copies must submit their request for free copies in writing. This helps ensure that our distributors really want them and have an active method for handing them out to the audience.
I worked on a lot of projects until I was handed the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Pittsburgh, a guide that was started when my publisher’s father retired from a life of government and social service. What first struck me about the guide was that it was very localized and had a wonderful grassroots/hometown feel. I’ve learned so much about Baby Boomer and senior concerns and services and have enormous respect for people who work with and serve older adults in our community. My husband even jokes that I know more about being 60+ than I do about being my own age!
Of course, I’ll never truly understand what it is like to be older until I get there. But I do know first-hand from being very close with my grandparents (Gramp is 80 and Gram 78) that there are many transitions and changes in terms of finances, health, housing and lifestyle they have gone through from back when they were in their late 40’s helping my very young parents raise me to the present as great grandparents to my two children.
I don’t think even they know the extent of their positive influence on my life. I love to hear their stories about the past and present as well as dreams of the future and only wish they were less modest so that they would tell me more of them.
I had many older friends growing up who also shared their insights and histories that still stick with me today, including a woman named Violet who I had been introduced to through a program at church when I was in high school. She lived alone on an old farm with a mean old goose that liked to chase me around as well as a bunch of cats that I would feed for her. I recall her, 80+ and vibrant, washing out her sandwich bags to save them while telling me about the Great Depression and stories of her youth and heritage, teaching me how to make tomato sandwiches – yum! — and to play a mean game of Scrabble. Now, Violet could tell a story and so many of them have stuck with me through the years!
I’ve now been managing the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia editions of the Senior Citizen’s Guide with its wonderful “Boomers Resource Guide” supplement and overseeing its many new city editions from Boston to San Francisco for a total of over 12 years. A lot has changed! Our website, www.SeniorCitizensGuide.com, gets over 450,000 hits on average per month, and we now are even utilizing social media to market our features and advertisers (Twitter and Facebook)!
Now that the Senior Citizen’s Guide is expanding as a series into so many new markets, it is becoming even more important to me to maintain our localized, grassroots feel, no matter how big the series may grow. To aid in this effort, I welcome all of you to submit your stories and articles! Technology makes it possible for everyone to have a voice. Not just the powerful or the young.
This is a call to all readers, distributors, local businesses/organizations, and our supportive advertisers to become “guest bloggers” or contributors to our brand NEW Senior Blog on www.seniorcitizensguide.com!
Let us know what topics you would like covered, what resources we are missing. We long to hear from all who wish to educate, inspire, stimulate and simply tell their stories.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and suggestions. We can’t wait to hear from you!