About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Sunday Singalong - The Older I Get, the Better I Was

My husband had that slogan on a t-shirt . . . now I wear the shirt. Hmmm. 

Age is Just a Number (and Mine’s “Unlisted” . . . I heard someone say once)

Of course, I have to wonder if the next generation understands “unlisted number.” It seems everyone has a social media account – Twitter (OK, X . . . ? Are you kidding me? Isn’t that a trademarked “name”?), Insta-whatever, Facebook, TikTok, click-here-to-leave-me-a-message-on-my-page app . . . I’m on Facebook and that’s all I care to keep up with. But celebrities and politicians and prisoners and just about everyone who is anyone is on one or more “platforms” (a term that once was reserved for train stations and upcoming elections).

Where was I? Oh, yes, becoming outdated. I’m fine with that . . . it means there is less stress with having to keep up with the Kardashians or whomever (I know, it used to be the “Joneses,” but that name’s had a bad rap, so I went with some a bit less controversial). My, I’m in a weird mood this evening. And feeling older the longer I write this. But I’m hardly alone. At least 1000 people in my high school graduating class (more than in the entire college I attended right after high school) are likely experiencing similar feelings as we watch those a bit younger acting as if they’ll never get older (which, with God willing, they will, of course). I remember acting and feeling the same. But I wouldn’t want to go back in time to do it all again, even if I could take my today knowledge with me into yesterday. And I sure don’t understand that obsession with youth I keep hearing about . . . and the seeking of the fountain thereof. Really? Live forever? Oh, thank you, but no. Mostly, I’m good with the whole addition of another year with every birthday (not counting the aid for everything from hearing to walking . . . grateful I have the aids!). I guess because I’d listened to Pete Seeger sing about this time of life throughout my youth, I wasn’t surprised when it arrived on my doorstep.

 Pete Seeger, Stern Grove, San Francisco CA 8/6/78. Photo: Brian McMillen, © 28 Jan 2014

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Here is a video of Pete in concert back in the 1970s (egads, that’s about a half century ago!). He does a little banjo solo before singing the song and I like how he gives his head a subtle shake when he doesn’t hit the right note (my head shakes a lot like that these days). So, enjoy “Get up and Go” recorded live.  And then share a song about time, getting older, remembering being younger . . . go with it where it takes you!

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