Sailing on San Francisco Bay

A 45 year reunion of the Experimental Movement Lab at Connecticut College (plus a slideshow)

Photographer Peter Cunningham documented a day long reunion of a group of Wesleyan and Connecticut College alums who had shared a pivotal experience in the late sixties with dance guru Martha Myers. Realize Magazine, inspired by Cunningham’s wonderful photographs, asked Ara Fitzgerald to talk about the Lab and the reunion.

Some people do manage to have it all...

Not only does Tom Nolan run a tight ship of an R&B band playing nearly 60 gigs a year, but he also happens to be a dedicated educator.  Tom has worked as a Dean of Students at the prestigious Crossroads School in Los Angeles, for nearly 30 years.  Add to his CV the fact that he has a killer voice, covering some R&B standards with muscle and grit, and crooning his own memorable tunes, like Redheads and Red Wine.  

I did a three-part interview with Tom as we wandered through the charming canals of Venice, CA.  In the first he discusses his origins and motives...


My painting is about the paradox of time and stillness. My mother and I share this appreciation...

I’ve heard all the old stories again and again.  Some are really interesting, but I take them all for granted – part of my identity.  My mother has always been a good story teller and still is. Now I'm hearing those stories all the time; the year she turned 90, she moved into my house in the mountains of North Carolina. 

She had been living in Galveston Texas with my younger brother and his wife. When their house was badly damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2007 she was homeless for six weeks; lived in a motel for a month and then was hospitalized with a serious case of pneumonia. When she was...

What the Amsterdammers know - video interviews

In the short week I spent in Amsterdam last autumn, I approached four Amsterdammers and asked them one simple question...  What's it like being over 50 in Amsterdam? I was charmed by their responses.

Lovely, open people all.  I wonder, would I get the same reception in L.A.?  Well, maybe if I spoke Dutch...  

Which I'd be happy to learn, just so I could live in that wonderful city on the sea.  Wish I had a clone!  Or another 100 years!


Recognized as a top innovator in the field of aging, Bill Thomas is a live wire!
BOOMERS ~ You got what it takes to be an Elder? Watch this video interview and find out. Dr. Bill Thomas, 'one of WSJ's top 12 innovators' changing the future of retirement talks with Realize Magazine's editor Ellary Eddy.
Maybe it's Because He Knows How to Play... Watch the Video interview.

Yes, Larry really knows how to play, but more importantly, Larry really knows how to emote, and how to help you energize your ability to do so as well. This is at the core of his workshop, ‘Masters of Self-Expression.’  Does the name sound a bit outlandish, abstract? Yet Larry, together with the program’s founder, Dan Fauci, and their talented faculty, brings it down to earth. The workshop’s goal is to help us discover the path to a deeper, more meaningful expression of our true selves. Their methods range from highly entertaining to terrifying and are almost always exhilarating.

Sue Gelber, First Prize Winner Realize Writer's Contest!

I’m in love with an elderly basset hound. I don’t know his name – I’m not even sure he’s male – but I call him Ben. Ben the Basset Hound. I see him every morning, lumbering along the walking path behind our house. His daily pilgrimage usually takes place right when I’ve sat down to nurse a cup of coffee over the newspaper. Ben is mostly dark with a white patch on his belly and a big white spot at the tip of his tail. He has long ears, and although I can’t quite see them from my kitchen window, I imagine he has the classic forlorn basset hound eyes.

The oldest scar on my body is a thin white line on the under right side of my lower lip that marks where I jumped into the pool at the age of five and hit my face on the deck as I completed a perfect 180. I don’t recall if there was blood in the water, but I remember a beautiful woman in the changing room lamenting that I would be scarred for life. She was right.

There are the two perfect ridges, barely legible now, that traverse my lower abdomen marking my only planned surgery: a double hernia at the age of six. I remember the night before in the hospital, standing on my bed unable to sleep, spying...

When childhood memories and imagination collide
The wonders of growing up never really leave us. Ricketts recalls her wondrous childhood on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Because there are epiphanies

Somewhere in my forties, raising a kid at home and trying to keep an art career afloat, I came to the sobering realization that life is 90 percent maintenance. Now this is a percentage that varies of course, depending on the size and density of the flack field one is traversing, but I would peg that amount at rarely under 85 percent.

In my parenting era I found myself hamstrung between my career goals and the obvious stay-at-home mom stuff like shopping and cooking, tackling school issues and supervising homework, setting up play dates and music lessons and, of course, chauffeuring.  On top of that, I was...

A rambling meditation on the meaning of Home
Jung said that our Home is a reflection of our inner self. The Editor of Realize Magazine takes a look at this, examining the deeper meanings of Home.
Ed Nicholson's "Encore" career, Project Healing Waters, performs miracles on riverbanks all over America.

I recently read a book called The Big Shift, by Marc Freedman, which I highly recommend for anyone looking to alter their idea of what it means to grow older in the 21st century, and learned that Freedman had founded a group called Encore, a non-profit organization “dedicated to supporting people whose “second acts” contribute to society’s greater good." Then in 2005, Encore created the Purpose Prize, which The New York Times called “The MacArthur genius award for people who develop a second career as social service entrepreneurs.” "The nation’s only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and...

Henry Harvey Shakes the Retirement Concept Down with a Little Help from Bucky Fuller

In real-time, it’s 3:45 in the morning and this sentence just woke me up: "I Seem to be a Verb."  

It’s the title of Buckminster Fuller’s book, written in 1970.  Most folks know him as the guy who invented the geodesic dome, but he was far more: inventor, philosopher, author, designer, architect… futurist. It’s a terrific book, by the way, and though this isn’t a puff-piece about “Bucky,” if I had to pick a superhero or a mentor, it’d probably be him.

A Disclaimer:  Having spent virtually all of my 65 years on this planet as a guy, I really can’t speak for...

Roland De Wolk takes a relatively unfunny incident and makes a really funny story from it.

My Friend Len died not long ago. And then he wasn’t dead anymore. “Being dead isn’t so bad,” he told me sitting 20 feet from where he croaked in a Sausalito café along the waterfront. I want to say he deadpanned. But that would spoil the ending. 

Len’s in his late 60s. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford. He taught journalism at San Francisco State University for many years. He was no average professor type. He was universally regarded as the toughest teacher in the department and suffered no fools, gladly or with no gladness. In his fit 50s, when he could have just paid a lot of attention to the hoards of comely...

So what’s on your list? Boomers, Bucket Lists and the Big Beyond
How did people start thinking of “buckets” in relation to death? The most popular theory is that it derived from the 1700’s, from the practice of standing a condemned person atop a bucket prior to tightening of the noose. Kick the bucket out from under the unfortunate, and – voila! Out of death is born a new metaphor.
Director Jack B. Kahuna recounts an awesome game of Hockey played with guys half his age
Play hockey when you're way over 50? A moment of glory can be yours if you just keep playin'.
Pat Hitchens examines the trend of Boomerang Grads

This month American college seniors will collectively sit through more than 2,000 commencement addresses.    Per tradition, speakers will paint bright pictures of the world the young will inherit, urging them to hang onto their love-of-learning, to think outside-the-box, and be brave in the face of all that will be strange and new.   

As it turns out, however, while things may indeed be strange, not all things will be new. Despite 2013’s slightly rosier hiring forecast, the majority of this year’s fresh faces will not vault directly from dorm to career.   And...

New Contributing Writer Steve Fiffer ruminates on the curious phenomenon of the Obituary

Phil Winick, 87, founder of the Fluky's hot dog restaurants, died Wednesday in Louis B. Weiss Memorial Hospital.  Mr. Winick served up hot dogs in Chicago for more than three decades.  After retiring in the late 1960s, he was inducted into the Vienna Sausage Co.'s hall of fame... Chicago Sun Times obituary

Ambrose Bierce once defined a lawsuit as, "a machine that you go into as a pig and come out as a sausage."  In a sense the same can be said of obituaries.     

When my father--a lawyer, not a sausage maker--died suddenly some thirty-five years ago, the firm...

Where a Young Brooklyn Writer and Her Mother Meet...

A couple of years ago, after reading Just Kids by Patti Smith, my mother texted me, "You could be a rock star."

For me, the profundity of that message was initially difficult to place.  I didn’t have designs on being a rock star but I was glad to receive a note of cool encouragement from my mom.  I was, and still am, figuring out how to live my life in the arts as a writer and performer.  As well, I knew that my mother supported my creative endeavors and believed that I could make it, as they say in the biz, and it was nice to receive a little reminder of her...

The phantasmagorical nature of Alzheimer's and, hence, identity

How many times can you lose your mother? This phrase repeats itself in my head.  It is not a metaphorical question. My mother has had Alzheimer's for almost 15 years.  

My own journey alongside her illness has led me through strange territory.  Mostly unguided, mostly alone.  The one phrase I encountered in my occasional inquiry into the nature of the disease still resonates - that for those closest to the individual, there is a phenomenon which is akin to a succession of little deaths and, for each one, an attendant period of mourning.

Peter Cunningham's new book on the rapidly disappearing way of life of the fisherman of Grand Manan Island.
Peter Cunningham's new book on the rapidly disappearing way of life of the fisherman of Grand Manan Island.
Longtime executive in the fashion world, Skip took a radical detour...
Longtime executive in the fashion world, Skip took a radical detour; he retrofitted a 42' boat for commercial tuna fishing and headed to sea.
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