What Fun: A Walk Through Time Where Everything Old is New Again

On September 8th , 2013 Aging in New York will host an inter generational adventure in Prospect Park Brooklyn . The festivities include a .6 mile stroll through the decades with food , music, fun and games of each decade. Boomers and older adults are encouraged to bring kids and grand kids and visa versa, to share memories and compare the old with the new. Have you flipped a baseball card lately? Done the twist? Dressed like a beatnik or danced to swing?

If not, maybe it's long overdo.

The intent behind this madness is to spotlight the importance of the older adult in the New York community and to shine a light on New York as a great place to grow older, but never become old. 

Sponsorships and other revenue will benefit Aging in New York , a consortium of charities that support mature residents.

Great minds think alike. When I learned about the event I was just putting finishing touches on my 65th birthday part invitation. It read: 65 is the new 9; Let's Party Like It's 1957!

My party, like the Aging in New York Walk Through Time , will be a lighthearted look backwards. Ironically , in 1957 I had my tonsils removed in an office only steps away from Prospect Park site of the Walk.  I woke up groggy on a cot with my Aunt Rose, for whom my daughter was named, asking the doctor how much ice cream I could have . The happy answer was "lots." So, we went for Carvel. I understand that the walk will feature yogurt. My party will have sugar free, gluten free ice cream. But, I still long for a malted, Lime Ricky, Coke Float , and Jahns bottomless ice cream bowl.

And that will be the rub. How exactly can you explain the joys of kick ball, kick the can, or dodge ball to kids who play international soccer. Or explain the victory of getting all the way to "Z my name is Zelda and my husband's name is Zeb" with your under-the-leg Spalding Ball to kids whose favorite computer games are made into major motion pictures?

At my actual 9th birthday party my Mom made a big mistake. She promised to take the neighborhood kids to a movie. There was only one you could walk to , The Rugby on Church Avenue, next to Mt Vesuvius Pizza at  15 cents a slice. She never thought to check on what movie played the day of my party. So, like Madeline a line of little girls followed my Mom down six streets, crossed at the Green Not In Between (just like the owl told us to,) and all of us watched "Fast and Sexy" with Gina Lollobrigida. Not one Mom complained and not one child understood any of the movie. But, no one stopped giggling.

Now,  I plan to ask my 21 year old daughter and 31 year old son and his wife to join me and their Dad on the Walk Through Time. I'm not sure if they'll like to hear us brag about the past. We are pretty proud of Brooklyn "when it was the world."

I am thrilled that New York City gets awards for being age friendly from UNESCO, and is always in magazines as a "great places to retire". Culture, convenience, food and health care are unbeatable. Affordability is tough. Yet, we staunchly stay put, or move back to retire if we can.

So much work and thought is being given to universal design, inclusion, healthcare, connectivity and elder technology (NanaTechnolgy) that we may lose sight of how growing older went in our grandparents' time. Old folks sat on the stoop and talked with each other all day. Sixty five year olds seemed ancient when I was nine; and they were different  in their life expectations.

But, one thing that endures; we all want to share and review our history with those we love; we all want to have lifelong options that suit us without assumptions about how aging limits us; and of course we all want a Charlotte Russe (Kids- look it up.)