Brian Sandford: Different generations shouldn’t fear mixing it up
January 11, 2014
Columnist Sam Bauman often writes about the importance of seniors continuing to be active, and that’s a great message. But it isn’t just seniors who need to make sure they get out of the house.
It’s everybody. Last Sunday, I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon with seven people who’d chosen to do exactly that and come spend the afternoon watching the San Francisco 49ers-Green Bay Packers game at my house. I invited one of them, columnist Guy W. Farmer, to come over just two days before the game. Then I thought to invite friends Jim and Terry Buzonik, whom I know through our mutual interest in astronomy, and Garrett Lepire, a friend who happens to advertise with us and knows very well that while I appreciate that, it’ll never influence my news or friendship decisions. Garrett brought his fiancée, Kacie, and my girlfriend, Pam, was kind enough to co-host. At the last minute, I invited columnist Bo Statham, and he was happy to make an appearance. I’d also invited Glen Lucky, but unfortunately, he wasn’t available.
I knew going in that we’d have an eclectic mix of people. Jim, Terry, Guy and Bo are retired (or semi-retired, given that two of them write for our paper). The rest of us happily toil. Four of us were older than 50, and the other four were younger than 40.
Care to guess how that worked out? Six of the eight attendees were interested in seeing the Niners win, but we all barely paid attention to the screen because of the nonstop conversation. I marveled at how the younger and older attendees didn’t cluster into age-related groups. We clustered together based on mutual interests that transcend age.
That prompted me to consider what age means in greater depth. I wrote many months ago about how it’s important to listen to what children have to say, even though I have none of my own. Obviously, listening to what elders think is vitally important, as they’ve got the most life experience. After watching people of multiple generations communicate so well in my home, I found myself appreciating the fact that while many of our readers have more gray hair than me, none has ever accused anyone on our staff of being inexperienced and therefore lacking in knowledge.
But that’s not the point of this column. I’ve spoken to more than 20 organizations in town, and most of them consist of older readers. Members of the Carson Leisure Club invited to me to speak last year, then implored me to sound the call for younger members. Indeed, that group and many others in this town could use some fresh blood, as being Facebook friends with people you respect isn’t enough. There’s no substitute for face-to-face communication. Until last Sunday, I hadn’t really considered how unimportant age is when it comes to passions and goals.
Many of our readers are older than I am, and I am grateful that you take what I say — and what we do — seriously. Thank you for showing respect toward what I write and try to accomplish here. I respect you a ton.
Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at email@example.com.