Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Boomers Among Us

HALLIE: When Teri Flatley turned fifty, she took a self-imposed sabbatical to think about what she really really really wanted to do with the rest of her life. Her solution was to make the most of it and to help her fellow Baby Boomers do the same.

Her creation, Boom This!, is a web site loaded with great information on health, fitness, money, lifestyle, food, and more.

Where else can you learn about a Florida retiree’s invention, pickleball—a cross between ping-pong and tennis. The game’s even got its own association and official rules.

So Teri, what’s a Baby Boomer?

TERI: When I am asked to explain who is a Baby Boomer (and I get that a lot since I have spent six years writing about us), I know what to expect. What’s the age span for Boomers, they will ask, you know, just what years are we talking about here? When I tell them that Baby Boomers were born during an 18-year span, they are generally OK with the beginning year -- 1946 -- since that was what they already had in mind (i.e., the end of WWII). But many are mildly shocked when they hear the later end of the span -- 1964. Not me, they cry. I am way too young to be lumped in with those boomers.

HALLIE: Sounds famliar.

TERI: To that I say, ha! Who wouldn’t want to be one of us? We are youthful and fun-loving people. Just ask and we will confirm it, telling you all about ourselves, more than you ever needed to know. For the most part, we are always keen for an adventure, but we know how to work hard and expect a lot from the world, sometimes having to tamp down our “me” generation qualities just a tad.

No rocking chairs on porches for this crowd. Boomers would rather be jumping out of airplanes than sitting around on the couch or planning a volunteer vacation to Africa than hoarding plastic bags in their kitchens.

Boomers like to spend time together, but they are also very interested in what the other generations have to say, especially their children’s. Admittedly, we are completely enamored with our children, which can be a drawback sometimes (though we might never see it), but this is not likely to change any time soon.
HALLIE: So who are the glitterati among the Boomers?

TERI: Hollywood is rife with Baby Boomers, of course. Can you figure out which celebrities on this list are Baby Boomers and which are Wannabes? You may be surprised!

1. Goldie Hawn
2. Kim Basinger
3. Treat Williams
4. Jeff Bridges
5. Martha Stewart
6. Tom Cruise
7. Ben Stiller
8. Brooke Shields
9. Susan Sarandon
10. Tim Robbins
11. George Lucas
12. Al Pacino
13. George Clooney
14. Charlie Sheen
15. Steve Martin
16. Diane Keaton
17. Farrah Fawcett
18. Elton John
19. Tom Selleck
20. Jo-Beth Williams
(Answers: 1 No, 2 Yes, 3 Yes, 4 Yes, 5 No, 6 Yes, 7 No, 8 No, 9 Yes, 10 Yes, 11 No, 12 No, 13 Yes, 14 No, 15 No, 16 Yes, 17 Yes, 18 Yes, 19 No, 20 Yes)

HALLIE: Okay, I confess, I missed a few of those.
Here’s Quiz II – which of these mystery writers are Boomers?
1. Sue Grafton
2. Janet Evanovich
3, Michael Connelly
4. Tess Gerritsen
5. Lisa Scottoline
6. Kate Atkinson
7. Rex Stout
8. Lawrence Block
9. Elmore Leonard
10. Sara Paretsky
11. P. D. James
12. Mary Higgins Clark
13. Laura Lippman
14. Dennis Lehane
15. Carl Hiaassen
16. Patricia Cornwell
17. Linda Fairstein
18. Elizabeth George
19. Walter Mosley
20. Robert Crais
(ANSWERS: 1 No, 2 No, 3 Yes, 4 Yes, 5 Yes, 6 Yes, 7 No, 8 No, 9 No, 10 Yes, 11 No, 12 No, 13 Yes, 14 No, 15 Yes, 16 Yes, 17 Yes, 18 Yes, 19 Yes, 20 Yes

And no, we are not interested in guesses as to which Jungle Red Writes are Boomers and which are not...


  1. Jeez, they all sound like boomers to me. But what do I know - some days I feel like a geezer and sometimes like a kid.

  2. I know what a 45 record is.
    I remember dialing a phone (My number was UPtown 3 2768.)
    I put my paychecks from my summer job into the bank actually at the bank, with an actual teller.
    Long distance calls were expensive and special.
    A comic book was 10 cents and penny candy was a penny.

    But wait. Not Sue Grafton? Is she too young? (Wow, that's some list. Hallie, did you do all that math?)

  3. It's so funny to see pickleball mentioned as a baby-boomer thing. My son has played it in his 7th-grade PE class!

    The website looks great. :)

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for - Boomer ! . :)

  5. Hi, all. Thanks for taking the time to read my rant about Baby Boomers. It is a subject near and dear to my heart and I appreciate your interest. As Rosemary said, we all have days when we don't "feel" the years, and those are very good days! And yes, pickleball has become a Boomer/senior favorite and a good way to get in some healthy exercise. You know, the kind you can actually enjoy??!! I hope you will visit my website (www.boomthis.com) to check out some more good info for the Boomer set.

  6. And then there are days when we DO feel the years.

    And, actually, sometimes, that's very nice.

    Like the days you realize you're one of the people who, at least sometimes, knows what she's doing.

    Like the days you realize there are people who don't know Paul McCartney was in a group *before* he was in Wings.

  7. There must be other "only a boomer knows" things..

    Or--"you know you're a boomer if--"

    any ideas?

  8. Hi Teri! Welcome to Jungle Red! My husband is deep into baby boomer website stuff too--he's looking at your site right now:). He's the creator of www.topretirements.com, with tips and picks about best retirement places for baby boomers. And he's working on a book proposal. You are right--we do not want our parents' retirement! We are using to leading the pack--why change that now?

  9. Roberta, thanks for letting me know my site was of interest to your husband. Tell him to contact me if he would like to. I am always looking for good info for the readers of my Boom This!newsletter and for the site -- especially ones about Money and Retirement, since that is on everyone's mind (yikes!) these days.

    Hank, I have seen several emails floating around about how you "know you're a Boomer if you remember..." Sort of along the lines of "You Know You're a Redneck." I think it's fun to recall some of those things that we enjoyed so much when we were younger. I will see if I can find one.

  10. Terrific site, Teri!

    I'm so relieved that my boy-toy husband just made the boomer cut--he's always teasing me about my being 20 months older.

    But I confess that I collect plastic bags and have never been to Africa. Maybe I'm an old soul. :(

  11. Oh,Laura. Collecting plastic bags. Check.

    How about packages of plastic silverware from takeout places?

  12. In NYC you have to collect plastic bags (if you have a dog) to collect the dog poop, but what do cat lovers do with plastic bags? Or people who don't have pets?
    Now shopping bags I can understand. I still have the first enormous Fendi Shopping bag that I got 10-12 years ago. Still have the coat, too.
    But is that a boomer thing?

  13. Maybe it's older-than-boomer. Ellen DeGeneres did a bit about her mother saving nice bags from department stores, anad how she, Ellen, thought that was ridiculous and some word like, pitiful.

    They're paper BAGS! she told her mother.

    I have lovely bags, too, and they're saved. They're too beautiful to throw,--we've discussed this--but I do realize the question is: what are we saving them FOR?

  14. I'm glad to see that you all were reading closely! Collecting bags reminded me of my parent's neighbor who had thousands of them collected in her kitchen drawers, including those from hamburger buns, bread etc. I tend to keep way more than I will ever use, but every once in awhile, I force them into my car (they are pretty buoyant when they get together) and take them to the store to recycle them. I hope they really do. One friend told me that recycled bags are only used to make the bins for recycling bags. I hope they are more useful than that!

    I also confess to a fascination with boxes. Never want to throw them out "just in case." I think I am getting better though. I don't have nearly as many on hand right now as I usually do and that must be a good sign.

  15. I'm a cat owner who collects plastic bags for the scooped out scoopable litter.

    The bags also make great makeshift gloves. Or, er, mittens.

  16. Hi Teri!

    Great site. I liked the subjects your articles spanned. My favorites are boomer nutrition and WiFi/internet security breaches. These are fast becoming pandemic global issues. Soil depletion is a big nutritional issue as are internet breaches. It seems to me while the world is going full speed technically the average user can not keep up with the flood of information and articles like you have. You provide some good insight and tips to protect your health, both financially and nutritionally.

    My writing focus is motivational fiction aimed at "reinvention". I didn't realize it, but looks like I'm boomer focused. And, 1964, holy cow - I had no idea. My writing work is right in the middle of that. More good info yet!

    I keep saying how I learn things from this blog. With 6 top writers and host of great commenters how can you go wrong?

    Well done good and faithful JRW!!!