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Published: Friday, 11/7/2008

Retirees know what's new in nostalgia

There appears to be a mushrooming amount of nostalgia being marketed to retirees.

Of course, that growing volume is partly because seniors have an increasingly broader time frame to be nostalgic about.

Or perhaps it s because the memories of the past appeal so intently to seniors, especially the more elderly among them, because they sound better than any memories they feel they are likely to make in the future.

The retirees I know have plenty of time at their disposal to return again and again to the fond memories of their youth and share them with fellow seniors.

Sometimes it s a form of competition, with each person trying to outdo the others by describing the depths of the individual joys of his own special moments.

Most of the time, however, it s a true sharing of the types of events experienced by almost everyone in the group. The heads nod in unison when common memories are mentioned.

I ve also become more aware that the things they talk about and wax almost misty eyed over are the simplest pleasures they enjoyed years ago.

For example, a favorite topic is the golden age of movies, or motion pictures as some seniors still call them.

Cable television channels that specialize in those glorious, old black-and-white films are the most popular among the white-haired set.

The Turner Classic Movies station, Channel 107 on Buckeye Cablevision in Toledo, seems to be the one most favored.

And, if you think seniors are technically challenged or are road kill on the information highway, think again.

That classic-movie channel and others like it were the reasons many old-timers bought their first VHS tape recorders. They are graduating to digital video recorders for use with new LCD, wide-screen televisions to get the most bang possible out of those classic oldies.

Many insist that watching an old B&W western on a large-screen television is almost as good as when they watched it in a dingy movie theater in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Now, however, in the sanctity of their family room, they don t have to dodge flying, empty popcorn boxes.

That s a bit of nostalgia they don t miss.

They still speak fondly of those days of 10-cent movie admission for a double feature. The cheap films were often a pair of B westerns or horror movies, and many of them were not much longer than an hour.

Why, a kid who really wanted to get his money s worth would sit through a double feature twice on a Saturday afternoon.

Popcorn usually came in a box, and it was a dime too. There were dozens of candy choices for a nickel.

Discussions about movie theater candy now can take up most of the afternoon for some groups of seniors. Nostalgia then usually includes memories of a full set of natural teeth.

Additionally, more and more contemporary seniors are turning to the Internet where they keep up with the latest trends in video equipment and enhanced enjoyment of their nostalgia.

For example, there are a burgeoning number of Web sites where seniors can buy their own box sets of DVD movies of B westerns, old war films, horror flicks, Hollywood classics and others. There are even elaborate DVD sets of silent films, which a few retirees recall fondly.

Several astute seniors know where to find the best bargains of these sets of nostalgia. That s partly why some of them remain active on personal computers, shopping for the best buys and emailing their pals with the details.

When a particularly good deal on a DVD boxed set of old movies is found at a local store, word spreads quickly.

Movie memories in a box. Movie memories in a box.
Enlarge

You can find a movie pack of 50 B westerns or horror films on 12 two-sided DVS for as little as $15 or so. That s a whopping 30 cents apiece.

Considering that several people can see them at no increase in price, that s not much more than it cost to see them 60 to 70 years ago. \

It s quite a deal, I think, especially since you don t have to wait till Saturday to sit through a double feature twice.

Several years ago I was immersed in a Roy Rogers western from the mid-1940s when a couple of youngsters walked into the room and asked:

How can you watch a broken TV set?

I asked what made them think that.

Because something s wrong with the color.

Dave Simmons commented on Election 2008: Retiree smackdown

Not all seniors are locked into the Republican/Democrat or conservative/liberal paradigms. So some of us are voting against the two-party system for a third-party candidate that best exemplifies the character, integrity and values that we want to see in charge of our representative republic.

Sure, we know that it would be nearly impossible for the third-party candidate to actually win the presidential election at this time, but the more votes that these third-party candidates get help elevate these parties to a better position for the next election at every level, from local to national. No more voting for the lesser of two evils for me.

Anne Speth commented on Another drama with dementia

I hope I will be able to remember all the good stuff in my life and forget the bad stuff. I try to focus on the good stuff -- it makes me feel better than the bad stuff -- but I probably won't have a choice.

I can't find my phone till it rings, but according to my child I never could. Of course, she makes stuff up.



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