Things change for all of us as we age, but Boomer-era men, perhaps more than any of us, are faced with some challenges they may not have anticipated.
An easy one is what sport to play as they age or encounter disability. Neither my father, brother or husband played or watched sports so despite the ubiquity of sports culture, I did not realize the depth of feeling some men can have about athletics. Kelly Capers’ article about Game Changersis a revelation to me, and perhaps to other women. I marvel and admire.
Health is the bigger challenge. As Judi Kanne notes in her article about men facing Difficult Diagnoses, they, too often, neglect their health, and if something goes wrong, they just want to fix it. But, sometimes it can’t be fixed, and a new emotional landscape must be traversed. Former Athens mayor and chamber president Doc Eldridge remembers the exact date he was forced to face the emotional challenge of dealing with alcoholism. Read his story.
Blazing new trails, two different men’s groups are forging new ways to connect with each other and their significant others. Writer Bowen Craig shares the goals of a new OLLI group: Men’s Wisdom Works, and the Athens Men’s Circle, which has been meeting for ten years.
Then, take some time to ponder what the first black high school football players at Athens High endured during the very early days of integration in the mid-1960s – just a few black students were permitted to transfer to the all-white school. We’re very familiar with the photographs from all over the South of black children walking through a mob to their first day of class surrounded by state troopers. Three Athens High players share their memories of being very alone on the practice field where hostility is easily disguised as “rules of the game.” Zebra magazine publisher Walter Allen, Jr. shared their story first and we’re proud to reprint it here.
Finally, don’t miss two amusing submissions to our Boomers Write section, and you’ll also be chuckling at Allan Armitage’s account of how he and his tennis buddies made it to a national senior’s tournament.
PS. Join us for our first collaboration with Rabbit Box, the storytelling cooperative, on Wed., Sept. 12 at The Foundry. Plans are to have a ping pong demo on the patio at 5:30. Then, I’ll interview a couple of our featured subjects from this issue between 6 and 7 p.m., with the main event getting underway at 7. It’s $7 to get in and benefits Live Forward. Eight storytellers will do 8-minute segments on the theme, “Living Positive.”
PPS. Caregiving will be the main feature in the Fall issue.
And thank you for your support of BoomAthens, which is made possible by our advertisers. Please support them.
Still active: l-r Dick Hudson, Larry King, Al McLeod
Photographer: Larry Petroff
Walter Allen, Jr.
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Mailing address: 337 S. Milledge Ave; Suite 223, Athens, Georgia 30605