This Week in Elder News: 5 April 2008
This New Land of Old Age

Elderblogging on Television

This isn’t one of those rites of passage birthdays like 18, when you can vote in the U.S. or 65 when you become eligible for Medicare. It’s not even one of those big, round, decade birthdays with a zero at the end we all like to celebrate. It’s just 67, of no particular significance, except that it feels like yesterday I turned 66.

You may know I appeared on the Brian Lehrer Live television show in New York City on CUNY-TV last Wednesday to discuss elderblogging. I was particularly pleased to be invited because I listened to Brian’s radio show when I lived in New York, more frequently in recent years when I worked from home a lot.

So I know first-hand that he deserves to have won a prestigious Peabody Award for 2007. Brian is always intelligent, always informed and always entertaining - what a talk show host ought to be, particularly compared to the shouters and instigators. The award citation reads:

“Lehrer's talk show is a wide open yet shrewdly managed forum in which every sort of political, social and cultural issue is considered and where New Yorkers, in all their diversity, can get to know each other.”

And so it is. And now I’m happy to discover that I can listen right here on my computer at

The weekly television show emulates the daily radio program, but through the prism of technology and the web. One of the things we discussed is the importance of community to elderblogging, the give and take in the comments not unlike the call-ins on radio shows.

It’s not that there aren’t comments on younger people’s blogs. And on political blogs, the number of comments can sometimes reach hundreds depending on the controversy of the topic. But on our elderblogs, there is rarely the vitriol found often on the others; there is usually a discussion of the day's issue that is as smart and relevant as Brian's.

It’s that two-way street that has become important to me and that there is a variety of opinion and disagreement without snark or name-calling. Maybe we elders are just older and wiser (she said with a grin).

So instead of celebrating my innocuous-sounding birthday, let’s celebrate elderblogging – with Brian Lehrer. Some of you had difficulty accessing the feed online last Wednesday, so here now is the video (15:22).

A good interview is at least as dependent on the host and producers as it is on the guest. Brian and his producers, Derek Tutschulte, Alan Smith and Marty Goldensohn had done the homework (which isn't always the case), read TGB and researched elderblogging. They made it easy and a pleasure for me.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Nancy Leitz tells the story of the uncommonly loving Walker Family.]


Happy Birthday Ronni!

Happy Birthday to you Ronni.
So happy that when I discovered the blog world that yours was one of the first.

Great job on the TEE VEE Ronni!
It gave me a wonderful feeling to watch you and listen to you speak so intelligently and warmly about aging and blogging.

Happy Birthday too.


happy birthday, Ronni. Come and have a look at Blogging in Paris, where I have a little something for you.

Very special birthday wishes, Ronni. You did us all proud on the Brian Lehrer TV Show.

I loved the video, and added a link to this post on "Never too Late!" We couldn't see the show in Chicago.

And happy birthday! As an even older elderblogger (age 75), I'm glad you spoke for all of us.


You are so right about 'comments'. If an article has been a pleasure to read, the rude comments will often unravel it for me. I avoid them, except on elders blogs.

And speaking of community, as you were, I was reading the AARP bulletin yesterday and ran across a link to their 'new' (Beta) on-line community. Interesting. Certainly better than previous AARP offerings.

Look on the NYDaily News, Ronnie & see the area called Brooklyn East New York, where apts. are selling well. Have you checked that area? Is it safe? Could you live there? I wish you would find a way back home.

I loved your interview, by the way.

Thanks, a loyal fan from Montreal.

In case you don't know this Joy, who blogs at Joy of Six has a wonderful facility for poems and rhymes. She posted this for my birthday today and I'm thrilled to have my own Joy Poem:

Happy Birthday Aries lady
with your wise and caring word.
A day without your insight,
to us would be absurd.

We rely upon your counsel
as we come to you each day;
Ever grateful for the guidance
in the things you have to say.

To miss out on your humor
would leave us feeling lost;
And a day without your honesty
could come at quite a cost.

We depend upon your sharing heart
to help to see us through;
So this day is special to us all...
and we celebrate with you.

Thanks for continuing your excellent blog - keep up the good work!
Happy Happy Birthday - even if it isn't a milestone all of us who are helped and encouraged by your blog thing it is a good thing to celebrate -

Happy Birthday Ronni!
And thank you for being an inspiration to so many elderbloggers.

Happy Birthday Ronni! I see you've already visited me to read my birthday cheer. I hope you have a wonderful day checking out all the love around the blogosphere for you. Many hugs.... ~Joy

Good job!


Happy Birthday!!


Thank you for posting the video of your appearance with Brian Lehrer. You were wonderful... I am so happy that he gave you enough time to express yourself and didn't interrupt you as so many interviewers do. You looked confident and relaxed. Good for you.

Happy Birthday, Ronni! You are our sage and our guru. You have made me look at my aging in a totally different way.
Warmest wishes and best regards for a Happy Happy day! You deserve every moment of joy!

Happy Birthday, Ronni! Every birthday should be celebrated and savored.

Thanks for posting the video. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Good morning and happy birthday, Ronni! I will watch the video after breakfast, and I am looking forward to it. Hope you have a great day!

I forgot to mention, Ronni that the video interview is fabulous!

Thanks for posting this. I couldn't see it the first time you talked about it. Great interview.

Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday.

Happy, Hippy, Birthday to yooouuuu! Yes, to celebrating Elderblogging. But a special yes to your blog, your birthday, this spring day. Any excuse to celebrate is just fine by me.

Happy Birthday and hope the year ahead is a rich one for you in all the most important ways.

Happy Birthday to my favorite "Elder Blogger" Ronni Bennett of "Time Goes By"

A few years ago I went to Google and typed in "old age." I thought I would find some useful information about the aging process.

Since I was already an elder I needed all the help, inspiriaton and encouragement I could get.

One of the first sites that came up was TGB.

I wandered over and became acquainted with Ronni Bennett and her refreshingly honest outlook on growing old.

What a serendipitious discovery that was.

I read Time Goes By the first thing when I turn on my computer each day.

I am never disappointed. I am always challenged to think for myself.

I grow a little bit stronger in mind and spirit each day because of "Time Goes By."

Thank You Ronni

And again


aka chancy

I second everything that Nancy said about your interview with Brian Lehrer.

That was the best interview I have seen you do, relaxed, spontaneous and you looked like you were enjoying the experience.
So glad you put it up.

Today is a special day, go take a look at my blog. There's a birthday greeting there for you.

Happy birthday! Have a great day!!

Happy Birthday, Ronni. Just turn around those numbers - I just turned 76. What you said in your video is the story of my life. I think I have always been "the oldest person in this room".

Cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the video. Also love your Elder Storytelling Place.

An Elder Browser sounds really wonderful. Keep up the good work.

A very superfragilistic Happy Birthday, Ronni. You have been presenting a gift to all of your followers in the form of your thoughtful and entertaining blog. I hope that you receive a special gift in return.

The video was wonderful and another reason for me to be grateful for my implant. I heard it all - hooray! Great job!

You have beautiful eyes, Ronni. If they are the windows to the soul you must have a very exceptional one.

Ronni, what a star you are!! I loved the video. You didn't miss a beat. Happy Birthday and many, many more.
Hugs to you from across the pond.

I came back to view the video - and it is really wonderful. You have such expressive hands!

Happy Birthday, Ronni!!!! So glad you liked your birthday groaner!! AND what a marvelous interview you gave!!!!!!! You truly are our fearless leader!!!!

Winston Churchhill said:
"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."

The future will surely be kind to you, Ronni, because with your little first amendment machine, you're writing it.

Happy Birthday!

My french blog is "il y a de la vie après 70" (there is life after 70) begun and continued day to day for more then three years now, in french, but as probably going to London soon, I begun an english blog lately.

Claude's blog showed your vidéo and I am happy to having discovered through it yours.

I liked all you said but mostly I was SOO releaved, I am not the only one who had problems with the new version 6 of photoshop elements's tiny triangles on black!

And yes, we are "old" not "elderly" as I feel also about other names too. Inside, we do remain young (there are young people who are already old inside) but we have nothing to be ashamed of our age. Day by day I try to prove yes: there is life after 70!

And no, people who read me are not old or elderly most of them are young! We do not write for a special audience, people are interested, as you told, in real lives, ideas, sentiments. Yes.

It's still nice to celebrate your birthday, tho, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I'm not quite an elderblogger yet (51 this June), but I'm getting there :-)

Your birthday started at Midnight, this morning, for me Ronni--with my giving myself a talking to for not having set my iPAQ to notify me in advance, instead of waiting until your birthday happened. Happy birthday to a special woman for whom I hold a great deal of admiration.

Happy Birthday, Ronni!

Your voice sounds just as I imagined it would!

I think your interview went very well! Isn't it nice to be interviewed by somebody with a brain and whose researchers have brains too? It makes everybody come off very well.

Happy Birthday Ronni!!!

Hi Ronni,

Happy Birthday! Enjoyed the video!

That guy singing the Rolling Stones could have memorized a few words, don't you think?

For people coming here to look for my moms blog:

And her I Can't Open It videos:


Happy (shared) birthday, Ronni! I enjoyed watching the video. You did a great job.

A very nice interview! I enjoyed it very much. Happy Birthday even though you think, at 67, it's significant. I believe every one of them is a milestone.

Oh, boy, here's my chance to sing to Ronni!

"Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday deeeeear Ronni,
Happy birthday to you!"

(Imagine me in long, black concert wear, surrounded by all your friends and admirers)

Everyone shouts "And many, many happy returns!"

You rock!


There's alotta love in these birthday wishes for you, Ronni. Add mine to the bunch. The interview was excellent and I also loved your post about walking your old neighborhood. Many happy returns: to New York City and to the interview circuit!

Happy birthday! Glad you have sun in Maine today.

Was finally able to see and hear the Lehrer interview -- very informative discussion on all points, as usual. You continue to make the case for elders' issues really well.

I was especially glad to hear that efforts for the Elderbrowser are still ongoing as I had been wondering where that stood.

Have a happy happy ....!

Off work at last to find a video of you....lnot chopped liver indeed. Thanks so much for posting this.

Sorry, I could not access your WNYC interview. And I think I've failed to access the comment section on your blog. So here goes again....

Happy birthday! And thanks for creating and maintaining the elder blogger community.

I'll drink to that! Anyone under 70 is still a girl in my book. My young friend Judy sent me:)

Happy Birthday, Ronni, and many more.

Happy Birthday!! Hope your day is special. My wish for you is many, many more birthdays to celebrate,

Forgot to wish you many happy returns and I enjoyed your interview. Come over and visit me in the UK. I have just had my life transformed by PCAs (hearing aids in old money)

Many happy returns for today Ronni. I watched the interview in its entirety and really enjoyed it. You are doing fabulous stuff with your blog and I'm glad you didn't chuck it in.

I'm also glad you got to say something about those ads from that big corporation.

Another happy birthday wish (and song) from me -- I lurk and read at the elder storytelling place and just wanted to say thank you for creating that blog (so many funny and moving stories there) and for all you do to convince people that WE elders are awake and alive and lively! A long and happy life to you!

Happy Birthday!

Late, I'm late, for a very important date!

Celebrate! Every birthday reminds us to celebrate another year of life...Many happy returns, and thanks for showing me that, yes, blogs could be worth reading!

Such a pleasure to watch this video and get a real idea of what you're like, Ronni! And to see this very decent interview, of course.

Well, you've given us the wonderful gift of yourself for YOUR birthday. I love to see blogging discussed in the media and to see it discussed by someone I read is even better. You did a great job representing us. You go girl!

Happy Birthday, Ronni! Sorry I missed the day and that I had no limerick for you this year. :-(

Whether a milestone or not, all birthdays are special, so long as we can keep having them. :-)I look forward to viewing your interview when I'm home and not blocked by firewalls. You are an inspiration and I hope you will be blogging for many years to come (and that I'll be reading it too.)

Loved the interview... hated the weirdo bookends showing rock and roll... oldies? Before seeing Brian, I wondered whether he is kin to wonderful Jim Lehrer of PBS news well-earned fame. Don't think so given totally different facial features. Come to think of it, any chance Lehrer or Bill Moyers might invite you for a proper longer show? You barely had a chance to open the subject. And these guys know how to think and probe.

From sunny Tel Aviv, H*A*P*P*Y B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y to a grand celebrant whom I and countless others call dearest friend, staunch ally, sage colleague, fearless trailblazer, and moral and ethical conscience.

Dear Ronnie,

I really enjoyed the interview with Brian Lehrer. Great job!
Happy B-Day!

The interview was great! You are great! Nicely done, Ronni!!

Just visited the Blogging in Paris post and saw the Lehrer video. Thanks for tooting our horns for us. And thanks to Brian for giving you the opportunity to speak up for us oldies. We're awesome, and you pointed that out in excellent fashion. Oh, and happy b'day.

Sorry I'm late with the happy birthday wishes! That was a great interview. And thanks for the heads up about the Young At Heart movie. I was fortunate enough to catch a preview in Sedona yesterday, and it's one of the best movies I've ever seen.

Ah, Ronni Ronni! Now I know what you sound like and look like, moving! Very cool! Romping around on the Internet in my college library, where the connection is rapidissimo, here you are being interviewed!

What fun. Can't wait until you move to Portland, OR, which is my home town. Have a happy...cheers, ~Kathi in Mt. Shasta

Ronni, I was absolutely delighted to find this tonight, to see and hear you speak, albeit late to send you my birthday wishes. Great interview!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)