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Elderbloggers Win Trips to AARP's Orlando@50+ Event

At the end of this month, from 30 September through 2 October, AARP holds its annual gathering of members in Orlando, Florida. Normally, I wouldn't take notice (I'm not much for crowds of 25,000 or airplane rides under current flying conditions) but an AARP representative contacted me about entering a contest to win an all-expenses-paid trip to their Orlando@50+ event and blog about it.

Apparently, several TGB readers suggested me for the contest (thank you) and, said the rep, there would be three elderblogger winners. I declined to participate (see parenthetical comment above) and I was then invited to be one of the judges.

Since I like the idea of a large organization supporting elderblogging and it involved staying put in front of the computer, I accepted and AARP posted a nice story announcing my judgeship. Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, was also a judge.

What was required of entrants was this:

”To enter, simply publish an article on your personal blog on what you love about life@50 (or above). The post must be no more than 600 words.”

And in exchange for the free trip, lodging, meals and a Flip camera to use at the event and keep, the winners would have the

“...chance to be the eyes and ears of AARP's membership, sharing news, information and stories with those unable to attend the event and to have a great time doing it! You will have a media pass to the event and the opportunity to meet and interview high profile speakers.”

Among those high-profile speakers are James Carville and Mary Matalin, Whoopi Goldberg, Larry King, Cesar Millan, Jane Pauley, Dave Barry, Martina Navratilova and many more.

In due course, AARP emailed the 11 essay finalists to me with instructions on how to do the judging. It was a load of fun reading them and here, now, are the winners announced by AARP just this morning – you might recognize a couple of them from comments here at TGB:

Cowtown Pattie who blogs at Texas Trifles for her essay titled Ad Astra per Alia Porci.

Mr. Go To who blogs at Go To Retirement for his essay titled The Working Life Off-Ramp.

Frank Paynter who blogs at Listics for his essay titled What's Not to Love?.

Congratulations to all three. I know we will all be following your coverage in Orlando.

And congratulations to AARP, too, for promoting elderblogging. It is a near-perfect activity for elders, a great way to help maintain cognitive function, keep active and make new friends (see today's story at The Elder Storytelling Place).

Of course, we elderbloggers and blog readers already know this. Perhaps the contest and the winners' reporting from Orlando will help bring more elders into our blogging fold.

You can see the AARP announcement of winners here.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marcia Mayo: Friends Today


Ronni, thanks for the recognition! I'm looking forward to meeting Pattie in Orlando. Here's an odd coincidence: In the space of one month, I've won two Flip cameras, one from Jeff Pulver when he brought his "140 Conference" road trip through Madison a few weeks ago, and now this one. I can't remember ever winning a contest before.

Wow! Congrats to all and have fun!!

How terrific! I am so happy for you three winners, and that Ronni is recognized even more widely as the Queen of Elderbloggers, or anyway, the Leading Pioneer. I look forward to reading coverage by the winners. And if AARP does this next year, I hope I am in the loop cause I would love to apply for the job myself.

As I always say, at the back of the line at grocery store checkout: old age is worth waiting for!

Like you, I would not be interested in being there in person or in getting there either. But I am interested in what takes place and the what the results are.

I am bustin' out all over with grins - ear to ear!

Ronni - thanks so much for creating TGB and the chance to grow old with a terrific bunch of smart folks.

This is a Sally Field moment for me: "you LIKE me, you really LIKE me!"

Frank - do we take turns filming each other like we are NPR pros? LOL

Ya'll better not be laughing at my Texas twang either...and I have it in spades. Not enough time for diction therapy....or lessons in couthness either for that matter.

Oh yes! This is wonderful stuff. Thanks for taking part, Ronnie. After work, I will come back and read the entries.

I just read all three entries and they are absolutely worthy of the prize. All are winners.

I am especially pleased that you are so well known, Ronni, because you are the inspiration for nearly all blogging elders. I would not be blogging and enjoying it if I had not read TGB and found a new activity to pursue. Writing a blog and making new friends has made my life so much more interesting.

Kudos to everybody! This is fun.

Ronni- Thanks for the shout-out and for helping send me to Orlando. I am grateful for the honor. It has allowed me to discover new blogs to read, including yours. But I'm struggling with being called an "elder blogger." Can we vote on a new label? I nominate "bloggers with experience."

Wonderful or should I say Awesome!! Dee

Congrats to all. Cowtown Pattie, I smile at your blog and your very humorous posts on TGB about aging. You're only 56! You're a veritable kid to us TGB fans in our mid-70s and up. Have a great time at the AARP gathering in Orlando.



A kid, huh? Well, this kid is dancing like a three year old on Christmas morning and there is a real live pony in the living room.

(No, I never got Santa to bring me a pony.)

And, Time Goes By is my favorite place to hang. I know this is somewhere I can go and feel like I am sitting at Cheers with a nice cold mug and solving all the world's problems.

If anyone else is going to Orlando AARP, give me a shout out. I'll buy you a beer (or your choice of beverage!)

Thank you for judging, Ronni! If anyone knows elder bloggers, it's you!

Congrats to these great bloggers.

I'm surprised AARP didn't want me to go down there and cover the event. I've said so many wonderful things about the organization over the years! Here's just one:

Congratulations to all! I think AARP wisely chose TGB's writer as a judge, but maybe I'm just prejudiced.

Oh, these bloggers chosen are really good. I'm most familiar with the writings of Cowtown Pattie which I've enjoyed since I first started blogging. Frank Paynter has written some quirky things that appeal to my sense of humor. Am not familiar with the third winner, Mr. Go To, but will have to check out his site.

Since better late than never...wonderful choices you EB's....Ronni - you are the best!!!!

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