Saturday, May 24, 2008

Yes, I know. What I'd like to know is just where all these cameras were when there was still enough leftover pretty to flaunt?

On Friday I met the crew from the local Contra Costa County public access channel to shoot a segment for a program featuring the Rosie the Riveter Memorial with me as a secondary subject, or so I thought. I'm deeply moved by the memorial and only the day before brought a group of visitors from a Berkeley theater company to walk the time line in this lovely park.

The memorial was designed by two women, Cheryl Barton and Susan Schwartzenberg, and completed in the late nineties, I believe. It was actually the inspiration for the creation of this national park, and has fast-become a source of great pride for the city and for Kaiser Permanente, the corporation which figured so prominently in the home front history of WWII.

However, the purpose of the television program (I learned only after arriving at Marina Bay Park) was to talk about seniors in general and about my personal experience of aging in particular. Should have suspected that the question asked during the preparatory phone conversation was a clue. "Are you still dating?" My answer, "I'm old not dead!" But I was still intent upon talking about the memorial and for the first 15 minutes the young interviewer humored me by asking questions that displayed my knowledge of and keen interest in the telling of its story.

The question leading into the second segment of the taping was personal. I mentioned my age (86), and then a question I hadn't expected at all: "Do you have children and do they approve of your dating?" I know that I mumbled something about all of my "children" now being eligible for AARP, and that it never occurred to me to ask their permission! Do others cede that much power over their lives to others; even to loving family members? I can't even remember what my answer was, but I'll watch closely when the program is aired. I can't imagine what I might have said. Hope it wasn't too curt or dismissive.

The interviewer was so young ... but then isn't everyone these days?

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