Category Archives: Old Pharts Unite

Friday Afternoon Club: An Afternoon of Fine Art and Music

The Senior Action Committee will present an afternoon of fine art and music from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Town Square Mall, 1700 Mile Hill Road in Port Orchard.

In an earlier e-mail, they solicited “senior” exhibitors 50+. If, like me, you are in the 50+ group, you may not consider yourself a “senior.” It’s interesting how the term “senior” like adolescent has grown to cover a broader range of people in recent decades. Used to be you were briefly a teen, then you a got a job; then you were an adult until you retired. Then you were “old.” Then you died.

Now kids are termed preadolescent as young as 9. And AARP starts courting new membership after they’ve barely turned 50. On the other end, young people in their early 20s could still be thought of as adolescent. And “senior” applies to people, many of them remarkable active, into their 100s and beyond.

So if you’re hung up on the word “senior” get over it. It’s just a way to describe a large, diverse group, many of whom are much more active than people of comparable age in previous generations.

OK, more about the event. It will include handicrafts and photography. There will be raffles, food specials and plenty of free parking.

Special guests will include Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, Rep. Jan Angel, and Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido, all of whom qualify as seniors.

If you are younger than 50, you should come anyway and see how the Old Pharts roll. Hopefully, you’ll see it’s not so scary to get “old.”

Old Pharts Unite: Lessons in Aging

Paul Nuchims, owner of Manchester Gallery, will hold a Senior Studies discussion, from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the gallery, 724 Bay Street, Port Orchard; (360) 895-4270.

Nuchims, 75, is a retired professor of art and humanities. A casual conversation with him often winds its way into philosophical discussions of humanity, politics and culture. The one-time candidate for county commissioner who withdrew from the primary in 2008 said careful attention to diet and exercise have helped him to feel better that he did as a middle-aged man.

Nuchims perceives a void in classes on aging in that few if any are taught by those who can actually claim to be old. To fill that void, he is launching a series of discussions on what it takes to age successfully in a society that worships youth.

“This is a discussion about seniors taking charge of their life and not falling into the profile most younger people have of older people as being infirm and being an albatross around the neck of society,” Nuchims said.

Nuchims works out regularly and eats mostly food he grows himself. He’s not opposed to medical care, but hasn’t visited a doctor “in years.”

“This may be hyperbole,” he said, “but I’m healthier now than I was 35 years ago. Part of it is understanding my own body, and part of being able to do that is living this long.”

My thoughts: Ah, yes, if only these things came with owner’s manuals.

From Nuchims’ e-mail, here are some basic concepts to be covered in the class:
•Age: The older, wiser, and more adept at life you should become.
•Best Insurance?  Avoid the risk. Money doesn’t replace all loss.
•Health: Individual’s responsibility: Grow your own food. Exercise.
•Money: A useful tool but hardly an end in itself.
•Art: A window? A method for healing and understanding.
•Future is now: The past (memories), a learning tool: use it wisely.
•Responsibility: For everything? Maybe. Let’s start with ourselves.
•Change: Even a small, incremental change, will be empowering.

While Nuchims will structure the discussions from his perspective as a teacher, the conversation will definitely be a two-way street, he said. People of all ages are welcome.

Classes are free and will continue each Wednesday, 6 to 7 p.m. starting Oct. 21, at the gallery.

Speaking of aging, what do you define as “old?”

It’s commonly said we live in a society that worships youth. What, if any, specific examples have you encountered?

Nuchims said young people think of the elderly as an “albatross” around society’s neck. If you consider yourself young, do you see the elderly as a burden? What solutions if any do you see to this situation?

What bothers you the most about the prospect of getting old?

Who in your life has been a model for successful aging? I’ve had many, and they all made it look a lot easier than it actually is. On the other hand, now that I’m 54, I feel, like Nuchims, better that I have in decades.

Oh, wait, one more. If you knew then what you do now, what would you have done differently?