Thursday, May 19, 2022

Slow Burn Romance (Diane)

On Tuesday, we had Best Day in the auditorium of the Philadelphia Senior Center instead of our usual room. They were doing some work on the ceilings, so this was the only safe spot for us to do our workshop this week. And due to the setting, I'm turning this week's blog entry into something of a show.


The day after Valentine’s Day, older bud Diane wrote the story of how she met her husband; part one. It’s very common for older buds to write a story into parts, but Diane’s story goes on for a little bit longer. As of last Tuesday, Diane is up to part 11. With each part the story is growing more and more complex with more and more twists and turns, like the old serialized radio dramas and magazine stories. So I thought it would be fun to present her story as a weekly installment. And here is part one:

Diane Richardson

02.15.2022

When I Met My Husband Part 1

When I met my hubby, I gave him my phone and asked him to give me a call sometime. I knew who he was. He was in Ebony magazine as one of the most eligible bachelors in Philadelphia. He was an automotive engineer that worked at the B.U.D.D Company. They make the car parts for the “Big Three”, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, then ship the parts to them where they make the cars. B.U.D.D is or was the highest paying job in Philadelphia. It was a great job and you had to have connections to get in. Once hired there, that would be your job for life, He got hired at the age of nineteen and worked there until they closed. He was there thirty-five years. While all my girlfriends were interested in men who were handsome, I was always interested in a man who had a great job and what kind of pension he would receive. So, after giving him my number I crossed fingers and hoped he would call. It took him two weeks to call after I almost started to lose hope. I asked him what took him so long to call. He responded, “I was on my way out of a relationship. I didn’t want to start anything new until I closed that chapter of my life. I only do one woman at a time.” That’s when I knew he would no longer be one of the Philly’s most eligible Bachelors.
To be Continued…


If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have Cinco de Mayo stories and art to display, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.


And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.


Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, May 5, 2022

An Art Show for Cinco De Mayo (José)

Feliz Cinco de Mayo a todos. We have some good news from Mexican older bud José. He's in an art show celebrating the art and works of older adults. His reception will be on Friday, May 6th, 1:30-2:30 P.M. at Parkway Central Library, West Gallery First Floor, 1901 Vine Street. There will be another reception on Thursday, May 26, 4:00-5:00PM at Center on the Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue behind the Presbyterian Church in Chestnut Hill. To view the entire show, go to www.pcaCares.org/Celebrate for their virtual showcase.

In honor of José's show, we have a story featuring one of his other great talents: philosophizing and questioning organized religion.


José Dominguez

12.28.2021

Doctrina

Literacy is not enough: it’s necessary to have the proper belief association and belief repertoire. It was a must to function in a decent society as I was going to discover. After my overwhelming entrance experience to Elementary School with all the authority struggles that it involved, now I had to accept another requirement to function in the grown up world. My Elementary Education will furnish me with literacy but I guess that my real outcome was to follow authority instructions with the minimal expression of rejection and the maximum of performance. Now my mother decided that I had to be Catholic – Christian, one of those submitted to the Vatican, meaning that included the liturgical and recitation of creeds and fixed prayers that it implied. By my tender neurons circulated questions as phantoms: Why there was a temple? Why we had to hear mass? How those enormous figurines of saints that hanged from the walls can help us to obtain what we want? Why a priest can represent God? Why we have to kneel and act as if we have done something wrong? Why money is asked to parrochians in each mass as if God was in poverty? Why people have to recite memorized prayers to be good and go to heaven? Of course the formulation of those questions evolved until they become part of my non-answered questions and later my non important questions embed in my life. But at the age of 7, my mother’s criteria was undisputed if she said that I needed to go to heaven it was so, if she said I needed to recite our fathers and Hail Maries, then I suppose I had to, and repeat them until new order.
So I had to attend to particular Christian education with Mrs. Claudia. She was a gentle old lady that smiled frequently but was very solemn when assumed its role. She was in charge of our Catholic indoctrination, my brother Victor and myself were the only “souls to be saved” that attended at her home that by the way was located at only 20 meters or less from my school. She wore long dark dresses, spoke in a convincing Spanish, and created a gentle-grave atmosphere around her, so I thought she was an under covered angel disguised as an old lady to prevent the Devil to turn us into his slaves. We started each session with the ritual of making the sign of the Holy Cross, for that purpose with the right hand simulated a cross and with it we did three little crosses: one in our front, the second in the mouth and the third over our heart and at the end a big cross from the head to the belly, from the left shoulder to the right shoulder. To dismiss the cross formed with our fingers we ended kissing our own hand as a farewell. Our conversation was unilateral and she pointed clearly what was truth beyond any doubt. How I had two mothers, my physical mother and Mary my spiritual mother, two fathers, my physical father and God. I had inside of me, something strange as a phantom, or a swirl of wind, or a divine light that had to be saved because the ever present Devil was always wandering around sneaking in my life trying to take me to his side by an unknown reason; well, not immediately. The Devil will work with me during my life and later when I pass away, if I don’t repent, he will torture me in a humongous oven where I’ll be cooked with the disadvantage that the cooking will never be done and my mom nor nobody will help me…..wow! Mrs. Claudia said those horrible things in such calmed way that created an infantile dissonance in my poor head… but I decided well she is a friend of God and in the worst scenario surely she will help me.
One day she told us that we were going to receive our first communion. She explained we will live in that moment the happiest day of our lives because in those moments God was going to be there and we will have the chance to eat it. Her voice was so convincing and trustful that I thought, “Well if she say so it will happen…” but believe me I could not imagine how God was to be collapsed into a piece of bread, then I will eat it and later I will fall in such a joy that nothing in the world can be compared to. But could it be more joyful than playing with my ball? Can it be better than eating a strawberry ice cream? If she says so I will do it but, I was wondering that she was creating a reality that my innocence could not grasp. The first communion preparation involved teaching me that I was dirty. “But each day I take a bath,” I commented timidly…
“Not that kind of dirt Pepe it’s the soul’s dirt you know?”
“What? A soul can be covered of mud, or dust, or trash?” I asked surprised. She controlled herself and with infinite patience explained that our first ancestors Adan and Eve disobeyed God’s Will and from that moment each of us fall in disgrace. But we were lucky, Jesus saved all humanity with his death. I never understood the meaning and veracity of that but for a frightened and sensitive introverted, Mrs. Claudia dictum was enough. But something was missing: I had to be prepared to confess my sins. Since I could not imagine myself offending God I had to focus in what way I offended my fellow world inhabitants, even my dog, our home canaries and a talking parrot that never learned other word than “Papá, Papa.” So I thought, well sometimes I don’t eat all my food and it was payed by my father’s hard work so it’s a strike. The previous culinary omission implied that someone in some place could be living, longing for the food I disdained; second strike. In another vein, I indulged so much the strawberry ice cream consequently I was so absent that I could not think in eating spinach or vegetables and was ruining my health and falling into gluttony…..three strikes. My Sunday allowance that I used to buy one Superman comic each Sunday was an offense against so many poor people, so I accumulated so many strikes that didn’t know what to do with them…. But wait a minute, there where a twilight zone integrated by those impressive behaviors, not totally definite and I created the proper category for them I called them wrong thoughts. Those included all my mundane weakness, potential offenses, and all the deviant ideas I could not define. I ended with a large sin list, perhaps I did a little of to multiply its amount, perhaps I did a little of dramatization of its ugliness. So finally I was prepared; I knew the main litanies, I had a list of incontestable truths, and most importantly had a long and decent list of wrongdoings that will make me appear close to a serial criminal, more dangerous than Al Capone. I was sure that when I confessed my crimes this priest, God representative, will be impressed by my high level of criminality, so well documented and will give me a huge penitence.
I don’t remember what happened in the moment of confession. I guess what happened was under the level of my imaginative expectations. What I remember is that when I finished ended saying to myself: “Well here I am leaving the sinner world and entering in the path to heaven. Hope not to fall in temptation, hope I have the strength to continue my righteous way with not falling even when I found a creamy strawberry ice-creams in my path or a Superman comic.”

If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have Cinco de Mayo stories and art to display, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.



And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.


Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, April 28, 2022

A Visit from Benita (Gloria, Liz and Norman)

Two days ago we got a visit from Benita, the founder of The Best Day of My Life So Far. Longtime readers know that the first ever Best Day workshop was hosted in the Philadelphia Senior Center’s basement; after twelve years it’s a part of the center itself! It was great for us all to see her in person for the first time in years, but the best part was introducing her to new older buds (like Gloria) and older buds who just never crossed paths with her (like Liz.)






So today’s post is devoted to the new friends Benita made, and the OG older bud Norman, who knew Benita from the very beginning.


Gloria Nhambiu
03/29/2022
Untitled

Ten years ago, one of my doctors suggested that I should use a cane because my balance was off due to my left leg being shorter than the other. The buffer under the left kneecap was wearing thin. And of course, I ignored that suggestion. Canes are for old, crippled people, I thought, and I thought I was neither then and never expected to be. Fast forward ten years.
Today I went shopping on Marked East (the gallery and other stores). After walking one block and then entering the Gallery I found that stores are miles apart and 
I can no longer walk the long mall corridors with ease. The one block walk to the parking lot has lengthened. It felt like 2 miles each way.
So, I have decided that using a cane is not so bad after all. Funny, my friends have been telling me this for years.


Liz Abrams
11/23/2021
The Mutt

My favorite pet, besides my German Shepard, security dog Pal who was on the job during the day when Grandmom babysat me (that story was submitted some time ago titled The 3 Musketeers). The Mutt became a family member when, mom waling home to 19th and Diamond from Broad and Lehigh factory job—Cohen Bros—the Mutt decided to be an unpaid escort. During those days my mother attracted many males who offered to walk her home. She shunned them, but for some reason she allowed Mutt to act as escort that day.
Mutt walked her home to the door and went away. The next day and following days he became my mother’s official escort. My dad said, “Why you let that smelly mutt walk with you? He is dingy.” From that day on my mother brough the mutt inside, bathes him in our bathtub and fed him scraps from our table. Me, my sister and dad accepted him as a family member since Mutt was so loyal to all family members, especially me, since I was a poor eater of nourishing food prepared mostly at dinner.
After several scoldings from my parents to “clean my plate,” the Mutt and I became partners in crime. I secretly fed the Mutt my dinner. All was happy, especially the Mutt and I became the Mutt’s official Mistress. And the Mutt never gave our secret away. I hope to see you in Heaven, Mutt. You were the only real friend I had in my adolescence.
With Love,
Liz

Norman Cain
01/16/202
The Pending Migrations of Friends and Family Members

Recently, a dear friend and two relatives in my immediate family have decided to move from their localities. Moves that they have contemplated for some time, moves they feel will benefit them both spiritually and financially.
Several weeks ago, a friend (a male) of 50 years informed me that he and his wife were going to relocate to an area outside of Atlanta Georgia. They had visited the area and as a result decided that the natural beauty and tranquility would create a harmonious blend with their senior years. Since they will not sell their Phila home (which they will leave under the care of another daughter) they will periodically return to Phila for visits. I will see them on these occasions. I will also be able to connect in Georgia during my visits to Atlanta to see my sister and her extended family.
Several weeks ago, my oldest granddaughter, who had spent 5 years in Houston Texas, and a 3 month visit with her parents moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. The downside of the situation is that she will be missed; however, she will not be so far away as Houston; thereby making trips to see her easier. Also, she has family in Charlotte.
I was shocked when my daughter who lived in Orlando Florida told me that she, her husband, and daughter would be relocating to Germany at the beginning of 2022. She and her husband also lived there for several years when her husband was in the army. When I would visit them each year they fondly spoke of their time and expressed eventually moving there. They made up their minds. The time had come.
My Orlando daughter is not immune to traveling and relocating. She left Phila at the age of 19 to live with my stepdaughter who was a soldier residing in Hawaii. She traveled from post to post with my stepdaughter and eventually married her now husband after his “tours of duty.” They settled in Jackson, Mississippi and eventually Orlando, Florida. Like my friend that is moving to Georgia, they will not be selling their home, so I will see them on their rare visits to Orlando. Also, she and her husband have extended an invitation to visit them in Germany.
I will miss my friend and family members, but I reluctantly understand their wanting to migrate to other areas of the country and the world.

If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have Easter stories, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.




And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.


Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Spring Break? (Gloria)

It's springtime and I'm thinking of travel, but COVID's made travel more difficult. Between new variants and mask mandates that get lifted and reapplied like a flickering light it's hard to tell whether the vacation you planned will actually happen, let alone what masks, vaccines, and IDs you'll need once you get to the station. Today's story reminded me how easily our best laid plans go astray:

Gloria Nhambiu

12.07.2021

A Covid Cancelled Trip

My husband is the last of 6 sons born to a Mozambican family. Mozambique is a country on the East coast of Africa. The country shares its southern border with South Africa.
João, my husband, has been planning to attend the wedding of his great grandniece for at least 6 months. The ticket was bought, and reservations were made. João was scheduled to leave Philadelphia on Monday and fly from New York on Tuesday (today).
Two weeks ago the new COVID 19 strain was found to have developed in South Africa. Until Monday he was still planning to make the trip. But our son, Jasen and his wife Natalie convinces him to cancel the trip because they feared that travel might be banned from South Africa and the seven other countries on the tip of Africa. So, he might find his return iffy.
So, Joao is staying home and missing what is always a beautiful African wedding. I know he feels awful, but I am relieved that he won’t get stuck in a travel shutdown of anyone trying to fly out of that country. When the COVID 19 scare is over we can make the trip together.


If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have Easter stories, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.

And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Easter (Frances, Delores, and Ann)

Happy Easter to all who celebrate, and to those who don't Happy Chocolate Rabbit and Chocolate Egg season! Either way, here's a couple stories to place in your Easter basket or non-denominational rainbow colored carrying container:

Frances Bryce

03.28.2019

What Shall I Wear Today?

I read that early memories (maybe the earliest that affected our later life has a connection. I recalled an occasion that I never forgot. It was imprinted on my brain even to today and choices I make about selection clothes, and what I wear today.
The memory, I am using today affect that part of my earliest memory.
My best friend and I attended church on most Sundays, but Easter Sunday was a special day when we had new outfits. That Easter Sunday, I did not get a new outfit, and that was not a happy day for me. My friend arrived at my home which was nearer to the church and we usually went together. She had on her new outfit of a yellow sweater, brown plaid skirt, saddle oxford yellow socks. I wore my old clothes, that I don’t remember what they were, but I do remember that they were not new.
Today, I am aware that my selection is done with care, and what I buy has to have the proper selection, so that I either have in my wardrobe something that complete the purchase or that I complete the purchase at the point when I buy what I need, so that I don’t have a skirt, without a blouse or sweater. I follow that rule when I shop. The other thing I find myself doing is often selecting what I am going to wear, and maybe change my mind but sometimes finally with the first thing I try on.
I do not follow fads, but am keenly aware what I think fits be best when choosing to add to my wardrobe. I can connect this to one of the earliest memories that connect to clothes and the choices I make.
Finally what I am wearing today is the third selection before leaving my house. I do not do this as a daily routine, but often enough to see the connection.

Delores Wilson

04.25.2019

Crime Doesn't Pay

Mysteriously my mother would be off every Easter Monday. She would give us the choice to stay home or go to school. It was supposed to be an extended Easter holiday, however Mom kept us busy from 9 o’clock until noon. Then we would eat a hearty lunch she had prepared for us. After lunch, she kept us busy until 3’o clock. I was in high school, and I had begun to learn the routine. As usual my mom would ask if we wanted to go to school or stay home. I told her that I was going to school- my girlfriend and I had decided we were going to hooky. It was the first time for both of us. Our friend who had graduated ahead of us was in the working place but was off from work that Easter Monday. When we arrived at her house she had breakfast ready. After we ate she answered our questions about her new job, and we watched the boring morning television shows until 1:00. The oddest thing, I felt convicted. I would have rather stayed home with my mom with permission. True, my mom would have kept us busy and gave us a hearty lunch. I had heard and seen students hooky, and I thought such a waste of time. I knew within myself that was the first and last time I would hooky from school.

Ann von Dehsen

04.25.2019

Easter Memories

My childhood Easter memories included Baskets filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, brightly colored eggs about to transform into egg salad, dresses with petticoats that rustled when you moved, church service filled with sweet smelling flowers & sweet smelling mothers with conflicting perfume scents resulting in lots of sneezes.
But my biggest Easter memory, for better or worse, is going to Easter dinner at Uncle Howards and Aunt Mary Margarets. Howard was my fathers half brother more than 20 years his senior. He was the wealthy relative who worked on Wall Street, lived in a high rise apartment with lots of oriental rugs and enjoyed cigars and women, & liquor. Aunt Mary Margaret was Howards 4th wife much to the chagrin of my mother and other aunts who were still very fond of wife #3, Mona, currently working as a waitress in NYC.
Now Uncle Howard never had children and although he was pleasant to my sister, me, and our 2 girl cousins upon our Easter arrival it was obvious that he was not entirely comfortable. Aunt Mary Margaret (MM for short) made no attempt to talk to us beyond “hello, girls” as she ushered us into the t.v. room, turned the t.v. on to Roller Derby handed us a basket of jelly bean-filled Easter eggs & cracked a smile as she shut the door behind her. None of us had any aspirations to compete in the roller derby occupying the tv screen, so we were forced to consider other forms of entertainment. Our favorite activity was to write, “help! we are being held captive in apt 4c!” on strips of paper placed in the plastic eggs & dropping them out the window to the courtyard below. If anyone found our message in this day and age a swat team probably would have shown up, but we never received any response to our messages.
We also did our share of snooping, and one year we hit pay dirt – as we pulled a box from the closet filled with Playboy magazines. As we flipped thru those pages, we were shocked, appalled, somewhat disgusted and quite intimidated and concerned over own lack of development so far. Overall, it was a horribly unhealthy and unrealistic way to begin our sexual development, but it sure filled up the time!
When we heard MM’s high heels clicking down the hall, we quickly slid the box under the table. She arrived with t.v. trays adorned w/ her yearly canned pear bunny salad & pre portioned Easter dinner.
We were too young to appreciate the irony of eating our bunny salad as studied the playmate bunnies.
We knew our visit was coming to an end when we were summoned into the dining room to actually join the adults for dessert – (MM’s traditional egg shaped vanilla cake decorated with jelly beans). This was also about the time that Uncle Howard's many martinis became apparent as he began commenting on his sister-in-laws gorgeous legs & cleavage. So before you knew it we were on our way home, free from Howard & MM for another year.


If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have Easter stories, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.


And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.


Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Out of Order (Diane)

As you probably know from reading this blog, we don't post everyone's stories every single week. That would be too much work for the transcribers, especially when we ask them to transcribe both audio and handwritten stories. Also, posting everyone's stories every single week would be asking a lot of our blog readers, especially on days where we have fifteen or twenty people in a session. We try to give our transcriber a few stories to transcribe at a time. Sometimes, it can lead to our stories being transcribed out of order.

I'm pleased to say, after all this time, we are posting both parts of older bud Diane's "Hurry Up GranPaw" series:

Diane Richardson

11.16.2021

Hurry Up GranPaw

My granddaughter Jourdyn, my son’s daughter, comes over twice a month for the weekend. She lives in Cherry Hill. Though she is not my husband’s biological grandchild, he loves her like she is. Her mother would bring her over to bond with us since she was born. At this time I’m writing about she was five years old. When my husband Joe gets up on Saturday mornings to run his errands so does she. He goes to the upstairs bathroom to get ready, and she goes to the downstairs bathroom to get ready. She comes up to get dressed and knocks on his bathroom door and says, “Hurry up GranPaw” and he hurries.
She stands there waiting for him to come out. He goes into the room to get dressed and she stands outside the room and says “Hurry up GranPaw.” Like they have a time to be somewhere and don’t want to be late. As always when she says hurry up, he hurries. She then follows him to his car and gets in the back with her intentions of going with him wherever he’s going.
Since returning Joe has a hobby of making wine. He makes all types of wine and there are very good. I gave him a wine making kit one year for X-mas and it took off. He gets a lot of requests for it. His buddy’s daughter was getting married and requested fifty bottles of assorted wines to put on the tables at the reception. Joe even makes the labels to put on the wine bottles to say what kind of wine it is and anything else you wanted printed on it.
So this Saturday morning he was going to the wine supply stored in South Philly to get his wine supplies. When Jourdyn went to school Monday the teacher asked what they did over the weekend. When she asked Jourdyn she said, “Me and my GranPaw went to the liquor store.”


Diane Richardson

11.30.2021

Hurry Up Grandpa—Story Two

Y’all remember my story last time about Jourdyn’s adventures with her grandpaw? So this Saturday morning she’s knocking on grandpa’s door saying, “Hurry up grandpaw, hurry,” as always while she waits patiently outside the door for him to come out. And she follows him to his car, gets in the backseat, buckles up like she was invited. So as Joe was driving preparing for a turn, he turned on his turn signal. Jourdyn asked, “What’s that clicking sound grandpaw?”
He answered, “To let the drivers behind me know that I’m going to make a turn. There’s a signal for a right turn and a signal for a left turn.”
“But Grandpa how is it their business where you’re going?”
He answered, “So they can drive accordingly.”
“Well, ok, and I’m not saying I’m smarter than you or anything grandpa, but I don’t think they can hear those clicking sounds all the way back there.”


And if you liked Diane's two part story, then keep an eye on our blog for the next few weeks ;)

If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have multi-part stories, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.


And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.


Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Theatre Week (Eleanor, Frances, and Denise)

It's the beginning of Philadelphia Theatre Week! A week devoted to showing off all the cool new plays our city has to offer. To celebrate, we have stories from some of our favorite theatre buffs:

Eleanor Kazdan

04.14.2021

Sudden Fame

I was plucked out of obscurity at age 14 when I got the lead role in our high school musical. I was a pretty shy girl, not too confident. I had recently emerged from an awkward stage of pimples, frizzy hair, orthopedic shoes and being dumped by my best friend. I was already an accomplished musician and had been taking singing lessons with Mrs. Rutledge for a few years. I heard about auditions for Ice Pool, an original Canadian musical. I chose the song, “As long As He Needs Me” and used it numerous times over the years after that for auditions. I remember getting out on the stage and feeling confident. I sounded good! But still I was shocked when I got the part: Heather, the romantic lead. I had never acted before but learned my lines diligently.
But ugh—as the romantic lead I had to kiss Murray Balshin at the end when we overcame all obstacles to our love. He was a nerdy guy, definitely not someone I wanted to kiss. We were coached to place our lips just to the side of each other’s. Very antiseptic.
It was all pretty heady stuff! I was called out of my 10th grade class numerous times for rehearsals. I became well known in the school. I also lost my baby fat and became svelte. No time to eat. People complimented me on my new thinness. This started my years of obsession with food and being thin. In those days, most eating disorders didn’t have a name. Later I learned I was a binge eater—binging and starving, that is another whole story. Ice Pool was a success. An LP recording was made of the performance. I have no photos since I lost my high school yearbook. I was angry with my parents when we moved at the end of that year. My fame faded. The new school did not perform musicals. The year of Ice Pool was a watershed moment for me!

Frances Bryce

04.25.2019

Play Cancelled

Recently a friend and I bought tickets to see a play depicting the life of Marvin Gaye. We live in different parts of the city. She in the west of the city and I live in the south, Center City. We agreed to meet at the theater for the performance at 3:00 pm. I arrived about 2:30-2:45 pm and she was not there. A notice on the window stated the performance had been cancelled. My reaction was a disappointed one. A couple from New Jersey had driven over and we expressed our disappointment. One of the ladies said she did not get a notice of the cancellation. I recalled getting a series of calls that I did not recognized, so I did not answer, my rule if I don’t know or recognize the number and no voice mail is left, my assumption is that it is probably a scam or robocall. On reflection, it was probably a call to let me know the play was cancelled. We who were wondering why stayed for a short time went to the box office for a receipt and was informed that the amount of the tickets had been returned to my account. I took a bus and returned home.
Assuming that my friend who is always early had read the notice and was on her way home. She does not have a cell phone, so I could not check that she was now home or on her way there.
When I finally was able to get her she informed me that she arrived after I left and remained in the area until 3:30pm. I asked why she stayed after she knew the production was cancelled and after the time it was past the register time of 3:00 she stated that she was waiting on me.
I said we will agree that if any future events that we were to see cancelled. Then we would leave and for her to consider an inexpensive cellphone so we could connect with each other.
She arrived later than usual she told me, because the driver carried her two blocks from her stop and not being a fast walker, it was necessary to retrace the two blocks where she wanted to catch the next bus. I now will try to think about other ways to be sure we are on the same wave length.


Denise W

10.25.2020

I’m Not Going to Have a Sad Day

Well basically next Wednesday, October 14, would be six years that mother went to be with the Lord, and so I’ve decided to celebrate this year with things we did that were fun. I’m going to try to put in my heart that I’m not going to have a sad day. Why would I have a sad day? I want to remember my mom and I want to remember the fun things we did. And one thing she loved to do was to travel. We spent a lot of time in New York. She also loved plays, Broadway plays. So she said, “Denise we gotta get a ticket to Lion King.” I said, “Okay, sure.”
So I bought a ticket to Lion King in New York and we stayed at the Hilton Town Square because we arrived in the afternoon, we had lunch, and the play was at night. So she really truly enjoyed the Lion King, the music, particularly the song ‘He Lives in Us.’ She was singing it over and over and over and over. She saw that song from a very spiritual point of view. And another play we enjoyed was Aida. She loved Aida. Aida was very different. We did see that here in Philadelphia. I think it was Walnut Street if I’m not mistaken. Then we saw Beauty and the Beast. She enjoyed Beauty and the Beast. We also saw concerts such as there was a lady could sing like Mahalia Jackson, and so the play, I think it was called ‘Mahalia,’ so we went to see that in person. James Cleveland was another gospel singer that she loved and I loved. We went to see that play. We also saw most of the plays in Lancaster, PA. Lancaster, PA Sight and Sound Theater, that has religious plays based on the Bible, so we enjoyed those plays too. But, next Wednesday is the anniversary, it will be six years.
One thing we did, I’m originally from West Philadelphia, and when I was a young lady, about six or eight, a little girl, we would go to a place called a Jamaica Inn in West Philadelphia. There we would have my favorite meal, which was egg foo young. While dining there, I would hear in the background Diana Ross’ music. Diana Ross for example the song ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ and that era. Diana Ross- I mean the Supremes. That was before she became Diana Ross. So, I decided, long story short, to recreate next week. I want to have egg foo young, and play Diana Ross on YouTube and then maybe play some of the music from the showtunes of Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, et cetera and Aida of course. And I thought I would remember her in a way that was uplifting and just kind of recreate some the things that we did and enjoy. And I guess that’s what I love about my mother. She was always going to, I mean she always took me to Ice Follies when Ice Follies were popular, a circus when a circus was in town. Whatever was in town, or the zoo, of course we went there a million times, but whatever was in town or a play or some cultural event, my mother would be sure to take me. And I enjoyed that part of her, and that’s the part of I want to recreate next Wednesday, God willing. That’s all.

If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have a best o collection of stories, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.


And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.




Curated by Caitlin Cieri