Ten days ago I, along with 4 friends also on Medicare, visited a mutual friend many miles away who is seriously ill with cancer. Confined to a bed and hardly able to talk, weighing 50 or so pounds less than his once very fit 165#, this mountain climbing buddy’s condition was far different from only 18 months ago. Seeing this pal, a truly nice guy who never complains, in such very difficult straights was a reminder to me to get going on something I’ve thought & talked a little about for a year or so, a website that collects and makes available to others short essays from seniors on topics of their choice.
(This is a variation on a theme I’m familiar with, namely the reunion books that are often created in conjunction with major reunions at places like Princeton, Yale, Stanford Business School, etc. Generally, the books get thicker as the years go on, and my sense is the 50th reunion book is the class’s capstone book. That meshes well with the SeniorsSay concept.)
The primary catalyst for thinking about doing a Seniors Say type of thing was last summer at the Dolphin Club. Within a couple of weeks, two seniors I’d seen frequently in various roles over 20+ years but didn’t really know, passed away. Through Club remembrances and their obituaries I learned both women had very interesting lives and had spend their days, until their premature deaths, living, as Frank Sinatra sang, “my way.”
If only I’d have said “hello” to each some day over the decades…and known them even just a little.
If only there was an outlet for such interesting people to say whatever they wanted to, if anything.
Another nudge was a relative I hardly knew who also passed away fairly suddenly last year – only after that did I learn of her large footprint in the LA Jazz scene and to appreciate her lifelong interest in manhole covers, a subject on which she and her husband published a definitive book. What might she have wanted to express?
Well, the final nail in the coffin was this morning, when I received an email from my class at Princeton that a classmate, clubmate*, and friend had just passed away. Once more I was hit with how I and my peer group are “in the zone.” Admittedly somewhat selfishly, I’d like to hear what friends and others have to say before it’s too late.
Hence, I resolve to launch SeniorsSay.com by July 31. I don’t have a business plan and it will take some time to get it going as a business, if ever. In any event, my gut tells me just my own network could yield interesting and potentially important messages for younger readers.
This is a start-up but the business plan is non-existent. Monetization is unclear, although there are paths to some revenue, provided content is good (which is what I expect). I haven’t done a “competitive analysis” but another clubmate, one active in social work, told me about Cornell’s Legacy Project. In the case of SeniorsSay, things will evolve.
Anyway, I wanted to let you know…
*the club was Cannon Club, one of the earliest of Princeton’s eating clubs. While we were there it was an amazingly diverse collection of characters too difficult to explain properly in the time I have (today). For a fond portrait of how things were when we were there, I suggest another friend’s recently published ebook,
The Thinking Man’s Animal House: Benghauser Remembers F’Boy.