Contributors Betsy Chafcouloff, Rita Delgado, Kathryn A. Johnon and Mary Jo Lazear join editor Marjorie Lasky to read from their pieces included in the new anthology,Â You’re Doing What? Older Womenâ€™s Tales of Achievement and Adventure — which is bursting withÂ 62 memorable first-person tales and photos. In the book, youâ€™ll meet daring older women â€” like the early-sixties first-time bride finding her future husband on Craigslist; a retired speech therapist starting a clinic in Cambodia; and post-60-year-olds climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.Â
Youâ€™ll read about women of different races, classes, and sexual orientations facing various challenges and choices as they age. A loving daughter recounts how her mother moved beyond a â€œbare and unadornedâ€ Mississippi upbringing. A California Chicana counters her motherâ€™s denial of her Mexican heritage. A bisexual polyamorist rejects a life like her motherâ€™s. There are (relatively) young elders – the writer/teacher/poet grappling with her legacy – and older ones – the nonagenarian New Englander investing (monetarily) in the future.Â
And there are women who refuse to succumb to disabilities – like the retired history professor, with rheumatoid arthritis, now writing poetry. Youâ€™ll enjoy their photos â€“ including the performance artist embracing her theater dog, Fanny; the alternative lifestyle habituÃ© seated alongside the swami of the mountain; and the mug shot of the North Carolinian arrestee. All are embracing new adventures and changing what it means to be an â€œolder woman.â€ Celebrate them! And let them inspire you despite those voices that still might challenge, â€œYouâ€™re Doing What!â€Â
PARTICIPANTS AT BIRD & BECKETT:
Compiler, Marjorie Lasky
Â Â Â Â Â Â A professor in the Contra Costa Community College District from 1973-2008, Marjorie Lasky taught Womenâ€™s, United States, and Latin American History. As an older woman, she finished a PhD dissertation, â€œOff Camera: A History of the Screen Actors Guildâ€ and a degree in Labor History at UC Davis, served as chief negotiator and president of her faculty union, founded Grandmotherâ€™s Against War (Bay Area), and, upon retiring, took up the saxophone.
Â Â Â Â Â Â A Speech and Language Pathologist, Betsy Chafcouloff has been traveling on and off for almost 50 years, and is particularly drawn to working with people in Asia. When she was 68 years-old, she started a non-profit corporation, Speech Therapy Cambodia, that began by training neurologists in Cambodia. For more information on the project seeÂ www.speechtherapycambodia.org.
Â Â Â Â Â Although identifying herself as Anonymous in the book, Rita Delgado decided to reveal her identity and participate in book events. She is a retired counselor from Diablo Valley College.
Kathryn K. Johnson
Â Â Â Â Â In her university positions as an advocate for women, Kathryn K. Johnson taught the first womenâ€™s health course at UC Berkeley, wrote a report titled Academic Barriers for UC Davis Women Faculty and, at San Francisco State University, established a Stay in School Cal Works Family Resource Center, a program on gender and public policy. Off Campus she was a co-founder of the San Francisco Democratic Women in Action. Kathryn and her husband live in the Bird & Beckett neighborhood.
Mary Jo Lazear
Â Â Â Â Â One could say that Mary Jo Lazear gives true meaning to the word â€œdetailist.â€ Evidence her joy in remembering accent marks in the French language (she used to teach French). Mary Jo loves to organize parties and events down to the most minute detail. Every detail in preparation for her journey around the world presents an exciting challenge. She and her husband live in San Francisco.
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.
Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site