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On a Roll

By Paul Bendix

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About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

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Age-Appropriate Behavior

Uploaded: Jun 27, 2014
"We're 67, darling. We're practically dead." This from one of my British cousins, currently driving a van around Greece with her husband and discoursing heavily via Facebook. The joke is that it's no joke. I waken each day, vaguely apologetic for being old. I point to mysterious aches, weaker eyesight and slower reactions. My wife shrugs and suggests I read fellow blogger, Stuart Soffer, who tackles age straight on. (See The Taboo Topic of Ageism in Silicon Valley)

Stu gives me heart. I may be through with working in Silicon Valley, but there's still the challenge of living here...and being old. What is the challenge? Proceeding with life full speed ahead. And so what if full speed isn't quite as full as it used to be? It's not supposed to be.

"That is no country for old men," Yeats observed when he was pushing 61. Silicon Valley, as we know it, may not make it to 61, unless gray-haired guys keep dealing with its underlying issues.

That's why bloggers Soffer and Steve Levy keep their focus on "livable communities." It's no secret that some of the Valley's best-known companies are getting nervous about their future here. The Bay Area officially has the nation's second worst traffic. Affordable housing is scant. And the political momentum to fix these problems seems even scarcer.

So what's the job of an old guy like me? To keep involved and to keep nudging. Okay, so Yeats wrote that "aged man is but a paltry thing." His Sailing to Byzantium also advises "Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing." It's the best aging advice I know.

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