The 90’s, episode 402: Getting Older

Episode 402 of the award winning series, The 90's. This episode is called "GETTING OLDER" and features the following segments:

02:15Copy video clip URL “One to One” by Erna Wine Maurer. “The Singing Ukeleles,” a senior citizen musical group, perform and talk to a group of high school students. One man says, “We must never lose the opportunity to communicate. I’m sure we have a lot more in common than we realize.” A girl with her hair dyed pink comments, “We’re supposed to be respectful toward you, and I am; but, when you talk about war and all you have left us… You haven’t left us with very much.” A man responds, “I almost said the identical words to my father when I was her age. Every generation has felt they have inherited problems.”

04:59Copy video clip URL “Taxi Driver” by Skip Blumberg. Skip Blumberg and a cab driver in New York talk about how old they each felt at different ages in their lives.  Skip: “When I was 10, I felt like 12. When I was 20, I felt like 25. When I was 30, I felt like 25. Twenty-five lasted a long time.”

05:59Copy video clip URL “Chicago Kids” by Tom Weinberg and Patrick Creadon. Inner-city kids in Chicago talk about the best age to be. One girl replies, “Thirteen. Then you can do more things. When you grow up some people be on drugs and beat their kids a lot. Then the state has to take them away. That’s why I like to be young.”

07:36Copy video clip URL “William Strauss” by Eddie Becker. William Strauss, author of Generations, comments on how Baby Boomers have grown up in an age where he government is more concerned with the elderly than with the youth, “In order to continue progress, you want to be kindest of all to your future. You want to care about children first. We were doing jut the opposite. It was terrible. It’s not that being kind to seniors isn’t kind and good. I can’t accept that it didn’t come as a conscious social choice to ignore the future.”

08:45Copy video clip URL “I Wish I Were a Princess” by Terry Strauss / Coleman Advocates. Crystal, a young girl who grew up homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, remembers what her life used to be like: “My mom was gone for a long time at night hustling money. She wore mini-skirts and tight shirts. She didn’t always get arrested, but sometimes she did. My mom was in jail… and we couldn’t touch her.” Crystal on the day she was adopted: “It felt good… I was for sure not sad then.”

11:01Copy video clip URL “Hannah and Rachel” by Jeff Spitz. Hannah Joravsky, a 3-year-old, is on her way to the hospital to meet her new sister, Rachel. At the hospital, she demonstrates how big her mother looked when she was pregnant. She gets very excited: “I pee-peed, but that’s okay… That’s okay, Daddy can clean it up … Hannah holds her new sister and in response to the suggestion that “she’s beautiful,” Hannah answers, “She’s pink.”

13:53Copy video clip URL “Brady Boomers” by Alene Richardson and Beverly Ginsburg. Over home movies, people in blue boxes a la “The Brady Bunch,” respond to questions about the show that shaped a generation. In response to the question “was your family like the Brady Bunch?,” one guy says, “My father was a communist and my mother was a sexually fixated neurotic.” In answering the question, “did you want your family to be more like the “‘Brady Bunch’?,” responses included, “I had fantasies… It never happened” and “I think I’ll take a real family over what I saw on ‘The Brady Bunch’ and I didn’t like ‘The Partridge Family’ either.”

15:28Copy video clip URL “Real Live Brady Bunch” by Skip Blumberg. Julie Phillips, a writer, says, “We all watched the same episodes of ‘The Brady Bunch’; people of the same age and the same generation, and so we all feel as though we accomplished something together, done something together. When in fact, we were all spoon fed the same crap. It helps us to relate to each other, but that doesn’t make it good.” Jill and Faith Soloway, the co-creators of the off-Broadway hit “The Real Live Brady Bunch” talk about the play and their aspirations. Jill says, “A lot of people have had bad feelings: A play about ‘The Brady Bunch’? How stupid. But the play kind of makes fun of ‘The Brady Bunch’.” Members of the cast introduce themselves. Julie Phillips, the anti-nostalgia voice, and Jill Soloway, the resurrector of schlock TV, engage in a mock boxing match.

20:03Copy video clip URL “Red M & M’s” by Bianca Miller. Singer Bianca Miller laments the loss of her favorite things: “I used to love red M & M’s until they said that they could kill me / Red dye number 2, I love you / And speaking of carcinogenics / Whatever happened to cyclamates / That they put in Fresca back in ’68…”

22:39Copy video clip URL “Older Overnight” by Gary Glaser / The Selluloid Group. A teenage-mother describes how hard it is to bring up a child: “Everything I do I have to think of him first… Being a parent is really hard… It looks fun on the outside, but not on the inside.”

25:20Copy video clip URL “Mary Ellen Serritella” by Judy Markey. In Skokie, Illinois, Mary Ellen Serritella talks about taking care of her elderly mother. “It certainly isn’t perfect. It certainly isn’t good all the time. I don’t know what else to do.”

29:13Copy video clip URL “Gaston” by Eric Boutry. In Paris, Gaston, a 97-year-old man, performs on the trapeze. His trainer recounts the first time he met the agile senior citizen.

31:27Copy video clip URL “Rix Bears” by Skip Blumberg. In Upstate New York, Albert Rix, 72, trains bears. Despite his age, he doesn’t plan on slowing down. The bears whistle and stick their tongues out on command.

34:15Copy video clip URL “Stop me before I love again” by Betty Aberlin / Society of Late Blooming Flowers. Clearance Blouse (a.k.a. Betty Aberlin) reveals the state of her love life. “Stop me before I love again… Sometimes, I think my true love died in Vietnam… The available guys are scarce and the unavailable guys are a hassle… That’s what I really like to be – needed – to find someone that has more problems than I have… It makes me feel so together… Last night I heard this bump, and there was this guy laying right in the middle of the street. He’d been hit by a truck… I ran out in the street and here was this beautiful guy… His nose was filling up with blood… He was wearing these exquisite cow boy boots — sea snake. At first I thought he was, you know, gay… I kept talking to him… Then I realized he was dead. I’ve gone out with some pretty dysfunctional guys, but I’ve got to draw the line at dead.”

37:29Copy video clip URL “Libido” by Liz Cane. Over film footage of couples dancing and a Sierra Club excursion, senior citizens talk about their sex lives… “We have excellent activities, so we both experience orgasm.”

41:54Copy video clip URL “Looking Young” by Tobe Carey and Meg Carey; also “Linda Burnham” by Esti Galili Marpet. To be gray or to dye is the question. Meg Carey dyes her hair to hide the gray: “It makes me feel younger when I’m done, it makes me feel older that I’m doing it.” On the other side of the coin, Linda Burnham keeps her hair long and gray: “You can be gray, but you can still be youthful and contemporary in your approach to life.”

45:29Copy video clip URL “Skateboard Mama” by Marilyn Cohen and Genie Lyons. Liz Bevington, a senior citizen, skateboards along the boardwalk in Venice Beach. “After you fall down, you get up and go again,” she says.

46:40Copy video clip URL “Willard Scott” by Eddie Becker. Willard Scott of “The Today Show” tapes his birthday segment in Washington DC and then tells Eddie Becker that he gets 80-150 birthday requests a day from centenarians. He says that by 2000, there will be 100,000 centenarians in the US, making them the largest growing group in the country and perhaps the world.

47:49Copy video clip URL “My Name is Stanley Newman” by Jeffrey L. Davidson. Over film of his daily rituals and archive footage, Stanley Newman recounts his life, “I didn’t struggle all my life, but I didn’t have it easy… I’ve outlived my time as it is. I lived longer than I wanted to. Every day I go on makes it longer. I don’t know what to do without television. I’ve seen every show on TV until I’m blue in the face. They’re developing new medicines. Why make ‘em live? Eighty-five years old is well above average. You’re in no condition to enjoy life. They’re making people live through pain and troubles. They’d be better off if they were dead.”

53:34Copy video clip URL “Derek Humphry” by Jody Procter and Kit Sibert. Derek Humphry, the author of Final Exit, discusses how his bestselling book has opened up the doors for frank discussion about suicide.

55:26Copy video clip URL “Jack and Rose Nathanson” by Prairie Grass Productions. Sitting on a couch with his wife Rose, Jack Nathanson says, “You ask me what I get out of life: sweet and sour. We had our sweet days, our good days, and we had our hard days. If you expect that you’re gonna go through life and everything’s gonna be sweet apple pie, you’re mistaken.” With Rose’s prompting, he then breaks into song.

57:17Copy video clip URL End Credits.



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