When my life as a Hollywood film editor was becoming a greater than normal challenge, I decided it was time to think of other areas of life I wanted to explore. My wife Paula and I were living the suburban life near Los Angeles and thought the location offered little variety or options for learning or socialization. We were familiar with Santa Cruz, CA as our oldest son had graduated from UCSC and our daughter had attended the university in her freshman year and our son Brian was living in Santa Cruz. The town was situated at the Pacific Ocean so we knew the weather would be to our liking. The University was an attraction as it offered a variety of classes with a student body of around 15,000. The University offered a program called “Elders in Residence” which allowed anyone age 62 or older to take two classes for credit and live in the student dorms with the other students.
That was the attraction for our decision to move to Santa Cruz. Paula and I both signed up for classes. A need was expressed for a seniors student organization to welcome the newly arrived Elders in Residence by the permanent residents of the community. I was one of five senior students who met to form the organization which we called “UCSC Lifelong Learners”. We currently have nearly 800 members and 49 interest groups which are led by volunteers from the membership.
Paula and I have been leading a film seminar group for over twenty years. We have room for 19 members at a time and we run a movie, then discuss it. This involvement with Lifelong Learners and our film group has supplied us with numerous contacts from which we have made many, many friends. So our decision to settle in a community with a university has been an ideal choice and allowed us to continue to have an active social life. We have been extremely happy with our decision and couldn’t imagine a better place or activity in our retirement.
Looks like you and Paula have made a very good choice, Jim, as the length of your continuing ride on Spaceship Earth alone testifies. Perhaps the more wonderful a life the longer it lasts?
Brooks, I do believe that being happy or content leads to a healthier body along with exercise and a good diet. I am also on a gluten free diet and when I started 15 years ago a redness in my skin cleared in three days. I also wonder if having a happier gut may help in absorbing minerals and nutrients. I think everyone should try a gluten free diet for several days and learn whether it betters digestion and a feeling of health. Gluten kills some good microbes in the gut, so why eat it?
Hollywood’s loss has been Santa Cruz’s gain. Keep on truckin’.
Jim, your story was great and inspiring. I am a published author (working from Asia). My publisher and I are working on a new project with the working title of “OLD SCHOOL.” It is a collection of true stories / testimonials of using methods successfully on the job that today would be considered “old school” We’re looking for short stories that are both inspiring and touching to the retired writers themselves and the present working generation. Both are target readers. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please shoot me an email if you think anyone in USCC Lifelong Learners and yourself might be interested in contributing to our project and getting their name in print! Thanks!