Some seniors inspire, while others deflate


There are several things that inspire me again and again in this community.

For instance, the way this area continues to rally to raise money for families, individuals and organizations who might need a hand is humbling to behold. From young people holding fundraising races to seniors making quilts to auction off, to contractors banding together to help a common cause, there is never a weekend in this area that people are not getting together to help someone else.

There is also something very special about the schools in this area, and how many consider it a community effort to provide our children the best education possible. Referendums requiring a raise in taxes to further the educational opportunities for our youth always pass in this area, and usually by a wide margin. That is pretty impressive, especially when one considers our large senior population, many of whom do not have children in the system and make that vote out of purely selfless reasons.

And you might have noticed that I mentioned the senior population in our area twice already. As I inch closer and closer to that illustrious status myself, I grow more appreciative of the energy and enthusiasm with which many of our local seniors choose to live their lives.

I see them running or riding bikes down the road, or volunteering at community efforts, or working at local stores, while I see myself lying on my couch with a pug asleep on my chest and a bag of Doritos by my side. I mean, come on, is there really anything more exciting than a snorting 14-pound dog firing mucus from her nose on your chin while she ...

But I digress.

As I was saying before the snorting pug came up, I truly get inspired by the seniors in this community. They have taught me over and over again that life does not end as we get more advanced in years, it simply evolves. With experience comes knowledge, and with knowledge comes an appreciation for things around you. Their efforts shine a light on everything that is good around us, and we are fools not to take their lead and continue in their footsteps.

That being said, the hard work and entrepeneurship of some seniors on the East Coast appears a bit misguided in my humble eyes.

For instance, NBC-4 New York recently shared a story concerning a business effort by a 75-year-old man who lives in a New Jersey senior citizen housing complex.

James Parham, along with 66-year-old Cheryl Chaney, have allegedly been running a prostitution ring that employed some elderly residents of the complex as sex workers.

What was once known as “the oldest profession” is now, well, “the oldest profession.”

Apparently, the two are also accused of allowing residents and visitors to use crack in their apartments. Trust me, there is a joke in there that is killing me not to write, but I’m going to take the high road in this space.

So, yeah, they were certainly up to some things that people should probably not get into regardless of their age. That being said, you have to kind of marvel at their resourcefulness and willingness to put in some work as long as they can. Some people just get old and wait to die, and that’s it for them.

Well, dying isn’t always “it.”

The Huffington Post reported this week that mourners at a Zimbabwe funeral got a little more than they were probably expecting when the guest of honor sat up in his coffin.

Brighton Dama Zanthe, 34, apparently woke up in the middle of his own funeral and gave spectators quite the show. He was then rushed to a local hospital, was on life support for two days and then was released.

So, yeah, there might have been a misdiagnosis somewhere in there for Mr. Zanthe.