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<v Speaker>[music] We're getting on in years. We're getting on just fine. <v Speaker>[music] We're getting on with the beautiful business of living. We're gonna do new things. We're gonna view new skies. We're gonna rise to the billion surprises of living. We're <v Speaker>free to see what we never had time to see. Free to learn. Free to grow. <v Speaker>[music] Free to be ourselves and build on what we know. <v Speaker>[music] We're getting on in age. We're getting on the ball by getting old and we can from the wonder of living.
<v Speaker>[music] We know what's good. We know it's fine. It's a new road we're getting on. <v Speaker>I'm Alice Brophy and this is a new TV series, for and about older people. <v Speaker>And I'm Paul O'Dwyer. We'll be bringing you some remarkable folks who are getting <v Speaker>on and well worth knowing. <v Speaker>On this series will let older people speak for themselves. <v Speaker>And since Paul and I are getting on as well, we'll add a thought or two occasionally <v Speaker>also. It's a pleasure to introduce some of the unsung <v Speaker>but fascinating older people who have a gift for living. <v Speaker>You'll be surprised to see that none of them are famous. <v Speaker>Most of them have very limi-limited incomes, but all of them
<v Speaker>have an undiminished talent for getting on. <v Speaker>Ya know, Paul, one of the things that uh happens in retirement <v Speaker>is people see it as the end of a-of a portion of your life. <v Speaker>Rather, that it's the beginning of a whole new way of life. <v Speaker>And I think one of the big problems is how do you work it out so that you use time <v Speaker>successfully rather than kill time? <v Speaker>I think they've got to prepare for it, Alice. <v Speaker>I think they've got to recognize that there are a lot of things that they couldn't get <v Speaker>around to doing before. <v Speaker>Now they have an opportunity of sort of filling in and doing the things that they wish to <v Speaker>do previously. There must be many, many things in everybody's life <v Speaker>that they would like to get into, and we're not given the opportunity for doing <v Speaker>it. <v Speaker>Yeah, I think we all have, you know, our little lists set aside that when we have time, <v Speaker>the books we're gonna read and the symphonies we're going to hear and the courses we're <v Speaker>gonna take. But I also think it requires a lot of very good planning and <v Speaker>a lot of discipline and a lot of order in our lives, because
<v Speaker>uh if uh we don't, then uh then you do, as I say, kill time. <v Speaker>If you're a confirmed ci-city dweller, by choice or by necessity, one of the <v Speaker>best ways of getting on is to use the many resources the city offers. <v Speaker>We met a man who converted a lifetime affection for the zoo into <v Speaker>a meaningful volunteer experience. <v Speaker>When I retired from the Department of Parks, I know that <v Speaker>I had to find some activity to keep me busy. <v Speaker>Something that would be interesting and I'd always been interested in the zoo. <v Speaker>And when I found out that they did have a volunteer program, I was very <v Speaker>much interested in joining up. <v Speaker>These wolves live used to live here in Manhattan Island. <v Speaker>But they don't live here anymore and they don't live in practically any <v Speaker>place in New York state.
<v Speaker>They're gradually being pushed out of all the places where they used to live. <v Speaker>Now, what do you think wolves lived on? <v Speaker>Trees? Meat! Food. Oh, everybody lives on food, so don't answer food. <v Speaker>Meat. Where do you think the meat came from? <v Speaker>Other animals. They hunted for it. They hunted other animals. <v Speaker>What kind of animals? <v Speaker>Uh, rabbits, squirrels. Ooh I know, lambs! Little animals! Not lambs, but hold on to that, you hold on to that. <v Speaker>Rabbits. They ate rabbits and squirrels. <v Speaker>What big thing lives in the wood? <v Speaker>Deer! Mostly they lived on deer. And when they're gonna cut down the forest <v Speaker>in order to make more land for his cows. <v Speaker>What happened to deer? <v Speaker>They left. And after they left it di- the wolves had to leave also, didn't they? <v Speaker>Now, if they didn't find - As a volunteer at the zoo, I <v Speaker>come in on Friday mornings and more frequently if it's necessary and <v Speaker>give to-uh tours that I really consider lessons
<v Speaker>uh I don't uh show them here at the lions, here the tigers, there the elephants. <v Speaker>We have tours that on various subjects. <v Speaker>One of them is endangered species, which I have given the kids today. <v Speaker>Another is on adaptations that third might be on reptiles. <v Speaker>All of these tours are lessons, really, which I try to get from <v Speaker>the kids to various subjects that we're discussing for the day. <v Speaker>Now, wait a minute, everybody quiet down. <v Speaker>Let's get a little attention here. <v Speaker>Now where do the polar bears live? <v Speaker>In Alaska. Not only in the Alaska but all around the north pole none of them live in the <v Speaker>south pole. They're all around the top of the globe where there's ice and snow. <v Speaker>And what do you think they live on? <v Speaker>UM, ice. They live ON the ice, but what kind of food do they eat? <v Speaker> Fish! <v Speaker>Fish in the water. Um, seals. And seals. Both. <v Speaker>They're hunters and they catch fish and seals.
<v Speaker>If their question is wrong. <v Speaker>I don't say that's wrong. <v Speaker>I try to continue the questioning 'til the kid'll give me a correct answer. <v Speaker>It's a give and take and I try to get everything out of them by questioning. <v Speaker>I don't try to lecture, every once in a while I will try t- I find myself <v Speaker>going into a lecture about animals, which I know is uh not the right thing to do. <v Speaker>I want to get it out of them. They know all the answers and they just have to think about <v Speaker>it and get it out of themselves. <v Speaker>These are not living on deer. <v Speaker>Their-their habitat is still the same as it was. <v Speaker>They live on fish and seals. <v Speaker>Now, why do you think they're endangered? <v Speaker>There's another good reason. Because, um, when they live in Alaska, <v Speaker>the-the hunters over there need-need the skin of the-the polar bears to <v Speaker>keep themselves warm. <v Speaker>What hunters? Eskimos. Yeah, the Eskimos. <v Speaker>How many thousands of years do you think Eskimos have been killing polar bears <v Speaker>for fur? Tens of thousands. <v Speaker>So they're really no danger to the polar bears.
<v Speaker>They only take what they need. <v Speaker>They never kill 'em too much. <v Speaker>Now what other countries would be there for the polar bears and for what <v Speaker>reason? <v Speaker>Bear hunters. Just to get the skin for a rug or put their head up on a shelf <v Speaker>or something. They went out and killed them by the thousands. <v Speaker>They shouldn't kill the polar bears they should wait 'til they die. They shouldn't just kill 'em for the sport. That's right. <v Speaker>They shouldn't kill 'em for sport because that's what's making them <v Speaker>endangered. What would happen- We-uh live in a very, <v Speaker>very small world. <v Speaker>And one of the most endangered species of all is man. <v Speaker>And uh it's - kids should know that unless pollution <v Speaker>is controlled and uh environmental uh <v Speaker>destruction of habitats and the landmasses and the oceans. <v Speaker>One of the animal is gonna be extinct before we t- is man himself
<v Speaker>therefore if they have an idea or know that animals are endangered, have <v Speaker>to be protected, someplace along the line I try to bring that <v Speaker>in. I don't know whether I'm always successful. <v Speaker>That man is an endangered species that we have to think about this problem. <v Speaker>My earliest recrea-uh recollection of the Bronx Zoo has been when I was 3 or 4 <v Speaker>years old about 60 years ago, coming with my big brother and <v Speaker>riding on his shoulders and him pointing out the animals to me. <v Speaker>But uh this is my favorite place in the city, I imagine. <v Speaker>I used to come here two, three, four times a week, all during elementary school and high <v Speaker>school just to wander around, see the animals over and over again, and never became <v Speaker>boring. There's always something new to see new animals available. <v Speaker>They used to come here and pick blackberries before they develop the parking <v Speaker>lot over near the Bronx River. <v Speaker>And so that I always had an interest in nature and animals. <v Speaker>When I was a youngster, I was told, the legend that this
<v Speaker>rolling stone could be moved if you found a proper place to push it with two <v Speaker>fingers. Of course, being very young and very naive. <v Speaker>I spent hours every time I visited the zoo trying to find <v Speaker>a spot uh where you could push the stone over <v Speaker>with two fingers. <v Speaker>Of course, I never found it, and I still think it can be done. <v Speaker>I only find the right place. <v Speaker>Though each time I come, even now, I visit the world <v Speaker>of darkness which is just behind us. <v Speaker>I will walk over here and very quietly give it a little shove and <v Speaker>see what I'm doing and uh but I still haven't moved it. <v Speaker>Very little water. If you look out here, there's only three horses in this little place. <v Speaker>Ya see what they're doing to the grass? <v Speaker>They're eating it all up. And once the grass disappear what's going to happen?
<v Speaker>They're gonna die out. No, but what happens to the soil? <v Speaker>It gets by. <v Speaker>If it uh gets washed away by the rain and gradually all <v Speaker>the plant life would die, the trees would die, and you would have a desert. <v Speaker>So it's necessary to maintain the balance. <v Speaker>And then they would die. It's necessary to maintain the balance of nature by having <v Speaker>the predators. <v Speaker>I feel a definite responsibility. When I took the course one of the things that they told <v Speaker>me before I started was that they expected me to give them at least a <v Speaker>year of touring as a tour guide. <v Speaker>And I did that. I mean, of course I said I would. <v Speaker>And it doesn't make any difference whether I'm on a paid job, but I have a sense of <v Speaker>responsibility. So it's important. <v Speaker>I think it's important to uh continue. <v Speaker>You can't just watch television or read all the time. <v Speaker>You have to have some active activity to get into. <v Speaker>Bye, Mr. Goodman. Bye!
<v Speaker>As this series was developed, we looked for the most effective ways to make a point <v Speaker>and features that would be fun to do. <v Speaker>On the theory that laughter is the best persuader, we started several comedy <v Speaker>workshops in the senior centers around the city. <v Speaker>These workshops are a very popular activity. <v Speaker>Many seniors who had never performed before find a lot of pleasure <v Speaker>in improvising and developing skits. <v Speaker>Some of the workshop members will appear in this series from time to time <v Speaker>in sketches that show some of the issues and ironies involved in <v Speaker>getting on. <v Speaker>Good morning. Good morning. Can I help you? <v Speaker>I have a complaint to make. I hope I've come to the right place. <v Speaker>This is the right place, yes. I have some pills here that I'm taking for a long, long <v Speaker>time. <v Speaker>Yeah. Now, they don't seem to work anymore. <v Speaker>They don't help you anymore, huh? No. <v Speaker>I see. <v Speaker>So uh you're Mrs. Finsterwald, right?
<v Speaker>No, that's not my name. <v Speaker>Well you've got pills here that says Finster- Well, the garbage man gave me that. What?! I told him my uh com-what I-uf - Just how I feel! <v Speaker>And he gave you? And he gave me 'em and says his wife takes them. <v Speaker>He's not a doctor. <v Speaker>You can't take other people's pills. You see, this is only for Mrs. Finsterwald. <v Speaker>You see? Did you have any other pills there? <v Speaker>Yes, I have. Ya can't take other people's pills for an ailment. <v Speaker>You have to get your own. Yeah, it says here, Mrs. O'Brien. <v Speaker>Now that's you know, right? No, that's not me either. <v Speaker>You're not O'Brien? The mail man's wife. Oh, co-lady. <v Speaker>Listen, you can't do that. You can't take other people's pills. <v Speaker>I don't care if they have the same complaint or not. <v Speaker>You're a different person. You have a different kind of a system. <v Speaker>You can't take other people- <v Speaker>I can help, I-I'm living on a fixed income and I can't afford to buy pills. <v Speaker>You're gonna die on a fixed income if you keep doing this. <v Speaker>You must go to your own doctor. Even if you go to a clinic, you've got to get your own. <v Speaker>Look, do you have any more pills in there? Let's take a look at your pills, because this <v Speaker>is ridiculous. I have alot. <v Speaker>Okay. Let's have the pills you got. <v Speaker>Okay. You got these pills here. <v Speaker>Uh-huh, Gonzalez. That's not you either, right? No, that's not me. <v Speaker>No? What's this?
<v Speaker>Fairfax-Forbes. That's not you? <v Speaker>That's not me. No, no. <v Speaker>None of these is you? No. All of these pills and none? <v Speaker>No. You got all these pills? Uh-huh. <v Speaker>But you borrow these? <v Speaker>They said they were good for me. <v Speaker>I didn't buy the bad - no. <v Speaker>Ya can't go to friends and neighbors and mailmen and garbage men and a delivery boy. <v Speaker>And the man sells the newspapers. You have to have your own pills. <v Speaker>You can't - you can't take other people's pills. <v Speaker>It's not good for you may even harm you instead of helping you. <v Speaker>So remember that you've got - you've got to - if there's one rule you follow, don't take <v Speaker>other people's pills! <v Speaker>Gee whiz. Ya got me so upset now I'm getting a headache. <v Speaker>Poor, poor soul. Take one of my pills. One of these? Yeah, it's Aspirin. <v Speaker>Good. I'll just take one of these, make me feel a little better, okay? <v Speaker>Huh-uh-uh, Don't take other people's pills. <v Speaker>Okay. Here's the book. Now everything's in there. <v Speaker>Any question you can't answer you find in the book, okay? <v Speaker>Are you sure it's in there? Yeah, I'm pretty sure everything's in there. <v Speaker>Okay. Nothing to worry about. I'll be just across the street having a hamburger. <v Speaker>Yes, sir. Can I help you? <v Speaker>Yes, uh, I'm retired. I just turned 65.
<v Speaker>I need a little help. Yeah, I know. It can be hard. <v Speaker>I was working for the same company for 40 years, as soon as I turned 65 they forced <v Speaker>me out. Mandatory retirement. I have social security and a small <v Speaker>pension. Also a gold watch. <v Speaker>I bet you need a hobby to get involved with. <v Speaker>No, that's not quite it uh- how about some recreation? <v Speaker>Meet new friends. No, no, miss. <v Speaker>Well, I know what you need, you need the address of a good senior citizens club. <v Speaker>No, no, no. That's not quite it either. <v Speaker>Well, what do you need? I need a job. <v Speaker>Well, gee, there's only one job here and I already got it. <v Speaker>I'm what they call professional volunteer. <v Speaker>What's a professional volunteer? <v Speaker>Somebody smart enough to do the job but dumb enough not to get paid. <v Speaker>Sounds like my old company. You need a partner? <v Speaker>Sure. <v Speaker>I'm often asked, if I had a choice, would I like to live amongst my peers? <v Speaker>You know, all the people are young people. <v Speaker>And uh truthfully speaking, I feel where young people are stimulating,
<v Speaker>and it's quite exciting, different than my peers, <v Speaker>uh where we would find it stimulating and they tolerate us. <v Speaker>I don't think that even though they say they would like to live with us, whether they're <v Speaker>sincere about it. <v Speaker>And personally, I feel that um someplace <v Speaker>in the corner of me, I feel that I'd be exploiting them. <v Speaker>They say they gain more from us than we gain from them, but I feel it's only <v Speaker>lip service. <v Speaker>And I'm often asked that question and I would like to hear other- You know, that <v Speaker>comes up in every single meeting we have in the United States or England <v Speaker>or anywhere else. There's other older people who live just with older people <v Speaker>or with younger people as well. <v Speaker>And I think there's no single answer to this. <v Speaker>Let's-let's face that one. <v Speaker>In the first place, there has to be some matter of choice and understanding and <v Speaker>so forth and the situation which creates this. <v Speaker>We've gone through this in planning housing all over the country for older people.
<v Speaker>And I was with a woman the other day, well, probably around 50, a very <v Speaker>able gal who says I would never want to live in a place just with older people. <v Speaker>I said, well, I wish I had lived long enough to know you when you were 80, <v Speaker>because you might change your mind at that point where there are certain <v Speaker>things that are common to your pattern of living, your background, your <v Speaker>relationships and so forth that make it comfortable, not that you don't <v Speaker>associate with younger people, but you may not have them under your feet. <v Speaker>Uh, when I was out in San Francisco and we built a place where we had families with <v Speaker>children and older people there and we looked at what was happening. <v Speaker>And the older people said, well, it's awful nice to know they're there. <v Speaker>But it's awful when you fall over 'em in the elevator. <v Speaker>So the whole point was to set the organizational structure <v Speaker>in such a way that they can get together if and when, but not under each other's feet. <v Speaker>But I think that there's no answer to this, I think each of us is different in this-
<v Speaker>in our whole background. <v Speaker>I've been in housing since 1925, built the first housing for the older people in the <v Speaker>whole United States right here in New York. <v Speaker>And we've been at it ever since. <v Speaker>And now your whole question there is <v Speaker>whether this suits the individual. <v Speaker>Right. <v Speaker>This is this is primary as to whether this is an answer to <v Speaker>the individual's living situation and his social relationships, <v Speaker>not just the house in which you live, and you have <v Speaker>to recognize that your community where the housing is makes <v Speaker>a tremendous difference. <v Speaker>I lived in Harlem since 1928 and I <v Speaker>lived practically in the same little area. <v Speaker>And um as I -what means so much to me is <v Speaker>when I go out of my house up and down the street <v Speaker>all- to any of the stores, I'm always coming encounter
<v Speaker>with the people whom I know. <v Speaker>And uh they say hello to me and I say hello to them and we'll discuss <v Speaker>little things. And this really to me is most important. <v Speaker>I would regret very much leaving that neighborhood, which is not <v Speaker>the finest, but nevertheless, it means more to me than any <v Speaker>other neighborhood I can go in to. <v Speaker>And the people are to me are nice there. <v Speaker>They're nice to me. You know, in every neighborhood, some people might <v Speaker>find fault of some of the people there. <v Speaker>But then if you conduct yourself properly, respects them <v Speaker>and you down right with them. <v Speaker>Everybody learns to love you and like you. <v Speaker>And they look out for you and they care about you. <v Speaker>And that's what has happened in this little neighborhood in which I <v Speaker>live. Right. <v Speaker>I think it's the whole neighbor- and you realize that New York City is nothing but a
<v Speaker>collection neighborhoods anyhow? Mm-hm, yes. <v Speaker>As a city, it doesn't do things except in a neighborhood comple and I think we have <v Speaker>to recognize that. <v Speaker>And I'd like to say again here that we come to <v Speaker>elder people. I love elder people. <v Speaker>I love younger people. <v Speaker>If it hadn't been for younger people, I will say I doubt <v Speaker>that I would look as young today as I do at the age of 72. <v Speaker>You're doing all right. <v Speaker>And uh it's all because I had youngsters around me. <v Speaker>I've always taken interest in the youngsters. <v Speaker>Now, do- these people whom I have taken interest in is <v Speaker>in their late 40s and they keep me happy all the time. <v Speaker>They're calling me. They have their own home. <v Speaker>They tell me you've come out for the weekend. <v Speaker>They just can't do enough for me. <v Speaker>And uh I-I go swimming if I go to the beach. <v Speaker>I haven't stopped swimming yet. I haven't stopped riding the bicycle yet. <v Speaker>If I want to. And I just contribute that being with these young people
<v Speaker>is really who has kept me. <v Speaker>Well, I think part you are emphasizing is the things that are important to every older <v Speaker>person, that he has a sense of belonging where <v Speaker>he or she is, whether it's in the housing or in the neighborhood, out of the family. <v Speaker>That you belong <v Speaker>and you have a you have a right to be there as an individual, that you have a person, a <v Speaker>personality, and you count for something. <v Speaker>I think this is what. No, I get it. <v Speaker>In my neighborhood, the same thing. I go out. <v Speaker>They all called me by name and so forth. It's great. <v Speaker>I've been there for 30 years and so forth. <v Speaker>So they know you and I think this is very important to you as a person. <v Speaker>And so many older people are deprived of this. <v Speaker>Is really important to every single person, I think is the matter of their <v Speaker>right to earn a living. <v Speaker>At any age that they can do it if they want to do it, and we do not <v Speaker>have that right in this country, we are required to leave their <v Speaker>job.
<v Speaker>And uh if they don't leave their jobs, if somehow they manage to get a job <v Speaker>after they're 65, they are penalized and punished for it by having their Social <v Speaker>Security taken away from them. <v Speaker>I learned about this when I was 72 and I went out to get a job and I got <v Speaker>the job without any trouble. But I learned from that job how hard <v Speaker>it is for older people who get jobs. <v Speaker>And so that's what brought me into this thing. I hadn't realized that I was getting old <v Speaker>until that time. And then I realized because even though it was hard for other people <v Speaker>this time to do something about it. So I had been working on that ever since I had the <v Speaker>bill that has passed the assembly of the state at the present time to eliminate <v Speaker>mandatory retirement. That's right. And we're still working on the Senate bill. <v Speaker>They haven't uh passed it yet, but that's one thing we have to uh -pardon? <v Speaker>Can I ask you a question? Do you think that uh you're talking about the right to an <v Speaker>income, really? <v Speaker>I do think there's uh - the right to earn it! <v Speaker>Earn it and uh do you think there's a relationship between what they you know, they so
<v Speaker>glibly speak of as senility and not having the means to make <v Speaker>it? Exactly. <v Speaker>You think there's a relationship? Don't have the job that they feel is important. <v Speaker>Companionship they've grown up with the job they know. <v Speaker>The place that they have in society. <v Speaker>All those things, are taken away from them at 65. <v Speaker>And that is the worst possible thing. <v Speaker>And I think that that's very important. <v Speaker>I've worked on the Senate Committee of the United States -all of the members <v Speaker>of the Senate committee. <v Speaker>As soon as I retired from my job and I retired not because I wanted to, but because of my <v Speaker>eyes I couldn't continue with it. <v Speaker>And so I got to work at that. And then I got to work on the uh legislature. <v Speaker>And that's why we have the bill. It's gotten that far. <v Speaker>But we've got to get the rest of the way. <v Speaker>Then if people want to retire, fine. <v Speaker>But they shouldn't be penalized if they want to go on working. <v Speaker>I think that not everybody wants to work. <v Speaker>I know that when I hit 65, I threw my hat on and run. <v Speaker>I couldn't get out fast enough and uh 'cause I figured I'm willing to trade- <v Speaker>but you want the choice- Sure. <v Speaker>I'm-I'm willing to trade, say um for a leisure, I'll trade, you know,
<v Speaker>cut down on my desires. <v Speaker>You know, you can cut-the main thing is leisure. <v Speaker>So first of all, now I'm in a position where the boss can't fire me. <v Speaker>Nobody can threaten me when I when I say certain kinda things. <v Speaker>I can say all the rotten mean things. I can write- I can write the snotty letters and all <v Speaker>those kinda things. I do all the dir- I can do all the dirty work I want to do now. <v Speaker>Nobody can fire me. They can't hurt me. <v Speaker>There's no way in the world they can hurt me. Right? <v Speaker>When ya think. No, that's uh -that's an awful big leverage. <v Speaker>We fought there, World War 1 through for them. <v Speaker>We fought World War 2 through for them. <v Speaker>Right? Working for peanut wages. <v Speaker>We pulled them out of the depression. We fought the depression. <v Speaker>We paid into the Social Security Act. <v Speaker>We paid into it. We have an earned right. <v Speaker>We have an earned right for income. And because the crowd coming up, they're going to get <v Speaker>old. This is a social contract. <v Speaker>Young people -how- they're gonna get old and we work for the others who <v Speaker>they had to work for us. This is every industrialized nation in the world has an
<v Speaker>obligation. So I think it's great that I could get out of the rat race. <v Speaker>I-I just want to emphasize it. I'm sorry I couldn't get out at 55. <v Speaker>You know, Paul, as I listened to that wonderful discussion, I wondered how we ever called <v Speaker>old people the invisible, silent minority. <v Speaker>I mean, now now they know what their options are and they know where they want to go. <v Speaker>And I think it's going to change more, don't you? <v Speaker>Oh, I think it has to. We just can't let this great resources, <v Speaker>stored up wisdom, and experience sort of dissipate without at least having an opportunity <v Speaker>of spreading it on onto our society so that others can pick up and <v Speaker>become the beneficiaries of it. <v Speaker>You know, the people talking uh in this group uh not only <v Speaker>uh know how decisions are made, they know how to pick options, they <v Speaker>know how through their vote they can uh change <v Speaker>some decisions both nationally and locally.
<v Speaker>And I think that uh with this knowledge, we're going to see in the next decade or two <v Speaker>decades a different world for older people. <v Speaker>And I think it's gonna be a good world. And if I'm not there to benefit by it, maybe <v Speaker>my kids and your kids or our grand children will have some of the opportunities <v Speaker>we're gonna miss. <v Speaker>You know, Alice, we had uh one thing that we probably have overlooked, <v Speaker>and that is that when we gave the vote to the youth, they didn't take <v Speaker>advantage of it. But the older people are voting and they're organized and they will <v Speaker>present a really tough, hard group of people for politicians <v Speaker>to deal with. And I'm speaking as one of those latter. <v Speaker>I know. And I think that they are aware of it, too. <v Speaker>The experience of growing older offers a great deal for all of us to think about. <v Speaker>As we've just seen, this series is about older people who are being very <v Speaker>inventive during the later years of their lives. <v Speaker>They are the stars of getting on and they have much to say to all
Getting On
Producing Organization
WNYC-TV (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This is the first episode in the series Getting On. The first individual showcased is Jack Goodman. Goodman retired from the Department of Parks then became a volunteer at the Bronx Zoo. Jackman is shown giving a tour to elementary-aged children around the zoo. Jackman discusses how he incorporates questions in his tours to teach about the animals and get children to think critically about the world around them. The second segment of this episode labeled 'Getting Even? shows actors playing skits with senior citizens about senior citizens' concerns. The skits revolve around a stand labeled 'Senior Citizen Information.' The first skit is about senior citizens taking medicine that is not prescribed to them because they cannot afford to buy the medicine. The second skit is about a retiree who was forced into retirement and looking for work. The third and final segment of this episode labeled 'Getting Together' shows several senior citizens discussing how they feel about living with only other senior citizens, only those younger than them, or a mixture. They also discuss the issue of forced retirement.
Series Description
"The 'Getting On' television series consists of 9 [half-hour] magazine style programs about older people who speak for themselves in profiles, group interviews, documentary reports, and comedy sketches. The series was intended for general audience viewing and was aired originally in March, 1976 in New York City by WNYC-TV/31 and WNET-TV/13, and nationally on the Public Broadcasting Service beginning October, 1976 for 12 weeks including a second airing with captions for the hearing impaired. Hosts are Alice Brophy & Paul O'Dwyer, both distinguished public servants and over 65. The series was produced under a federal Model Projects Grant from the Administration on Aging, U.S. HEW [Health, Education and Welfare Department] to the N.Y.C. Department for the Aging in association with WNYC-TV and the facilities of the New York Network (S.U.N.Y.) at Albany. Some additional funding was provided by the Equitable Life Assurance Society for the group discussion feature produced in cooperation with Getting On by Martha Stuart Communications, Inc. Part of a subsequent grant from the Administration on Aging has made cassettes of the series available to interested community groups, educational organizations and social agencies. "SHOW # 1 -- MEDIA- This edition of Getting On profiles a woman who became a successful actress at 72 'playing the old lady,' and two couples in their sixties who are motorcycle buffs. Guests Lydia Bragger of the Gray Panther Media Watch and Neil Hickey of TV Guide review the way older people are seen on television. The hosts begin the program by discussing negative stereotypes of older people in media and the work of the Gray Panther Media Watch Committee. The first profile is of Harriet Sappington, a 72 year old woman who has found a successful second career as an actress. She discusses how she got into acting and her life now as an actress. The next profile is of two couples in their sixties, the Angelic Hellions, who ride motorcycles together. They talk about what got them into motorcycles and the places they go together. The rest of the program is made up of an interview with Neil Hickey of TV Guide and Lydia Bragger of the Gray Panthers, who discuss the portrayals of older people in media. "SHOW # 2 -- ZOO- Getting On features retiree Jack Goodman, a volunteer guide for school children at New York's Bronx Zoo where he has been a frequent and thoughtful observer since childhood. The Getting Even Comedy Players take off on prescription drugs and volunteering, and the Getting Together Group talk about relationships between young and old."--1976 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Associate Producer: Storey, George
Director: Seidman, Jules
Guest: Kochia, Dave
Guest: Zimmet, Nellie
Guest: Sappington, Harriet
Guest: Zimmet, Matt
Guest: Kochia, Lucy
Guest: Bragger, Lydia
Guest: Hickey, Neil
Host: Brophy, Alice
Host: O'Dwyer, Paul
Producer: Scott, Patricia Reed
Producer: Clarke, Matthew
Producer: Soulliere, Kathleen
Producer: Steinbach, James
Producing Organization: WNYC-TV (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
Writer: Scott, Patricia Reed
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-62a9cbf43d3 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:32:07
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Chicago: “Getting On; Media,” 1976, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Getting On; Media.” 1976. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Getting On; Media. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from