While much is done to combat racism and sexism, society does little to curb ageism. Stereotypes of the senior generation — can’t remember, incapable of using technology, can’t learn anything new — go on unabated.
Don’t take it anymore. Sanctions work, and it’s time elders applied a few of their own. Don’t be afraid you won’t get to see the grandchildren. The United States ranks last in the world for affordable child care and parental leave. Watch how quickly you regain your respect.
If you’re a widow or widower, download a dating app and find a new partner. You’ll have more attention from your adult children than you can stand.
Stop allowing yourself to be called “G-Dawg” and “Pippi.” These are pet names — for dogs and cats. Only answer to Grandmother and Grandfather as befits an elder. If they can’t pronounce it yet, the Roman “Hail Caesar” salute, a fist over the heart, will do.
For teenagers, cut off any gifts that go unacknowledged. We don’t give presents to other countries who don’t behave as they should. If the young snigger at your technology skills, reply with, “Would you help me email my lawyer? The one in charge of your college fund.”
Don’t buy greeting cards with caricatures of the elderly on them. Likewise, don’t make jokes about “senior moments.” The whole idea is to get as old as you can, not check out at 20. Refuse to watch "Golden Girls" and "Grumpy Old Men." Instead, watch Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino" and "The Mule," followed by Danny Trejo and Danny Glover in "Bad Asses on the Bayou" then Liam Neeson and Bruce Willis in "Glass" and Sam Elliott and Jeff Bridges in "Rooster Cogburn."
Regarding that last one — wear an eyepatch whether you need it or not. Image is everything.
Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at Fete@theadvocate.com.
Legendary band LeRoux performed at Rhythms on the River, and we were lucky enough to catch them in the 1100 Room backstage. “LeRoux is 40 years young,” Jim Odom said. “Six albums, tours all over and in the process of our seventh release, hopefully by late summer. It’s our first in a decade.” The group, which used to tour with the Doobie Brothers, dined on jambalaya and sandwiches before taking the stage, and when asked if they’d play "New Orleans Ladies," Rod Roddy joked, “No, we hate that song — just kidding. But you have to wait until the end; that’s what bands do.” These gentlemen are well worth waiting for, as was Deputy Marshall John Paul Broussard.
The City Club ballroom hosted the Lafayette Public Library Awards honoring major donors. Taking that long walk to the podium was Jean Kreamer, Foundation Award winner; the Sheriff’s Office, Major Donor Award; and the Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center Surrey Street Branch, the President's Award. “It’s truly a big surprise,” Kreamer said. “So many are much more deserving than me.” There were baskets for days on the silent auction line, while in the local writers line were Margaret Gibson Simon, author of "Bayou Song"; Denise Gallagher, author of "A Tip Tap Tale"; and Diana Cash Lennon, author of "Why Do Airplanes Have Tails?," illustrated by a Lafayette High gifted student David Stanley. “Twenty-five percent of the sales go to him in a special account so he can return home as a missionary in Myanmar,” Lennon said. Someone give that boy the hero’s award.
The Acadian Orchid Society hosted orchid enthusiasts from Terrebonne, New Orleans and Baton Rouge for its annual show and judging at the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center. Putting the finishing touches on before the finals were President Melissa Fouret, Vice President Myrna Ayo and past President Bobby Gianelloni. “We have meetings on the third Monday of every month at 7 p.m. here at the Ira Nelson Center,” Fouret said. “Guests are welcome to come learn how to grow orchids.” Gianelloni said he learned 25 years ago when he met his wife and she was raising orchids. “I enjoy the people in it,” he said.
Festival des Fleurs
They were out in force, lined up at Blackham Coliseum before the doors opened at 8 a.m. Sponsored in part by The Advocate, the 28th Festival des Fleurs drew crowds indoors and out, as some 80 booths sold everything garden — native plants, trees, outdoor art, birdhouses and, of course, every plant there is. “That 16-foot tree outside? That’s the smallest one we start with,” said Jay Wilkinson, of Wilkinson Tree Farm. What we loved: Plant daddy Lee Ward and little Juliana Ward’s gardening boots. All proceeds benefit the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center.
The Hallway marked its first year of prosperity with a celebratory show and party, literally in the hallway. “It’s been a great year, more artists joining, and we sold a lot of art,” preparator Chris Pavlik said. “More people need to realize how a great piece of art can enhance their lives,” added artist Herb Roe. “Local artists can be affordable; they don’t have to buy a $5,000 Francis Pavy.”
“But we have one if they want it,” Pavlik said. On hand also was Ralph Schexnaydre, whose 76-piece show is on view at Cité des Arts. Although high winds put an end to any outdoor cooking, there was plenty of wine, whiskey, beer and art — what else do you need?
Knights in Shining Armor
The Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church recently presented its 2019 Men of Excellence Awards. The men honored have contributed significantly to the Lafayette community and citizenry, and the winners included Josh Edmond and Joseph Nolan Monroe from the nonprofit sector; Phillip Pskilz Walker, Young at Heart Award; John Mathews for his public service; and Lennet G. Hamilton Sr., business and industry, also the first African American to graduate in petroleum engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, formerly the University of Southwestern Louisiana.