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A CelebrEighty Birthday Celebration

Judy Katz
Today is Judy Katz’ 82nd birthday. She’s a force of nature who is still as vital and vibrantly alive as the summer day we met when I was 24 and she was 44. We’ve been best of friends now for 38+ years. You may recognize her from the CelebrEighty columns that are on my website SilverDisobedience.Rocks and posted in full on Facebook @SilverDisobedience. Not only does she write those columns — she’s also a ghostwriter of books who is in high demand and has completed over 50 books to date with no signs of stopping because her story-telling skills are as remarkable as she is!

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Being Bathing Suit Ready All Year Takes WORK

judy katz at beach

This article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz… Let’s talk about breakfast. There are countless healthy choices—fruit, yogurt, steel-cut oatmeal, eggs, and all kinds of protein smoothies. However, put together the two words: “almond” and “croissant” and all these other options go right out the window. Don’t even get me started on “chocolate” and “croissant.” If we’re talking about other meals, topping my favorites list would be a Beef Wellington meat pie with a fully-loaded ice-cream sundae. Not healthy foods for sure. Yet I can fantasize because, even at 82, I would prefer to know that I’m “bathing suit ready” all year. Not just for appearance sake, but for health considerations, mobility and hopefully adventures for years to come.

During the Pandemic—I’m sure many of you can relate—I sat on my couch watching everything streaming video had to offer. I’m ashamed to say I put on 20 pounds thanks (no thanks) to Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV Plus—and more. When the Pandemic ended, and I couldn’t fit into my favorite clothing, I decided an extreme makeover was in order. Read more

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Adjusting the ‘Green Screen’ of Your Life

Judy KatzThis article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz…For many years—37 to be exact—I have been the proud owner of a three-bedroom, three-bath, terraced co-op apartment in the heart of the Upper West Side. This valuable real estate defined me. More accurately, I allowed it to. And now that I have sold it and am just waiting for the contract and their board package to (hopefully) go through, I will have to view myself differently. Once I move, my “backdrop,” if you will, will change dramatically. I will live in a much smaller space, one I rent, not own. The parties I once hosted and the clients I once wined, dined, and worked with at my ten-foot-long dining and conference table will all be a memory. Like everyone else in my new building, I will have to do my laundry in a basement. The convenience of an in-house washer–dryer is another lost perk to which I will have to reconcile myself. Read more

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Some Thoughts on Living to 100 and Beyond

This article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz…A well-meaning friend, knowing that I would like to live well into my 90s and hopefully perhaps even beyond, suggested I read Living in the Blue Zone by Dan Buettner.

Judy Katz

I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but living longer is something I think about a lot. Perhaps you do too. I have now read summaries and comments on this book and its author. Buettner travelled the world, interviewing nonagenarians and centenarians on their life-extending habits and lifestyles. Here’s one write-up:

Bestselling author Dan Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart nutrition, lifestyle, and fitness habits gleaned from longevity research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as “Blue Zones”-those places with the world’s longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people, including locations such as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

Before I read this book—or you order your copy—here’s a question: What is the value of those extra years, or even an extra decade, if you can’t wake up in the middle of the night, hearing the box of Blue Bunny miniature dark-chocolate covered ice cream cones in your freezer call out your name—and you go to answer that call? Have you even eaten at a fine restaurant and forsaken the salad or fish dish for a juicy hamburger on a brioche with all the toppings, cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, an onion ring, etc., while of course saying yes to the accompanying French fries? If you went for the salad or fish, who are you? Read more

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Two Rescue Dogs and a Cat

A Balancing Act I Would Not Change for the World

Judy Katz with petsTally the weights of all three of my roommates—they add up to the 20 pandemic pounds I am eager to lose. I am not willing to lose my roommates, even though all three following me into any room I enter, even the shower, can sometimes be disconcerting. Sometimes , a moment before, they were snuggled up with me on the couch,  and because I got up, they had to move around again. Mainly though, it’s endearing to be so loved.

Bindy came to me four years ago from The Sato Project, which rescues dogs from Puerto Rico. A month ago, tiny Lia came to me—interestingly, also from Puerto Rico, but from Love of All Dogs Rescue. Both dogs are bilingual.  Just kidding: they understand body language, hugs and kisses, good food, and yummy treats.

Read the full article on TheThreeTomatoes.com

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When Running Away Seemed Like the Only Option

Just Katz and a friend

This story is part of the CelebrEighty Series written by Judy KatzIt was 1958. I was 18, taking the subway from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to Port Authority, Times Square. A Trailways bus was leaving in twenty minutes for a three-day ride to Los Angeles, California—and I planned to be on it. I’d left no note for my parents. I took off with one change of clothes in a cardboard suitcase and the $500 I had earned as a summer camp counselor.Judy Katz on a pathway

I was running away from the life my parents had mapped. Live at home while attending Brooklyn College. Marry a doctor, lawyer, or career-track businessman—someone who could take good care of me. Become a mother and school teacher. Big perk: you can have your summers off.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these things, the life stretched out before me seemed like a punishment. There had to be so much more. I didn’t know what other kinds of life I could discover and live, but I knew there was “something.” I had to find it.

Writing this now at age 81, I want to shake that thoughtless, albeit desperate teenager and urge her to find a far better way to carve out a dream life without inflicting such fear, confusion, and pain on her mother and father. I disappeared and did not let them know I was all right for three days—days of desperation on their part when they thought I’d been kidnapped or killed. Read more

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My Year of Dating Cary Grant

Judy KatzI was 28 the day I met Cary Grant. He was 68. It was 1972. I was in charge of Madison Square Garden’s public relations. The Garden, under its President Irving Mitchell Felt, had just bought O’Hare International Hotel, located within the airport. The immediate project was to hold a gala launch party for travel agents from all over the country. Many celebrities and VIPs had accepted our invitation, including Mayor Daley. I arrived the day before the event to go over last-minute arrangements.

That night, when I stopped at the front desk to get my room key, the manager, whose name was Bob, told me that Cary Grant was having dinner in the hotel restaurant. “Why don’t you invite him to your party,” he suggested.

“I don’t want to bother Mr. Grant while he’s having dinner,” I protested.

Bob smiled, “I know he would be happy to meet you.”

I let Bob, the manager, lead me to Cary. There was Cary Grant, looking exactly as he does in his movies: patrician features, beautifully if casually dressed, but with a shock of snow-white hair that you don’t see in his many starring roles. He was seated at a small round table with another man, who turned out also to be named Bob. They shared a real estate project in Ireland and had met at the airport hotel to discuss business. I knew I found Cary attractive—who wouldn’t!—but I was not star-struck. I had worked with many celebrities, even that early in my career. To me, they were just people—even Cary Grant.

Read the full article on SilverDisobedience.Rocks

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Cryonics: Planning for Life After Life? Just Don’t Freeze Your Assets

Image of a brain in a cube of ice

Sometimes when I’m walking down the street, I think, “When I end, all this will just keep going on” It’s a hard pill to swallow—and one that some people try to avoid through technology. Many billionaires and other rich and famous people have been eager to pay vast sums of money to a company like Alcott to cryonically “preserve” them. In some cases, they froze their entire body. For others, more affordably, it was just their heads to preserve their brains (“neuro-preservation.”).

For some people, cryonics is their “Hail Mary.” When the legendary Larry King repeatedly said that he wanted to be frozen so he could conceivably come back someday, Dr. Oz went on his talk show to talk him down. His family picked up the argument, and Larry gave up his quest for immortality—at least that kind.

Among the living persons contracted to be cryo-preserved: billionaire Peter Thiel, a co-founder of Pay Pal and first outside investor in Facebook. Peter is now 54. Likewise, Seth Mac Farlane, screenwriter, producer, actor, animator, and creator of the TV series Family Guy and many other popular series, hopes to be reanimated. He is now 48. They are just two of many others from all walks of life—as I said, famous and unknown. Read more

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The Lie That Launched My 57 Year Career

several people in a business setting talking

At 24, I was delusional. Many young people are. Returning to New York from Berkeley with my undergrad degree in English Lit and four years of weekly columns at the school newspaper—I was sure I’d land my own column on the New York Times. I just needed access to the right person.

My first stop: a highly-recommended employment agency. The interviewer barely glanced at my pile of weekly columns. Her only question was, “Do you type?” Keep in mind that this was 1964. I typed: on an old Remington typewriter in the college newspaper office, where I also did my homework since I was too poor to afford a typewriter. But something instinctive kicked in, and I told her that I couldn’t type. In retrospect, I might still be in the typing pool if I admitted my ability in that arena.

My next interview was at William Douglas McAdams, Inc., then the sixth-largest medical advertising agency in the U.S., still in business today. I was hired as a lowly Photo Researcher. This meant that I had a desk next to several tall file cabinets filled with headshots. My job was to find the right photo for each story. After barely two weeks of this, I was ready to pull my hair out. Read more

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Supergenarians Give Us Hope for Living Longer—and Better

Judy KatzAs of September 30, 2021, the oldest living person was Kane Tanaka of Japan at 119. She is only four years shy of breaking the record of the oldest person ever, which currently belongs to Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived to be 122. Supercentenarians are still uncommon, although the numbers of people—more women than men as it turns out—who live from ages 100 to 122 are growing.

My boyfriend Jerry Siegel lived till seven weeks shy of his 99th Birthday. We all just mourned the death of Betty White, who was within reach of her 100th Birthday.

These people who break through to extreme older age are still the exception. But we as a species are living longer. In 2020, life expectancy at birth was 77.0 years for the U.S. population. Compare that to 73.7 years in 1980. You’re likely to live longer than your parents, and your children will likely live longer than you. Records are made to be broken. That is the history of human progress. Read more