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A Return to Online Dating at 81 Precipitated by an Accident

online dating at 80
This story is part of the CelebrEighty Series written by Judy Katz
Yesterday a beloved friend, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, was on his way to meet me for lunch. We were going to Felice Columbus for the fourth time. Why keep returning when there are so many fine restaurants all over Manhattan? If you order the Crostone Ricotta on brochette, topped with fresh ricotta, Italian linden, spicy honey, figs, and sliced almonds, not to mention my favorite cocktail ever, their one-of-a-kind multi-liquor/liqueur “monteregina,” you too would be culinarily attracted to the same fine dining experience.

But this is not a cooking column: I want to tell you why this lunch never happened—and may never happen again—because my friend fell on the sidewalk and injured himself. That fall was unnecessary. He is a proud man. And as we know, sometimes “pride goeth before a fall—in his case literally! He wouldn’t use a walker to steady himself or make sure someone was there to walk beside him the few blocks from his townhouse to the restaurant. One of his devoted assistants said, “He wants to think he’s still 25.” Read more

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Radio Red’s Mom Ruth: Outrageous Centenarian Leaves a Big Imprint

radio red
This story is part of the CelebrEighty Series written by Judy Katz…
Some people never live large. Ruth did: right smack up to and past her 100th birthday. Wait till you hear her story! Every word is true. I know because of who told me. Recently, I was contacted out of the blue by a woman named Bonnie, who goes by the handle “akaRadioRed.” This moniker makes sense: she produces and hosts a popular weekly radio show and is a redhead. Her show, Read My Lips Radio on, features “Cool Conversations with Creatives.” Good to know I’m one of those she considers creative, as she has interviewed some famous people.

I gratefully accepted and, in due course, was a panelist on her roundtable-style radio show. After I talked about my reasons for writing my weekly blog, CelebrEighty, explaining that I wanted to help change the external and internal conversations about aging, Red interjected a story about her mother, Ruth. Read more

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Beauty’s Not ‘In the Eye of the Beholder’ But In Our Hearts

Judy Katz Ghostwriter
This story is part of the CelebrEighty Series written by Judy Katz…
People told me that I looked like Ava Gardner, Raquel Welsh, or Gene Tierney in my heyday. At age 14, I was sure I would become an actress. I was the only one from my Crown Heights, Brooklyn public school, P.S. 161, to be accepted into the High School of Performing Arts—the “Fame” school—on W. 46th Street in Manhattan: Jessica Walter—who we just lost, way too soon—and Susan Strasberg were among my classmates.

After two years there, I switched to James Madison H.S., where I got 99% on my English Regent and won the English Medal. I chose writing over acting. But I met many young women—and not so young women—over the years for whom their appearance—their beauty—was a major aspect of their profession. Looking back has gotten me thinking about appearance: How it applies to those in the public eye—and to those of us who lead more private lives. Read more

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My Pandemic-Inspired Down the Hall Friendship with Tamar and Mr. Gary

Tamar and Mr. Gary

This article is part of the CelebrEighty Series by Judy Katz  …  My co-op on 70th Street in New York is filled with dog lovers like myself. Our four-legged friends help humanize what can sometimes be a hard city. So when a new shareholder moved down the hall in February 2020, I was thrilled to learn she too had a dog. My rescue pups, Sophie and Bindy, would not be the only dogs on the floor.

The new resident and I met in the freight elevator. In my building, dogs are only allowed in the service elevator. That is where my two Chihuahuas and I first met Tamar, a lovely young woman, and her 15-year-old rescue, a ShiTzu terrier named Gary. Though there was a good forty-year age gap between us—her age was around 40, I was 80 when we met—we bonded over our mutual love for our dogs. Read more

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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

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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