Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A bouquet of interesting creative elders

I wanted to tell you about some of the creative elders I've encountered lately.

Ruth Flowers, aka MamyRock, is a 69-year British woman who decided to become a DJ after going to her grandson's birthday disco party. That night the music and dancing lit her soul. She decided that this was what she wanted to do with her life. Now she is in high demand on the party circuit at night clubs and festivals in France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. This You Tube trailer provides an introduction to her upbeat, in your face style. If you want to see more, there are plenty of video clips and interviews with her on the Internet. She's a big sensation in Europe. She is definitely a woman who is following her bliss and busting up stereotypes in the process.

Yesterday the New York Times ran a marvelous article on Vollis Simpson,91 a North Carolina man who began to create large scale whirligigs out of scrap metal, wood and other cast off materials. Simpson credits his involvement in creating art for living 20 years longer than his father and other family members did.

The Times reported, "His work, which graced a window at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan last Christmas, is on permanent display in Baltimore, Atlanta and Albuquerque. City people regularly find their way down Wiggins Mills Road to his place, and some of them give him $125 or more for a little nuts-and-bolts dog with a propeller for a tail. His biggest pieces have sold for many thousands, though he gives a lot away, and his only business manager is his wife, Jean, 82, who used to do the books for the repair shop."

Take a look at the article and the wonderful slide show of Mr. Simpson's work.

A friend told me about Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a postal clerk and librarian--ordinary folks of modest means who certainly don't fit the usual description of art collectors. The Vogels managed to build an amazing art collection, accumulating 2,000 pieces of art over a period of 30 years. They had a real passion for art and a marvelous ability to choose artists and art that would later become influential and famous. In 1992, they gave their collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. I love their story. You can see a few clips about them at Herb and Dorothy

Each of these elders demonstrates how possible it is for us to follow our bliss and live out our dreams.

That's the story today from Oregon, where I'm hanging out, writing and visualizing my fractured foot bones healing in a beautiful way.

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