By Susan Hartley

April 22, 2014



Dear Grandparenting: I like to stay active. I have always been a swimmer and picked up the habit of manual labor growing up on a farm. God has been good. I am going on 75 and people say I look 60! I am the grandmother of seven. I live near a city with a professional basketball team. My girlfriend mentioned she heard saw the team was having tryouts for senior dancers to entertain the fans. I applied and was accepted. We get out there and shake it up in front of 18,000 people. They play music and we do our dance routines. I can’t tell you names of any of the songs. It’s mostly hip-hop stuff. But we have fun and get in some bump and grind and “shake our booty” as the kids say.

It so happens my grandson Ricky is a big basketball fan. His father took him to his first game recently on his 9th birthday. His father knew I would be dancing but little Ricky was completely in the dark. They sat close to the court where I could see them. Little Ricky turned red when he saw me. He buried his face in his hands. He was embarrassed or something. It was definitely not the reaction I expected. Maybe you can explain it but I can’t. But you know what? I had a blast. And I plan on I doing it again next year, God willing. Fans give us standing ovations. I love it! Dancing Fool, Morristown, N.J.

Dear Dancing Fool: ‘Atta girl! We love your attitude, we like your get up and go and we’d sure like to see you strut your stuff center court. You and your enthusiasm are living proof that age is only a number. In with the old!

So your grandson was mortified by his grandmother having too much fun, daresay making a high-spirited spectacle of herself? He’ll just have to get over it. Grandparents who refuse to conform to their grandchildren’s conception of the doddering, retiring stereotype are role models, not cringe-worthy. Climb that mountain, release your inner Fred Astaire, take the plunge into the pool, go ride a bike — we’ll skip the sermon about the benefits of regular exercise. We can’t promise you’ll become a star like Dancing Fool, but you’ll look and feel better.

As more grandchildren forsake exercise for the online world, more grandparents put a premium on remaining active and physically engaged. There’s no escaping the irony. Grandchildren opt to become spectators while grandparents keep it frisky.

** ** **


Easy Ed from Fishkill, N.Y. was amused by grandson Nick’s remarks as they watched Nick’s older sister spend the better part of an afternoon getting ready to go on a date with her steady boyfriend.

“On the first date they tell each other lies and that gets them interested enough for a second date. Then the girl puts on perfume and guys can’t think straight anymore.”

** ** **

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.