There were a few of us there . . . need to add more of “us” next year!

Who is/are the “us” I refer to?  Us is we more seasoned, experienced, life-loving folks with a few years under our belts.  Not “seniors” not “oldsters” not “mature folks” ~ just Us!

I had a wonderful day at the Minnesota Blogger Conference yesterday.

Twin Cities public relations operative Arik Hanson speaks to a jam-packed room at the Minnesota Bloggers Conference in St. Paul on Saturday, Nov. 14. Hanson spoke about seven new trends in blogging. (Pioneer Press: Julio Ojeda-Zapata)

Yup, that’s me sitting at the table in the front row, second from left.  It was great fun to learn about new blogging and social media trends.  You will note that most of the audience are far younger folks, with a few exceptions.  My goal for next year is to increase the number of 80Schmeighty’s present at this conference.

Will you join me?  Start a blog, or think about starting a blog, then come to the 2016 conference to learn more and meet others who enjoy the craft.

Get started in social media!  Are you aware that the fastest growing group of Facebook participants are people over 60?  We’ll be doing some hints and tips about Facebooking on this site from time to time.  Today’s hint: please don’t take a picture of your plate of food at a restaurant. Believe me, most of your readers aren’t interested.

Today’s tip: share information and photos about your passion, whatever it is.  If you are passionate about it, you will interest your readers.




Meet Elizabeth “Liz” Strophus: A True Legend!




I was privileged to spend the day with this amazing woman on Saturday, Sept. 26 at “Global Girls in Aviation Day” at St. Paul Downtown Airport.  Liz was a W.A.S.P. (Women’s Airforce Service Pilot) during WWII. She is fascinating, funny and entertaining. She exudes love of flying and love for the young girls attending this conference. She told about becoming a flight instructor for the “young men” coming into the service; ferrying multiple types of aircraft all over the country from one air base to another and flying anti-aircraft missions. She talked about not having uniforms like male pilots until Jackie Cochran had a uniform designed and produced for them. Then in 1944 the government unceremoniously disbanded the W.A.S.P.s and “told us to go home and get on with our lives.” When Liz got home she immediately went to Northwest Airlines to apply for a pilot job. She thought they’d be happy to have someone qualified to fly 8 different types of aircraft and with as much experience as she had. They said they’d be happy to have her all right, but not as a pilot. She was offered a desk job. She declined. The W.A.S.P’s went unrecognized for their service for 35 years, until finally they were awarded veteran status in 1977 and in 2009 the organization received a Congressional Gold Medal.

Liz, at 91, continues to inspire and captivate audiences all over the country, making about 35 appearances a year.  A true role model for all of us!

80schmeighty focuses on durable people – – Some institutions are just as durable

I’m speaking about the Convention Grill, which is the same age I am (81) and has lived at 44th and France all its life.

Mary Barlindhaug Young and Charlie Young chat with a young fellow visitor in front of the familiar Convention Grill. August, 2015

I discovered the Convention Grill when I attended Southwest High School in Minneapolis between 1948 and 1952.  at that time the restaurant was owned by the Santrizos family.  The Santrizos boys also attended Southwest and were busy guys; juggling studies, football and their family obligation to work at the restaurant. A smaller space back then, there was a grill behind the counter with  stools; about a half-dozen booths with individual juke boxes and a few tables in the center of the room.  My friends and I would sometimes stop in after school, take over a booth and nurse a coke for a couple of hours while we listened to our favorites on the juke box (5 cents a play back then.)  Tunes such as “Dance Ballerina Dance” by Vaughn Monroe and “That Lucky Old Sun” by Frankie Laine come to mind.  I must confess I had a crush on Harry Santrizos at the time and would watch his every move if he was flipping burgers on the grill when I was there.  Harry was an “upper classman” and therefore otherwise unavailable to lowly me.

I have revisited the Convention Grill many times over the years, introducing it’s pleasures to family and friends.  I have never been disappointed.  The burgers are just as delicious – big and fried on the grill the old-fashioned way.  And the malts . . . words fail me to adequately describe the malts.  So thick the waitperson has to jar them loose from the metal cylinder they were whipped in and into the old fashioned heavy malt glass at the table before your eyes.  The metal cylinder is also left with you to replenish that glass when needed.  Fries come in a huge haystack with a bottle of ketchup.  Good luck with that!

Although the quality of food hasn’t changed one bit, the restaurant has changed some.  It is still just as wildly popular, and out of necessity many years ago took over the barbershop space next door to add more seating.  But the essence and quality, friendly staff, great smells and delicious food are the same and still excellent. When you’re in Minneapolis do yourself a favor and stop at the Convention Grill.  A word of caution: they don’t take reservations.  Arrive early and you won’t have to wait long.

The place could use a coat of fresh paint, but actually the hint of shabby adds to the ambience.  My last visit took place August 8 when my old high school buddy Mary Barlindhaug and her husband Charlie Young traveled from their home in Bloomington Ill for a week’s vacation in northern Minn. and on the way stopped in MSP to visit family and have lunch with me.

I’m so glad they did!




What’s Happening?

August Happenings and Fun Things To Do:

Friday August 21 and Saturday August 22











From 8 a.m. Friday, Aug 21 to Midnight on Saturday, Aug 22, volunteers will host events around the community to celebrate the Loft’s past and future.

Click here for listing of events:The Loft Literary Society 40 EVENTS FOR 40 YEARS


☆           ☆           ☆          ☆          ☆          ☆          ☆          ☆          ☆          ☆          ☆          ☆




Save the date, Sunday Aug. 23, 2015, 10a-5p, for this event, which will include the formal dedication of three life-size bronze sculptures, a tribute to the memory of former NW president Donald Nyrop. Full details at the “NWA at Centennial Lakes” page on facebook.  Stop at the NWA History Centre booth and say hello.  I’ll be there!

Give Me A Break, Target!

Yes, I’m talking about the Target with the red bullseye logo and the cute dog mascot.  My hometown Target.

I had noticed that the Super Target where I shop had added a liquor store.  Upon further investigation I discovered that it honored the red Target card with the 5% discount.  The only problem I observed is that the only access to the liquor store was after customers had exited the actual store.  I’m usually pushing a cart and didn’t feel like pushing it through the liquor store when I was already primed to head home.

Today, I decided to stop.  The Target liquor store my only destination.  Didn’t need anything else in the big store but I could use some Pinot Grigio.  I wondered what brands they carried and what their prices were.  After checking things out and satisfied with my choice and the price, I headed toward the cash register with my Target red card at the ready.

“I’ll need to see your I.D.” the clerk politely asked.  “I’m 81,” I sputtered.  “I know,” she said.  “But I need to put your birthdate into the cash register.  I have to read it off your driver’s license.”  I said, “Here I thought this would be really convenient.  But now you’re convincing me otherwise.” Please understand, I know the clerk is not hassling me.  This is an edict from the Target “powers that be.”

Still non-plussed while driving home, I ruminated over this turn of events. It seems to me the Target legal department must have completely lost their sense of humor after the card hacking fiasco they endured not too long ago.  Wary of their company encountering litigation of any kind, they have imposed this stumbling block on every one of their liquor store customers over 21 years old.  Do the math. Those 21-year-olds are 60 years younger than I am.

It is funny in a way.  I feel the same indignation at 81 that I felt when I was 21 and asked for proof that I was old enough.  So I guess I must be holding my own.

I’m New at Being Old
by Lucy Rose Fischer


I met Lucy Rose Fisher at a blogging class at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis a few years back.  Since then, she has followed her many artistic passions.  In addition to painting and her specialty, painting on glass, She published I’m New at Being Old in 2010, which won a Midwest Book Award and an Independent Publishers Gold Award. Lucy continues to successfully blog and holds periodic salons in her home, where she gives art tours of her studio and serves refreshments.  Her next salon is September 2, 2015, and I plan to attend.

Lucy Rose was recently featured in a Star Tribune special section The Good Life, published July 29, 2015.

Here’s a favorite of mine from the book “I’m New at Being Old.”

I still have all my marbles


Take a Class!

I just finished a four week class in  July, “Online Selling: The Fundamentals,” at the Minnetonka Senior Center.  Abby Key was our instructor, and although she looked to be about 15 years old, she’s been doing this stuff for twenty years and has the online wisdom of a sage many years her senior!

Like most folks of a certain age, and despite periodic and determined efforts to purge, I find that I have collected an amazing array of items that would be put to much better service in someone else’s care. Yes, some are old, very old, almost as old as I am; for example the railroad dining car menus my Aunt Ellen collected on a trip to California in the 1930s and which somehow find themselves presently residing in a manilla file folder near my desk.0005ES

Check out some of these prices!


I’ll have a roast pork dinner with all the trimmings for 35 cents, please.  Oh, and a pot of coffee for 15 cents if you don’t mind.  Just this morning I paid $1.49 for a 20 oz. cup of coffee at the Holiday gas station nearby. Yes, I know.  Everything is relative.

Back to why I took this class.  In addition to the above menus, I have a shelving unit in my garage filled with ebay and Craig’s List prospects, an etagere in my living room filled with collectible china and glass and mysterious boxes scattered about various closets filled filled with items I’m not sure I can identify without delving into them.  The good news is, now I have a plan!

I’m prepared – armed with good information about professionally photographing items, researching items, selecting marketplaces, listing templates and packaging and cataloguing. All that is left is doing it.

But first I have to launch my new website 80schmeighty, add a couple of stories to my Lady Skywriter website, blog in both websites, attend several events, renew an old high school friendship this weekend and lunch with several other friends this month. And continue work on my new book, 80 Schmeighty!  I think I just forgot to mention that I also have a part time job that I love, 20 hours each week, at the Golden Valley Library. Yikes!

I will be depending on you good readers to keep my feet to the fire. . . . .