The 2021 Insider's Guide to the Pointes and Harper Woods with the Grosse Pointe Chamber Member Directory. Call 313.640.8955 or email to advertise in this annual, informative, coffee table-quality publication delivered to every home and business throughout the year!

Happy New Year... 

While reading Editor Lauren’s adjacent column about interviewing and writing about “seniors” for our January-February issue of Pointe Magazine, it occurred to me that this magazine is about me, a senior. 

Until now, I have never considered myself a “senior.” True, I am 65 and on Medicare. In June, when I am 66 and 2 months old, I can start collecting my full Social Security. Still, I don’t feel “old” or like a “senior.”

My former journalism mentor, Wilbur Elston, was forced to retire from The Detroit News as editorial page editor at age 65. Forced retirement was the rule back then. I remember him being angry having to retire at such a “young age.” He had plenty of work left in him. In fact, he would go on to become editorial page editor for the Grosse Pointe News for another 15 years or so until his health forced him to stop writing.

I hope to follow my mentor’s example and continue to work and write as long as I am able. Work keeps the mind active and adds to one’s self-worth. 

When not working, though, I like to be out on the golf course. I am not a good golfer, but I do enjoy being outdoors with a lush expanse of green before me. For me, golf is not “a good walk spoiled.” 

Of course, the pandemic has put a damper on work, golf and, well, life. With vaccines being dispersed, there is hope that this will end, if not soon, this year. We usually start planning our Spring Training trip to Lakeland, Fla., about now, but we fear vaccines will not be far enough along to allow that. 

In the meantime, we hope and pray that things will open up soon. Especially during these times, be sure to “safely” patronize our many local restaurants and businesses, without whom this magazine would not be possible and our community would not be so lovely.

Hope to “see you around the Pointe” soon. Happy New Year!— John

... resolution 

Our January-February issue highlights senior living and New Year’s resolutions. In that vein, I interviewed Jim Kampschroer about his remarkable life and the ways in which he continues to thrive as a senior in a pandemic.

There was a number of interesting details that, for lack of space, I didn’t include in the article. For one, when he “retired” and decided to start an FM radio station in California, he built “a shack on the side of a mountain” with two 25 kilowatt generators. He then controlled the shack’s operations remotely, from the radio station studio. 

His description of starting, running and ultimately selling a radio station, all in retirement, were not only head spinning, but extremely inspiring. As someone who has watched the last year fly by in a haze of bad news, recording Jim’s action plan after action plan startled me to waking — and action.

Today, he spends his time with family, piloting a flight simulator in his basement, chatting with friends on Zoom and as a technology instructor at The Helm. Jim was also one of the many over the course of this year who has stressed the benefit of seniors’ technological literacy.

Shortly after my interview with Jim, I spoke with Allie Short, case coordinator at The Helm. She echoed Jim’s advice for seniors to stay connected by any means possible this winter and recommended Zoom (or a similar platform) for video chatting. If video chatting is not an option, she says, then picking up the telephone is a must. 

As part of my own New Year’s resolution, I plan to defy my tendency toward introversion and make a point to reach out to friends and family of all ages throughout these two months. If there are any seniors reading this who are looking for assistance installing and using Zoom on their devices, please contact The Helm at (313) 882-9600.

Staring at the calendar from this place, Dec. 26, the quarantined winter looks long. But, as Elizabeth Ann Atkins reminded me during our chat about meditation during trying times — at the end of the Spanish Flu came The Roaring Twenties! More than ever, Happy New Year!
— Lauren


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