"Old characters" stereotypes & their stories



No announcement yet.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "Old characters" stereotypes & their stories

    No, I don't mean those of us some view as ancient in our thirties or forties, I'm talking seventies and eighties and a couple of wild ninety-five year olds.

    OK, I've admitted to running away. The most interesting and enlightening part of that journey was landing in an odd and wonderful RV club park. A subculture I had known nothing about.

    I discovered some of the bravest, wildest, most interesting people I've ever met in my life and I've mostly known some damned interesting people. I didn't contribute to the "have you ever met anyone famous thread" because it would have sounded pretentious.

    A fish out of water, I was accepted, embraced, and even my reticence about not talking about myself was respected. I think they thought I was in the witness protection program. And I became the "teenage princess" of the park.

    These were not rocking chair folk but adventurers still, who fenced, wrote, were on the net quick as the kids, kayaked, took off to Alaska on a whim. Seventy four year old single women who hitched up their fifth wheels to their 350 dualies(sp) by themselves. I even caught a group of seventy year olds smoking pot behind the clubhouse. They danced, joked, fought, and had mostly learned that everyone had pain and accomplishment and with a few exceptions had learned that pissing contests were pretty pointless. The exceptions were mostly ignored and disdained. And hope for you young studs, were just as interested in sex as any nineteen year old. Let me tell you, fending off one of those "old guys" is harder than fending off the boys.

    Where are their stories on film? One of my scripts is a three generational romantic comedy. It may not be any good, but I'm trying.

    Just trying to churn the thought process as mine was churned.


  • #2
    Re: "Old characters" stereotypes & their stori

    <<One of my scripts is a three generational romantic comedy. It may not be any good, but I'm trying.>>

    Have you ever seen "Playing By Heart"?..you might want to rent it, it's the same premise. When I write, I like to watch movies dealing with the same thing, so I don't end up using the same old cliches and conventions used in previous films. It's just something that I do..maybe it might help you?...


    • #3


      My father in law is 82, and one of the most spry , energetic guys you could ever meet. He's a 'do it now' guy. I have listened his stories for years--he's riveting.

      he was a SeaBee during WWII--part of the team that dug the hole that housed the A-bomb before it's use.

      He was a welder, a master. he's the guy who welded the infamous Sphere in Flushing Meadow park for the '64 World's Fair.

      He has a great photo of a sunset over Brooklyn, from atop the tower of the Verrazano Bridge--with no roadway beneath it.(hadn't been built yet) HE was the guy who monkeyed his way up to the top of those towers to install & weld the airplane safety lights. Scared totally @#%$less, he says.

      A wealth of inspiration & information. everybody should have one.


      • #4
        Older Characters

        Lilybet--I have two grandmothers and they couldn't be any more opposite. I love them both dearly, but they occupy different parts of my heart. One soothes the child in me and the other inspires me to be young forever.

        My "grandmotherly" grandmother is in her 70's and stays at home, plays with her grandkids, crochets and does other very grandmotherly type things. The best thing she does is hug. She has the softest, most loving hugs any child (or grown-up child) could desire. I traveled from Texas to visit home in California and one of the things I looked forward to most was a hug from Grandma Dot.

        My other grandmother was the inspiration for The Little Old Lady from Pasadena. Back when she was young, in her sixties, she drove a motorcyle -- BMW touring bike -- from Southern California to her cabin in Utah down to New Mexico and back home. She did this often. Now, in her eighties, she has a boyfriend we all call the "Stud Muffin." He's a much younger man, in his seventies, I believe. They travel all over the world together and attend square dancing conventions all over the country. I'll never forget the time I asked her about a limp she was sporting. "I was doing aerobics barefoot on the cruise and sprained my ankle a little," she replied. She was in her seventies at the time. Gwen volunteers at a senior citizen's center to help the old folks out.

        This same sprightly wild woman danced all night with the rest of us at my cousin's wedding. When the band started playing the Macarena, she was the first in line.

        Along with her volunteer activities, square dancing, ballroom dancing, line dancing and traveling, she also holds down a job. She's a security guard for a junior high school! I'm not lying, I promise. My grandmother Gwen is about 5'1" and probably weighs a whopping 90 pounds.

        When I grow up, I want to have Grandma Dot's soft sweet arms to hug my grandkids with and Grandmother Gwen's youthful spirit and energy. Heck, I'd take half her energy right now!


        • #5
          Re: Older Characters

          What fun it's been to read these posts -- such marvelous people, such wisdom in their lives.
          And look at what Hollywood keeps dishing out these days -- more high school hijinks, gross-out humor and and perpetuation of the myth that life ends at 25.
          IMHO, the more commercial society destabilizes our lives with technological upheaval, ever-faster fad cycles and consumerism, the more people crave anything that feels authentic and grounded. The values of life experience, survival, sacrifice and community still exist, even if the market constantly ignores or undermines them.
          I think young people could respond to films that do more than just reflect a narcissistic mirror back on them by depicting characters who are just idealized versions of themselves. It all depends on how it's done -- and that's the challenge for us, the writers. If we keep it real, keep telling the truth, maybe one day the pendulum will swing back and the industry will recognize the value of storytelling again.


          • #6
            Re: &quot;Old characters&quot; stereotypes &amp; their stori

            Lily - what an exciting life you have led! Your stories are incredible and show a lot of courage.

            My grandparents are night and day as well. On my mother's side are the sweet, soft warm folks who hug you - let you curl up in bed with them and share their feather pillows - who always cook huge country meals - grow their own food - love everybody and have great stories to share around a fireplace. Walking into their house there was this distinct smell that was relaxing and brought on a flood of nothing but wonderful memories.

            Unfortunately, I lost both of them a couple of years ago. Before they died, I asked them everything I could think of. My grandmother, who loved to write, left me tons of notebooks where she told of our family's history. What I learned from her writing is that we, her family, is what made her happy. We didn't get on her nerves. We didn't bother her. It was ok that we, as children, explored thru every inch of her house asking a million questions. She always had time for us.

            On my Dad's side, well, that's a whole different ballgame. My mother promptly divorced my father and moved us far away from them...not so far that we don't still hear the news. Let's see. Grandpa shot grandma (she lived). Grandpa was shot and killed by someone to whom he owed money. They had four children. The youngest died from a drug over dose. The 2nd youngest was a money stealing bigamist who ran out in front of a car on the highway to commit suicide. The 3rd youngest is in prison for murder (bar room brawl). The oldest, my Dad, is in jail or prison for being a habitual offender. Grandma is still living and has raised the son of the child who committed suicide. Where is that child? In jail for dealing drugs.

            Guess who's house I liked to visit on summer vacations?