Boom Times

January 2012

The very idea that Laguna Woods seniors have been shaking their groove thangs to a Stevie Nicks tribute band gave us pause. Combined with the recent arrival of a pot collective, Zumba classes, and Woodstock parties in that once-staid bastion of Orange County retirement living, the thought triggered a serious spit-take. But after reading Shawn Hubler’s “Sexagenarians, Drugs & Rock ’n’ Roll,” we’re slapping our foreheads and wondering why none of us saw this coming.

For better or worse, baby boomers for decades have been shaping trends in everything from music to medical care. Naturally, this generation is approaching its golden years with the same blithe disregard for convention. The soundtrack of my grandmother’s dotage involved the Champagne sounds of Lawrence Welk, but frankly I’m relieved by the idea that people like me are being propelled into this next phase by some wicked Keith Richards guitar riffs. I’d consider it a badge of honor to injure my groove thang while hip-bumping to “Brown Sugar,” and am comforted by Hubler’s conclusion that “in Laguna Woods Village and places like it, a vanguard is beginning to report back: This is not your father’s retirement.”

Also, a confession: Several months ago, I defiantly told a room full of local public-relations professionals that I considered social media such as Twitter a massive waste of time. The looks of astonishment and abject pity couldn’t have been more obvious if I’d declared my confidence that pack mules were Orange County’s transportation of the future.

Duly chastened, I’ve joined with my fellow Orange Coast editorial staffers under the banner of @orangecoastmag to share insider insights, tips, and information you can use to better navigate and discover the complicated and fascinating place we call home.

So as this particular boomer belatedly boogies into the future, I’ll leave you with these parting words: Follow us!

Martin J. Smith

Illustration by John Ueland

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