ageist contributors | january 25, 2018
three decades of inspiration
For more than 35 years, Stephanie Waxman and Jo Sadalla — best friends whose lives led them to different cities — exchanged articles on women who inspired them. Clipped out of newspapers or magazines, they were profiles of 78-year-olds skydiving, marathon runners in their 90s, a slew of dancers, a songwriter, an 84-year-old Sprint Car Association pit steward, and a woman who started an olive oil farm in her 70s (among many others). “The File,” as the pair referred to it, had a through line: all of the women had embraced later life — often taking up a sport or a hobby for the first time — in ways that were inspiring and empowering. “We had ongoing conversations about aging,” writes Waxman in the prologue. “We wondered how or if we could continue being active and creative. In one of her letters, Jo enclosed a newspaper clipping about an older woman in her 60s who had just taken up tap dancing. That clipping was the first in our file of what became a theme of our friendship.” Now themselves in their 70s, the two have a more nuanced appreciation of the women whose lives they snipped out of publications. For more on that and to read the full File, click on over here.