Saturday, January 27, 2018

Nostalgia -- When Is Enough Enough?

     I'm on my annual Snowbird trip to Florida -- I've been to Florida almost every winter since 1972, the year I came with my fiance to visit her mother for a brief Christmas holiday. Only now, being retired, I'll spend three weeks in Florida. And with B's son living in Charleston, SC, I will follow my three weeks in Florida with another month in South Carolina. Or, as my sister who lives in Jacksonville calls Charleston . . . the North.

     I think I know why I like to visit Florida, for the warm January sun, the sea breezes, the swaying palm trees. But now I think I know why I wouldn't want to live here.

     It all comes down to the entertainment.

     I admit, I occasionally like to listen to music from the '50 and '60s and '70s.  B and I go dancing about once a month, and the music often comes from the 1940s (Fox Trot) or 1950s (Swing). B dragged me to see Mamma Mia! a few years ago and I enjoyed the music and the dancing. (I did not go back with her when she went with a friend to the Mamma Mia! sing-along.) Now there's a sequel coming out Mamma Mia -- Here We Go Again! She'll probably want to go to that one as well, and I will probably go with her.

     A couple of years ago I also went to a performance of "Lennon Reimagined" by The Nutopians, a relatively small-time engagement held at a local venue in suburban New York. I enjoyed it a lot.

     But at some point, isn't enough enough? Looking around for something to do here in Florida, I couldn't help but notice the entertainment offerings advertised in the local newspaper. Here's what's coming up for the next week or so in the Sarasota area:

     The Doo Wop Project -- five guys singing harmonies from the street corner
     Paul Anka -- not a cover band; the real thing
     Cabaret -- a remake of the '60s musical
     In the Mood -- a 1940s musical revue
     Michael Feinstein -- celebrating Sinatra, Dean Martin and others
     Creedance Clearwater Revisited
     The Vogues -- remember them? "You're the One," "Five O'Clock World"
     The Shake, Rattle and Soul Fest -- featuring an Elvis tribute band
     Jimmy Buffett tribute
     Stayin' Alive -- tribute to the Bee Gees
     Morrison and Joplin Review
     Born to Be Wild Party -- featuring a Rolling Stones tribute
     Barry Manilow -- again, the real thing, straight from the 1970s
     Paisley Craze -- The ultimate '60s party band
     Tapestry -- a tribute to Carole King
     Scarborough Fair -- a Simon & Garfunkel experience

     I mean, did they miss anybody? Like I say, I like nostalgia as much as the next person. But I wouldn't want to be steeped in it, like they are in Florida, week after week, month after month, for the rest of my life, to the exclusion of everything else in the world.

     I don't mean to be anti-Florida. I'm not. After all, I come here every year. I just think there's something to be said for living in the real world, and not cordoning yourself off into the retirement world . . . at least not full time.

     That being said, here's a John Lennon mashup that I like, just two old guys singing their hearts out . . .



Olga Hebert said...

This is so funny because I was just looking at the same list and thinking pretty much the same thing.

I have been to The Blue Rooster in Sarasota -- restaurant/bar place and they do get some pretty good show's going there. The gospel Sunday brunch is an experience.

Lyall P said...

As they say, nostaligia ain't what it used to be.

Tabor said...

Too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing.

Meryl Baer said...

I agree with you, but admit I like the old stuff better than most of the music my grandkids' like. But enough is enough!

troutbirder said...

Nostalgia works for us now as our annual winter stay in Fort Myer (for the Twins) and the Big Bend area for peace and quiet is now past history. At our daily exercise class our "lead plays up beat sixties and fifties music and it keeps us going good...:)

Jono said...

Are the baby boomers the largest segment of the population that can afford gobs of entertainment? Or is it just that everyone goes to Florida in the winter. How far north does your sister have to go before she rus into yankees? 😀

Barbara said...

I love the old stuff. I have a friend 10 years younger and she is still going to all the performances. I can't seem to go anymore. Getting too settled which I'm sure is probably not a good thing.

Linda Myers said...

We have that kind of music at our winter place in Tucson, every other Wednesday night or so. We don't go. To each their own, huh?

Anonymous said...

You left out The Beach Boys and Tony Bennett. As well as Jay Leno, Lewis Black and the monthly Friday Night Dance Parties sponsored by the local Sarasota radio station. All of which I have either attended or have future tickets to attend.
Obviously you miss the whole point of this music.
Have you listened to the music of today?
In a word: it sucks, is computer generated and most importantly is computer sung by illiterates that couldn't hum their way out of a paper bag.
I feel sorry for you.
You have no idea how to enjoy your life, nor capture what once was, which is way better than the crap being churned out today. I dare anyone to search the radio dials of NYC and find any radio station that can play something comprehensible. Even Ed Sheeran had the good sense to include Andrea Bocelli on his new recent release.
If anyone followed your train of thought, operas would no longer be produced, symphonies would have nothing to play and orchestras would die.
Give me a great Benny Goodman or Ella Fitzgerald anyday vs the crap the current Grammy losing crowd churns out.
Personally, I think you should stay out of Florida.
We don't need party poopers like you coming around.
Oh and BTW, since you started writing professionally for another rag, your own blog has suffered and deteriorated. Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

It amazes me that people would leave their own homes, congregate in groups of like minded lemmings, and then criticize what is offered to them. Perhaps if you left your insular retirement home and visited the real Florida, you would see we have a wide range of entertainment just like anyone else. Remember if your retirement area is offering that type of entertainment, it is because that is what your group wants. Floridians are sick of this condescending attitude. Why don't you just stay home.

Tom Sightings said...

Jono, you are right on both counts. My son is in the music business and he tells me it's the old acts that rake in the money; new acts are hard to get established. And my sister doesn't have to go anywhere to find plenty of Yankees; they are swarming all over Florida. Including me. I admit I'm a guilty party. As for the Anons . . . Ouch!

Still the Lucky Few said...

Apart from Creedance Clearwater, and possibly Jimmy Buffett, I wouldn't spend 2 minutes listening to the music on the list. I think the popular stuff of the 80s and 90s was more palatable. But, thanks, anyway, for taking us back—I always enjoy a look into what happened in the past!

Kathyy @ SMART Living said...

Hi Tom! Good for you for questioning the need for constant entertainment in retirement. I think you raise a similar issue that the book I recently reviewed brought up. That book, The Longevity Economy by Joseph Coughlin talks about how retirement communities, filled with endless opportunities for entertainment and leisure, can seem like the best thing going for people who retire. But he believes they do two things that are problematic. #1 is we insulate ourselves off from other generations that truly have something to offer us (mentally, emotionally, and physically)--and us to offer them for at least the mental and emotional areas. When we are cut off we often appear to be nothing more than a needy and greedy (his words) generation to those younger than us. In other words, we are not adding to the productivity of the world, only sitting back and reaping while the rest of the world works on. And #2 we limit creativity for future generations of people as they age and keep visionaries from designing new ways to live and "age in place" rather than just park us away in projects for older generations. I don't believe you are just questioning THE MUSIC. Instead, it relates to the bigger question of whether all we are good for at our advancing age is to be entertained? As for me. I LOVE all the older music and listen to it often. But I enjoy finding groups and soloists that I like today as well. And yes, they are there. I also LOVE to be entertained as much as anyone, but I need balance. That balance includes contribution, creativity, and filling our lives with meaning. Thanks for raising this provocative idea. ~Kathy

Anonymous said...

I spent a weekend in Orlando in 1975 just to see my boyfriend's sister play her violin on stage. The Florida Symphony Orchestra was conducted by my boyfriend's brother, so it was a family thing. The next day, I visited Disney World and had a good time there, too.

Laura Lee Carter said...

Hi Tom:
I'm way confused. I thought you said you were doing a BBB yesterday, but you did this post instead??? Laura

Anonymous said...

Hey the Grammy's are on. Tune in and listen to all the newest "music" in addition to all the huskies holding their dic***s whilst they dance.
No thanks.
And do us all a favor, stay out of Florida.
We don't need debbie downers like you.
Personally, I think you're sorry you bought in PA.
Prob tired of watching the corn husks grow.

Sally Wessely said...

To funny about the nostalgia music in Florida. I am sure that is how it must be with all those baby boomers spending winters down there. I could go for a month in Florida, and then I would also love going on the Carolinas.

I did recently read that dancing keep the mind and brain very healthy. Not only do you get the exercise, you also have to remember and execute the dance steps. Good for you for dancing twice a month. I need to see if I can get my husband out on the dance floor.