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A Forgotten Source of Wisdom: Our Elders

Review of the new DVD “Whiskey and Apple Pie”

by Ron Whitaker

What is a source of wisdom that you’ve found throughout your life?

For me, it was my parents and grandparents.

I remember as a child my mother brought her parents, my maternal grandparents, to live in a mobile home that they purchased and had stationed next to our house.

I look back on those few years in the 1970s as such memorable days.

I loved to hear stories from my grandfather about his youth growing up in Virginia. I also loved hearing my grandmother’s stories about her childhood in Idaho.

One of my favorites that my mother also knew well was how Grandma, back in the 1920s, one night had to go over to her sister-in-law’s house to—of all things—deliver Aunt Bessie’s baby!

This was apparently how many children were brought into the world in smaller, rural communities at that time.

I remember my mother telling me how Grandma—though successful in the delivery—came home a nervous, frazzled wreck!

I can imagine!

Besides the stories, I loved the pearls of wisdom I learned from my grandparents.

I remember at times my grandparents talking about the Great Depression—which they lived through. During those discussions, I recall feeling uneasy about the state of the world at that time, and nervous about the possibility of something like that happening again. I wondered how I could make it through conditions like that should they arise again.

Some of the wisest words my grandfather, a great source of wisdom, spoke during those conversations was a great quote that I’ve never forgotten: “If the next guy could make it, so could you.”

I remember those words comforting me.

What’s Whiskey and Apple Pie?

So, why the reminiscing on these great sources of wisdom in my life?

Because I recently discovered a fantastic DVD entitled Whiskey and Apple Pie, produced by two energetic women from California—Jamie Spooner and Carolyn Mayes.

Whiskey and Apple Pie is a three-year labor of love in which Jamie and Carolyn traveled all over the U.S. interviewing over 100 seniors in the hopes of learning pearls of wisdom from them before they are no longer with us.

And what pearls of wisdom they found!

Interestingly, one of the criterion that Jamie and Carolyn established before starting on the journey of their documentary was that the youngest any one of their interviewees could be was 75 years old.

Among the 100 plus interviewees, you’re sure to recognize a couple of great sources of wisdom they found— none other than Tippi Hedren (remember her from Hitchcock’s The Birds?) and Mickey Rooney!

So, what was the purpose of making Whiskey & Apple Pie?

From their website we learn that “Whiskey & Apple Pie brings to light questions about the choices we make in life and, in some cases, the recipe for living a better life.”

Throughout the documentary, the producers asked each person they interviewed to offer their thoughts on such topics as healthy living, love, and the secret to happy lives and marriages.

After finishing the movie, I watched the Filmmaker Commentaries section.

I found it interesting, though not too surprising in our current society, Carolyn Mayes tell the story that when she and Jamie described to some of the “top people in the industry” (though she didn’t name names) their ideas of making this documentary, they were told “you can’t create a reverence for an older generation.”

Oooo! How wrong—and disconnected—some people are!

This documentary definitely dispels that comment.

I highly recommend this delightful, and inspiring documentary.

There’s so much we can learn from our seniors. They’ve lived full lives; many have been through much.

The movie is only slightly over an hour long, but don’t stop there! You’ll definitely want to watch the Filmmaker Commentaries and Extras sections. Both very informative and entertaining!

And as parting words of wisdom from these delightful sources of wisdom, I learned that after a certain age all you need to do is take off your glasses before looking in the mirror!

I also learned to never use super glue to keep your dentures fixed in your mouth! Check out the Extras section to learn that hilarious story!

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