When Olive Riley of New South Wales, Australia, died on July 12 of this year at the age of 108 she made the news as having been the world’s oldest blogger. Her blog, titled The Life of Riley, and In Memory of Olive, is still available here.

Olive’s first post, dated February 16, 2007, reads: “My friend, Mike, has arranged this blob for me.” (A note at the end of Olive’s blog says it is produced with “writing assistance by Mike Rubbo”.) In Mike’s absence, Eric Shackle, a retired Sydney journalist, helped Olive with her blog. Between them, there are 75 posts, the last ones describing Olive’s funeral as well as reporting the discovery of another old blogger who died at 109 in January, 2008. The latter, an American, Ruth Hamilton, was assisted in her blogging by Bill Shafer of WESH.Tv. In truth, Ruth did not have her own blog but was a user on another site — Growing Bolder – found here. You’ll see a nice big picture of Ruth as soon as you log on.

Both of these “oldest bloggers” had others who actually did the writing for them and both have now died. As far as I can determine, the mantle for the world’s oldest blogger now falls on Maria Amelia Lopez of Spain, who suddenly became a cybercelebrity when her grandson, “who is very stingy,” gave her a blog for her 95th birthday. It is, of course, in Spanish, and according to the latest entry at the age of 96 in July, 2008, “Maria Amelia dicta y su nieto escribe.” (Maria dictates and her grandson writes.) She has received the Spanish BOB (best of blogs) award and can be found here along with a picture of her 96th birthday party on 23/12/07.

Now Maria, who is only 96 (as compared to the 108 and 109 of the other two ladies) is still eleven years older than me. Surely, somewhere out there in this wide, wide world there are some bloggers who are, let’s say, over 70, who actually do their own blogging. That was what I thought until I did a little research and turned up the information that only 2% of bloggers are over 65. And only 7% of folks over 65 even use the internet. There seems to be no data for folks older than 65. Can it be that I am searching for a non-existent demographic?

We old folks have memories to share.

Who else remembers set tubs in the basement? These were deep tubs side by side, one for washing, one for rinsing, accompanied by a scrub board for scrubbing. That’s how we did the wash in the olden days. When I looked up scrub boards on Google to see if I remembered the name right, lo and behold, they can be ordered from China where they are sold as musical instruments (!) along with tambourines and maracas.

Before we ever had a radio in our home, I remember my Dad teaching us how to make crystal radio sets. We tickled the crystal or galena with a fine wire “cat’s whisker” until we found a spot that would bring in the radio waves. These little radios required no battery and just magically seemed to snatch the sound out of the air. Ear phones were required to amplify the sound and I have often wondered where Dad got both the ear phones and the galena to make it all possible.

In my first job as a medical transcriptionist, pathologist Dr. Irving Akerson would dictate onto a waxy cylinder and after I had transcribed his dictation the cylinder had to be shaved to provide a clean surface to record the next dictation. My research tells me these Dictaphone cylinders were replaced by belts in 1947.

Those were the days! We need to record some of these old memories before they are totally forgotten. I’d like to run into some old bloggers to share memories with, especially any that do their own blogging. Even some old readers would be nice. Are you out there?

Come, grow old along with me!

Hurry! Old bloggers always die.

Late post:  You can count on it happening!  No sooner do I publish than I come across a site talking about old bloggers.  You can find it here, and you and I can investigate these oldsters together.

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They shall bring forth fruit in their old age — still full of sap, still green. Psalm 92:14