Friday, July 27, 2012

The Death of a Baby Boomer in Social Media

I am one of those baby boomers who's all over the internet. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter (@bevmahone), LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, Boomer Authority, Blogger, ShoutLife and yes, even MySpace.

I am a bonafide boomer and media go-to-gal with plenty to say but what happens to my social networking life when I'm no longer around. According to an article by the AARP, if you die without leaving specific instructions, the online service where the data is stored determines what to do with your information and content.

Once the folks at Facebook find out someone on the site has died, they give the family two options. They can deactivate the user's profile or "memorialize" it. A memorialized page will allow friends and family to continue to see the profile and post messages on the wall, but no one can log into the account, and the deceased's page will not show up in a search.

So you and I will not only have to decide how and who we want handling our financial affairs after we die, we also have to think about how we want our digital estate to be handled.

Would you like your Facebook friends to be able to see and post on your page after your death, or would you feel more comfortable if your profile is removed?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Every Photo Tells a Story

My dad was born on July 22, 1926. Today would've been his 86th birthday but he died of heart disease in 1983 at the young age of 57. Yes, I miss my dad. I was very close to him---much closer to him than I am my mother, who is still alive, but that's not what this blog post is about.

This blog is about the photo you see to the left. It was my dad's high school graduation picture---taken in 1944. I never saw this picture until after my father passed away because he apparently never kept a copy or it was lost somewhere. But I do recall him telling me the story behind the photograph.

The photographer who was originally hired to take the pictures of the graduating class backed out when he discovered he was photographing "negroes." According to my dad, one of the students in his class went home and told his dad about the situation and his dad made arrangements with the school to take the graduation photos. This dad was a farmer who apparently had an interest in photography but couldn't get any steady work in the field because of his race.

He proceeded to take pictures of the graduating class---all 19 of them. My dad says he doesn't know if the school paid him for his services but he remembers his mother (my grandmother) sending him to school with some change to give the school when he picked up his picture.

Had it not been for this unknown photographer, I probably would've thought my dad never graduated from high school.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

AARP Tests the Spelling Skills of Baby Boomers

Back in 1996, a group of AARP members in Cheyenne, Wyoming decided to create an AARP National Spelling Bee. This was their fun way of challenging their peers to keep their minds sharp as they age.

Seventeen years later, the spelling bee is still going strong. The 17th annual event will be held August 11, 2012, at The Little America Hotel and Resort in Cheyenne. It's open to anyone age 50 or older who compete for gifts and prizes.

The competition begins at 8:30am and is free to spectators.

In addition to spelling bee, visitors will enjoy exploring historic museums and hotels, and nearby attractions; shopping at western-themed stores; or finding a special treasure among the many art galleries. The Laramie County Library, named Best Library of the Year in 2009 by Library Journal magazine, is a popular attraction for spellers.

Visitors will receive a special rate at Little America Hotel and Resort, which includes a free round of golf, by calling the hotel directly at 800-445-6945 (rate NOT available online). Details of all Cheyenne events and attractions, and additional lodging options, are available online at

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Black Baby Boomers Remember Mayberry Too

"For many baby boomers, the loss of Andy Griffith earlier this week was like a death in the family." This was the opening sentence in an article I read the other day in the Winnepeg Free Press about the death of Andy Griffith.

Yes, Andy Griffith transformed himself into Sheriff Andy Taylor weekly on our television screen when I was a child and I actually believed there was a town somewhere in North Carolina called Mayberry. He, Aunt Bea, Opie, Barney and the rest of the townspeople gave us an up close and personal look at what small town living was like back in the day. Andy wasn't your typical sheriff who used his badge to strong arm folks. If I'm not mistaken, he didn't even carry a gun.

In Mayberry, you could leave your doors open and your car doors unlocked. When you walked down the street everyone greeted you and you certainly didn't have to worry about out-of-control children, drugs and crime. The worst crime ever committed in Mayberry was when someone stole some chickens from a farm and had to spend a night or two in jail.

You always saw ladies wearing dresses and the men were always respectful.

Could that be why we never saw any blacks on the show?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Do the Children of Black Baby Boomers Lack Motivation to Carry the Torch

This post was inspired by an article I read in the Buffalo News .

The article in the Buffalo News was titled: Black community suffers when no one steps up to keep businesses running. The article focused on a 71-year-old black man who cashed in his life savings to start his own business 41-years ago. Now he wants to retire but there's no one around to take over. His grown children, according to the article,are turned off by the long hours and the responsibilities so they don't want to carry the torch. The business owner now fears his worst nightmare: his business will fold.

The article further states the absence of succession plans to carry black-owned businesses into the next generation is a national problem with far-reaching implications. The phenomenon derails economic momentum, preventing a transfer and accumulation of wealth, and it can confine black communities to lingering poverty. It erodes the hard-fought gains of the previous generation, handicapping and forcing the next generation of entrepreneurs to start their ventures from scratch.

So what happened? Why is it that the children of black baby boomers lack the desire to follow in their parents footsteps---especially if their parents have laid out a clear path for them? Do the children of black boomers also feel a sense of entitlement as their white counter-parts?

Or perhaps it's OUR FAULT? According to the National Black Chamber of Commerce, only 15 percent of the nation's 2.1 million black-owned companies have identified and groomed successors. Have we not taught our children enough about the value of owning your own business and what it means to hand it down to the next generation?

Perhaps it's a combination of both.