So, as you might've known, we produce a few television shows here at AARP. Inside E Street looks at issues critical to our members... VIVA interviews inspirational guests, offers style tips, recipes, and updates on issues that affect you, all in Spanish... Your Life Calling (hosted by Jane Pauley) tells fascinating stories of reinvention after 50... and yesterday, I spent a blissful half-hour listening to Prime Time Radio's Mike Cuthbert interview the Blind Boys of Alabama.
And then, the Daytime Emmy Awards called My Generation. My Generation features stories of passionate people, passionate lives, and giving back after 50; you can see some of its best segments here. We're very proud of it, and apparently the Daytime Emmys agree: My Generation is nominated in the category of Outstanding Lifestyle Program, where it will compete against The Style Network's How Do I Look?, Hallmark's The Martha Stewart Show, and The Nate Berkus Show.
We submitted the segments from one episode of My Generation for consideration. Below, what the producers remember about these stories...
What was most amazing about Carmen was to see how as a cancer survivor himself, he made these women come alive and feel alive through this opportunity to be photographed with him, dressed by him, and later be a part of his fashion show, particularly after their own battles with cancer. I was most struck by how poetic he was, how he processes his words and thoughts; and when we were at his oasis of a home, and he talked about this garden he planted while in recovery and became an inspiration to his next collection, you can really sense that for someone who might be bombarded by people all the time, this peace would be critical to his recovery and a necessary escape. - Nina Halper, producer
Pat was much more, and less than I expected. He was the "inspiration in residence" at the Kennedy Kreiger Institute, no doubt. But his down home 'golly gee' personality hid the heart and the mind of a world class athlete. It also hid the heart and mind of a world class human being. Pat was a man that accomplished the impossible. Sure there was luck and good fortune after his bad fortune, but there was also mind numbing and excruciatingly painful work and rehabilitation. And Pat just did it. He did what he had to do. He did what most others could not. He is, in human form, hope. If Pat can walk, you may be able to walk again too. As Pat said in the story, "it's OK to have hope." That is a simple message, and Pat is the "Walking Proof." By the way, Pat and I still stay in touch and I saw him just yesterday in Baltimore. Funny, some people have such an influence on your life, you just can't seem to shake them. This is a man I have no intentions of shaking. - Dean Hovell, producer
For me, the idea of getting homeless people "back on their feet" by inviting them to join, essentially, a running club, just struck me as a novel concept, and a way to help people change from the inside, on their own initiative. Having been a runner for many years (until my knees started to protest), I've experienced the feeling of freedom it gives. I don't think I've ever had what they call runner's high, but I felt that running helped get me through some tough times and helped me keep my perspective. And so it allowed me to imagine that for a homeless person, whose problems make mine look like kid stuff, the benefits could be profound. And when we interviewed one runner who said, "It gives me the opportunity to see what I can do with my life," I knew the story was coming together. - Stephen Menick, producer