Dr. Darla Shaw is 80 years old and has lived in Ridgefield, CT. since 1966. She is in her 63rd year of teaching with her first 38 years in the Ridgefield School System and her last 25 as a professor of literacy and women’s studies at Western Ct. State University. Her biggest passion is humanitarian travel and she has traveled to over 90 countries, mostly third world countries. Dr. Shaw also plays accordion and steel drums in two bands, dances, takes on the role of 26 famous historical characters, is a storyteller, blogger and podcaster, does stand-up comedy, and models for the older, larger woman.
As a recent cancer survivor, Dr. Shaw has done a Ted Talk, is trained in mind and body work for people with cancer and speaks regularly on Don’t Let People Tell You that You will Never Again be 100 Percent.
I go with the flow and live by my bumper sticker for life; ” Accept, Enjoy, Celebrate and Continue to Challenge yourself in Life.”
She is very proud of be a part of this wonderful gallery exhibit honoring the older women with a passion and purpose for living.
Listen to Dr. Darla Shaw
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American music and fashions made me aspire to sail over to the US from Germany. I was twenty. After working at Leitz in New York, at a bank in San Francisco and later graduating from a local college, I ventured forth to my greatest challenge, teaching at high school for thirty-one years and most of all raising a family. Life was a challenge as a foreigner in an accepting America.
Nowadays life is good, especially when I am looking forward to commiserating with my friends from yoga, jazzercise, weight training, zumba, folk dance classes, swimming or walking. Usually the ‘girls’ are younger, so I struggle to stay just as fit as they are. Also, one of my great joys is traveling, to explore how people in far away countries live life.
My drama class at the local community college hopefully keeps my mind stimulated, spending time to ponder themes and feelings of others and relating them to today’s world. Truly enjoyable are discussions with students who are more than fifty years younger and then learn of their views. After my retirement I worked for another Fine Arts degree, just for the fun of it.
To reflect on art and paint on canvases myself has been my treasured interest for many years and continues to be now. When I try to see the world through an artist’s eye it becomes richer. My creations are not meant to strike awe or make a statement. I choose subjects that make me happy to paint and reflect on. They are signed with “I. Bloom.”
With all my little adventures I wonder how I ever had time for a ‘real’ job during my working life. Except for out of control health issues like breast and skin cancer and open-heart surgery, being of my age now, makes it possible to choosewhat I want to do instead of having to earn a living. What luxury!
Of course, the whipping cream on my cake is being blessed with children and grandchildren to love. Being close to eighty years old, life is full, and I am thankful.
Listen to Ingrid Bloom
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Isabel Boardman was a Classical singer who performed with her husband Roger Boardman, pianist, in the New York area as well as abroad in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria. They both taught at New York University where they met; he as the head of the Piano Department and she in her capacity as the head of the Voice Department. A Match made in heaven.
Isabel has a daughter and two granddaughters living in Monroe, CT.
She lives in Westport, CT.
Right now, she is totally passionate about Yoga and Tai Chi.
Sheis 96 years young.
Here is a direct quote about how these activities make her feel.
“I find it hard to describe the feeling of Chi (energy) when I practice Tai Chi.
The movements of my hands gather energy from the air transferring it to all parts of my body. I find that I can move more easily, gracefully and in a more balanced way.
I suggest you try it as well. Tai Chi has many more benefits. It is an active form of meditation and concentration which relieves stress.
Tai Chi is my passion.”