It all started with a list. I'd write down free events around Washington, D.C.—lectures, concerts, things I wanted to see and try—and share it with friends via email. Then I realized it was selfish to keep the list to just us oldsters in a city full of young people, with their marvelous minds and limited budgets. So I created a blog to tell them about what our city has to offer—but they were far more interested in talking with a 90-year-old than they were in goings-on around town. They'd visit my blog just to ask questions: "Do you have advice for longevity?" (Spend time around young people.) "What kind of music do you listen to?" (Jazz from the '40s.) "How do you feel about today's youth?" (I love their zest for life.) They were seeking more than a history lesson; they were inviting me into their world. I decided to launch myself headfirst into the social media. I still blog. I Facebook. One of these days I might sign up for a Twitter. I also Reddit—it's a site where users converse about all kinds of things, and where my "ask me anything" post received hundreds more questions: "What was your favorite decade?" (The present is hard to beat.) "Was the atomic bomb necessary to end the war?" (Necessary? No. The best tactical choice? That's harder to answer.) "What was the worst fashion trend?" (Definitely the zoot suit.)

Our modes of connection have changed so much in my lifetime. It was 1948 when I met my wife: I saw her in the library, asked if I could walk her home and we stayed married until her death in 1995. It was 2001 when I met my current partner: I placed a classified ad for a companion, she responded and we've been together ever since. Now it's 2016, and I converse with thousands of strangers. I was a teacher and principal for 30 years, and I feel it's my duty to keep educating. To do so, one must keep learning. The social media continues to evolve, sweeping us into new possibilities if we evolve with it and sweeping past us if we don't. I, for one, don't intend to get left behind.

Read more about Ron on his blog,


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