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June 11, 2014

A Quick Chat with SAGE Participant Shelley Teitelbaum

SAGE and its affiliates offer dozens of programs every month throughout the country. Our monthly “Quick Chats” with SAGE participants offer a first-person perspective on these programs and a little more insight into the remarkable folks who make up our community. This month we spoke with Shelley Teitelbaum, a 75-year-old New York City native who has been a SAGE participant for two and a half years. 



Thanks for taking the time to do this, Shelley. Where are you from originally?

I’m a native New Yorker; I’ve lived in the village since 1963. 

And what do you do?

I’m a retired attorney; I had a general civil practice. When I retired I was looking for ways to fill my time, so I started coming to SAGE for the Conscious Creative Aging group, a monthly book club, and dinner. I also teach French at another senior center near Washington Square. SAGE is important to me as a lesbian, because it provides services. But it’s also important that it provides a good meal and a chance to hang out—to have book clubs, listen to music, things like that.

What’s your favorite aspect of SAGE?

I especially love my creative aging group—being with eleven other gay and lesbian men and women—because they’re fearless! We share hopes, joys, fears, and learn from one another what it’s like to age. We didn’t learn about that in school, you know.  We start each meeting with a meditation, then share our responses to readings and share thoughts on selected topics. We work on how to deal with aging gracefully and consciously. 

That sounds beautiful! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.

It’s been a pleasure!

--Posted by Kira Garcia 



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Shelley, thank you for sharing and offering encouragement to those of us who have not been in such a free environment! I am a retired R.N. and lived through the tense 50's when one did not dare to be "out" and had to create a facade to keep the "righteous " folks from persecuting us. My darling partner for over 50 years died just 5 years ago and i still miss her presence in my life! I now live in a mostly Presbyterian retirement community in Irvine, CA. and find it difficult to be my genuine self without stress of getting shunned. My dear little Episcopal Church is entirely inclusive which helps a lot. I just celebrated my 4th occasion of my 21st birthday and am SO Grateful for the
general atmosphere and physical surrounding I'm in now. I hope to hear from you if you have time. God bless you, Nancy Lockwood, Nancy_kensgtn@yahoo.com

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