As Larry Sussman has grown older, he's come to appreciate the versatility of Milwaukee's appeal to all ages.
Growing older in Milwaukee, a person might take one of two attitudes:
Can-do. You cannot stand to be cocooned at home and believe that any bad weather will be short-lived.
Or won’t go. You won’t risk doing much of anything when it gets snowy and cold.
I chose the former.
I began auditing courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the University of Wisconsin’s free audit program for people 60 and older. Interacting with the professors, other auditors and some students has been a great way to stay mentally active. I may have lived through the 1960s, but one course showed me what I had missed. I also took several creative writing courses, and in workshops, people 50 years’ my junior critiqued my stories – sometimes quite harshly but often helpfully, especially the professors.
The metropolitan Milwaukee area seems to cater to people who like getting outdoors. I began playing disc golf, and the “ping” when a spiraling disc lands in a basket was for me a new sensation. The disc golf course at Dretzka Park can be challenging with its longer holes, plus a hole with an elevated basket on a platform and a hole that requires you to throw your disc over a small swamp.
Bike Trails and Paths
Bike-riding on the Oak Leaf Recreational Trail also is a kick with the sections near Lake Michigan providing lots of cool fun. Having the time to walk my dogs on the many wooded paths in Milwaukee County parks has been another post-work enjoyment. Seeing a blue jay or a red-tailed hawk on these walks adds to the pleasure. The Katherine Kearney Carpenter dog park in Mequon is a wonderful refuge for roving dogs and their owners.
The up-North beauty of Beach Drive in Fox Point is worth the drive or walk to get to this big-screen-like lakefront area. Seeing the many deer in and around Whitnall Park can be delightful for a while and troublesome if you’re driving through the park and trying to avoid hitting Bullwinkle.
Finally, I have learned about the bargains that beckon to Milwaukee seniors. For example, Usinger’s Famous Sausage offers people 60 and older a 10 percent discount every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on products sold at the company’s Old World Third Street deli. Every Friday before 5:30 p.m., Marcus Theatres has $6 movies for 60-plus seniors.
In short, Milwaukee is for adventuresome people who know that getting out is essential to getting the most out of their older lives.