I discovered these zines in my early 20s, when I was first experiencing people with dementia and the warehousing of elders, encouraged me to expand my experience and my imagination, more possibilities for connection and joy.
In 1979 I took a job as activities director at a nursing home in Boston. I had just completed a degree in fine arts as a painter. On the day that I first met the residents of the nursing home, I abandoned painting. That is to say, I discarded the brushes and canvas, not the underlying desire to see something in the world around me and then communicate it to others. In this unexpected setting I found my medium. I wanted others to know these people as I did… From the start, my mission has been to offer a range of characters who are already old, so that we can get to know them as they are in the present, without celebrating or mourning who they were before. Since the elderly are already thought of by what they have in common – that they’re all old – I try to recast them as individuals. I quote and write about them in order to address the larger world. The audience/reader meets them and comes to feel the characters are familiar, people they might want to spend time with. The men and women whose individualities expose the myths of aging are not extraordinary. They are typical in their unique humanness.David Greenberger excerpted his website