Romance doesn't leave when gray hair sets in. If you don't believe it, ask A.B. Blake.
In his 80s, he's a newlywed. And life, he said, is "just fine."Blake will be one of the presenters at the Governor's Conference on Aging, Oct. 22-23 at the Hilton Hotel.
Blake was married for 65 years. When his wife died, after 10 years with Alzheimer's disease, he never expected to marry again. He's long been involved with the Alzheimer's Association, for which he's a state liaison. It was his involvement that led him to a new romance and his bride, Jeanne.
Jeanne, in her 60s, was a widow whose late husband had Alzheimer's. She started a support group in Logan. Blake started his in Salt Lake City. And they saw quite a bit of each other. They had known each other for years. Eventually, they started to date.
"It was an exciting experience to date again," Blake said. "And it was that difficult. We were both lonely and we had so much in common. We just had to get better acquainted."
Their wedding bells chimed on May 19, after they'd dated for almost a year.
"I never thought I'd remarry. Neither did she. But we're very happy."
Blake will share some of his experiences in a session called "Cold Feet but a Warm Heart: Dating after 60."
Senior citizens are encouraged to attend the conference, which will cost $3 for one day or $5 for two days. Professional people attending will pay $25 a day or $40 for the whole conference. Sessions run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. both days and lunch is provided.
First lady Barbara Bush has been invited to attend but has not yet confirmed.
The conference is titled "Living Well in the 90s: An Era of Activity." The list of topics to be discussed in workshops includes everything from coping with being alone to how to locate needed aging services. There will be seminars on employment opportunities, political issues and returning to school.
Health issues, social programs, loneliness, ethics, safety, finances, advocacy, voluntarism and estate planning will also be discussed.
For information or to register, call 538-3991.