An influential Canadian broadcaster, Moses Znaimer, bought a pair of radio stations and the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP). With the purchase came an insurance company and a magazine. Znaimer brought to the package a visionary’s view of the Baby Boomer generation as Seniors… or, as he has dubbed them…Zoomers. He has been rewriting the image ever since.
One of the products he added to the mix is a conference culminating in a “$how”. I was at the show yesterday, and will be today, representing Louisiana tourism. (Booth 3211 if you are planning to attend.) My job let me talk to a great number of people about a State I know and think of as a second home.
When the day began it was them versus me. What did I have in common with a group of old folk, beyond a desire to travel? Somewhere between the biker riding a motorized mobility device, wearing his colours and a do rag, and the ladies of the Red Hat Society, I began to question the chasm I had assumed separated us.
Music heralded epiphany. The main stage began at 10 AM, with a performance by a young opera singer. I enjoyed from my booth vantage point. So did the early risers who were in line when the doors opened. The afternoon line-up was cover bands; Guess Who, Billy Joel, and Supertramp. Bands I followed when I began to develop a taste for Rock and Roll. Typical Seniors fare? Now that Zoomers are retiring, you bet it is. All the musicians, from the Canada’s Got Talent tenor, to the ersatz Supertramp, were welcomed enthusiastically, pulling people from the show floor to the main stage concert seating.
During that last soaring chorus of Stand Tall, I realized I too am a Zoomer. The curtain of denial has been lifted. I am Zoomer, hear me roar.