“Age,” as Mark Twain famously said, “is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
I got to thinking about that as we worked on this issue of Venice Magazine. We live in a part of the country where age often does matter—in terms of population, economic impact and political clout—skewing towards residents in their 50s, 60s, 70s and above. Median age in Venice is 66.7 years, with only 4.3 percent in the 25-34 range and 2.2 percent aged 15-19.
Granted, that’s a lot of gray. And yet, when we decided to do a story that focused on Venice area residents 40 and under who were making an impact on the community, we didn’t have to look very hard. Lots of names popped up in our research, and weeding them down to the group we featured here was, admittedly, a challenge. (We could probably do the same story again for our next issue and come up with a whole new crop.) We were also impressed by the accomplishments of the young person we profiled on our “Neighbors” page, Venice High sports star Langston Provitt, who at 17 has already proven a triple threat on the baseball diamond, the basketball court and the football field.
But to see that age really is a relative thing, you have only to meet Dick Hyman, whom I interviewed in his Venice studio for another story in this issue. At 87, this pianist-composer-arranger, with a lifetime of credits dating to the 1940s (think back to the Benny Goodman era all the way up to a host of Woody Allen films he scored), is as active and creative as ever. In fact, he’s premiering a new concerto he just finished writing at a Venice Symphony concert this month at the Venice Performing Arts Center. He’s also playing for the Sarasota Concert Association’s 70th anniversary this month and for the Sarasota Jazz Festival in March. I’m looking forward to all of them.
And I hope you look forward to reading more of this issue, and to our April one coming up next. Until then, keep in touch with us on our Facebook page at venicemagazineonline.com.