Monday, May 24, 2004

40 & booming


The last crop of boomers leave their 30s behind this year, but trust them to make their mark

By Janie Magruder / The Arizona Republic
and Peggy O'Farrell / The Cincinnati Enquirer

It was the year sandwiched between the assassination of President Kennedy and the escalation of the Vietnam War. Twelve months of social change, political protest, fashion faux pas and chants for peace, love and rock 'n' roll that future generations would come to revere.

Alecia Thomas
Alecia Thomas, of Avondale is among the last of the Baby Boomers turning 40. She was photographed at the Madison Bowl in Madisonville.
Michael Snyder/
Cincinnati Enquirer
Ripped from the headlines of 1964:

Three young men, registering black voters in Mississippi, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan one month before the Civil Rights Act was signed into law.

The U.S. surgeon general warned about the dangers of smoking, a message Congress then required on all cigarette packs.

The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Also that year, about 4 million infants were born in the United
For More:
It's a generational thing
Life lessons learned by 40
States, the last of the baby boomers. They're the tail end of a generation that spans 19 years and includes 80 million Americans. Who are they really?
Here's a snapshot:


Life at 40: A snapshot

•Alecia Thomas
•Day care operator
•Avondale
•Married, three children
•Birthday: May 1

How is being 40 different for you than it was for your mother? I was excited about turning 40. I think when my mom turned 40, she thought she was just so old. I feel good about being 40. I'm still active, where my mom was just a homebody. They say life begins at 40, so I'm waiting to see.

Are you a grown-up? Yes, I am. I became a grown-up at 17 when I had my first child.

Have you made your mark yet, or is it still to come? I think it's still to come. By the time I turn 45, I think I'll have accomplished what I wanted to do, and that's travel. I've been a lot of places, but I still want to go to Australia, and I haven't been to Europe yet.

•Kate Eardly
•Freelance editor
•Kenwood
•Single, but in a long-term relationship; no children
•Birthday: March 18

How is 40 different for you than it was for your mother? I recall having lunch with my mom right after high school. We were at the Palm Court, so it was a fancy lunch for us. And she said something like, "How has the women's movement changed your life?" And I said, "It hasn't." I think she was affected by it, but she was affected by experiencing the changes. I just benefited from the changes.

Are you a grown-up yet? Absolutely not, but I'm not
a Gen-X'er.

Have you made your mark yet, or is it still to come? I think it's still to come, because I still haven't figured it out yet.

•Karen Hein
•Textbook editor
•Monroe
•Married, three children
•Birthday: Oct. 18

How is 40 different for you than it was for your mother? She was also a working mother (a registered nurse), but society's view of that was different. I know for me, I'm juggling my kids' schedules more than anything and working full time. My mother didn't have all the outside activities that I have with my kids. I don't remember if my friends' moms worked, and I know a lot of stay-at-home moms now.

Are you a grown-up? Sometimes. Not all the time. I don't feel as grown up as I'm supposed to be, because in my head, I don't tell myself I'm 40. Forty's not old. I used to think it was, but I don't anymore. I don't even think it's middle-aged, not anymore.

Have you made your mark yet, or is it still to come? I guess personally, I have. I'm happy. I have three great kids and I've made my mark with them. I'm happy with who they are and who I am. Professionally, I don't know. That's secondary.

•Dean Congbalay
•Vice president for development, Comey & Shepherd Realtors
•Terrace Park
•Single, no children
•Birthday: Feb. 18

How is being 40 different for you than it was for your father? I honestly have no idea.

Are you a grown-up? Very much so. For me, it happened sometime in my 20s. I kind of jokingly consider myself to be an old man now.

Have you made your mark yet or is it still to come? I guess it all depends. One of the things I've come to realize in turning this age is that making my mark really isn't all that important to me. I think priorities change as you grow older. Right now, I've never been happier in my life, and if that's making my mark, that's terrific.

•Meg Galvin
•Academic chef; instructor at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College's Midwest Culinary Institute, and program coordinator for culinary arts at the University of Cincinnati
•Fort Wright
•Married, three children
•Birthday: Feb. 2

How is being 40 different for you than it was for your mother? It's definitely different from a career standpoint. When my mom was 40, she had six children and my father was a farmer. I don't even know if she wanted to work. When I was growing up in Lexington, it just wasn't done.

Are you a grown-up? In some senses. In the sense that I have the responsibility for my children and my career, yes. In the sense of wanting to have fun, I'm not grown up yet.

Have you made your mark yet or is it still to come? Absolutely not. I'd like to venture more into farming, doing something with communities and farmers' markets.

•Judy Berrens
•Community theater actress and director
•Green Township
•Single, no children
•Birthday: Aug. 4

How is being 40 different for you than it was for your mother? My mother had my older brothers and myself and a brother who's 15 months younger than myself. She was a stay-at-home mom, volunteering up at the school and doing all those things. I'm single, with no kids, and working.

Are you a grown-up? It depends on the day of the week. I remember being young and thinking 40 sounds so old. And now that I'm here, it's not. My parents are in their mid-70s now and as active as anything. I see that life is just beginning.

Have you made your mark yet? I'm sort of in the middle of it. I just really started the career thing in the last five years. I did college the hard way, going at night, one class at a time. So it took me longer to get started.

•Jim Todd
•Salesman/service technician for packaging machinery
•Fort Mitchell
•Married, three children
•Birthday: June 6

How is being 40 different for you than it was for your father? The big difference I see is people having children later, so my kids are a lot younger than when he was 40. The other thing is jobs are a lot less secure now. Then, once you had a job, you had it for life, unless you were a major screw-up. That doesn't happen now.

Are you a grown-up? I try to be. Yeah, I guess so.

Have you made your mark yet or is it still to come? I think it's still to come.




TEMPO HEADLINES
Chorus honors director with luminous premiere
Voigt owns Wagner role
Laughter is music to the maestro's ears
May Festival's opera evening a stunner
40 & booming

It's a generational thing
Life lessons learned by 40

Reality shows get the last laugh
Animated 'Shrek 2' tops 'Nemo' debut weekend

HEALTH & FITNESS
'Genie' workout grants your wish
Infomercials promise the impossible
Body & Mind

PEOPLE
Daytime Emmy Award caps DeGeneres' comeback
'Harry' gets rock-star reception
The 'P' stands for politics
'Idol' finalist planning first album
Birthdays

PLANNING AHEAD
Get to it!
TV Best Bets