At a recent JCCSF lecture in San Francisco, broadcast journalist Jane Pauley addressed the topic of her latest book, “Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life,” for an auditorium full of baby boomers. In a blast form the past, she treated us to a video clip of her first nationwide broadcast, being welcomed to her new role replacing Barbara Walters at NBC’s Today Show by colleague Tom Brokaw…at the ripe old age of 25.
The lucky generation
Remaining friends throughout her 13 years in that chair, Pauley and Brokaw jointly presented a program in January 2014 at the 92nd Street YMCA in Manhattan. Calling the over-50 boomers who have found a second calling “the lucky generation,” the program’s theme ran true to the subject matter of Pauley’s book. Only days later, Brokaw, 74, revealed news of his diagnosis of multiple myeloma, triggering an outpouring of well-wishers. As Pauley indicates Brokaw put it in an email shared with friends, Brokaw made light of the news by writing, “Turns out the Brokaw lucky star has a dimmer switch.” We all wish him well.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
Reflecting on her own predisposition to focus on the next chapter, Pauley, 63, told her audience, “I’ve always been future-oriented.” The latest incarnation of her natural tendency to do so kicks off on April 27, 2014 when Pauley joins Bob Schieffer as contributor to the Emmy Award-winning “Sunday Morning” on CBS, a newsmagazine that has been running on air since 1979. Her first guest is Mitch Albom, author of “Tuesdays With Morrie,” a bestseller made into a movie about an old man, a young man, and life’s lessons.
The next chapter
Elegant and funny, Pauley shared her views on the longer lives many Americans lead these days and her own work discovering some outstanding boomers with incredible second time around adventures. Each chapter in her book is dedicated to one of these inspiring individuals. We heard about Paulie Gee, a tech pro who turned Brooklyn pizzeria owner at age 56; Betsy McCarthy, who swapped healthcare administration for knitting at 50-plus; Gid Pool, who took a comedy class to become a standup comedian at 67. Jane Pauley is a storyteller who enjoys meeting these folks, and it’s delightfully clear that the feeling is mutual.
“It’s a process of reinvention,” Pauley explains. Speaking of her partnership with AARP which launched the book, Pauley said, “It’s about people making positive, powerful and realistic changes” in the encore stages of life. Congratulations to Jane Pauley and CBS News for putting those two together so that Jane can take her own advice to heart. Many of us fellow baby boomers have grown up watching Jane Pauley in our living rooms and can now look forward to seeing more of her interviews on “Sunday Morning.”