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Tom Blake

By Tom Blake

Picket Fence Media publishes the Dana Point Times, San Clemente Times, and The Capistrano Dispatch.However, the readership goes beyond the city limits of those three cities.

For example, take Laurie of Laguna Niguel. She emailed, “While reading your article in the June 25 issue of the Dana Point Times, ‘Senior Singles Can Benefit from Having an Open Mind,’ it got me to thinking about my sister, who is 61, widowed after only being married for four months in 2013, and she has not dated since.

“I checked out the link to your Finding Love After 50 website and ta-da! There are so many things I could say about it. I watched your Today show video and the last video you posted about the two ladies. Your advice is so spot-on.

“I’m turning 68 this month. My friends and I tell ourselves we are on the ‘back nine’ now. I’m not sure which hole in the back nine we’re on.

“I mentioned this to a 77-year-old surgeon I know, and he chuckled and said in his Wales accent, ‘Well, dahling, if you are on the back nine, I must be in the clubhouse having my martini.’

“My closest friends and I want our lives to be filled with quality time and friends and people who have value to us. Most of us are quite spontaneous, feeling as we get older to ‘try something new’ because we never know what the outcome could be. I loved your website article about who should pay for the date. The perspectives you presented were so interesting and varied.

“I am sharing your website information with several friends who could benefit from your insight. Do you still own Tutor & Spunky’s deli in Dana Point?

“I live in Laguna Niguel, up Pacific Island Drive, and am a frequent visitor to Dana Point.”

My response to Laurie: “I sold Tutor & Spunky’s five years ago, but still drop in for a sandwich to visit with some employees who worked with me. I am proud that the deli is in its 32nd year.

“I am finishing a memoir about my 25 years there, titled Tutor & Spunky’s Deli: A Dana Point Landmark. It should be published in a month or so.”

“At age 68, you and your friends may be on the back nine, as you describe it, but probably only on the 10th or 11th hole. You have lots left to do and enjoy.

“We in Dana Point appreciate your visiting us from Laguna Niguel. In 1989, I lived in Laguna Niguel. One night, I went to sleep there and woke up the next morning in Dana Point. I hadn’t even left my house.

“That was just before Dana Point became a city on Jan. 1, 1990, and the boundaries of Dana Point were expanded to include the Ritz-Carlton and Monarch Beach areas, as well as Capistrano Beach. So, I understand the city from where you are coming.

“Now that the pandemic has eased, and you and your friends are willing to try something new, three things are important to keep in mind.

“First, get the body moving. Walking helps. Try tai chi, yoga, water aerobics, dancing, stand-up paddleboarding—whatever is of interest. Just, get it going.

“Second, get off the couch and out of the house and involved in activities you enjoy. Senior centers offer a multitude of activities. For your widowed sister, there are widow and widower clubs. Many people she’ll meet there will be able to relate to what she has gone through. They would be good places for her to reenter the social world.

“Third, aim to maximize social interaction. People need to be among people—laughing, talking, caring, sharing, and hugging—all of those social interactions are good for a person’s health.

“Those three things are key for senior singles. Pursuing them will keep seniors from finishing the back nine and entering the clubhouse too soon, unless, like your 77-year old surgeon friend, you’re into martinis.”

Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at To comment:

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