Posted October 16, 2012 02:50 pm - Updated October 17, 2012 10:02 pm

An Elder's Pledge

   The Fall/Winter 2012 Syracuse Cultural Workers catalog turned up in our mailbox with its L.L. Bean and Soft Surroundings brethren the other day. Of the three, it's the only one that proclaims itself "Earth & Union Friendly". The SCW catalog is an unapologetic treasure trove of lefty, feminist, and power to the people posters, calendars, cards, bookmarks, and books.

   Various sections include Elders-People's History-Howard Zinn, where I found An Elder's Pledge (below). There is Cultures-Music with offerings like Rise Up Singing, the Group Singing Songbook, and a Peace Through Music bumper sticker. There is a whole section of magnets for the fridge along the lines of No Frackin' Way and Compost Happens. There’s also a Gender-Women section with selections like "When Women Are Warriors" by J. Jefferson, and "Every Girl/Every Boy" based on a poem by Nancy R. Smith. It’s all fun stuff.

   Leafing through it, I stopped to read "An Elders' Pledge". It takes up about a third of page17, and is a rectangular fabric illustration by Deidre Scherer with text by Orrin Onken (fun name to say). Six illustrated portraits of elderly men and women stare at the viewer with piercing eyes, knowing looks, wry humor, and thoughtfulness. Above the last line is a silver-haired woman, her face creased with a smile. A middle-aged woman with a touch of grey in her dark hair, possibly her daughter, shares the frame. These two serve as human punctuation marks for the proclamation. The SCW design copyright for 2012 is at the bottom, but I think it's ok to share.


  • We will not be judged by the values of youth.
  • We will not be expelled from work or play.
  • We will not equate aging with illness.
  • We will not be subject matter for experts.
  • We will not be the objects of condescension.
  • We will not be defined as a social or economic problem.
  • We will not be trivialized.
  • We will not be docile.
  • We will not be interned.
  • We will grow and learn.
  • We will maintain a sense of humor.
  • We will support one another.
  • We will cooperate across generations to create a better world.
  • We will nurture and guide the young.
  • We will contribute according to our abilities.

    Juneau is a city where there are so many opportunities to engage and contribute no matter your age. If you want to grow, learn, laugh, support, cooperate, nurture, guide, and contribute, you can do it in Juneau.


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