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Magic number? 65!

Courtesy of Patty Duke (Courtesy of Patty Duke)
Courtesy of Patty Duke (Courtesy of Patty Duke)

My television idol, Patty Duke, turned 65 last week. She shared her experience of filing for Social Security and Medicare benefits. Duke - Anna Pearce in real life - has been a spokesperson for Social Security, telling boomers to enroll for benefits online - via their laptops, in their pajamas, from the comfort of home.

 Pearce was an idol for many girls in the '60s with her extroverted personality and tall, clunky boyfriend, Richard. I liked that she was definitely smarter than he was - a rare portrayal in that era.

 While I have never met Pearce, I have tracked her career, her health challenges, her adoption advocacy and her involvement in Spokane theater. And when I turn 65, I will crawl into my red pajamas, log on and sign up for my benefits, too.

 Happy birthday, Anna!

(S-R archives photo, courtesy of Patty Duke)

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.