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Aging with the stars

When I give journalism talks to students, I explain one of the reasons why we try to always publish the ages of people in our stories. Readers like to compare themselves to other people. So if some 30-something doctor is also a best-selling author, you can enjoy the envy.

We publish "the birthday bunch" in our people column each day. In it, celebrity birthdays are often noted. And it can send you down memory lane.

For instance, Phyllis Diller is 94. I remember babysitting in 1970 and watching her in a comedy show. She seemed old then but she was just 41! Donald Sutherland is 76. Lucie Arnaz is 60. "I Love Lucy" is one of the first shows I remember watching as a child, circa 1960. Lucie's famous mom was a lot younger than 60 when she starred in that series. But again, to a child, she looked like an older person, as all moms did.

And David Hasselhoff is 59. I remember him mostly for what not  to do with your life, such as get drunk in front of your teens and have them videotape you and sent it out over the Internet.

Perspective, perspective, perspective.

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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.