Living With Passion in the Third Age: Medicine, Opera and Art
Aging Gratefully
Dr. Peter Brill

Episode 14 - Living With Passion in the Third Age: Medicine, Opera and Art

We all have had the experience of passion. Being passionate about something makes you feel alive, full of energy and emotion and you can’t wait for the day to start.  Passion is vital to the Third Age because it keeps us feeling fully alive. And yet, many people have trouble discovering what their passion is. On our show today, we have three people who have discovered their passion. Each one is different and each took a different route to get there, but all three share the energy and excitement that can fill this time of life.  Listen to their stories and be encouraged to find your passion in life.

Jim Kwako M.D. is a family physician, but with special interests and expertise in alternative-holistic medicine. He is a past Trustee of the American Holistic Medical Association and past medical director of Cottage Hospital, Meadowlark Retreat Center and the Shealy Pain and Health Rehab Center.

Gene Tyburn was a trained actor for 25 years, had a fortuitous career change to becoming a certified arborist (tree surgeon).  Finally, he heard his true calling and found his passion in opera.  Gene’s operas have been performed in various venues around the country.

Betsy Gallery's adventurous life took her to West Africa as a Peace Corps teacher in the 60's, to Spain when she married a Spaniard, and to Costa Rica where she ran an eco-tourism lodge in the rainforest. Along the way she accrued two Masters Degrees, two wonderful bicultural children and a love of making art in the form of mosaics and gardening.  After a fourth career as a Marriage and Family Therapist, she retired to devote herself to making mosaics full-time and gardening part-time. 



Woman: This program is brought to you by

[musical interlude]

Peter Brill: Hello, and welcome to the “Third Age” with the doctor and the man from Hollywood. The doctor is me, Peter Brill, MD, and the man from Hollywood is David Debin. On this show, we turn the myths of aging upside down, we sort out the scientific and the trendy, the medical and cultural, and we tell you everything you need to know about living in the “Third Age”.

Remember, we guarantee if you listen to us you will never grow old.

David Debin: Hi, I'm David Debin, and the man from Hollywood. Where’s my fanfare?

Peter Brill: What we need the fanfare?

David Debin: I only get one fan fare today, how about that? I guess I'm just a one-fanfare guy. The “Third Age” usually starts somewhere around age 45 or 50. It's the time when you start to feel a strong desire for deeper meaning and fulfillment in your life. Your first age is childhood, your second age is building your career and your family, and the third age is a major change or a transition to a whole new set of problems and values, opportunities and also gratifications.

So join us as fellow explorers in this journey to discover what brings passion, purpose, and joy into this unchartered time of life.

Peter Brill: We've all had the experience of passion. Being passionate about something makes you feel alive, full of energy and emotion, and you can't wait for the day to start. Passion is vital to the “Third Age” because it keeps us feeling fully alive. Yet, many people have trouble describing what their passion is.

On our show today, we have three people who have discovered their passion. Each one is different and took a different route to getting there. But all three have found the energy and excitement that can fill this time of life with joy.

David Debin: OK, Peter, show me some passion. Show me the passion, baby! Show me the passion!

Peter Brill: David, I'm sorry, if you're only worth one fanfare now.

David Debin: You're not going to be passionate about it?

Peter Brill: I can't listen to your instructions.

David Debin: Well, that’s not my fault. For me, there will be more fanfares but [xx].

Peter Brill: Well, let me just try it. There we go, all right.

David Debin: Somebody who’s controlling the fanfare is making a very harsh judgment about my ability.

Did you know about this? Did you hear about the story that comes to us form Cairo, Egypt?

[clapping of gongs]

David Debin: Is that because of Cairo or because… oh, the new story.

Peter Brill: New story.

David Debin: We're having a lot of fun here, I hope you can understand what we're talking about.

Peter Brill: Right.

David Debin: We have a new story.

Peter Brill: I do remember Cairo.

David Debin: You were there, right?

Peter Brill: No, I haven’t been there but I remember I know about it, I studied it in school, I've read about it, it's hard to forget Cairo.

David Debin: Let me give you a little trivia question.

Peter Brill: Oh, no!

David Debin: Who is or was Joe Cairo? Can anybody answer that?

Peter Brill: He used to so close down in Brooklyn?

David Debin: He was a character in a movie, character in a famous movie, OK, character in a famous movie with Humphrey Bogart. Played by Peter Lorre.

Peter Brill: Yes.

David Debin: “The Maltese Falcon”, that’s right Peter Cairo. OK, I get the prize.

Peter Brill: Yes, I was right. I got it right.

David Debin: Yes, you got it right.

Our new story today comes from Cairo, not Joe Cairo but Cairo, Egypt.  “A young Bedouin in Egypt, Sinai Peninsula has been sentenced to have his tongue cut off or hand over more camels after he made naughty remarks to a shepherdess,” local media reported on Thursday. That for all you guys out there who are making naughty remarks to shepherdesses, you're going to have to better be careful you'll get your tongue cut out. “The tent-based tribal court in the desert region sentenced the unnamed man to pay 40 camels compensation to the woman.” Who says there's no women’s rights there? “As well as either have his tongue cut out or cough up another five camels.” Let me see, how do you cough up another five camels.

Peter Brill: Well, a lot of people I know who used to do Camels did a lot of coughing.

David Debin: That’s right. That’s right. “It's now up to the woman who hails from a different tribe whether she would rather have the amputated tongue or additional camels. Also, she gets to keep the tongue.”

Peter Brill: She gets to keep the tongue?

David Debin: Yes, yes. “The accused was not allowed to speak during the trial,” the paper reported, “adding that tribal justice has helped keep the peace and maintain stability among the tribes of the desert for generations.”

You know, people, if…I don’t know.

Peter Brill: You'd like this kind of justice, this swift rigorous justice in the United States?

David Debin: Well, let me ask you a question. What really bothers me is white collar crime more than anything else basically except for murders, of course, and vicious attacks. What should be the penalty for white collar?

Peter Brill: Stealing $100 million?

David Debin: Yes, stealing $100 million.

Peter Brill: Marissa, what do you think?

David Debin: What should be the penalty?

Peter Brill: What do you, guys, think?

David Debin: Anybody got an idea? Sharon? Nobody?

Marissa Sgobassi: Their hands should be cut off.

David Debin: OK.

Marissa Sgobassi: Eye for an eye. Just kidding.

Peter Brill: I think you ought to take all the money and make him work as a radio operator.

David Debin: A ham radio operator?

Peter Brill: No, I mean, [laughs]. Work in a radio station writing a board, you know, in the radio station. What do you think about that, Jed? He cut me off.

David Debin: What do we get to talk about today? Dr. Brill, what do we get to talk about today?

Peter Brill: We're going to talk about passion.

David Debin: Great.

Peter Brill: Boy, if there's one we say passion, purpose, and joy in our opening, and that’s not an accident. It's a result of a lot of research that shows that those are very important considerations for people. The things that really matter to people in the “Third Age”, finding something to get them excited, something that gives their life meaning, and a way to feel joy in their lives.

David, how many speeches, we've probably done what, 200 presentations in one form or another? We ask people about it, what would you say, less than a quarter, have really found something to be passionate about?

David Debin: Yes, oh, yes, very few found something they would really call passion and then we have to define what passion means.

Peter Brill: Less than 10%, when you asked them have they found something that really gives their life of course [xx] it's even less than that.

David Debin: Yes.

Peter Brill: [xx] found their purpose in life.

David Debin: But then we find people who will say that they know what it is but they just can't get themselves motivated to do it.

Peter Brill: That’s the biggest [xx].

David Debin: A lot of people say, “Gee, I love--whatever it is they love--I love boating. I love bowler skating. I love whatever.” But sometimes, they just can't get themselves to do it so that they can fulfill that passion.

Peter Brill: Yes, often they're stuck with a lot of stuff from the past and a lot of unresolved issues. Oh, my God. Sorry, guys.

Man: What you're listening to is an unresolved issue like Dr. Peter Brill is having right now.

David Debin: Peter Brill, actually it might have something to do with passion but we can't talk about that. Maybe he's wife is calling and saying, “Peter, get home right this minute!”

Peter Brill: I know Jill will get even with me after that remark about.

David Debin: It's the only show where the host take cellphone calls as we're…

Peter Brill: It was my broker.

David Debin: Oh, OK.

Peter Brill: I had to sell 1,000 shares.

David Debin: Well, your passionate about that. God knows. A doctor is passionate about money.


Peter Brill: Marissa, what are you passionate about?

Marissa Sgobassi: I'm passionate about thinking positively in life. I'm trying even though I'm not good at it, it's fun, it's relaxing. What else, passionate. Finding your career that I actually like.

Peter Brill: There you go.

David Debin: Well, I'm passionate about writing and I'm passionate about doing this show because I love to do the show.

Peter Brill: I do, too. I love doing this show. It's so much fun.

David Debin: It's so much fun, and we have the people that we love.

Peter Brill: Well, this man certainly characterizes that. Jim Krakow is a family physician in Santa Barbara, both special interest and expertise in alternative wholistic medicine. He's a past trustee of the American Wholistic Medical Association, a past Medical Director of a College hospital, Metal Art Retreat Center and the Shilly [sp] Pain and Health Rehab Center.

My God! Welcome to the show, Jim.

Jim Kwako: Thank you, Peter, glad to be with you.

Peter Brill: That’s quite a list of credentials.

Jim Kwako: Oh, I had an unusual set of experiences and I feel very fortunate for having met a number of these different people and there's such a wide range of things I can draw a fan with each one of them. But somehow, I was led to one to the other and my real training began after medical school I think at least in the areas I was most to be interested in.

Peter Brill: Well, I met you when I went to the [xx] Church, which I don’t go to any church very often. But I happened to be there because they were doing something on men’s spirituality to the guys we're talking about. You did the guy that did meditation and I felt that it touched every major portion of spirituality and I immediate knew that you're a man who’s obviously had a very deep and profound passion for spirituality for a long time. Is that right?

Jim Kwako: Indeed.

Peter Brill: Can you tell us about it?

Jim Kwako: Sure. Well, I was raised in a Christian family and I suppose some of the seeds might have been planted then. I went to church often, I was a choir boy and altar boy, did all the usual things. I think something was instilled in terms of a devotion for the greater life beyond ourself. I found it useful and yet, there were various elements that were definitely missing. There was not instilled a desire to be curious, to question authority or explore some of the realms of how miracles happen and what happens.

When I got to college I found that somewhat not helpful at all and really stopped going to church. But about that time, I came in contact with a material about [xx] growing number of people learned about him. He was an interesting photographer who had the unusual ability to go into a deep trance and diagnose people’s conditions. It was quite extraordinary, he’d been investigated by many physicians, medical centers, and gave readings to a lot of people with very unusual problems.

I was just passionately attracted to his general philosophy of health and healing, and they found a few concepts very helpful. Medical school doesn’t really teach us about how healing occurs or the source of healing or really how to instill the desire for healing. It doesn’t teach us what health is, it tells us what disease is and give you the various diagnoses, so I was attracted to this. It gave me a philosophy to hang my head on and focus my greater attention to.

So much of our training is physical, it's not emotional, psychological, and certainly not spiritual, yet I had an interest in learning about those things. From the case materials, one of the concepts that especially struck me was the fact that he said we're consist of body, mind, and spirit. Spirit is the source, mind is the builder, and the body is the result, and of course, we hear this in other ways.

In fact, the latest movie, “The Secret” talks about the law of attraction, we attract what we pay attention to. But KC had a way of phrasing it that just don’t sink in deep into my way of thinking and feeling and made a lot of sense to me. The other thing that he said that stirred me by the way, an article was written about him in the New England Journal of Medicine several years and respectfully--usually this type of thing is not paid attention to in what it is--it's not a full level of respect, nonetheless, this article was. They referred to him as the Father of Wholistic Medicine. I thought, “Well, this is appropriate and true” and it actually warned us to pay attention because it's not going away.

But the other thing that really struck me was his attempt to define why we're here. He said essentially we should each learn how to be a channel of blessings to other people, and that resounded was according to. I thought, “Yes, that’s what I want to do. That’s why I am here. That’s why I'm choosing this field.” So it took off from there, and I had a chance to meet a number of people. I did a residency in wholistic medicine.

Peter Brill: Wait, wait, hold on one second.

Jim Kwako: Sure.

Peter Brill: I wanted to just grab the passion part of this. Where was the passion?

Jim Kwako: Well, let's see, I guess it had to do with being connected to a bigger force of life than myself, a bigger force than the profession that I was finding myself a part of. It was answering some questions that helped to explain things I didn’t understand, some of the mysteries and some of the causes of problems. It was addressing causes and I thought this is fascinating.

Peter Brill: So there's a fascination, there's a kind of sense of connection, there's a kind of energy that runs through it. I'm trying to help other people identify their passion. How do you tell what road to follow?

Jim Kwako: I'm not sure, it's not a tablet being written on stone.

Peter Brill: That’s for sure.

Jim Kwako: It's not [xx] or some kind.

Peter Brill: But if the spirit is at the center, you got in the spirit somewhere.

David Debin: I have a question that might help. When you get up in the morning, Dr. Jim, what is it that you do that makes you feel like you're engaging and in fulfilling this passion?

Peter Brill: Yes.

Jim Kwako: I set aside time every morning one to two hours where I reconnect what I considered to be the center of who I am, the source of my life.

Peter Brill: How do you do that?

Jim Kwako: I sit quietly and then I review why I'm here. I have a few phrases that I learn from time to time, I have a few sources I tap upon. One of the ones that I've been starting with recently starts with the phrase, “I'm a messenger of light.” So each morning I think about new ways that light plays a role in my life, not only in terms of that sunlight and the brightness--thank God the sun is shining again today and I have enough light to read what is in front of me--but lightness of mood, cheerfulness, what I'm looking forward to, why I love what I do, and what I look forward to in the work that is before me.

I dwell on that, look for new meanings of it. I think about some of the projects that are before me. I thought about the radio show coming up. And from deep within me, I ask for a little more help, be present.

Peter Brill: Our first step--we have steps, David and I, for helping people find passion, purpose, and joy in this stage of life--is finding that spiritual center, finding that spiritual source in themselves, source of spiritual energy. It sounds like you've spend considerable amount of time with that energy.

Jim Kwako: It's so important. When I first started meditating, it was with the help, it was in a group, and after I got settled and quiet, the words came to me. I wasn't looking for them, nobody was giving us to them, but the old words the same in a Garfunkel song, “Slow down, you're moving too fast. You've got to make the moment lasts.”

Peter Brill: Yes, absolutely.

Jim Kwako: And that stayed with me. From time to time, I've had the insights based on certain songs that come through me. Yes, I'm not in music at all but occasionally, that’s it. But you know, unless you slow the mind down, unless you push aside the multiple distractions we have, you may not hear that small voice inside that wants the day to be good, wants you to be successful, wants you to be productive, wants you to be useful. So I look for ways to set that aside.

David Debin: Well, that’s a great piece of advice for everybody out there including everybody in this booth. It's something that I know that over the years I've promised myself I'm going to meditate, I'm going to meditate. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, set aside that time in the morning as you recommend, but I know that when I hear you speak of it I'm going to go back and I'm going to try and get serious here.

Peter Brill: What a great man, what great man.

Jim Kwako: The other thing it does is it helps me be more sensitive to the special things going on in a day. Of course, I ask for that, I have a special antenna, I wan to be available to the important things. I want to learn how to be as sensitive as possible at the great things that happen and the good things I hear people say. I think we are born problem solvers, all of us are.

David Debin: Jim, but I have to be sensitive to something right now which other people will pay the bills here.

Jim Kwako: OK.

David Debin: So we want to thank you so much for being with us and come back and visit us soon. We'll be right back with the “Third Age”.

[radio break]

Peter Brill: I'm Dr. Peter Brill, this is the “Third Age”. I'm here with David Debin, the man of Hollywood and the no fanfare [xx].

David Debin: Only in the beginning.

Peter Brill: Only in the beginning. Marissa Sgobassi. The theme of the show is new passions in the “Third Age”. Gene Tyburn typifies this if anybody does. He was trained as an actor for 25 years, he had 25 years of training. My God!

Gene Tyburn: No, not 25. No, no, I worked in Hollywood for 25 years.

Peter Brill: OK, excuse me. Then had a career change to a certified arborist or--for those who don’t speak Greek--basically a tree surgeon.

Gene Tyburn: That’s right, exactly, well said.

Peter Brill: Then he heard his true calling or his present calling and found his passion in opera.

Gene Tyburn: Well, that started a long time ago.

Peter Brill: How did you start, go on.

Gene Tyburn: [xx]I'll tell you. It was a wonderful story. My Dad used to capture [sp] me on Saturday morning, we’d listen to the music of the Met and I, of course, had no interest in that sort of music but he makes this great salami sandwiches and he bribed me by keeping the salami sandwiches there and we will listen to the Met. He’d expound on it and extrapolate on the great music, the lyrical works of “La Traviata”, “La Boheme”, “Carmen”, and before you know, I was really into it. Of course, none of my friends were in, they thought I was crazy because that was the beginning of the rock and roll age but I really liked the stuff.

So I became an actor and I got into the play “Anthony and Cleopatra” and the poetry of it was sweeping, just carried me away. I had a small part, [xx] Shakespeare Festival. So I listen to it every night and I said, “My God! This should be an opera.” So I sat down at that early age and try to ride it. Of course, I failed miserably. I had no real skills and I'm rather dyslexic so I don’t spell very well.

But I kept thinking about it for 40 years if you can believe that. How’s that 40 years of maturation.

David Debin: That’s passion, that’s passion.

Gene Tyburn: Then I went to Egypt and I floated down the Nile where Cleopatra had been and I went to the places where I thought she had done her thing. I came home and I sat and I said, “Well, maybe I'm mature enough. Maybe I have what it takes now to write this opera.” So I sat down at the dining table and I wrote these words: “What happened was Anthony and she were having this mad love affair and they come out on the stage and he's hugging and kissing her inappropriately. The entourage is applauding their overamorous behavior. And out of the entourage, there's Mark Anthony’s friend, [xx] and comes to the audience and says, “Look at you [xx] over a general. See how it overflows the measure. Those goodly eyes that once commanded legions now use the leer of this aging [xx] pleasures. He's captains in scuffles of great fight had burst had burst the buckles on his plated breast, now becomes the bellows and a fan to cool and cool this lusty hand. Note you will see in him the triple pillar of the world transformed into it's trumpets full, no longer fit to command. Not longer fit to rule.”

So when I wrote that, I said, “You know, maybe I can do it.” And I spent the next year writing the opera

David Debin: These are not Shakespeare’s words. These are your words.

Gene Tyburn: Yes, my words using his words but now I put it in the poetry.

Peter Brill: Now, I want to bring us to the theme for a second and then we're going to hear your opera. We're going to hear what you do with us. Here's the question - 40 years you come back to it.

Gene Tyburn: That’s right.

Peter Brill: What signal, what did you pay attention to? What urge you, how did you know what was moving you to go in this direction?

Gene Tyburn: An immovable force to create.

Peter Brill: From the inside.

Gene Tyburn: From the inside, I don’t know where it comes from. I come from a family of painters and designers. As far as being a tree surgeon, I've never been on a tree my whole life, I was just desperate to do something creative. In Hollywood as an actor, there's nothing creative that goes on unless you are a star. If you're a star, you can make changes and being creative. But if you're just an actor, one of the many thousands, you're no more than cannon fodder.

Peter Brill: So the part of you that’s creative was crying out somehow from the inside and went back to this piece.

David Debin: Went to trees.

Peter Brill: Went to trees.

Gene Tyburn: Went to trees first.

Peter Brill: And then some urging caused you to start wanting to go back to opera.

Gene Tyburn: Yes, well, part of the acting and the creative process and being in charge, not just being told what to do but making the decisions of how I was to go forward.

David Debin: Did working with trees renewed this passion in some way or did it not matter?

Gene Tyburn: No, I had no affinity for trees until I found out about trees and I stopped the guy on the street one day as I'm driving along and thinking, “What am I doing with my life as an actor?” It was dreadful nightmare of a life, and I pulled over to the side of the road and I saw a guy pruning a tree and I said, “How do you do this?”

David Debin: Fabulous.

Gene Tyburn: I said, “How do you this?” He says, “Why? Do you want to get in the tree business?” And I said, “Well, I don’t know?” He says, “What do you have?” I said, “What do you mean?” He reaches in my car I had a pair of headphones in my car and he grabs the headphones brand new headphones and rips them out of the socket and walks across the street with them and I'm watching him. Well, I know he's not a thief because I know he's a city worker, I can see he's dressed up like a city guy. He does something over the truck and he walks across the street and he leans into my car and throw some stuff into the back seat of my car and he says, “You're in the tree business.” Great story.

David Debin: All right.

Peter Brill: Great story, but here is the product of passion brought into the “Third Age” from 40 years before.

[opera song playing]

David Debin: Yes, all of our [xx], all of the stuff that we've been studying, all the people who write about seriously about the stage of life, say they look for the seed, it's like a beautiful crystal or a seed. It's usually from your childhood or early adolescence, something that you've buried away that comes back that make this period of life filled with passion. Is you opera that way?

Gene Tyburn: Well, the opera satisfied my needs.

David Debin: This is cellphone day.

Gene Tyburn: Thanks because I don’t know how to turn it off. So I tell you where it happened, at my dinner table. Our dinner table was a teaching platform for my father to talk about the world history, literature, art, and that’s where it all happened.

David Debin: We have a minute left, so with this minute. I'd like to hear you just say, tell somebody, advise somebody to follow their passion and why?

Gene Tyburn: Well, who was that philosopher who was on television who gave a series, he said, “Follow your passion.” I think he's right.

Peter Brill: Joseph Campbell.

David Debin: Joseph Campbell.

Gene Tyburn: Yes, that was it, but where does it spring from? Whence commeth it? I haven’t the vaguest idea except I can tell you this: at the dinner table with my father every night was a lesson in life and philosophy. From that, all of our family was passionate about doing something with our lives that was important. We didn’t watch baseball, beer, balling and basketball. We follow the arts.

David Debin: So the summary would be be passionate about your life and be observant and be in the moment because you never can tell what moment will come along that’s going to spark a lifelong passion.

We will be right back with the “Third Age”. Thanks, Jim.

[radio break]

Peter Brill: Well, welcome back to the “Third Age” here with you host, I'm the doctor, Peter Brill, MD and I'm here with David Debin, the man from Hollywood and Marissa Sgobassi and our next guest on this journey with new passions in the “Third Age” is our theme today is Betsy Gallery.

Betsy adventurous life took her to West Africa’s as a Peace Corp teacher in the ‘60s, to Spain where she married a Spaniard.

David Debin: Of all things.

Peter Brill: Of all things, we expected her to marry a Puerto Rican--to Costa Rica where she ran an eco-tourism lodge in the rainforest. Along the way, she accrued two master’s degrees, two wonderful bicultural children and a love of making art in the form of making mosaics.

Welcome to the show first, Betsy.

Betsy Gallery: Well, thank you very much.

Peter Brill: You've had quite a journey in life, to what extent has it resulted from your fall in your passions?

Betsy Gallery: All of it, from the very beginning, I remember when I was a little kid having dreams and fantasies about being in the jungle, the airplane crash and I'm the only survivor and that kept me and all of a sudden the Peace Corp happened. I was in the Peace Corp in the second year of the Peace Corp in 1963, and that was my avenue to fulfill that fantasy. All of my life, it's been taking risks because I wanted something so bad that not doing it was just not an option.

Peter Brill: Wonderful statement.

David Debin: That’s great. That’s a great way to put it.

Peter Brill: So, what were the signals or how did you find your current passion? How did you know that this was the direction, doing art and making mosaics?

Betsy Gallery: Well, visual artist, I think just they have that urge inside of them. I've had a lot of friends who are artists and I think and the other are just the same that you just start doing it because it's there. I remember I think the first thing I ever drew in grammar school was the walrus from the “Walrus and the Carpenter” from that movie. I just was drawing and it kept me going and I really had wanted to be an artist but I was a woman in the ‘60s, my family pressured me, “Go to school. Get a degree, just in case you have something to support yourself someday.” So I didn’t go to art school which is what I really wanted. So that was one risk I didn’t take, I was too young I guess to face that.

Peter Brill: But it's very common, the same thing as the last story. There are things early in your life that you want to do that you may or may not be conscious yourself. Some people are not even fully conscious of it later that that’s what they want to do and to recover it, and then later in their life in their third age, it returns if they listen, if they can get enough deep inside to hear the messages they're lifting them to do the things that they put behind them for practical reasons earlier.

Betsy Gallery: Oh, absolutely. At one point, I even became an art collector. When I was married in Spain, my husband and I had one of the better African art collections because we were traveling.

Peter Brill: So it was all there.

Betsy Gallery: Yes.

Peter Brill: It was always there. So tell us about your art.

Betsy Gallery: Well, now, I'm doing mosaics but I've done paintings, drawing, print making and for the past 10 years I've just been totally immersed in the antique process of making mosaics using the ancient double reverse process as used in Byzantine mosaics.

Peter Brill: Yes, this may surprise you but I don’t know what that means.

David Debin: Byzantine mosaic?

Peter Brill: No, I know that but I don’t know what the double reverse process is.

Betsy Gallery: Well, it's long and complicated but I learned it in Italy. I go to Italy for workshops now and then just spent two weeks in the factory in Venice where they make the little glass pieces called “small tea” [sp] and it's marvelous to see it's all handmade and open furnaces and it's just fantastic.

David Debin: I can testify by the way through Betsy’s passion for mosaics because I've been to her home and I've been to her studio.

Peter Brill: Me, too.

David Debin: You don’t have to take one step beyond walking into that studio to know that you're in a place where somebody is really fulfilling their dreams as working on something that is bringing pure joy. The vibrations in there are fabulous and not only that, plus the art is amazing.

Peter Brill: The work is fabulous.

David Debin: She is also getting better and better and better which is very interesting.

Betsy Gallery: Well, it happens. I go to bed early sometimes because I'm so excited about waking up in the morning to get out to the studio. In the winter, it gets cold and so I have to fold up my tent a little bit earlier and so I come in and I just kill time until I go to bed so I can get up and get out there again.

David Debin: That’s something.

Peter Brill: Well, talk about fun in a passion that makes your life worthwhile in the third age. Betsy, how does someone find your studio or find your art? What can they do?

Betsy Gallery: Well, I have a website which is, Elizabeth is my official name.

Peter Brill: So

David Debin: Is it gallery as in gallery?

Betsy Gallery: Gallery as in art gallery.

David Debin: How about that? Isn’t that a coincidence?

Betsy Gallery: Well, it's a coincidence but it fits perfectly.

Peter Brill: [xx] phone number they can call?

Betsy Gallery: Yes, my studio and showroom phone number is 963-2878.

Peter Brill: That’s an area code 805. It may surprise you we go way beyond, there you go.

Betsy Gallery: In Santa Barbara, I was really lucky to find a house with a studio in back garden so it's perfect.

Peter Brill: Betsy, you've been involved with us in the “Third Age” since we got started, our very first founders group and all that. What advice would you give to people to try to help them find their passion?

Betsy Gallery: Well, if they’ve reached say 50 years old and haven’t identified the passion and there's nothing right there inside of them, I would say take advantage of our fantastic adult education system. Just get the catalog and start looking at all the different options and start taking classes. I know a woman who was a therapist--as I was at one time--who now teaches children about finance because she got tired of being a therapist and got excited about doing that and she is a Third Ager, too.

Peter Brill: So a couple of lessons are: one, is don’t be afraid to change because everyone changes careers several times nowadays.

Betsy Gallery: I've had like six or seven careers.

Peter Brill: Yes, and on top of that, listen to the signals from inside. But one way to do is--I found out a bunch of passions just by looking down the catalog and just look at what excited me.

Betsy Gallery: Exactly.

Peter Brill: I'd read about a class and I go, “Oh! God! That sounds great!”

Betsy Gallery: Yes, cooking, finance, who knows what, you'd never know what's going to grab you.

Peter Brill: Cooking excites me [xx] but no one else.

Betsy Gallery: Is it your cooking?

Peter Brill: Yes, my cooking.

David Debin: Fabulous. We have a minute left. I want to say thank you for coming in and I want to tell everybody that if you go to the Gallery Gallery, Betsy’s Gallery, you're going to see some really wonderful things there and she takes you right back some of those things you look at and you just float right out into another world.

Betsy Gallery: I love showing people my work and explaining how it's made and I have some really far out original pieces and I also do replicas of some of the ancient work. I find that I connect with the ancient artists.

Peter Brill: So the website.

Betsy Gallery:

David Debin: OK. We are going to take a break here and we'll be right back. This is the “Third Age”.

[musical interlude]

Peter Brill: Welcome back to the “Third Age”, I'm Dr. Peter Brill, the doctor, and I'm here with--are we going to give you the fanfare this time?

David Debin: No, no.

Peter Brill: No, the man from Hollywood. I can't believe.

David Debin: I'm too humble for that kind of stuff. I don’t need a fanfare every time.

Peter Brill: You don’t, really?

David Debin: Although I would like to have to if you were a way to every time I walk into a room and have a fanfare of [xx].

Peter Brill: I know, it would really help my stature and my sense of acceptance from other people.

David Debin: It would help your stature?

Peter Brill: If I had that, if you would play a fanfare for me every time I enter the room.

David Debin: No, you're a doctor, I'm the man from Hollywood. You can't have a fanfare, only men from Hollywood can have fanfares.

Peter Brill: I have fans? [beeping sound]

David Debin: Yes, but you we're going to play…

Peter Brill: That’s my fanfare. Beep, beep, beep.

David Debin: [chants] You know, by the way, I just have to do a little thing for Gene Tyburn. He didn’t know that I used to sing opera and I'm going to treat you to a little piece of opera.

Peter Brill: Before that, can I also to just remind people that Marissa Sgobassi is with us here.

David Debin: Yes. Now, I would like to perform something for our audience.

Peter Brill: Do you think this is wise?

David Debin: This is from “Carousel” actually. OK?

Peter Brill: All right. You have one minute. One minute.

[David singing]

David Debin: The better place is the [xx] for that.

Peter Brill: David, I don’t think I'd give up my [xx].

David Debin: No, is that a terrible journey.

Peter Brill: You can hear the applause, David.

David Debin: Oh, there's applause. I don’t do that very much but I have a passion to. I just want you to know.

Peter Brill: All right. You know what we have to do, we have to thank some people. Jared round the board, Marissa “music” Sgobassi and Liz around the station carol. We want to thank all our guests today for being on and showing us what their passion is. David, any final words?

David Debin: No, I just want to thank everybody for being here. Great to see you again and we'll see you real soon. The “Third Age”.

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