Normie at 83 helping older adults find new beat in
their lives with traveling poetry show
Soothing inspirational poetry - 1200 poems - about the importance of
developing, maintaining self-esteem into the mature years has turned
many lives around
9, 2013 - He’s not that much older than Mick Jagger of the Rolling
Stones who still struts his stuff on stage, but even though 83-year-old
Norman “Normie” Molesko doesn’t dance like a chicken, he has his own
moves, albeit, not quite as electrifying. However, he can sing too, so
his audiences always receive a lot of satisfaction that way too.
Norman, who lives in Northridge, Calif., with his
wife Sylvia, has been swaying the minds of his steadily growing
followers for nearly 15 years with lyrics that don’t shatter eardrums.
His soothing inspirational poetry about the importance of people
developing and maintaining self-esteem as they enter their mature years
has turned many lives around. He likes to refer to himself as “LA’s
Young Oldie Senior Poet.”
Although he won’t divulge where he discovered the
Fountain of Youth, this much is certain, his enthusiasm and energy are
never in short supply. And neither are awards, acclaim and invitations
for encore performances.
Norman has written more than 1,200 short, sweet and
to the point poems that have the dynamic power to heal. His mission is
to inspire older audiences to approach life with a sense of renewal.
(See Norman perform on the You Tube channels
http://www.youtube.com/TheNormieShow/). He’s quite the
conversationalist too, a sage quote machine.
Video: The Family
of Man and The Value of Man, Normie Molesko and Paul
McCarty, 11th Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days
Norman, a man of the ages if ever there is one,
never appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show like that 70-year-old Rolling
Stone who keeps on going and going, however, the retired psychologist
delights crowds throughout Los Angeles County and beyond with a “really
big show” of his own. Talk about setting the pace, Norman is way ahead
of the pack.
His venues may not include the Dorothy Chandler
Pavilion, Walt Disney Concert Hall or Carnegie Hall for that matter, but
he wouldn’t trade all the applause he’s received in more intimate
No one screams, twists and shouts at the
octogenarian’s shows, after all, it’s not a rock concert, but there’s
plenty of “hmms” and smiles. Norman takes a far more subtle approach by
simply asking his audience to re-examine attitudes about their own
lives. It’s a message that’s well received by people of all generations
searching for a purpose in life.
His poem, A Realization, personifies the
essence of Norman’s mission: "With every breath there is opportunity.
With every heartbeat there is challenge. With every positive sign of
life there is potential for ongoing life." Thinking this way has enabled
him to accomplish what he never dreamt he could possibly do.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a library, senior
center, college classroom, a parks and recreation meeting room, KPFK
radio, posting videos on You Tube or blogs, Norman goes all out in
fulfilling his purpose in life: to get the word out about not looking
back and moving forward.
And Norman has been getting the word out since
1999, when he began his collection of poems that include the recent
Ongoing and Positive, Time Traveler, Time Races Along, An Exchange
between Young and Old, Cherished Moments, Treasures and many, many
“My mission is to activate the listener’s mind, for
him or her to experience one’s identity and feel a sense of enrichment,”
“Poetry groups throughout Los Angeles can provide
individuals with a means of releasing and expressing the sunshine
within. Poetry is a tool to honor the past, to motivate and vitalize
oneself right now in the present, and to imagine and invent a bright
future with hope and appreciation.”
He didn’t become an advocate of older adults until
he was in his 70s, but Norman has sure went about it since then as if
there’s no tomorrow. He has also become something of an expert on the
“Neuroscience experiments on the brains of older
people have revealed that the left and right brains interrelate more as
one, unlike in younger brains,” said Molesko. “This offers an increasing
potential for creative, positive and healthy aging, with longer life
Norman’s admirers include the California San
Fernando Valley Retired Teachers Association, which designated him Poet
Laureate and the San Fernando Valley Voice Newspaper, which named him
Resident Poet. He has also served on the Los Angeles Department of Aging
Council and the list of recognition and affiliations go on and on.
One of the reasons Norman’s poems have become so
popular and have been published on Web sites and in publications, and
displayed in exhibits, can be attributed to his carefully chosen words.
"He has developed a group of unique poems over the
past decade which have distilled the essence of man's inner spirit to
sparsely worded pieces that relate directly to the human nature in all
of us,” said Lillian Rodich, author, writing instructor and member of
the San Fernando Valley branch of the California Writers Club.
Norman has much more to say on the subject of aging
in the books he has written. At age 80, he published Retiring and
Senior Living, Experiencing the Second Half of Life, and at age 81,
Heart Attack! Then What!
Taking center stage is not the only way Norman has
advanced his cause. He also encourages others to enjoy the limelight by
writing poetry of their own. He sponsored Senior Poetry in the Valley in
the San Fernando Valley.
And there is more, much more. He was appointed poet
coordinator/advisor for ENCORE’s Older Adult Program at Pierce College
in 2007 and 2009 and subsequently poetry coordinator from 2009 to 2011
for the LA Annual Senior Art Exhibit catalogs, which portrayed the
exhibits at the Bridge Gallery in LA City Hall.
Take a look at his schedule and it becomes apparent
a dual heart attack has not slowed him down. He’s still as active as
ever at his second home, the California Writers Club of the San Fernando
Valley in Woodland Hills. A member of CWC since 2007, he frequently can
be seen at the organization’s monthly meetings trying out new material
during Open Microphone.
Norman may not be a household name, but has
impressed enough people to be invited back time in time again for
“We applaud your work and congratulate your
invitation to the 100 Thousand Poets for Change 2013 event,” said Gay
Hanna, executive director of the National Center of Creative Aging in
Norman wouldn’t be Norman unless he had new ideas
and he has plenty of them. He has visions for the emergence of social
Senior Poetry clubs throughout LA County. There are now over a million
Older Adults residing in the county.
“The trend over the next several decades is quite
noticeable for an accelerating population of seniors with increased
longevity,” he said. Norman is optimistic and believes that these social
Senior Poetry clubs can come about.
California Writers Club branches meet throughout
the state to further their ongoing mission to foster professionalism in
writing, promote networking of writers, mentor new writers and provide
literary support for writers and the writing community. To attend
workshops, programs and other events, or to learn more about events and
activities in the San Fernando Valley, visit
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