Perhaps you saw the Journal of Gerontological Nursing Argosy Motor Home recently as we joined thousands of others on the highway, circling the nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific to complete an 8,000-mile venture. We talked with many nurses along the way. Wherever we went, we were reminded of the spirit and pride that nurses have in their profession. Many nurses, noting the "JGN" sign painted on our motor home, greeted us warmly-"Hi, I'm a nurse..." Nursing students, consultants, directors, from settings such as hospitals, public health, nursing homes, and universities were among those we met. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to be reminded that nurses are involved and concerned professionals.
Another advantage of this type of traveling was the opportunity to talk with many active older people. Since nurses are most frequently involved with the sick elderly, it is helpful to be reminded that the majority of older people function quite independently in their own homes, with families, operating their businesses or enjoying travel made possible by retirement.
We had the pleasure to briefly share the life and anecdotes of an ancient (over 90) gem dealer in a small western town. He had come west in a wagon drawn by oxen when he was 13 years old and he was still a most persuasive salesman. Another refreshing view of old age was seen when an old desert prospector with leather-like face boasted, at a gasoline station, that his 1950 car "took a little longer but always got there." Another was the white haired couple-obviously well beyond retirement-who were riding to the races on their own motorcycles. Other contacts we made with older people emphasized the concept that, given reasonable circumstances, older people can maintain theirx life style and avoid depen-'Mfcl dence in their older years.