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"107 Steps to Happiness"

The Wallis Annenberg GENSPACE

This on-location episode
you on a tour of 
the  ama
an exciting new approach to creating community and  conquering America's
"epidemic of loneliness" for older and isolated people. 


We were truly impressed -- it's a stunning architectural space, buzzing with fun activities and the truly happy voices of friends making friends.  It has an inspiring inter-generational mission, where young and old can connect and discover the links that enhance all our lives.   


The Wallis Annenberg  GENSPACE has proven to be a successful strategy for lifting older folks out of isolation and into a very happy place.  Listen and share -- we should ALL have a GENSPACE to go to.

You may not feel the need or the inclination to learn about a "senior center," but GENSPACE is WAY beyond that.  Even if your life is full for fun and friends, we bet you know someone who isn't so lucky.  PLEASE SHARE this episode with them.  You can see how to do that on our SHARE page.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... Listen to our 2022 Thanksgiving Episode.  This one stirred some controversy when we first aired it, as we delved into the first Thanksgiving among the Mayflower settlers and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in 1621.


Many people feel that it was the Pilgrims who brought the plague and brutal genocide that decimated the Native people -- but that's not quite accurate.


This episode features a rare interview with our usually-silent Director, Rob Wilson, who had eight direct ancestors on the Mayflower(*), and has made a study of their travails and suffering on the perilous journey from England to Cape Cod, and the terrible suffering of that first winter of 1620.  The Wampanoag had already been nearly wiped out by then, and bonded with the Mayflower settlers.  They did much to help them survive that first grueling winter, and deep, lasting friendships formed between them. That first harvest feast in the fall of 1621 was amicable and worthy of our celebration today,

*Rob's Mayflower Ancestors:

John Alden & Priscilla Mullins
10th Great-Grandfather


William Bradford
9th Great Grandfather


Myles Standish
9th Great Grandfather


Rose Hanley
9th Great-Grandmother

John Howland
9th Great-Grandfather


John & Elizabeth Tilley 

9th Great-Grandmother


Degory Priest
10th Great Grandfather


Sarah Allerton Vincent
10th Great Grandmother


Images © 2023 Wallis Annenberg Foundation


talkin' 'bout Our Generation


What Does It Mean

To You?



 After a brief hiatus, we

will be returning to our series on Friendship  -- cobbling together comments collected from listeners and guests about what keeps us together -- and how much it matters as we age.  The first episode is a great conversation with our old friend and family therapist Lee Armstrong, who shares  some intimate insights into her own life.  

We want to hear YOUR answer to  the question:




We've received many 

fascinating and thoughtful comments from listeners and guests, and interviewed some great experts.  We'll be sharing all this again soon -- Join the Conversation!







Read the brilliant Blog Post

by our dear friend Todd Taggart that sparked the idea of doing this series on Friendship


Click on the yellow microphone


OURGENPOD  is a bold, irreverent, intelligent  podcast about life in America, how we got here, and how we can make things better, from the perspective of people 55 plus -- like us.   All ages are welcome.  Join the conversation,  but remember to be civil!     

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Please consider chipping in and helping us to keep this podcast going in 2023.  Just click on the DONATE button, and help us cover the costs.  Thanks!

A few accolades from our Guests & Listeners ...

wild at woodstock.jpg

"Julian and Rob provide such a great service for the 55 Plus demographic. It is so under-served with good, cool, hip information and opportunities, and they do just that.”  

Michael Shrieve                         

Musician, Drummer for Santana at Woodstock ‘69 

Member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 

Guest on Episode  9

"I love the last episode on friendship!   I had been thinking about that very

topic after my mother passed recently;  Who was there for me and who wasn’t and why. 

"The Woodstock episodes were also interesting. Brought me back to my teen years and how my mother wouldn’t let me go with my neighbor! Imagine that!

"Best of luck with future podcasts!"

Silvia Gambardella


"I am so glad I had a chance to listen to your Thanksgiving episode - It was thoughtful and timely and personal - really nicely done, I thought.  When have any of us really read the Mayflower Compact and reflected on its true meaning and what they wanted to achieve?  Or considered the intolerable conditions on the voyage?  Or that a woman's significance was simply as someone's spouse...?  Or related their hope for their future with what they would think of the country today?  Or what our ancestors would think of US?

"So much to think about."

Gail Zetter


“I just want to let you know that the most recent episode of the podcast really knocked it out of the park.Dr. Shrand’s cure for incivility is indeed an excellent prescription for some of what ails our society.

Julian’s interviewing skills are excellent. He truly LISTENS to his guests and responds with thoughtful examinations and questions.  Your podcast is always enlightening and makes me stop and think about matters that underly the angst that many of us feel daily. Solutions to big problems are not easy to find. But episodes such as the one with Dr. Shrand and the earlier one with CATHERINE RYAN HYDE certainly gives us all food for thought. Keep up the good work, gentlemen.  We, your audience is listening.   And remember, kindness is contagious.”  

 Eric Seedman


The State of Civility in America Series


“Civility is a value I care about. It’s the heart and soul of the original “Pay It Forward” idea,and is a central theme in my other 43 novels as well.  We hear a lot today about the decline of civility in America, but what I feel we need is a more positive approach. How can we do better?










"So I was honored to be the first guest on talkin’ ‘bout Our Generation’s’ series  on “The State of Civility in America.”   My interview with Host Julian Simmons was positive, friendly and thought-provoking, and I look forward to hearing future episodes.  I believe this podcast is serving a very valuable service, the kind I envisioned when “the Pay It Forward Movement” first took hold. I encourage everyone to listen and lend their support to this timely and important podcast.”                                   


Catherine Ryan Hyde 

Author of the NYTimes Best-Selling Book,
 “Pay It Forward”     

Guest on  Episode 11

"My readers often tell me that my characters make them think more about how we treat others, and how they can be a better person. Of course I’m thrilled if I can nudge my readers toward a kinder, more caring way of treating one another.  


"I just want to say in support of your podcast ... the fact that you guys are taking on civility in a historic and liminal moment that has allowed rampant incivility to take over so much,  I  think what you're bringing to the conversation is important.  And just as importantly, I think the fact that you are finding ways and finding people to come on to talk about civility is something  that is  fresh, because we're swimming in so much of its opposite and people will hear this and, and hopefully  it will stimulate a movement to create civil spaces in our society."




Dr. Shepherd Siegel,

Author of "Tricking Power Into Performing Acts of Love"

and "Disruptive Play:   The Trickster in Politics and Culture."

Guest on Episodes 14 & 16


“I just finished listening to podcasts three and four. Each podcast is getting better and better. It's great. Although not a hippie, my friends and I were all about the music in college. My kids cannot believe that I loved Hendrix and Santana as well as John Sebastian and Lovin’ Spoonful. There was a real sense of community and caring for one another, and caring for the earth as well.  I clearly remember the very first Earth Day. Thank you for your efforts to promote community and a sense of camaraderie among us,Julian and Rob. This  podcast reminds us how being gentle with each other is a good thing.  


Arlene Wong                       


Suzette Fowler



Wow. I just finished the podcast with Carol Green and Richie Havens. I'm just leaving this message because I want the producers directors to understand how awesome it was for me to be taken back to that time. You know, peace, love, and freedom, which I hadn't thought about in so many years, it's kind of relevant to today. So, I'm feeling good. It reminded me that we can still hope and believe and have faith that it's all gonna turn out okay in the end. So, thanks. Looking forward to the next podcast.

Suzette Fowler


Leave a Testimonial


Join the Conversation!

We listen to Our Listeners -- and we want to include YOUR VOICE in our episodes.  CLICK HERE  to add your own audio comment to the podcast.   It's easy!

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