My name is Margaret Sybil Broadly Benson, née Spencer, but you can call me Mags. I told my biographer, Nancy Lynn Jarvis, that I was going to be on Dru’s blog today and asked if she would write something for me to say, but did she? No, she did not. I’d like to think it’s because she’s involved with the cozy mystery writers’ cookbook she’s editing, but the truth is, I think she’s forgotten about me. I’m not complaining, though. In my eighty-three years I’ve learned there are advantages to being overlooked.
Sometimes people make assumptions about the elderly, imagine they know how we think, what we’re capable of, and more importantly what we aren’t capable of. Take me and the AARP Gang, for example. Our mobile home park was about to be foreclosed and we were about to be kicked out of our homes, all political und underhanded what was going on…oh, don’t get me started. Bottom line is it was assumed that at our ages we wouldn’t have any fight left; that we’d just be nice little old ladies and gents and go off quietly to live with family.
What people didn’t realize is we were already a family and that after a lifetime of living and reaching our eighties, none of us were quitters. No wonder we decided to rob the bank that held our note and pay off our mortgage with the proceeds. We liked the irony of that, besides, the bank was within walking distance, which was handy because many of us don’t drive any longer.
We devised a masterful plan that made the most of our assets. My cohorts disguised themselves as old people (yes, I know we are all already old people, but they still needed disguises) making the most of the unobtrusiveness of age, while I used my rather formidable-if-never-used-on-stage acting talents to become our distraction, keeping people’s eyes busy so they wouldn’t see what was going on behind their backs.
I was doing my award-worthy impression of a dear old lady who had lost her wallet and pleading with the people in the bank to help me find it when Melvin, who managed to bring along a rifle that none of us knew he had, got upset with a teller, brandished it, lost his balance, and fired the weapon, accidently shooting one of the overhead fire sprinklers. That happenstance caused all the other sprinklers to spurt in sympathy and automatically call the fire department. Oh my! So much for our carefully rehearsed plan.
Did we get away with it, you ask? Well, I am writing from home instead of from a jail cell, but it took quite a bit of complicated maneuvering, a whole novel’s worth in fact, to get from being soggy in the bank to where I am today. You can read all about what happened in Mags and the AARP Gang.
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Meet the author
Nancy Lynn Jarvis was a Santa Cruz, California, Realtor® for more than twenty five years, but writing has proven to be so much fun that she officially retired and relinquished her license on May 5th. After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare Santa Cruz at UCSC. Nancy’s work history reflects her philosophy: people should try something radically different every few years.
“Mags and the AARP Gang” represented a new direction in her writing adventure. After four Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries, Nancy put her characters, Regan, Tom, and Dave, on hiatus so she could let Mags and her gang, characters who had been forming in her mind for the past year, tell you their story.
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