This email is from the president of the Sun Cities Historical Society, which is mentioned in the book. They are working very hard to preserve Sun City's unique history and are doing a great job of it as volunteers. Unlike some of the angry emails that I have received from Villagers, residents of the Sun Cities have more time to reflect on their history, and I've found that has helped them look less defensively at their community.
HERE IT IS:
Andrew, you have written an excellent book! It is easy to read, yet provocative in its insights. I've already encouraged our board members to pick up copies and read "Leisureville," and will recommend it to our community leaders.
I thought of you today when I got an e-mail from our church looking for those 67 and younger to start a "Youth Club." Where else but the Sun Cities!?!
I don't feel that the Boomers are a homogeneous mass. Not all are well off, sipping lattes at Starbucks and relaxing in Jacuzzis. In fact, I suspect many are a small step from bankruptcy, living with maxed out credit cards in order to enjoy the "good life."
We are seeing a turnover in Sun City. There are many younger-looking people on the streets drawn by the value that SC housing represents. I'm sure there will be a sub-set of boomers who have worked in factories, or taught school, or spent their lives in some low-middle income positions who will look forward to the type of affordable retirement that SC represents.
Your observations re SC and SCW avoiding school taxes are valid. While residents seek to avoid paying for a service they do not use, they insist that those in assisted living units in SC or SCW continue to pay rec center fees -- even though they never use them. Ironical in a way.
For your info, my wife and I plan to return to Wisconsin in the next year or two to be closer to family. We have observed how important it is to have an advocate once you enter a nursing home -- or even assisted living. The staff is human, and errors of ommission happen. Having a "watchdog" keeps the staff on their toes, at least as far as the watched-over patient.
I'll be interested in learning what choices you make once you are of retirement age. Maybe you can write another book about your decision-making process -- the alternatives you considered, and the reasons for the choices you make.
I hope I'm still around to read it. In the meantime, I did enjoy
"Leisureville," even though it was painful at times. But I believe you presented the pros and cons of a separatist adult lifestyle fairly, clearly, and in a thought-provoking manner
Congratulations on a job well done!
Sun Cities Area Historical Society