American Mass-Market Magazines

By Alan Nourie; Barbara Nourie | Go to book overview

It's good to see they now have a social conscience." 20 A recent issue concerned cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients; heavy lobbying by AARP plus Claude Pepper's threat to call for a roll call vote in the House "guaranteed" passage. No political figure wants to go on record as having voted against such a large and powerful constituency. In other matters, AARP is now urging homebuilders to consider the elderly by installing grips and nonslip surfaces. 21 The AARP is still centrist, but the possibilities are more and more obvious. With its growing circulation figures, Modern Maturity is sure to be a much more powerful media voice from here on into the twenty-first century.

Although Dr. Andrus passed away in 1967, and although there have been changes in the format of Modern Maturity and in its commercial endeavors, the magazine and its staff members still adhere to Dr. Andrus' advice. Many remember her as a "genius," as a fascinating individual who took a personal interest in her staff. 22 Her last editorial, published in the August-September 1967 issue, to some seems to have been her farewell, as if she knew that this might be her final piece. She based the essay on thoughts from Ralph Cake, "Just for the Day." She chronicled an entire year's events, leading to the September celebration of Labor Day and the value of work, no matter what, and she closed with a quote from Dr. William Osler: "Live neither in the past nor in the future, but for each day's work, absorb your entire energies and satisfy your wildest ambition." (p. 6) This seems to reflect the philosophy of the magazine itself and of the many senior citizens who value everything that the AARP does for them. Dr. Andrus lives on because of the vision that she had and because of the work that she contributed to making that vision a reality.


Notes
1.
Lee Smith, "The World According to AARP," Fortune, 29 February 1988, p. 96.
2.
"Modern Maturity: Sales Call," Madison Avenue, 26 October 1984, p. 103.
3.
The Wisdom of Ethel Percy Andrus, compiled by Dorothy Crippen, Ruth Lana, Jean Libman Block, Thomas E. Zetkov, and Gordon Elliott ( Long Beach, Calif.: National Retired Teachers Association and American Association of Retired Persons, 1968), pp. 9- 12.
4.
Gail Pool, "Magazines," Wilson Library Bulletin, February 1986, p. 55.
5.
Gail Pool, "Magazines," Wilson Library Bulletin, November 1983, p. 220.
6.
First issue quoted in Pool, p. 220.
8.
Wood quoted in Elizabeth Christian, "Retiree-Aimed Magazine Has Come of Age," Los Angeles Times, 17 February 1984, sec. 5, p. 1.
9.
Pool, 1983, p. 221.
10.
"Modern Maturity: Sales Call," p. 104.
11.
Wood quoted in Christian, p. 1.
12.
Ibid.
13.
Cleo H. Livingston, of Columbia, South Carolina, is a retired schoolteacher who has subscribed to Modern Maturity for many years. She is quoted in a personal letter to this writer, 17 November 1988.

-255-

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