Retired librarian, 80, finds new adventures in retirement
Tuesday night on Channel 13, NBC ran a special with comedian Betty White, celebrating her 90th birthday.
White's career has prospered in recent years because she hasn't let her age slow her down. Eyewitness News found a woman in Indianapolis who retired a decade ago, and, like Betty White, she has found a jackpot in her golden years.
Marie Albertson, 80, jumps rope to keep in shape. She keeps in shape so she can embrace what she calls the three C's - "curiosity and change and challenge, and as you get older you're going to have a lot of changes and you're going to have to meet a lot of challenges," she explained.
Challenges for Marie these days include jumping from a perfectly good airplane, riding a camel across the Sahara and even pole dancing.
"It's something I've never done before and I just wanted to try it," said Marie.
For most of her life, Marie Albertson was more of a reader than a doer. She was a research librarian, surrounded by thousands of books each day. When she retired 10 years ago, she went from managing books to living the kind of life people write books about.
Only in this case, Marie wrote the book herself - about her experiences and travels, a passion that began after she learned to kayak at the age of 65.
"I kayaked on a lot of rivers out west and that's where I met a lot of people who had been around the world, and I thought, 'why don't I do that?'" she said.
So she did, and, so far, Marie's travels have taken her to six continents. She explains her adventures through photo albums: being mistaken for a bicycle thief in China (it all ended well), a balloon ride over Marrakech, Rick's Cafe in Casablanca, tubing on a piranha-laden river in Ecuador (she says she didn't see any toothy fish), the Galapagos Islands, Australia.
They're the subject of motivational talks she gives to other seniors.
"I have one daughter who is a funeral director, and so death is always on the spectrum. So don't ever get to the end of your life and say, 'Oh, I wish I had.' If you want to do something, do it now," she said.
For Marie, that philosophy has become a lifestyle. Next on her itinerary is a safari in Tanzania this summer.
Marie says it doesn't have to be expensive to travel the way she does. Her books include 200 tips to do it on a retired librarian's budget.