Thursday, June 04, 2009

Glimpses of Peter Oakley (geriatric 1927)

The recent experience of Susan Boyle's overnight explosive success was overwhelming and last I heard she is convalescing somewhere, on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I was reminded of Peter Oakley whom I followed with enthusiasm when he first made the scene at You Tube. Readers not familiar with him can dig around in the archives or go directly to You Tube to learn about him, but his story stands in vivid contrast to that of Susan Boyle.

At this point he has been uploading You Tube videos for two and a half years and is up to 187 clips. This most recent release takes him to a Harley-Davidson club where for the first time in his eighty-plus years he rides a Harley. There was a time when I caught every release, especially when he lost his anonymity and later was the prime mover behind a musical group, The Zimmers, made up of himself and a lively group of other old people producing an album.

After a while I had to place him on the shelf as yet another of the many subjects that I wish I could keep close watch on but life (and I'm sure he would not be offended a bit by this) is really too short to do everything you want to do. I just now allowed myself to get lost about an hour among his recent videos, but I had to stop to put up this post. The reader should note when you look at his channel page that he seems to have upwards of six or seven thousand regular fans. I find that very impressive as well as reassuring. Peter Oakley represents gracious civility at its most polished. And it's wonderful to see so many people besides me have come to appreciate someone with that quality. It should be noted that the majority of his fans are young people. Peter is the Grandad of You Tube.

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