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Posted on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Remembering clotheslines brings back fond, happy memories

By Alan Caldwell


Anne Lawrence - Collector of Clothesline Memorabilia

Anne Lawrence is a collector of clothesline memorabilia and a wonderful guest on the program this past weekend. Anne collects anything and everything related to clotheslines. Why would someone become so involved in a seemingly mundane subject? For Anne, "it's really about nostalgia, about simple things, about happy memories".

Several decades ago, Anne came across a photograph of her mom in front of her laundry and clothesline, and she looked so happy and peaceful. That photo brought back so many warm fond memories for Anne.

One thing led to another, and Anne began to collect clothesline-related items. She has great fun talking to other people about clotheslines, especially talking to that older generation of people that remember what it was like to hang clothes outdoors. It amazes Anne how people always have wonderful stories they want to share.

At this point, Anne has amassed a "mini museum of clothesline artifacts". She collects physical objects as well as any reference to clotheslines in all forms of media (books, articles, advertisements, movies). Anne especially loves the personal stories about clotheslines that people have sent her — usually written long-hand on real paper.

Anne has done many presentations ("The Love, Lure, and Lore of the Clothesline!") and hopes to schedule many more. Having heard her program at University Living recently, I can say she is very interesting in person, and has plenty of fun stuff to share.

Politics seems to be everywhere, and it's even in the world of clotheslines. National Hanging Out Day is this April 19. This event is to promote the use of clotheslines and increase awareness on the current legal restrictions on clothesline use.

Listening to Anne talk, it was hard not to smile. To hear our 13-minute conversation, click the audio link:

Everything Elderly 0331 Anne Lawrence.mp3">

To get in touch with Anne, call 734-369-4841, or e-mail her at


Walt Garff with Genworth Financial

Photos by Sheila Doeden

Joining us next, Walt Garff represents Genworth Financial and is a district leader specializing in long term care insurance. Having had the opportunity to get to know Walt, he is a true expert in his field. He is not the stereotypical insurance sales person. His first objective is to educate folks on long term care insurance, so people can make informed, smart decisions.

As Walt describes, long term care is a risk in our modern aging society. We are used to purchasing insurance for our home, auto and health, and long term care now represents a similar risk.

Long term care insurance protects financial resources, but also importantly it may protect family relationships as well. While the grown children may be available to take care of mom or dad, they may not want to take on that very significant responsibility.

Everyone needs a plan on how this care will be provided. Is there family willing and able, or will outside services or senior facilities be part of the plan?

Those considering this insurance should have discretionary income to pay the premiums. You also need to be in reasonably good health to qualify.

In the insurance world, long term care is a relatively new product. Many companies that initially got in the market have already exited. The payouts were greater than predicted, and the situation was better for consumers than for the insurance companies.

The companies in the market today have a much better understanding of the risk; they have been at the business for many years, and will likely be in this business to stay.

To listen to this 13-minute discussion, click the audio link:

Everything Elderly 0331 Walt Garff.mp3">

To get in touch with Walt, please call 734-747-7036, or you may e-mail

Alan Caldwell and Sheila Doeden co-host Everything Elderly every Saturday morning at 8:30 on 1290 WLBY. In their day jobs, Alan and Sheila co-own and co-manage Senior Helpers, providing in-home care services, primarily to the elderly. Both can be contacted at, or at 734-927-3111.