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Judy Foreman: For Beverlye Hyman Fead, ‘Aging in High Heels’ Is the Fun Part

With her new book, Montecito author shares her secrets for living a life with passion, hope and laughter

Part memoir, part inspiration and part celebration of life’s ups and downs was the theme at a recent Friday evening book signing at Tecolote Book Shop in Montecito’s Upper Village.

The star of the show was Beverlye Hyman Fead, who was unveiling her new book, Aging in High Heels, a thoughtful take on joining the “new old.”

The entertaining book is a joyous compilation of a blog by the same name that she started two years ago. The book ponders the journey of aging, and marries her poetry and photography with favorite postings best liked by her wide audience.

At age 81 and promoting her new book, Aging in High Heels, Beverlye Hyman Fead is not about to slow down. “We are definitely the ‘new old’,” she says of her generation. “We can very well live through our 90s if we are lucky, so we need to make sure there are productive enjoyable and healthy years.” Click to view larger
At age 81 and promoting her new book, Aging in High Heels, Beverlye Hyman Fead is not about to slow down. “We are definitely the ‘new old’,” she says of her generation. “We can very well live through our 90s if we are lucky, so we need to make sure there are productive enjoyable and healthy years.” (Judy Foreman / Noozhawk photo via iPhone)

Fead’s husband, Bob, and friends Laurie Harris and her husband provided the food and champagne from Metropolus Fine Foods. Harris made the introduction and acknowledgments to Fead’s editor, Joan Tapper, cover designer John Balkwill and publisher Ridgedale Press, along with Tecolote, a cozy and popular venue for authors in the 93108.

All you have to do is meet “Bev” — as she’s known to friends — and you know you’re in the company of an original artist and unique human being.

I refer to Fead as the little engine that could. While small, she’s mighty — and she jokes about the lengths she’ll go to rise to the occasion.

“High heels make me feel like a sexy woman,” she smiled.

Fead has filled her 81 years with talent and timelessness, and has spent her amazing life reinventing herself to “stay in the game” as she likes to say. She recognizes her generation as the first of its kind.

“We are definitely the ‘new old’,” she said.

“Well into our 80s, we have reinvented ourselves, started businesses, married and run marathons,” Fead explained. “We can very well live through our 90s if we are lucky, so we need to make sure there are productive enjoyable and healthy years.”

She has excelled as a fine artist, ceramicist, photographer, poetess, writer, athlete, and advocate for cancer and aging — a cause that took her to Capitol Hill and Congress last spring.

Fead has authored several book s and a documentary on living with stage 4 cancer.

Her favorite role, however, is mother, grandmother and wife — even if she has broken the mold of what life as an octogenarian looks and feels like.

How does she do it? Blessed with outstanding genes and smarts, she has not escaped tragedy, illness and her share of life’s knocks. But she bounces back and often better than before as she shares in her book and speaking engagements.

Needless to say, she’s in high demand as an inspirational speaker.

As an example of life’s ups and downs, the evening included some drama when just a few copies of the book were delivered in time for the signing — rather than the more than 100 that were expected. Guests took it all in stride, eagerly signing up for orders at a later date.

More than 100 friends and fans stood in rapt attention as Fead read a few stories and prose from Aging in High Heels. But it was her off-the-cuff remarks from her heart that touched most attendees — and even brought a few tears. (Yes, me.)

Her words of wisdom included the need to diet, exercise and keep moving. We all must face aging with courage, she added. It’s something we should look forward to and not to dread — inspirational advice for the crowd, which seemed to range in age from 40 to 80.

Her sense of humor was also on display with some of her favorite passages.

“So here we are, aging in high heels, dancing as fast as we can,” she read. “I don’t know which one is falling faster, my face or my derriere. We need to be grateful we are here to dance at all.”

Fead’s advice included memorable phrases such as “dream it, see it, do it;” “I say accept, adjust and move on;” “forgive yourself for everything you have done in the past;” “Get on with your life;” “Eat chocolate (See’s Lollypops) and enjoy it;” and “What the hell! Throw out your old thoughts, just like you throw out your old clothes that no long fit.”

So what’s next for Fead? Her dream is to have a TED Talk on aging, something after her kick-off book tour makes her ready for her 20 minutes of fame and more.

Aging in High Heels will be available on Amazon and via e-books, and more copies are on their way to Tecolote Book Shop, 1470 East Valley Road.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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