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Celeb Boomers: 3 Things to Do Before Death
What do Stephen King, Dan Quayle and other famous baby boomers want to do with the rest of their lives? Find out.
Jan. 22, 2007 issue - As she entered her sixth decade, Sara Davidson found that, as she puts it, she "couldn't get arrested." The author of 1978's best-seller "Loose Change," Davidson suddenly found herself single, out of work and an empty nester all at once. She bottomed out—so she wrote a book, "LEAP! What Will We Do With the Rest of Our Lives?" Inspired by her story, NEWSWEEK asked boomers to list the three things they still want to do—no matter what.
JOAN JETT, Rocker, 48
A member of the RUNAWAYS when she was only 15 and lead singer of JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, Jett is one of the original bad girls of rock and roll—who doesn't drink or smoke, is a vegetarian and reads ancient Hindu philosophy in her downtime. Her record "SINNER" came out in June.
"Accept what is going on and grow with it and adjust to it."
I'd like to go to India and Africa, do some serious traveling.
To somehow combine my love for animals, nature and children.
To learn a language. I took French in school, but I didn't like the teacher so I learned nothing.
STEPHEN KING, Author, 59
One of the world's best-selling novelists, with more than 25 top sellers under his belt, King has built a loyal fan base of millions by consistently scaring them. His latest, "Lisey's Story," came out in October last year.
"I'd like to outlast George W. Bush's second term of office."
To live to see George W. Bush tried for crimes against humanity.
To fly in space—orbital would be fine—and to write about it.
To see "American Idol" canceled.
BILL FRIST, Former Senator, 54
Frist served two terms as Senate majority leader before relinquishing his seat in November. A physician for 20 years, the Tennessee native has traveled to Afri-can nations to set up a hospital and provide medical care since 1997. He plans to leave for his next trip—to Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Sudan—on Jan. 30.
"Medicine as a currency for peace—it's not just a mantra, it's something I live."
Continue yearly trip to African regions without health care to perform needed surgery.
Fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and work to provide clean drinking water to poor areas.
Treat heart problems in gorillas at D.C.'s National Zoo.
PAULA DEEN, Chef, 59
Fans of the Food Network chef and host of "Paula's Home Cooking" and "Paula's Party" adore her Southern food as much as her larger-than-life personality. Her memoir, "Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin," will be out in April.
"You feel that at my age, the most exciting thing you're going to do is yell 'Bingo!' "
To have a big boat with bedrooms on it and just go from one place to another. Doesn't that sound yummy?
To go to school and become a forensic person. I adore "CSI," and I'm a Court TV junkie.
To be able to play the piano and sing. I cannot carry a tune in a bucket.
P. J. O'ROURKE, Satirist, 59
The often-quoted political writer started his career at National Lampoon. Since then he has published 10 books, among them the best-selling "Parliament of Whores." He's known for targeting both the right and the left; his most recent book, "On the Wealth of Nations," was released last week.
"The problem is that I'm sounding like a 40-year-old, and I'm 60."
I'd like to shoot more birds. Quail—just like Dick Cheney.
It'd be nice to have more time to fool around with old cars.
There's a whole range of jokes I've got to make about raising children.
JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE, Athlete, 43
Four-time Olympian and three-time gold-medal winner, Joyner-Kersee is considered one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, despite suffering from acute asthma. She's competed and trained all over the world, yet lives in her hometown of East St. Louis. Her 37-acre, $10 million youth center opened in 2000 and provides local kids with a safe place to exercise and play.
"... My success was made possible by people giving their time to help my dreams become a reality."
Raise $10-$20 million for my foundation.
Jog seven miles without worrying about my asthma.
Earn a master's degree.
ERIC BOGOSIAN, Playwright, 53
This monologist and playwright became a household name in the late '80s with the movie version of his play "Talk Radio," then buffed up his Angry Young Man status with stinging monologues like "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" and "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee." Fast-forward 20 years. Eric Bogosian still writes plays and dabbles in Hollywood movies, off-Broadway productions and TV, lately as Capt. Danny Ross on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." His work is speaking to a new generation: "SubUrbia" got revived last fall and "Talk Radio" starring Liev Schreiber opens on Broadway next month.
Learn to speak Armenian.
Master the yoga posture Eka Pada Koundinyasana.
Read The New York Times headline US FORCES LEAVE IRAQ TODAY.
BILL COWHER, Football Coach, 49
Next fall will be the first that Cowher hasn't either played or coached football since he was 8 years old. Known for his passion and consistency, not to mention his prominent chin, he recently stepped down as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers after 15 seasons in the job and winning the Super Bowl last year.
"I see this as the halftime of my life."
Learn to play the piano. My girls have taken lessons, and it's something I'd like to do myself.
Become a better golfer. I'm an 18 handicap and would like to get that down.
Watch my girls play basketball at Princeton this season.
MARK MORRIS, Choreographer, 50
A dancer from an early age, Morris has become a hot choreographer. He founded the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980, and has created more than 120 works for his company. He's also lent his talent to operas and ballets worldwide, working with such dancers as Mikhail Baryshnikov.
"[My work] is getting clearer and simpler ... I don't have to prove that I've done my homework anymore."
Join a square-dancing club.
Visit New York's Morgan Library.
Catch a show on amateur night at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. ("It's so Roman!")
CAMILLE PAGLIA, Intellectual, 59
By turns a polemicist, pundit and provocateur, Paglia has trained her critical insight on issues ranging from art to feminism to American culture at large. Author of five books, including her latest, "Break, Blow, Burn," she teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
"As one ages, one has to shift to a greater concern about the next generation."
Grow vegetables in the backyard the old Italian way.
Get past my fear of scuba diving.
I'd like to go on an archeological dig in North Africa or Turkey.
CAL RIPKEN JR., Baseball Player, 46
After a 21-year career playing shortstop and third base for the Baltimore Orioles, Ripken retired in '01 as baseball's "Iron Man," having played in 2,632 consecutive games between '82 and '98. He's since bought two minor-league teams and was just inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
"I don't miss the grind of the season, but I do miss the camaraderie."
To parlay my baseball career into a successful business career.
I have a real zest to learn. I'd like to bone up on my history and business reading.
Improve my golf game.
BILL O'REILLY, Fox News Host, 56
The popular pundit began his career as a broadcaster in Scranton, Pa., but the New Yorker quickly climbed the television ladder. Now in its 10th year, his cable news program "The O'Reilly Factor" is one of the most viewed on television. He's also written three books for adults, including "The No-Spin Zone," and one for kids. (He's already planning a sequel.)"I look forward to taking naps. I'm an old, boring guy."
Teaching. I'd try to go to a university and impart my experiences.
Build a collection of American historical documents. I have a letter from George Washington. You get to know people from them.
Scuba diving. I haven't used a tank in a while. If I retire, I'll get back to the tank.
DAN QUAYLE, Former VP, 59
The 44th veep had a meteoric political career, entering Congress at the age of 29 and becoming vice president 12 years later. Quayle has spent the last seven years as the global chairman of the hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management.
"I was young enough to have a second career."
I have a goal of never going sky diving, unlike Bush 41.
To go on a horseback safari in Botswana.
To take my family to Greece this summer.
PATTI SMITH, Musician/Poet, 60
Smith will release her 11th album in March, the same month that she will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—30 years after the release of her seminal album "Horses." Known as the "poet laureate of punk," Smith continues to be an influential force in music.
"If we take care of ourselves and stay focused, we can accomplish all of our dreams."
Learn serious horse riding from the polo club in Buenos Aires.
Ride across the Pampas of South America.
Read the Bible, Torah and Qur'an.
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