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Friday, July 29, 2005 | (Editor’s Note, Aug. 3, 2005) Louise Jacob’s first column, “Senior Year,” has received many positive responses. Watch for upcoming columns which will appear monthly.

Ever creative, Voice of San Diego has invited me to write an occasional column on a retiree’s life in San Diego.

Only three years ago, I arrived here as a raw recruit, both to retirement and to the whole West Coast. Things must be going well – I’m already an expert?

More likely, I’m uniquely qualified to observe with new eyes what readers of my age have grown well-accustomed to, while I am on the edge of my seat, waiting excitedly to see what happens next.

I guess I got here at a good time, and in a good place for that sort of expectancy That’s because I’m a lover of politics, having spent the previous 20 years as a lawyer in Washington D.C. living and working there.

San Diego struck me at first – sorry folks – as one big political yawn. But, not so fast.

One day, I had breakfast with Jim and Pat Gleason. It seems Jim was concerned about an injustice downtown. There was this pension plan – he was a member – which had paid far too little into its corpus. Would I like to look over his papers, and see where a case against that pension board might go? I would. Well, you can take it from there.

The case became a class action, with Jim as lead plaintiff. It eventually settled, but the can of worms it opened in San Diego will not settle for a very long time.

If Jim wasn’t keeping me busy with the problems of the pension plan, and the city, then public radio and television, local papers, national papers, bar associations and other neighbor; would do the trick.

Mike Congers, Mike Aguirre, Diann Shipione, Pat Shea and all the gang are household names now in this retirement community. What fun, really, at least for this opinionated senior.

I can still offer opinions on the doings of the Supreme Court, where I used to practice constitutional law; the Environmental Protection Agency, where I was once an enforcement director; the White House, five blocks from my Washington home; Congress, right up the street from my Washington office; and now even Sacramento, thanks to my new work as in-house counsel for the League of Women Voters.

When I think about my past life in Washington, D.C., I’m tempted to sigh and say those were the days.

But hold on. These must be the days, too. I worked hard to get to this particular senior year. After all, I’m 74, and a graduate of four different eastern Catholic schools and universities. That’s all before I started my “real” work. And I’ve had the joy of mothering two fine children – one a lawyer, one a journalist – and grand mothering seven especially fine grandchildren.

More about all this in columns to come. I hope to write a column every month or so on what there is – and isn’t – in San Diego in regards to being a senior.

For now, what about you?

Please write to me at

Louise Jacobs recently retired to San Diego after a legal career in Washington, D.C.

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