Will the real Marie Snider please stand up

It began as an ordinary work day more than 20 years ago. A very busy day, with the usual assortment of interruptions and telephone calls.
Then the phone rang again. I picked up the receiver and announced my name.
A sprightly voice returned, “This is Jeanne Boone of ‘To Tell the Truth’ in New York City. How are you today?”
What followed was an invitation to appear on “To Tell the Truth” as “the real Marie Snider.” It would include an all-expense paid trip with accommodations at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
I had just finished my master’s thesis, titled “Sex Roles in the Comics Strips: A Historical Perspective—1896 to 1979,” and the Wichita Eagle had done a story featuring it.
Apparently, staff members from “To Tell the Truth” read papers from across the country to find interesting contestants. I knew that sex roles in the comics would make a fascinating show, but I was dismayed at the prospect of appearing on national television.
Nevertheless, two weeks later, my husband and I were on the plane to New York City.
The format of “To Tell the Truth” is to have three contestants claim to be the same person. Four celebrities question the contestants, then vote for the one they think is the real person.
The other two Marie Sniders had their own agendas. One wanted to promote her book on numerology. One was a playwright and wanted to talk with Dick Clark, who was a judge.
The other three judges were Polly Bergen, Bill Cullen, and Kitty Carlisle Hart.
It was a fun experience, and the whole thing came back to me last week when “Modern Maturity” featured a picture of Kitty Carlisle Hart.
Mrs. Hart, as she prefers to be called, is beautiful. Sitting straight and tall; her hair perfectly coifed. Her skin young looking and wrinkle-free. Her sheer black dress setting off shapely, youthful legs.
The caption read simply: “Kitty Carlisle Hart, 92.”
This legend began her stellar career at age 26 in 1935 when she starred with the Marx Brothers in the four-star movie, “A Night at the Opera.”
And in 2002, she still delights audiences across the U.S. with her one-woman show, which includes songs by her old friends—Kern, Gershwin, and Porter.
In between, she did more movies, including two with Bing Crosby. She sang at the Metropolitan Opera. And she had a long career in television, including 15 years on “To Tell the Truth.”
In Marie Brenner’s book, “Great Dames: What I Learned from Older Women,” Mrs. Hart is described as “a walking exclamation point.”
Says Brenner, “Kitty Carlisle Hart walks into a room, and the room lights up.”
This disciplined 92-year-old woman does 40 leg lifts without stopping every morning.
“Then,” explains Mrs. Hart, “I take my legs, I put them over my head, and I touch the floor behind with my toes, and then very slowly I let myself down, touching every vertebrae as I go.”
No wonder this legendary star is still walking . . . and dancing and singing. She just keeps on doing—on a daily basis—the things that she does best.
What about you? Why not model your life after 92-year old Kitty Carlisle Hart? Continue to explore your unique skills—on a daily basis—without regard to age.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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