“This 1999 Old Lesbian Gathering is a very special Gathering. We have a double celebration, not only because we are here to celebrate ourselves as old lesbians, but to celebrate OLOC’s anniversary as well.
Ten years ago at almost this exact date and at this exact place, OLOC was born at the Second West Coast Celebration.
A large spontaneous group met to talk about “what next.” Many of us there realized that we wanted more than just
to meet every couple of years, fun as that was. We wanted to keep contact with each other, to talk about the personal and the political, to somehow evolve into a power to make old lesbians visible and vocal. It was as though a fever swept us: a meeting was set for two months later, a plea for start up money raised over $600, and the first meeting actually happened in San Diego in October, 1989. We salute and celebrate those first women organizers!”
Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 30, No. 6 (june 2000), pp. 11-14
Old Lesbians Celebrate (Conference) (Link)
The following is in remembrance of Shevy Healey, from the OLOC website http://www.oloc.org/projects/in_remembrance.php
What Shevy has meant to us
Shevy Healey was born 29 January, 1922, in Russia and came to this country as a toddler around three years old with her mother and father. Very shortly after their arrival Shevy’s father passed away. She and her mother became a team of two. By the age of five Shevy was on street corners passing out flyers for the labor movement and social change. Shevy always told such wonderful stories about her childhood and growing up in the care of her mother.
I met Shevy in 1987 when plans were being made for the 1987 West Coast Celebration of old lesbians. At this time Shevy was a psychologist, with her practice in Santa Monica, California, and her home in Idlewood, California. We developed a lasting bond and remained in close touch until her death. Shevy was active and involved in many political and social issues most of the years prior to my meeting her. When we met, Shevy’s focus was on ageism, and subsequently she was the force that organized OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change). This became a reality in November of 1989.
Shevy was the program chair for the first OLOC Summer Gathering held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1996. This was a memorable event and very successful. She was the keynote speaker at the 1999 Summer Gathering in San Francisco. OLOC was a terrific gift to old lesbians from Shevy. This organization has been and is still a major support system for old lesbians. We are most grateful to Shevy for her vision and focus. Many articles have been and are being written by numerous organizations about Shevy and her contributions to our society. Shevy left many articles, published and non-published, for our edification and enjoyment.
My purpose here is to acknowledge Shevy’s gift to us as old lesbians, to respect and cherish her presence while we had her with us and to keep in place the wonderful memories she left us as well as improvements in our lives. For me and others who worked closely with her over the years, we are making every effort to keep her dream alive and survive our loss.
Shevy passed away on 8 December, 2001, in Mesa, Arizona, at a rehabilitation facility following a heart attack and a seizure. She is survived by her daughter, Donna, her grandson, Alexander of Massachusetts, and her life partner, Ruth Silver, of Apache Junction, Arizona. The celebration of life for Shevy was held on 27 January, 2002, in Zolo Hall at the park where she and Ruth lived since 1994. Friends and family came from many places to honor Shevy’s life.
by Vera Martin, 1923