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Spring / Summer 2018

Our Generation

Baby Boomers and The Gift of Friendship

by Joseph Galata

Continuous sociological, medical, psychological, and cultural studies are finding that friendship and health have a cause and effect relationship.

In short, strong and loyal friendships actually improve physiological and emotional lifestyles. Likewise, the lack of friendship and loneliness may very well be a dominant factor for increasing the risk of mental afflictions and disorders.

A study from Purdue University records that high quality friendships contribute to higher selfesteem, stronger self-confidence, and more productive social development.

Three longtime residents of Reno, Joseph Galata, Jim Eaglesmith, and Phil Johncock have been ‘best buddies’ for over 30 years. Johncock recently relocated to Ashland, Oregon and is working to improve the lives of that city’s homeless population. He said, “Genuine friendships are all about each person’s willingness to be authentic.”

“When the three of us, who are artistic humanitarians get together, we spend most of our time laughing at ourselves, processing our life’s experiences, and analyzing the state of humanity, as well as dancing and eating,” explained Galata.

Jim Eaglesmith, Phil Johncock, and Joseph Galata are lifelong friends.

Recently, these three Baby Boomers got together and wrote a mystery novel about a 65-year-old man who forty-seven years earlier abandoned his best childhood and teenage friend, who has mysteriously sent him a check of $6-million. Shocked and bewildered, the former teacher returns to the home city of his youth, hoping to discover both the whereabouts of his once-upon-a-time best buddy, and the reason for the financial gift.

“It’s a story pertinent to Baby Boomers, “said Eaglesmith, “because it’s about self-forgiveness and self-fulfillment.” The story came about when the three men from Reno spent a week together. “While hiking, dancing, and sharing life experiences, we each realized that as Baby Boomers we have been on lifelong exciting and challenging journeys and that past and present friendships have shaped our lives,” Galata said.

“We categorized our lives into three journeys or pilgrimages that have shaped our lives,” explained Johncock. “That’s what the theme of our friendship mystery novel is really all about, the Pilgrimage of Search, the Pilgrimage of Service, and the Pilgrimage of Security.”

Joseph Galata
Joseph Galata will be performing at the Alzheimer’s Association Education Conference in May.

Spontaneously one May 2017 afternoon, the three formed a new enterprise they are calling The Institute of Forgiveness. “Baby Boomers have experienced many heartaches from lost, abandoned, rejected friendships,” Galata said.

Eaglesmith adds, “Forgiveness is essential for being a healthy Baby Boomer, especially selfforgiveness for any transgressions in friendships.”

To engage these best buddies for workshops, theatrical performances, and life coaching on friendships, go to

Performance at Alzheimer’s Association Conference Galata is also sharing new experiences helping others with family caregiving issues. On Monday, May 21 at 8:30 a.m., he will be performing at the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada, 17th Annual Reno Spring Educational Conference at the Grand Sierra.

“I'll be performing a new one man theatre show and a workshop,” he said. The three hour theatrical performance and workshop will use music, storytelling, dance, spiritual and religious rituals, and holiday traditions in healing from grief for Baby Boomers caring for their loved ones as well as professional caregivers caring for those with Alzheimers. The performance,“ Papa, Come Dance with Me Again,” features a storytelling grandfather who had a career as a children's television personality and dancer diagnosed with Alzheimer's and his relationship with his teenage grandson. “I have others performing with me doing monologues I wrote portraying caregivers. There are also Hispanic, Jewish, and Filipino singers.”