By Gerry Barker
As a freelance travel writer, I take a lot of cruises. And sometimes, in the course of a cruise, you run across something unexpected -- a story within the story, if you will. Such was the case when we recently sailed on Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Navigator.
As part of a 10-day voyage around the Caribbean, it featured an independent film festival, showcasing a number of highly-acclaimed documentaries, along with the people who made them.
One of those films was "Duty Free." It chronicles what happened when 75-year-old British immigrant Rebecca Danigelis was abruptly fired from her Boston hotel job with little resources to fall back on and few prospects to land another job. What she does have is a son -- Sian-Pierre Regis -- an award-winning journalist and culture critic.
Along with providing emotional support, Regis decides to go a step further and direct a film about his mother's struggles. He asks her to create a bucket list of things she would have liked to have done during the 50-plus years she spent raising and caring for her family. She does just that, and the film takes us on their journey.
What's on her list? It's wide-ranging, from learning how to hip-hop dance and milking a cow to skydiving and visiting her sister's grave in England. But more than just ticking off items on a wish list, it's also a powerful statement about the plight of America's seniors. Today, Regis and his mother continue to highlight that plight at conferences and political arenas across the country.
We got to spend time getting to know both of them on the cruise, and trust me, Rebecca is no where close to slowing down.
Do yourself a favor and watch "Duty Free" on PBS Nov. 22 at 10 pm. You can also learn more about the film at its website, HERE.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
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Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"