VENTNOR, N.J. -- It may not be the best advice, but at least it's free!
That's the slogan for the "Old Coots and Company" advice booth at the Ventnor City Farmers Market. The group of senior citizens, self-described as Old Coots, gathers every Friday morning to dispense advice, answer questions or just talk.
Penni Starer started the market six years ago with her husband.
"It just warms our heart. You can't put a price on (good advice)," she said. "They're here week in and week out with an opportunity to share their wisdom and their thoughts and they just get so much from this."
"They're here if people want to come and sit down and take a load off and just talk and listen," Andrew Starer said. "Sometimes their advice is serious and sometimes it's as simple as what's the best thing to eat at the market."
Topics include everything under the sun, including being nervous about school, a mother-in-law moving in, or questions about raising a family.
Anybody can come into the tent to talk or get advice. Sidney Stern, an Old Coot for six years, likes to patrol outside the tent and ask questions. Marsha Galespie, 80, loves sitting in the tent and helping people through their problems.
Janet Bodoff is an original Old Coot and says, "We have experiences that they have yet to live and sometimes we can help point them in the right direction."
Her friend Pat O'Brien is a new Old Coot and says, "For us, it keeps us viable, keeps us young. The more you give out, the more you get back, and now it's time to focus outward and just enjoy life."