July 15, 2010 | By Sam Whiting
To prove that age means nothing, “Viagra Diaries” author Barbara Rose Brooker lives like a writer just starting out, in a rent-controlled junior one-bedroom. It is on the second floor of an apartment building at Broadway and Franklin Street in San Francisco. Traffic noise is her constant companion.
Q: Latest project?
A: The Age March. I had a dream a couple of years ago that every man and woman in every city in the United States was going to march in an Age March, and their real age number would be printed on their button. They march in protest of our anti-age society. The dream is being brought to reality Aug. 8 at Crissy Field.
Q: How long is the Age March?
A: The march is 1 mile. It costs $10 to register if you want a T-shirt. If you don’t want a T-shirt, just put your name down at www.agemarch.org. There are no age requirements. We have people in their 20s who have registered.
Q: What will your age button say?
A: We’re going to have stickers instead. My sticker is going to say “73.” I am so proud of it. I love it. It’s a fabulous time, and I’m sick of lying about it.
Q: You used to lie about your age?
A: Of course I did. How else can you get a job or a date?
Q: Describe your novel “The Viagra Diaries”?
A: It’s about Anny Applebaum, who is 70. She has all kinds of ambitions and goals and refuses to settle. She inspired my Age March. I have a film option on “The Viagra Diaries” and I’m writing a sequel. I think maybe 70-plus is in.
Q: Seventy is the new what?
A: Seventy is the new 70. I’m not going to say “the new 50″ and all that. We don’t have to go back.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I’m a native San Franciscan. I grew up on El Camino Del Mar. I went to Lowell High School and graduated in 1954.
Q: What did you want to be?
A: I always wanted to be a writer and an actor. I wasn’t really able to be an actor because I was told to get a real estate license and a husband. I did all those things, and I hated it. Now I’m performing in my first one-woman show, at the Commonwealth Club. It’s called “The Viagra Diaries.” My first one was Oct. 19 last year. My second one is Nov. 23.
Q: First job?
A: I worked at Saks when I was 16, selling bridal clothes, I think.
Q: Childhood nickname?
Q: Describe your neighborhood?
A: This is not the fancy part of Broadway. Van Ness is one block away. This is how 73-year-old struggling authors and actors live.
Q: Favorite vacation spot?
Q: When were you last there?
A: Twenty-five years ago.
Q: Aren’t you about due?
A: I’m due for a lot of things.
Q: What would you buy if you could?
A: Dozens and dozens of orchid plants. I’d give them to all the people I like.
Q: What would surprise people to know about you?
A: That I really love solitude. I love staying home and writing and painting and not talking to people for days. When you’re in the media, you develop a persona that you’re “out there.” I’m not “out there.” I’m “in there.”
Q: What would you call your autobiography?
A: “There Is No End, Only a Beginning.”
Q: Who plays you in the movie?
A: Diane Keaton.
Q: What haven’t I asked you?
A: Am I having fun doing all of this?
Q: Well, are you?
A: I’m having a fabulous time, because I still have hope that anything can happen at any time.
E-mail Sam Whiting at email@example.com.
(C) San Francisco Chronicle 2010