Column Goes Halfway Over the Hill with Humor

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Popular syndicated humor column available nationwide

When a close friend celebrated her 50th. birthday by scheduling Botox treatments, Jena Ball was bemused. When her mother complained about all the junk mail trying to sell her burial plots, electric wheelchairs, and hearing aids, she laughed. Then a cashier at the local deli gave her a senior discount 15 years too early and she realized that old age stereotyping was getting out of hand.

"Some major debunking needed to be done," says Ball, "and I decided I was the one to do it."

The result was "Halfway Over the Hill," a humorous, 600-word column that has been running in Southern California papers for six months, and is now available nationwide. From the start, the column has been a hit with readers who like Ball's amusing approach to the topic of aging.

"I really, really like your column," says Valerie Haecky of Santa Cruz. "It offers a wonderful shift in perspective."

"Thank you for your column," writes Jane Weissman of Pasadena. "I reinvented my life at 48, went back to school, and became a nurse at 52. I'm now 58 and on my third career. Hardly a day goes by that a coworker doesn't tell me how good I’d look if I'd just dye away the gray and use pancake make-up. My response has been, just as you said, that I've earned every wrinkle and gray hair, and have no intention of doing away with them. So, you've validated the opinions of the men in my life and supported my satisfaction with being able to relax with who and what I am. Thank you again."

"Just a note to say how much I'm enjoying your articles," says Barbara Krystich of La Canada. "Nice to know that there is someone who feels the same. Can you imagine a nation of 50 – 72-year-old Barbie doll wanna bes walking around? The thought has me laughing as I write this. Please keep similar columns coming!"

But Ball hasn't confined herself to the elderly set. "People of all ages do funny, puzzling, and downright nutty things all the time," she says. "My job is to capture those things in a way that helps people laugh and see themselves in new and thought provoking ways." To date she has tackled a wide range of subjects including public displays of eccentricity, defensive driving, evolving tastes, senior dating, and thongs.

With the number of older Americans increasing dramatically as the baby boomers begin entering their early 60s (by 2030 it is projected that one in five people will be 65 or older) the timing for a column like Halfway Over the Hill couldn't be better. "People in my generation," says baby boomer Debra Weber, "don't want to read about our bodies falling apart. We want to celebrate life, and that's just what Jena’s column does."

Jena Ball is a freelance journalist with more than 20 years experience penning everything from weekly restaurant reviews and business profiles to feature articles and travel/adventure essays. She is also the founder of an online school for journalists called "The Nature of Writing" ( When not writing and teaching she gives talks and does interviews about the subjects covered in her column.

Halfway Over the Hill will be available nationwide starting June 21st. For more information about Jena and to read samples of the column, please visit the Halfway Over the Hill web site at: To discuss the possibility of carrying Halfway Over the Hill in your paper, please contact Ball directly to discuss a price based on your distribution.

Jena Ball

Halfway Over the Hill

Phone: 626-462-9392

Fax: 626-609-2345



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