Retirement is a goal most people have, but
not everyone achieves. We work hard now so
that we can play hard later, but things change
as time goes on.
“You will find, when you retire, the
friends you know, or the friends you worked
with—suddenly you’re in a new world called
‘retirement’ and you have to find a new set
of friends,” said retiree Alan Blavins. After 40
years as a creative director in the advertising
business, he settled down in West County.
“I didn’t know anybody in the area,”
he said. And then he came across Sons in
Retirement, a social group for older men.
10 years later he’s one of their most active
members, and currently serves as their president/
chairman, which they refer to as the Big Sir. “Basically,
we’re a group of guys, we meet every month for lunch,
then we have a speaker,” he said. “We have no religion,
we’re not trying to raise money for anything, it’s just a
group of retired men.”
Simple as that. No pressure, casual atmosphere, come
and go as you please. Meetings are optional as you
aren’t obligated to attend, dues are $20 for the year but
it’s more of a suggestion than a requirement. It’s a pretty
laid-back group, which is generally the vibe you’d want
when you’ve reached retirement age.
They’ve been meeting at the Galileo Club in
Richmond for the past 5 years and recently moved
to La Strada in San Pablo. They have about 45 active
members and men of any age are welcome to join.
Their youngest member is currently in his 60s, and you
don’t have to be retired to join.
A typical meeting consists of a social hour, lunch,
a glass of wine if you like, and a speaker presentation.
Sometimes they invite nonmembers to speak, but this
month Alan himself was the speaker, telling stories of
how he’s caught 9 of the 10 largest freshwater fish in
the world over the last 20 years.
16 MARKETPLACECONTRACOSTA.COM MARCH 2019
By Matt Larson
In addition to the monthly meetings, they may meet
up for a golf tournament, or any number of activities
planned on their own as friends, but Alan reminds
us that the average age of the group is nearly 80, so
options are fairly limited. For plenty of them, meeting
once a month is enough socializing.
One of the members Alan’s known over the years
ran Olympic Jiu-Jitsu all over the world, another was
a superintendent, another ran a paving company and
owned several rice fields in the area—it’s quite an
interesting mix of individuals and many have some
wonderful stories to tell. If they don’t, then they’ll listen
“What can you not like about meeting a lot of
people in your situation, looking for new friends? It
seems to work,” Alan said. “We’re not trying to raise
money, we’re not trying to get people to plant trees
or things like that—these guys just want to sit down,
maybe smoke a cigarette, and talk to people.”
Lunch costs $25 and you’re welcome to join. They
meet the first Thursday of every month at 11 a.m., and
if you’re a newbie, you don’t have to pay. “The first one
is on the house,” Alan said. “If you come again, that
makes you sort of a member, so then we would ask you
to pay for lunch.”
It’s never too late to make lasting friendships
Each month birthday members are photographed for the newsletter