About Mel Walsh

Mel Walsh by Mac Small

A newspaper columnist, blogger, author of four non-fiction books and a gerontologist with a degree from USC, Mel Walsh is interested in people who are pre-old. That seems to be most of us since people generally believe they are 15 years younger than the date on the birth certificate. Old is always tomorrow and nothing wrong with that.

Mel believes in new starts in later life and, as an older woman herself, has written, produced and hosted a radio show for older adults, Second Wind, and also written newspaper columns with the same name…all about later life. Her book for older women, HOT GRANNY, Chronicle Books, is available on Amazon. Mel has also written for the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the King Syndicate, Oprah’s magazine, Glamour and Working Woman. She is working on a book of essays for older women.

Thank you for reading this far.

Check out  the CBS Early Show with Julie Chen, us talking about my book, HOT GRANNY. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9NlFq_XhR4

If you really want to know more, here is a pre-obit for my kids so they won’t have to look it up.

Born in NYC. Grew up in CT. From a show biz family…father a director of the first talkies and producer of Broadway shows, mother a reluctant child star in vaudeville.  Though I was still in elementary school, my father used to take me out to late night dinners after these shows where his star, Jackie Gleason, showed me how to eat pitted black olives….one on each finger.

English major at Wellesley. MA in English from U of Arizona. MA in Gerontology from USC.


Schizophrenia: Straight Talk for Families and Friends. Morrow with paperbacks from Warner and Quill.

Emptying the Nest, Prentice Hall

Guerrilla Cooking, St.Martin’s Press

Hot Granny, Chronicle Books

Family: Three sons and one daughter from marriage with John Hessel.

Two bonus  sons with marriage to Mac Small. Twelve total grandchildren

Widowed in 2022. Also in 2022: the deaths of son Geoff from Covid and daughter Lucy from accidental overdose, events not usual in a pre-obit but three important deaths so close together surely effect one’s outlook and writing.

Now living on a beautiful life care/retirement campus in Carmel CA.

I like family, friends, gardens, non-fiction reading, almost any kind of music, Monterey Bay, the state of California no matter what, art, art history, archeology and anything introduced by a good teacher.  Trying to teach self oil pencil and water color. Working on fifth book.  I also “talk” daily online with women from my college class, a lifelong convoy of friends.

What a planet to grow up on.

Enjoy this blog and feel free to send me comments, ideas, corrections and your own experience with aging. Please invite your friends as it is unusual to find writing that combines aging with positive humor. Writing this also keeps me off the streets and out of trouble.  Your email is never ever shared with anyone for any reason. Pinky swear.

5 thoughts on “About Mel Walsh”

  1. Read the entire site just now and found it all “sad but too true”. It’s unfortunate that in this community where I reside no one wants to talk about the things you write about. They all smile and make nice…. I was particularly fascinated with “Hospice info” Thats the route I’m going. Will call library tomorrow and see if they have a copy of Aug 2- New yorker. Would love to read the article you mentioned. I’m happy to have a like-minded friend out there like you. Later….

  2. Mel, In my more than 30 years writing for The Sacramento Bee, the kindest praise I ever got was from a woman who approached me at a book (“Gardens of the Wine Country:) signing. She said, “I don’t even care about gardening…I just like to read what you write.” I’m passing along similar praise to you. I read about things that really didn’t concern me, only because you’re an excellent story teller. I’m well aware of “Column fatigue” that all of us – even humorists like Dave Barry – eventually fall victim to. Good luck with your new venture, and please extend my “high five” to old Cranky Pants. By the way, I enjoyed your trip down memory lane with radio, I treasure it far more than TV and truly miss, “The Music of Your Life” format.

  3. I particularly enjoyed your column on Aug. 3rd titled; Hospice: A good way to graduate from this planet. I too support Hospice, as a Friend.
    I wanted you to know that Friends of Hospice and honorary chairperson LaVonne Amaral are celebrating the opening of the Compassionate Care Home with a premiere benefit for Hospice of the Foothills called “Side by Side” on Sept. 11th at the “beautiful” River Highlands Ranch & Vineyards. Jane Rivar will be in concert and Ivan Najera will provide special music. It will be at 5pm to 9pm (good for Seniors) and will include wine, food and song with twelve exciting items to be auctioned. For more information (530)274-5121 or HOFO.org(click on Friends of Hospice.

    Thank you again Mel for your great articles. They are very humorous and informative. Diana Lemmon, publicity chair for Friends of Hospice 530-477-8507

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