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Sunset blogger: Octogenarian trades shuffleboard for keyboard

POSTED: November 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA/The Times

Anne Cleveland, 84, started blogging about six months ago with the help of her son. Cleveland blogs about a number of topics, including politics and what she calls the "philosophy of freedom."

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Anne Cleveland isn’t your typical 84-year-old grandmother.

While few think of their grandparents as being tech-savvy, Cleveland has learned about computers quickly and gone on to become a successful e-Bay seller and a blogger.

The thoughtful octogenarian loves to write and has discovered new technology that allows her to express her thoughts and opinions to Internet readers.

Cleveland, who has lived in Gainesville for the last two years, blogs about everything from grandparenting to memories on her Web site, octogen
ariansblog.com, but said her favorite things to blog about are politics and her views on freedom.

She said many may not agree with her political views, and that’s just fine.

"I’m not a joiner. I’m just an individual," Cleveland said. "I just tell it like it is and as I see it."

She said a common element in her blog posts is the philosophy of freedom.

"I feel very strongly about the philosophy of freedom in this country, and I write about that," said Cleveland, who studied the subject for seven years.

Cleveland said she really became interested in freedom while she was living in Japan in the 1950s with her husband, who was in the military. She was riding in a cab when the driver hit a child on a bicycle. Cleveland said though the child was not injured, she and the driver were taken to jail and interrogated. She said she was held for hours and asked repeatedly if she was a Communist.

It was after this incident that she realized her freedom had been compromised by a foreign government, and she decided to learn about just what freedom means.

"I was furious," Cleveland recalled.

Cleveland has since formed a view of personal freedom in which she believes government should have little influence over her life, money and property.

When Cleveland’s son realized how much she was writing, he helped her set up a blog and even got her an editor.

Though she is close to 90, she is not trying to target people her own age, but anyone who is interested.

In fact, Cleveland said she feels she does not have much in common with other older people, and prefers to spend time with her grandchildren and watch them grow and learn.

She said her goal with the blog is to reach people and make them think. She feels many people do not question the world they live in or challenge anything.

"One should stand up and fight for what they believe in," Cleveland said. "Not many people do that anymore."



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