The symbolic Red Suitcase used as the name for Dana White’s film became very real for me the first time I learned about it. It could be that my family of pioneers that came to Oregon during the gold rush carried a Red Suitcase. It was hidden among the trunks, visible to only the one that owned it. I suppose that is why I loved the symbolism of the valise that carried all the important things about our lives.

My great-grandparents left Sweden for Oregon wearing the clothes on their back in the 1870’s and my mother’s father left his native Iowa to come and live in a tiny community in Easter Oregon around 1910.

My father’s father was born to one of the first couples married in the Umqua Valley of Oregon. He was a gold miner and renamed himself Thomas Jefferson Boyle at an early age because he admired the founding father. His family had migrated from Tennessee.

In fact, I even had a great aunt that escaped the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906 with only her empty Red Suitcase and her life. I always wondered if that valise carried things that none of us but Aunt Kate could see.

I suppose that all of us that have grown up with that pioneer spirit understand better than most that all the material things we surround ourselves with are not very important. Change is bred into us somehow. Reinvention starts each time we make a decision to better ourselves or expand our world of knowledge.

What is within is important all be it ethereal…we don’t leave our life behind and discount the importance of what is lost. Our memories are important. Knowledge that we have acquired through both successes and failures are the foundation for our future. In fact, I really don’t believe that we can change what we are today. The self we are today is the clay we much use to make ourselves better tomorrow.

So when we decide that we need to more on, retire, divorce or are even left alone, we know that change is a fact of life. We pack our Red Suitcase with hope, courage, resilience and strength. We know that not much else will help us in the new life we must build. We remain pioneers even in the 20th century.

Bio: Barbara Torris is a writer at Retire In Style Blog. She is a retired educator that travels through life with her husband and a cat named RV.

A Humble Lesson

I wanted to say how humbled I am at the people that have come into our circle on this journey of trying to get The Red Suitcase made. I am getting weekly…sometimes daily emails from people who have seen our trailer and reach out to tell me how important a film The Red Suitcase is. Emails from those who can relate to the story and who feel that it is a movie that must be made. It is as if they too have a story that needs to be told;not unlike The Red Suitcase.
As many know Chris and I have been on quite a journey with this film. People have come and gone but we have stayed true to our vision and our conscience. And our friends have stood by us through it all and continued to believe in us. We love them dearly for that.
Speaking to all of the wonderful people who are touched by our story is a constant reminder why Chris and I started this to begin with.
Nothing can replace the beautiful emails we’ve received and conversations we’ve had. Nothing.No award, No praise, No review could replace these connections. It is these moments that keep us honest, keep us on point and remind both of us what path we have chosen to walk.
I could not be more grateful for those that have reached out to us. You have shown us that we have already succeeded. We have already touched people.
Now we just need to make the whole film.
But that will come.
Thank you. I am blessed beyond words!
Happy Holidays to all!

To view our campaign, click below.


New Beginnings

December 2, 2013

A big thank You to all of you who have contributed so far to The Red Suitcase indiegogo campaign!

Well we’re 2 weeks into our campaign and so many people have chipped in to spread the word. So far, 5 articles have been written about us with more on the way.

Barbara Torris wrote an inspiring piece about the film and how there really is a dearth of films out there about issues and life which reflects her reality:

I did one of those Google searches this morning using the words movies about older people and every movie that came up starred men like Clint Eastwood. Surprisingly, when I added the word women the search engine came up with older women/younger man relationship movies…all those icky cougar stories. Then I tried movies about retirement and hit the motherload.  Evidently the movie industry is all about that subject and always has been.  But movies about older mothers in trouble and a daughter finding a way to move on with their lives? Probably not many. 

So now WE have a chance to help a movie get produced. This one is worth our attention.”  

-Barbara Torris

Dorothy Sander echoed much of the same sentiment in her popular blog, Aging Abundantly: 

“…Good films have gone the way of manual typewriters. Indie filmmakers continue to make every effort to bring their art and meaningful productions to viewers of all ages and interests, but as is often the fate of creatives, they struggle financially. These are important films, but most will probably never see the light of day because the funds run out before they can be completed. The Red Suitcase is one such film…spread the word and show your support.”

-Dorothy Sander

Eileen Williams of Feisty Side of Fifty interviewed us on her radio show as well as wrote a wonderful article about The Red Suitcase:

“…The story weaves unexpected revelations, humorous adventures, and colorful characters together to create a tale that’s dramatic, funny, and heart-breakingly honest”… “If you, like me, are aching to see our own faces reflected back to us, this is one way we can take action. As they write in the movie reviews, this film is a “slice of life.” But this time that life reflects our own.

-Eileen Williams

Dale Carter did a piece on us on her inspiring blog, Transition Aging Parents:

“I applaud Dana for embarking on such a grand endeavor to bring the depth of her story for everyone to enjoy and reflect upon.  For now, take my advice and check out Dana White’s new film.”

-Dale Carter

And finally, from a wonderful piece from the blog Boomer Grandparents:

“It’s never too late to start over, and that’s what a fellow Boomer did, and is now the subject of her Writer/Producer daughter Dana White, and Director son-in-law Chris’s planned feature film, The Red Suitcase which will star Broadway Actress Kathleen Chalfant…(Dana is quoted as saying) “My film is an attempt to both entertain (there are heaps of laughs and adventures in this film by the way), and to illuminate what I feel is a dark corner of America, where a large amount of people struggle, disposable and forgotten. I want to shine a light on that to people, and do it in a way that they’ll enjoy.” Dana White

      -Boomer Grandparents

And last but certainly not least, a big time supporter among our Boomer Women heroes is the amazing photographer, Robbie Kaye @BeautyofWisdom , who has been relentless on spreading the word for us on Twitter with her thousands of followers. Thank you Robbie! We are proud to announce that her new book Beauty and Wisdom has just been released on Amazon. You can also get it as a gift with a contribution to our film.

Keep spreading the word people.

All for now, we’ll keep you posted!

Dana and Chris