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"Rosie" Ross, 101.
plays at The Pine Cone Inn on Fridays.
Photo by Nathaniel Kastelic;
courtesy of the Prescott Daily Courier
One of Arizona’s great living treasures,
Leonard “Rosie” Ross is a testament to the
twin pillars of dedication and
turns 101 in February 2007, is more active and mentally sharper
than many people much younger. As a lifelong
musician — he’s been playing trumpet
professionally since 1923 — Rosie hardly
ever slows down.
His life has been extraordinary; his many
accomplishments include being a member of the
band that replaced Glenn Miller’s band and
performing the “Retreat Ceremony” at the nightly
lowering of the our flag for General Eisenhower
in London during World War II.
Prescott, Arizona, is where Rosie has called
home for nearly three quarters of a century.
"I fell in love with it,” he says.
But he’s hardly a homebody. He can
be found every Friday night, without
exception, playing his trumpet at the Pine
Cone Inn in Prescott. He even drives himself
there! He is frequently called upon to play
“Taps” for services held by the American
Legion Color Guard and also plays private
parties and other gigs.
In addition, Rosie was chosen a few years ago to
represent Arizona in the “Oldest Continuing
Workers” celebration in Washington, D.C. Rosie
sat in with the band at the Washington Hilton
and schooled them in showmanship!
He has appeared in numerous local newspaper and
television stories and is honored and valued by
all who know him. Asked to what he attributes
his longevity, he says it’s simple: a love of
performing. “I love to entertain and make people
happy. I look forward to each gig. And that
makes me happy. As long as people want to hear
Harry James ‘You Made Me Love You’ or Clyde
McCoy’s ‘Sugar Blues,’ I’ll be here to play it
Leonard "Rosie" Ross - 1953
Genworth Financial TV commercial
Rosie is starring in a TV commercial, airing on CNN, CNBC, Fox News
and other networks, for Genworth Financial, an
insurance and investment company. Rosie is one of Genworth Financial's 100+ Stories - 100 Years of Living, Countless
Stories of Life.
Click here to watch and listen to Rosie.
National Centenarian Awareness Project and
The National Centenarian Awareness
Project is very proud of the centenarians
who participated in Genworth Financial's
advertising campaign. Again, these active centenarians are
showing America what its eldest citizens are all
about. Centenarians are the role models for the future of
aging, a statement that is one of the foundations of NCAP.
Active centenarians are breaking the mold, defying the stereotypes
of old age, and enjoying doing so.
NCAP is pleased again to have played an integral role in
presenting interesting centenarians for media involvement,
as well as offering an interesting opportunity to
centenarians. Our documentary, "Centenarians Tell It Like It
Is," and this website were used by the creators of these
commercials to "pitch" the client, demonstrating the
capabilities of centenarians. Genworth Financial is
pleased with the result, and we commend them for breaking
new ground in the advertising field!
Click here to view
on Genworth Financial's
Excerpt from The Wall Street
Journal, June 13, 2006
Insurer Celebrates Well-Lived Lives
Centenarians Star In Genworth Campaign - Will Boomers Be Turned Off?
By Kelly Greene
Many marketers have
avoided using the elderly in commercials targeting baby boomers,
worried that reminders of aging would turn them off. But insurer
Genworth Financial is featuring six centenarians — wrinkles and all
— in a series of television and print ads starting this week.
WPP Group’s Impact advertising agency in New York came
up with the idea of using vignettes of vibrant people in the
100-plus set to raise the profile of its insurance products, all of
which are tied to security in later life. The list includes life
insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities and mortgage
.... If the ads attract attention from consumers, too, so much the
better, says Buzz Richmond, Genworth’s senior vice president and
brand leader. “We thought this concept of centenarian would be a
fascinating story of no matter how long you live, it’s important to
plan for the future,” he says.
The people featured in the ads aren’t your
stereotypically frail elders. The first commercial, running on cable
networks including ESPN, CNN, Fox News and Discovery, shows
100-year-old Leonard “Rosie” Ross playing the trumpet — he still has
a regular Friday gig — and driving his own car.
... Mr. Richmond says he worried that the campaign could misfire
with baby boomers “in total denial about aging” and with younger
people who “don’t want to look at old people, period.” But when
Genworth employees, brokers and agents saw a mockup of the ads, he
adds, “the response basically was, ‘I want to be that person. I want
to be 100, and I want to be as healthy as that person when I get to
To find the six people finally chosen for the Genworth
campaign, Impact combed the Internet and worked with groups that
study centenarians [including NCAP] to assemble a pool of
about 80 people. It then whittled the group down to eight finalists
for four TV spots...
"Their frame of reference was so different from ours,"
says Rachel Howald, an Impact creative director. "They all
remembered seeing a car for the first time, and getting electricity
in their homes.”