Never Leave the Playground

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Gail Dennison

Stephen Jepson, in his early seventies, says it all started when he was about seven and said one morning: “Hey, Mom, there’s nothing to do!” Since that moment, he has never been at a loss for something to do. What is his prescription? Play! “It’s never too late,” he says, “to start moving.”

Jepson’s philosophy? “Never leave the playground.” He has a dream of awakening people, especially elders, to the importance of movement. Stephen teaches people skills of balance and coordination, which he has found to be a way to build memory, motor skills, and brain cells.

A retired college arts professor and master potter, Jepson fills his days in the backyard playground he invented. He juggles, plays with jacks, flips sticks, and rolls marbles (all with alternating left and right hands), walks a tightrope, and jumps barefoot from rock to rock. An inventor, he rides his homemade skateboard or elliptical bike, goes boating in his comfy kayak, or tours the neighborhood on skates he invented. Stephen Jepson is confident and daring, and invokes aging viewers to keep moving and to “Be bold in your life choices!”

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