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Riley writes to Bolder Woman

For The Madera Tribune

Jeannine Riley.


Long time Maderans may remember a majorette at Madera Union High School from the class of 1958 named Jeannine Riley.

After graduation Riley moved to Southern California to become an actress. She still carries many fond memories of the half-time shows at the varsity football games.

“I wasn’t any great shakes as a baton twirler,” she said. “But I loved to dance.”

In those days the MUHS marching band was known as the Showband of the Valley. Under the directions of Alan Harkins, they brought home many trophies from band competitions. During the years he taught band Harkin’s wife, Faye, made many of the costumes and choreographed all the dance routines performed by the majorettes, letter and pom-pom girls.

Riley might be best remembered as the blonde daughter Billie Jo Bradley on the hit 1960s television comedy series “Petticoat Junction.”

Now at the age of 80, living in Palm Springs, she has released a book titled “The Bolder Woman — It’s About Time.”

Aimed at older women, this self-help book points out that once a lady gets older, she becomes marginalized by her family and others around her.

Riley’s purpose, she said, is to instruct women how they can still fulfill their dreams no matter how old they get.

Her step-by-step, how-to book serves to encourage women of all ages to follow the things in life they enjoy without thought to how others perceive their endeavors.

“Most women spend their lives caring for other people such as their family or pursuing a career,” she said.

As she gets older and her family no longer needs her as much and she has retired from her job, that is time to seek her bliss and do the things that make her happy, said Riley.

The dedication to her book reads: “This book is dedicated to all the curious and audacious women of a certain age to who I pose the question: “Are you ready to transition from the older, aging you, to the exciting Bolder you?”

She then goes on to write: “To my mother, Bea, with all your original style and grace, you were always a Bolder woman, even in a time when it wasn’t encouraged or fashionable.”

The 111-page non-fiction work invites the reader to first get to know the author as she reviews her successful career as star of stage and screen. Then, follow her journey as she comes to terms with not only getting older but being Bolder in all aspects of that life.

Available from Amazon in Kindle or paperback format, it is creatively written and a fast-paced read.



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