American life is a tale of two zip codes: We start out emulating the California high schoolers in Fox’s hit TV series Beverly Hills, 90210. But we wind up like the crowd in another Beverly Hills: 32665, a Florida retirement community where the toughest class is line dancing. 32665 too has its Brandons and Brendas. So meet the other Beverly Hills gang, and give them an A for staying forever young.
A Claire Hildum, 60, watches 90210 and finds herself “thinking back to when I was a teen” and as happy-go-lucky as Donna. Even now, says Jan Smith, who helps run Beverly Hills’ recreation center, Claire is a “good party girl.”
B Like 90210’s effervescent David, Frank Mendise, 67, is a frisky bundle of energy, checking IDs at the pool or teaching golf and men’s exercise. He’s occasionally too energetic. “Sometimes I could wring his neck,” says wife Mary, 68. “But he’s a good Joe.”
C Former model and housewife Dora Markowitz, 58, has the enviable good luck of being 32665’s answer to glamour-girl Kelly. “Dora dresses beautifully,” says Smith. “She always looks great.” She also loves books. And how’s your brain, Kelly?
D He may not have Steve’s mane of gold curls, but Pat Daly, 65, certainly has the same athletic brio. He plays tennis, takes three separate dance classes-“He has lots of rhythm,” says wife Veronica, 54-and zips around on a moped.
E “All the women like him,” says Smith of Lee Ball, 59. “He’s a little mysterious.” Here he is—the Dylan, the charismatic bad boy of 32665! Not so. “He’s always giving widows who don’t have a ride a lift,” notes Smith. (Sorry, ladies, he’s married.)
F Louise Palma, 68, seems as complex and temperamental as 90210’s Brenda. “Louise can be moody,” says Smith. Counters husband Dan, 75: “She’s outgoing.” Like Brenda, Louise does mix well—at pinochle, women’s exercise and crafts.
G If Lee Ball is cute, enigmatic Dylan, then rec-center president Bob Bright, 68, is cute, nonenigmatic Brandon. “He’s a good mixer and loves to be a leader,” says Smith.
H Lillian Borst, 70, is the executive type—the Andrea. “We’ll show up at a party an hour and a half early to get everything organized,” marvels Claire Hildum, “and she’ll have it all done in a half hour.” Wow-Most Likely to Succeed on a High School TV Series!