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Dating and the 50-year-old man

Agua Dulce resident shares his experiences in a ‘new world’

Posted: December 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Author of "Dating and the 50-Year-Old Man" and musician Stephen Hemmert enjoys a moment on the piano at Le Chene French Cuisine Restaurant on Sierra Highway in Agua Dulce.

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Stephen Hemmert is looking for someone he can settle down with for the rest of his life.

After being married for 16 years, followed by an exclusive relationship of five years, Hemmert re-entered a dating scene that was very different then the one with which he was familiar.

“From about age 29 to age 50 I was only with two women,” he said. “I joke that I had been kept in ‘captivity’ for so long I didn’t know the world of dating had changed.”

New world

What Hemmert soon found was a “new world.”

“I was quite surprised and alarmed, too, to learn how the world of dating and intricacies of that world had changed,” he said.

What resulted from Hemmert’s quest to find love and romance in today’s world is his 237-page book recounting his experiences.

“Dating and the 50-Year-Old Man” is Hemmert’s self-published account of his true life adventures looking for love.

His biggest revelation was a perception that women are “more aggressive.”

“Women today don’t wait for the man to pick up the clues,” he said. “It is no longer a man making the first approach, or asking the woman out, or doing all the things that I learned growing up to court a woman and to romance a woman.”

From Tulsa

Hemmert was born and raised in Tulsa, Okla. He graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of Tulsa in writing for radio and television.

After little more than a year writing for a television station that transmitted programming directly to the Tulsa school system, Hemmert got the itch to move to Los Angeles.

His passion was music and he had been playing music and in bands since he was 12.

“It was with great arrogance and great hope that the band I was in, The Benders, moved from Tulsa to Los Angeles,” he said.

Moving to L.A.

After moving to L.A. in 1979, Hemmert and his brother joined a new band, The Heartbeats, in 1981.

“We opened for the Go-Gos and Huey Lewis and the News,” he said.

After marrying his “best friend,” Hemmert soon gave up his “rock star” dreams to pursue a steady paycheck.

“I was tired of eating beans and ramen noodles,” he said.

Family man

The birth of his two children further encouraged him to become “responsible.”

He helped start a telemarketing company in Hollywood that allowed him the opportunity to pursue other dreams.

Among those dreams was a home he purchased in Canyon Country.

He also opened a small bistro and performance venue, Sonoma Blue, on Ventura Boulevard, near Vineland.

His original concept of a wine and cigar bar had to be shelved after it was discovered that a church (which he was unaware existed because the building had no sign) was located only 300 feet from his building.

Sonoma Blue was open for three years before closing after the building was sold out from under him.

Hemmert was also in the middle of a divorce.

“It seemed like the right time to go elsewhere,” he said.

Elsewhere ended up being Cisco Foods where Hemmert has worked as a sales representative for the past 12 1/2 years.

In addition to his “day job,” Hemmert has a passion for winemaking.

Winemaking

He started making wine from a home wine-making kit. He then graduated to making wine from grapes he purchased from a vineyard.

Hemmert soon became so proficient in making wine he won a silver medal in a wine making contest.

Finding another wine enthusiast ain Juan Alonzo, owner of Le Chene French Cuisine Restaurant, he teamed up to help Alonzo craft his wines, too.

Hemmert, who now lives in Agua Dulce has planted a half-acre of zinfandel grapes and realized his first professional label wine, a Stephen Hemmert Zinfandel 2010.

“It’s gotten rave reviews,” he said.

Dating

In 2007, Hemmert re-entered the dating arena.

“What I found surprised me so much I started keeping notes on dates,” he said. “It was almost like an educational tool for me.”

A friend read his notes and encouraged Hemmert to turn his experiences into a book.

“I was very honored that women would walk up to me and introduce themselves to me,” he said. “My ego was very stoked by that, but it surprised me.”

Hemmert said the attention he received from the women in the Santa Clarita Valley reminded of him when he was in his band.

“Here I am second guessing myself at middle age thinking, ‘Where am I going to find someone to want me?’ And women are coming out of the woodwork,” he said. “It wasn’t a negative experience at all.”

But it was eye-opening said Hemmert.

“It took me back to my band days when women would wait backstage to give you their phone numbers,” he said. “I am not 23 or 26 anymore playing in a band opening for Huey Lewis or The Police. Here I am at 53 years old attracting women more than I ever have in my life. I had to ask myself, ‘What is going on here?’”

Fast lane

What Hemmert found were relationships that seemed to jump from point A to point Z without much time in between.

“Why does everything have to happen so fast. There was no courtship,” he said.

Hemmert said he thinks women are more empowered and feel more comfortable taking the lead in relationships.

“I won’t say I was unhappy with it,” he said.

Women who Hemmert have dated will probably know who they are in his book, he said, but Hemmert has carefully changed names and locations of where he met women to protect everyone’s privacy.

In his book, Hemmert takes his love of grapes and wine and pays homage to the women he has dated by comparing them to a particular wine grape.

Hemmert now

After years on the dating scene Hemmert is still looking for just the right women to share his life.

His advice to those still married, but perhaps dissatisfied:

“If you are happy, even 80 percent of the time in your relationship, I say stay,” he said. “Because it is a crapshoot out there. When you get out there there’s all this game playing.”

Philosophic

Hemmert is philosophic about his life’s journey.

The book is really about me going through one of the greatest periods of my life,” he said. “I was willing to go wherever the universe led me and I was open to new experiences.”

Hemmert said he thinks maybe the time wasn’t right. “Maybe the real lesson was to experience life and meet these women and to write this book,” he said.

“Dating and the 50-Year-Old_Man” is available at barnesandnoble.com or tower.com. Stephen Hemmert will host a book signing at noon on Jan. 5 at Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. For information visit www.datubgabdtge50-year-oldman.com.

mbuttelman@signalscv.com

661-287-5590

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