Retired ‘Old Coots’ Set Up Table at Farmer’s Market in Salt Lake City to Give Free Life Advice


Many of us have questions as we go through life, some of them being serious and others, not so much. There are times when all of us need advice but where do we turn to make sure that we get the right answers? Sometimes it is just about going with someone who has life experience, and these ‘old coots’ are giving it out by the bucket load.


The ‘old coots’ are a group of retired friends who have gotten together weekly for a very long time. They were enjoying themselves but suddenly, they realized that they were not being all that productive with their time.

“We were sitting outside, bored stiff from talking to each other, and I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to get us a booth across the street at the farmers market, where we can give advice,” said Tony Caputo, 69, one of the old coots.

Tony was quick to get started. They began by setting up a card table at a local farmers market and hung a banner that read “Old Coots Giving Advice – It’s Probably Bad Advice, but It’s Free.’ They had an ingenious idea that people would come by to get advice for anything they needed in life and they would give it for free.

They were surprised when people actually started to warm up to the idea.

“It started as a joke, but it’s become a phenomenon,” Caputo said. “Somebody told us the other day that we’re the most popular attraction at the market. We always listen carefully and don’t give gratuitous advice.”

Since that first visit to the farmers market, the group continues to set up every Saturday and give advice to up to 40 people daily. There is just one rule, no questions related to politics or religion are allowed but other than that, fire away.

“To be truthful, I’m not sure that any of us can claim to have much wisdom,” said John Lesnan, another OC, “but it sure has been a lot of fun. Maybe all of us coots really do have more to offer than we thought.”

This really opens up some interesting ideas for questions on my part.



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