Thinking social media belongs to the young people is understandable—it’s the message we hear all the time. But then comes along a rule-breaker like Margaret “Marge” Robben of Stamford. The eighty-seven-year old—and grandmother to fourteen good-looking, super-smart, and all-around-perfect grandchildren—became Internet famous.
She even has own line of t-shirts, too.
Ms. Robben, a resident at Edgehill, a Benchmark continuing-care retirement community, went viral over a Tweet.
Her grandson Cam Atkinson was recently traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Philadelphia Flyers National Hockey League (NHL) team. To celebrate, he sent her one of his new jerseys to wear, but she couldn’t get his name to show in a selfie, so she problem-solved and wore it backward. His name should be seen, afterall.
“Cam thought it was so creative that his grandma would do that, so he posted it on Twitter,” said Marge. Others agreed. “I got 2,500 responses from Flyers fans. I was answering questions all day long. The ‘Twitter calls’ kept coming over two days. The Flyers fan base is incredible. They sent me the most beautiful messages.”
Of course Flyers management loved the attention and gave Marge—who now goes by the hashtag #GrandmaMarge—her very own line of merch. The t-shirts show Marge’s likeness wearing Cam’s jersey backward, of course.
As for social media, she says she’s up to date. “If you want to keep up with your family and what they are doing, you learn how to use it. I learned right along with them and have been using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for quite a long time. I am even on TikTok,” she said.
Cam comes from a long line of athletes and others who proudly contributed to their communities. In the 1940s and 50s, Marge played softball for the Police Athletic League, basketball in high school and after having her five kids, played tennis. And her late-husband, John, who Marge met at fifteen, played baseball before becoming a professional writer and columnist. He even founded the ubiquitous BABY ON BOARD sign. And Cam’s mother is also a legendary tennis player and his father is a Canadian-born former hockey coach. Cam came to his sport with credentials.
On October 15 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Marge and her entire family will celebrate two important occasions—Cam’s first game as a Flyers player and Marge’s new t-shirt line. She will join the Flyers’ mascot, Gritty, to celebrate this momentous occasion and may even appear on the Zamboni.