Unfortunately I'm not a recruiter either, just a vendor, and I'm also at a loss to explain why you've been treated so unfairly. While totally unjustified, they're probably playing the age and unemployment card against you. I wish I had some good advice to give you, but just know that I'm pulling for you and wishing you the best. I know that probably doesn't help.
The job market is still crowded right now and you are in a location that has a lot of competition. I am sure you see that. I work with healthcare and physicians. Doctors are scrambling for positions. I recommend that you keep at it. Stay positive. Get advice from recruiters, friends, and relatives on how your resume looks and competes. And then keep trying more. Please also get your name on niche job boards as well as the big ones. If you sign up on our job board I will make sure that we do what we can.
Best to you...
I'm sorry you are going through this Bill, I can't imagine how it's been for you. I do have a little bit of advice for you, but please bare with me as I say it.....
Step outside of yourself and look at you through a recruiter's eyes. Resume formatting. Structure of intro email (and spell check, vocabulary, emoticons,etc.) Dress. Overall appearance. Haircut. Voice presentation on the phone. Communication skills overall. Attitude. Availability. Salary. Job Interests. EVERYTHING. Take a look at all these things with fresh eyes and it may help you a little bit. At a minimum, it may help you discover something about your self that you didn't know before.
I realize this isn't a cure-all, but it may help you with seeing you through a recruiters eyes. Good luck!
@ Bill, as someone also in his 50s, the answer is two words: "AGE DISCRIMINATION".
If you want a job, find a company filled with people (particularly in hiring positions) around your age.
Very few companies filled and hired by young people will consider you.
You can truncate your resume to reflect only the past 10 or so years of experience (with earlier "available upon request"0 which may help get you interviews, but bottom-line:
Try to research and apply for jobs at companies where the people look like you.