Here I am bald, blind and looking hard at 60 years old. And I never
thought I'd make it this far. I also could add I'm fat (I'm really not)
and I have several bad habits which I cherish.
Among them are watching old black-and-white 1930s cowboy movies which
were made before I was born no matter what some of you younger folks out
there may think. Actually I am not all that old when I think about it. I
also like the Dallas Cowboys. If that isn't a sign of some kind of dark
side, one doesn't exist. But I hasten to tell you right now that I do
not carry pistols into airports and I do not knock holes in dormitory
walls at some noname ollege in Austin. Back when I was about a thousand
years younger, some members of a football team on which I played did
knock some holes in a dressing room wall after a particularly boisterous
victory - against Memphis State, I think. But the old coach at the time
didn't appreciate it so the whole squad got to run with the cross
country team for a while. I came out of that experience with a great
respect for cross country teams although I did suspect they were all
masochists, probably still are.
I turned 58 years on Saturday and I can still walk.
I can still talk.
I still cheer when ever I get the mystery year right on the network
Dateline television program. I haven't missed yet. I know I will miss
someday but I don't have any idea when.
My mother and sister (who has the same birth date as mine) called me on
my birthday. Val made sweet 'tater pie. And everyone had a good time
calling me an old geezer, which I am not although I probably will be in
another century or so.
This thing about age suddenly has begun to mystify me, which probably is
a sign of something. I never even thought about it before.
When I was in my 20s, the big fear among my generation was we wouldn't
make $10,000 a year before we hit 30. Well I made it with room to spare
and it meant absolutely nothing. How was my generation expected to know
that you qualify for food stamps if you're only making $10,000 a year?
Most of my friends really worried about 30.
I roared past 30 and didn't stop. I zoomed past 40 and didn't notice.
When I was about 48 I didn't worry about hitting 50 because I was in a
situation at the time down South where I was not all that sure I was
going to make the next week.
So now I'm in my late 50s and I have decided it is time to grow up, not
a lot but a little, so I can be like some of my contemporaries who have
really went to seed as the years passed. Some of these contemporaries
absolutely will not watch old black-and-white Cowboy movies. Some of
these contemporaries absolutely voted for Bill Clinton for president of
the United States. For that I can only pity them. They never were right
bright. They're playing a few cards short. I believe there is physical
evidence that anyone who votes for Bill Clinton to head anything,
including (especially including) a charity bingo game, has the
intelligent quotient of a wilted radish.
On Monday I received one of those boiler room telephone calls. It came
from Edmonton, Alberta, which is in Canada, where I have been, and which
is not bad if your idea of heaven is Houston with glaciers. This cheery
female voice on the telephone congratulated me. I thought it was going
to wish happy birthday. But it didn't. It said I had qualified for a
$3,000 loan and wasn't I proud.
The cheery female voice said it would send me this money as soon as I
sent it $275. Gee, Thanks, I told the alleged Canadian. But I probably
won't ever get my $3,000 because I have not sent her the money. I have
notified the office of State Attorney General Dan Morales.
Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Steve Patterson, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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