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Heading Into the Second Half of Life
Wednesday, November 24, 2010 • Posted November 24, 2010

Today is the 51st. Birthday, that is. Mine. Normally I'm content to let such celebrations pass by with as little fanfare as possible; but, I'm rather proud of this one.

I'm now past the half way mark of a century. With the longevity of many members of m family, that is a reasonable and entirely feasible proposition. I'm not entirely certain that I want to live until I'm 100; but, it certainly is better than not having made it to 51!

I'm the youngest of my siblings, and in deference to them, I'll not mention that Steve is two years older than me and Connie six. After 50 years, they still give me grief about being the baby of the family, and I suspect that will last the rest of our lives.

A great deal has occurred in the 51 years I've been upon this planet.

I was born with Eisenhower in the White House, followed by Kennedy, a tragedy occurred, Johnson filled the shoes. Nixon followed, and so did legal problems, and Ford stepped in. Carter moved from the Peanut fields; but, went home as Reagan moved from Hollywood to D.C. Bush carried on for a term, then was replaced by Clinton. Embarrassing escapades ended that era as Bush II began a two-term run. And now Obama.

I've been through more governors than I can recall, lots of senators, congressmen and local elected officials. The names may change; but, little else ever does.

I remember getting our telephone. One line. A wall phone. A party line with Celesta Nobles and Katemcy Ranch both sharing time. If it rained, service often was unavailable. By the time I got to college, we had Touch-Tone phones in every dorm room. By the late 80s, we had phones in every room of our apartment. In the 90s, I had a 12-pound bag phone. I could get service in isolated areas, and paid through the nose if I made calls outside my neighborhood. Now, my phone surfs the web, finds restaurants, plays music and movies, and helps me navigate if I get lost.

When I was young, I remember watching television shows with my family. When people got shot, they didn't ever bleed. Even on Gunsmoke, and people got shot a lot on that show. And bare skin? Even Jane Russell wore a sweater UNDER her brassiere during those advertisements. Now, we can watch stabbings, shootings and animal attacks, with all the attendant gore. And skin??? Even on network TV, Victoria Secret ads make it clear that Victoria has no secrets!

Cars are still cars and houses are still houses; but, the value has changed. Cars now cost what houses did when I was young. Houses now cost what private planes once fetched. Everything is more expensive; but, everyone wants more money for what they do, make, or sell. Like the universe, one wonders if after a while the expansion finally will reach a point where it all comes collapsing back on itself.

And people? In spite of some of the bad examples that we see every day, people really haven't changed. We may be more aware of the ones who are jerks and buffoons; but, they were always around. Good people still outnumber the bad, even though politicians, pundits and prognosticators would prefer that we think this is the first time people have been so greedy, so angry, so confused and so apathetic.

51 years!

I think I'll stick around a while.

It’s all just my opinion.

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