This March marked a milestone in my life.
Such milestones give us the opportunity to reflect on the years gone by and where we are now in our lives.
Yep, my birthday gave me the opportunity this March to reflect on the years gone by. Seventy-five of ‘em. Never get them back, will I?
And, where am I now in life?
What else? Old.
But, after suddenly feeling some creaks I hadn’t noticed before, I realized, getting this old isn’t all that bad.
As the joke goes, it sure beats the alternative.
Actually, being this old does have its advantages.
The most immediate advantage was it made me eligible to receive the covid 19 vaccine. And, in kind of the story of my life, when I got to the first of the line, the spot was opened to just about anybody.
Being old gets doors held open for me. And, if I limp a little, often people will let me go ahead of them in grocery checkout lines. Loud tired sighs also help.
On a more profound level, there are memorable moments that those of my age can associate ourselves with just by having been around when they happened. There were times of sending humans to the moon along with developments that today’s youth consider to be absolutely prehistoric such as color television, seat belts in cars and push-button phones.
Imagine, we were the first to hear the words that would go down in history as among the most heard on television. I’m talking about, “ … Just $19.95 … but wait, there’s more!” My old fogey associates and I were around when the first Chia Pet sprouted.
In sports, even folks as creaky as yours truly don’t have bragging rights to witnessing major events such as the baseball’s first grand-slam homer, football’s first forward pass or basketball’s last two-hand set shot.
But, we have enough miles on us to be able to say we were around on the sad day for major league baseball when the designated hitter was invented. Also we remember when high school and Little League baseball games featured the crack of a wooden bat making contact with the ball instead of today’s annoying ping.
And one would have to be of our advanced years to remember one of the more memorable moments in professional football. It happened on Nov. 8, 1970. While in the Army at Ft. Polk, La., a co-worker from New Orleans visited me to watch his beloved losers New Orleans Saints play the Detroit Lions who I had not completely given up on yet. It was hilarious to watch the Saints line up one the last play of the game to try a 63-yard field. I rubbed it in to my friend from New Orleans because the Saints were not really serious, were they? Nobody at that time kicked field goals over 50 yards. But, wham, Tom Dempsey, the Saint’s kicker with no toes on his right foot made it, a record that stood for 40 years.
Which brings me to a category I guess could be called don’t-expect-to live-long-enough-because-it ain’t-going-to-happen. I was rewarded, after moving to the south, and switching allegiance to the Saints, by witnessing the team actually winning a Super Bowl.
It’s obvious, even with modern medicine and any miracle cures that may be discovered, I’ll never live long enough to see the Lions win a Super Bowl.
Jim Edwards is retired after a lifetime in the newspaper business and for 30 years worked in various positions at the Camden News, El Dorado News-Times and Banner-News of Magnolia. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of this newspaper. Email to [email protected]