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Half A Century Old Today

Posted by LOTGK on November 12, 2009


One Foot In The Grave

Yes, that’s me, just a couple of days ago, sitting on a tomb in the cemetery enjoying the uncharacteristically beautiful warm November weather. On my 50th birthday, I came to the realization that I have had gray hair for half of my life. Yes, I have been gray since I turned 25. (For those of you not doing the math) I also realized that I have been married for half of my life.

To be honest, I am the luckiest guy in the world. (I know that sounds cliché, but in my case, it’s totally accurate) My wife Patty is my soul mate and the most wonderful and beautiful woman I could ever imagine. (And I had a thing for super model Christy Brinkley!)

My son Patrick and I were talking just the other day and the topic moved to what life was like back when I was a child. (You know, in the Dark ages!) (Patrick is a hell of a son. He has his grandfather Jacks work ethic. He has a big heart and I am very proud of him.)

I replied: Before I was gray, I jumped roof to roof from neighborhood houses. I climbed flag poles just to reach the top. I hitched rides on trains just to see where they were going. I would play baseball, football, and basketball all day and capture the flag and flashlight tag at night. I would ride my bike to Idora Park and ride the Wild Cat roller coaster.

Before I was gray, telephones had rotary dials. And were connected to a phone cable. Entering area codes were only necessary when dialing long distance. Prefix numbers, (The first three digits of your phone number) didn’t need to be dialed either, you merely told the operator that was on the line that you wanted Riverside and the last four digits of the number and the operator would connect you. Cell phones were only worn by Dick Tracy.

Before I was gray, Television pictures were black and white. Only the rich had color pictures. Televisions only had three channels. ABC, CBS, and NBC. Those were the only letters you needed to know. Televisions had names like Admiral, Curtis-Mathis, Motorola, Philco, Zenith, Sylvania, Westinghouse, and RCA. The remote control was the youngest child. VCR’s were science fiction. Imagine being able to watch Gun Smoke any time you wanted to. Television broadcasts usually signed off the air after the 11 O’clock news with a somber rendition of God Bless America. Johnny Carson was the king of late night. Nothing better than Ed Ames and the Tomahawk incident. Google it.

Before I was gray, the Internet was a misspelling for Interstate. Computers were as big as houses. Floppies were girls not wearing their bra’s. Surfing involved water, waves, and a flat board resembling an ironing board. You had to go to the public library for research. Porn came in magazines, from seedy side stores and sold by a cigar smoking man in a ripped dirty t-shirt. National Geographic magazine was always the fall back source for porn. You were grateful to see a glimpse of Playmates nether regions, but only from afar.

Before I was gray, the British invaded the United States and Americans loved it. The Beatles stormed the country rising to the top of Billboards top 40 chart. We bought single 45 records and rarely listened to the “B” side. The record covers were pieces of art work. With lyrics enclosed. The 8-Track player was all the rage. We knew when playing certain Beatle songs backwards special messages and clues could be heard. “I’m buried” was one of them.

I was born in 1959, right before the Kennedy administration came into power. The population of the world has more than doubled since I was born. Minimum wage was $1 dollar an hour. Nixon was Vice President. There were only 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii joined later in the year. Stamps cost 4 cents.

On the tube, Bonanza debuted, in living color. Rod Serlings science fiction series, The Twilight Zone scared the Hell out of viewers.

Pornography entered the mainstream of society as Playboy was first published with blond bombshell actress Marilyn Monroe as the first centerfold.

Speaking of porn, the Barbie doll was introduced in 1959. And remember the Frisbee? Introduced in 1959 by Wham-O. (Wake me up before you go go!!!)

Turning to sports, The Dodgers won the World Series and the Baltimore Colts the National Football Championship.

At the movies, Gigi won best picture of 1959. Tony Curtis won best actor.

February 2nd, 1959, was the day the music died. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper, died in a plane crash after a concert.

Famous people born in 1959, other than me of course:
Linda Blair, The Exorcist star.
Keith Olbermann, broadcaster, They’re not gonna get him.
Cris Collinsworth, Bengals receiver and broadcaster.
Lawrence taylor, linebacker from the Giants.
John McEnroe, Tennis ace.
Danny Bonaduce, Danny Partridge, from the TV series.
Jessica Hahn, political sex scandal queen.
Magic Johnson, NBA star for the Lakers.
Simon Cowell, American Idol judge.
Marie Osmond, half of Utah’s first couple.
Royalty Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.
weird Al Yankovic. Musical artist mastering in parodies.
Mackenzie Phillips, famous for sleeping with her father.
Val Kilmer, Ice and Batman.

They say 50 is the new 40. I received my application for my AARP card in the mail the other day. WTF! However, I am 50 years old. Fifty years! It seems like only yesterday Patty and I were walking over the bridge in Mill Creek Park, the day I proposed to her, and she said yes. I am looking forward to the next 50 years. Please come back and visit me then and read my centennial post.

I’ll leave you with a song written and performed by Robert Lamm from the band Chicago. Its titled, Beginnings. And that is what being 50 means to me. Only the beginning….

When I’m with you,
It doesn’t matter where we are.
Or what we’re doing,
I’m with you, that’s all that matters.

Time passes much too quickly,
When we’re together laughing.
I wish I could sing it to you, oh no,
I wish I could sing it to you.

Mostly I’m silent, mm-hm-hm-hm.. Silent,
Never think of the right words to say.
When I kiss you, I feel a thousand different feelings,
The color of chills all over my body, hey, hey, hey.

And when I feel them,
I quickly try to decide which one,
I should try to put into words,
Oh no, try to put into words.

Mostly I’m silent, Silent.

Only the beginning of what I want to feel forever,
Yeah, oh, oh, whoa,
Yes, only the beginning of what I want to feel forever,
Only the beginning, only just the start, yeah.
I’ve got to get you into my life mama,
I’ve got to get you next to me.
Only the beginning, only just the start,
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah…Mmm-hmmm…

Only the beginning…Only the beginning…


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18 Responses to “Half A Century Old Today”

  1. Gumby said

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 50 years old. Did you know Amelia Earheart?

  2. Max Jackl said

    Happy Birthday dude. Fifty years old. Man, thats old. LOL

    Nice story.

  3. werty said

    Happy birthday to aarps newest member! ha

  4. fracas said

    Happy Birthday! Quitcherbellyachin about that AARP thing. In Canada, we don’t qualify for (what we call) senior’s discounts until we’re 55.

    I’ve almost caught up to you… only I’ve been dying my hair so long I don’t know when I actually first started turning gray, so I can’t write something as wunnerful as you did.

    And how very lovely of you to say such nice things about your wife. I’m sure you’ll be handsomely rewarded. 😉

    • LOTGK said

      Thank you for the birthday wishes. I’m holding out for my golden buckeye card.

      I wear my gray hair like a badge of honor. Not really, just not overly concerned with it, just glad I have all of it.

      And I am frequenly hansomely rewarded. Sometimes twice on Tuesdays.


  5. Ann-Mi said

    Congratulations, man! I loved this post, by the way. I often find myself wishing I were older so I could have experienced at least half of these things. It’s great to hear about people being so happy together for so long, too. Wishing you many more years of happiness and excitement.

  6. Moominboy said

    Noo, I’m late! Congratulations, Patrick! May you enjoy the next 50 years just as much and may you always be in good health and mood!

    You mean you haven’t had iPhones when you were young? :O

  7. Howdy, stranger!
    Happy (belated) birthday. Good to see you… I’ve stopped myself from visiting your site probably a dozen times already because I am trying to keep my mind off just how much longer I have to wait for LOST to come back.

    Thanks for stopping in. 🙂

    You don’t have arch enemies do you?

    • LOTGK said

      Hello back.
      Yes, patiently awaiting the return of Lost. We will see if I am correct. (I’m probably way wrong though)

      And I do have an arch enemy. His name is Gumby. And he rides an orange horse.

  8. jungljim69 said

    ah Mingo from the Daniel Boone show. Congrats on joining the club

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