Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Life Moving into Its Seventh Decade (Sob, Sob)

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Life Moving into Its Seventh Decade (Sob, Sob)

Article excerpt

With new years come new wall calendars. The theme of my 2015 calendar is vintage sports cars.

Yes, vintage. And I owned two of them. When they were new.

Vroom! Vroom!

In case you're interested, all sorts of interesting things are supposed to happen this year.

Lithuania is adopting the euro as its "official currency."

Expo 2015 is opening in Milan.

And a NASA spacecraft is expected to fly by Pluto and explore that part of the galaxy for four or five months.

The spacecraft is named New Horizons -- which brings up the one 2015 event I'm NOT looking forward to.

Yes. My birthday.

I'm Facebook friends with five dozen guys I went to high school with, and I've spent a good part of 2014 wishing them happy 60th birthdays.

The last of them, Vinny, turned 60 on Dec. 28.

"As you begin your seventh decade," I wrote on his page, "well, let's just say that's a lot of decades, dude ..."

I'm still only 59 because I skipped fourth grade.

Don't ask me why I skipped fourth grade. Maybe I was smart. Who remembers? It happened so long ago.

On a good day, people tell me I look 45. Well, until I bend over to pick up something -- my reading glasses, usually -- and they hear all those loud cracking noises.

Several friends have already had knee and hip replacements.

Not I!

And I'm proud of that. I even mention it in my sexy personal ads: "Still has original hips and knees."


Last week, as my 60th year began creeping up on me, I found myself visited by the ghosts of Milestone Birthdays Past.

In 1965, when I turned 10, I started referring to myself as a teenager because my age had two digits in it.

My then-14-year-old neighbor Phyllis got all snappy about this: "You're not a teenager! Teenagers have 'teen' in their age. Thir- teen! Four-teen! Seven-teen!"

After that, I began calling her "Phyllis-teen" -- which was the perfect nickname for her, since she thought it was a compliment.

When I finally did become a teenager, all I cared about was turning 21.

Funny how that works.

Thirty, 40, 50 and 60 are considered turning points. But 20 has always been overshadowed by 21.

Today, you need to be 21 to (legally) go to bars, so kids look forward to it. …

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