Today, i am somewhere between not grown up and ancient.
79 years old or young, however you look at it.
I am faced with three facts:
- I was born and i will die.
- I’m going to live until i die.
- Only i can determine how i deal with the above two facts and all of the craziness that living brings.
I’m okay with that.
I celebrate my birth date with some pretty well-known folks:
Dolly Parton is two years younger (and looks much younger). I have never met Dolly, but i was not amused when she took Jeannie Seely’s place on the Porter Wagoner television show in 1967, and I hadn’t been all that thrilled when Jeannie Seely replaced Norma Jean (Busler) in 1965. I had watched Norma Jean since she debuted on the show in 1961. If she hadn’t been on the show, I probably wouldn’t have watched Porter at all and only turned on WSM-TV, channel 7, when Flatt and Scruggs followed that show at 5:00 on Saturday. Now, I have the greatest respect for Ms Parton even if her “Dollywood” turned a nice country two-lane road with single-lane hump-backed bridges leading to our mountain cabin for many years.
* * *
Edgar Allan Poe is/was 145 years older than me. Edgar captured me with his short stories, especially “The Pit and the Pendulum.” However, his love poems impacted me deeply: “To Helen,” “Annabel Lee,” and “Lenore.” And if someone does not like “The Raven,” they are a bit touched in my mind. My cousin Jamie Jacobs, one of the dearest, caring ladies of all time now lives in the house in Monroe, Virginia dedicated to Poe because of his service in the Army at Fort Monroe.
* * *
Janice Joplin is/was one year older than me. Even though i prefer Irma Franklin’s version of “Piece of My Heart,” her “Me and Bobby McGee,” written by Kris Kristofferson, and her own “Me and Bobby McGee,” remain two of my favorites.
* * *
Robert E. Lee is/was 143 years older than me. i think he was a noble, well-intended man, who had some hard decisions to make in a time and place that i cannot imagine. There are many who malign the man, rather the existence of slavery, the most horrible of institutions which existed in many forms in most cultures. I cannot judge the man for i did not know him nor cannot fathom what such an awful time was like. We moved forward and upward from that horrible time, but we seem destined to wallow in it for revenge. When i think of Lee, i just feel sad.
* * *
Paula Dean is 3 years younger than me. i would not even know who she is if it had not been for Maureen. When i think of her, i think of butter, lots of butter. Perhaps i am attributing butter to the wrong cooking show hostess. But i don’t think so.
* * *
In a website list of folks born on this date, there are 43 other, younger people. I do not know any of them. That is, quite possibly, those folks came after my time.
I don’t feel old but sometimes feel like time has passed me by. Time can seem like a relative thing, but it, the lucky old sun, and this lucky old son, just keep rolling along. Oh, i have a long list of medical problems that can kill me…sometime. Yes, i creak and moan and find a number of movements more difficult than they were before. And i recognize i have to adjust from my-devil-may-care, let’s-go-for-it, system for attacking life. But i feel young.
Perhaps my greatest concern is living with friends who have stopped living, good people, people i enjoyed being with.
And so it is; and so it shall be. But that last fact of the three listed at this opening of this rambling keeps whacking me in the head. “Only i can determine i how deal with the above two facts and all of the craziness that living brings about.
And by golly, i’m gonna stick with it.
79: here we go. Whoo hoo!