Ah, yes, that title. Again I’ve been asked what it means. In two months, I’ll be 80. In baseball vernacular, I’m rounding third and heading for home. Sound a little morbid? Well, with the friends I have, it’s par for the course. They scold me when I buy a dozen golf balls at a time. They think I shouldn’t waste my money. I should just buy three—or even one—at a time. Or they’ll kid me that the funeral director is following me around with a tape. Gallows humor? Maybe! In the blue collar world I live in, the humor comes hard and often. But, that’s the way I grew up and just how I like it.
I don’t want this column to be all about the good old days and how much better it was. Certainly there are so many things today that are better. Problem is, I have life experience but, modern conveniences, -- computers, etc, -often throw me and are much better understood by the young. Did you never think what a better world we could have if we had the brilliance and energy of youth and combined it with the experience and savvy in the world that older people have? This poem touches on that topic. It’s called Ah, Youth!
Ah, little do you see, my boy, of all that lies ahead.
‘Tis plain that youth may never truly know.
If medicine could forego hearts and transplant minds instead,
Experience would have a place to go.
We learn so much as time goes on, and then there’s none who care.
It’s sad that all that knowledge goes to waste.
I’d like to build a college where the young and old could share.
I’d bet we’d solve the problems that we’ve faced.
The young have so much energy, I envy them that part,
But then, I’m not so sure that I’d go back.
They’re halfway through a race before the older of us start,
But, most times they don’t even stay the track.
Life is really funny when you think about it right;
We seldom know just what we’re aiming for.
The end result is probably so damn far out of sight,
That patience starts to walk right out the door.
For those who stay the course, the end result can be so sweet,
Fulfillment that can reach the golden years,
But, youth is not experience, and ne’er the twain do meet—
Lest not until we pass this vale of tears.
So, play the strings of youth, my child. Thy song will end too soon.
And listen for the harmony I sing.
Your tenor and my baritone can forge the dearest tune,
As winter snow makes sweeter flow’rs of spring.
And feed upon the glimmered truth I’ve tried so to impart,
These wrinkles are the price I had to pay.
The heritage I pass along is coming from the heart.
Do not forget that I have passed your way. JDF
Notes from history; John Harvey Kellogg, the man who invented corn flakes, did so as a remedy, or therapy, for mental patients. He and his brother, William, ran a sanatorium. They also thought it would curb the patients’ sex drive. What did you have for breakfast? * The term draconian means very harsh or severe. It was coined after an Athenian legislator named Draco, who existed about 600 B.C. The held a testimonial in his honor at the theater of Aegina and as he entered the open air stadium, thousands of his supporters rose and showered him with praise. They threw their hats and cloaks, a sign of affection then. Unfortunately, there were so many that Draco smothered under the pile. That’s a little harsh.
Quips and Quotes: *When you tell some people a secret, it goes in one ear and then in another.
*A father carries pictures where his money used to be. * Dogs love people. Cats think we’re warm-blooded furniture. * We are all responsible for our own behavior—unless we’re celebrities. * Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain. Joke: A young boy goes into a barber shop and the barber says to a customer, “This kid is really stupid. Watch this!’ He holds a dollar in one hand a two quarters in the other, and offers them to the kid. The boy thinks and takes the two quarters. The barber turns to the customer and winks. Later, the customer sees the boy eating an ice cream cone and asks him, “Son, why do you keep taking the two quarters and not the dollar that is worth more?” The kid smiles and answers, “Because, as soon as I take the dollar, the game is over.” See ya! JDF