So, okay. That is not what this is going to be about but apparently, if you’re still reading I did manage to catch your eye!. Well, time marches on. We do get older, or “progress” if you will and the foibles of old age catch up to us and rear some rather ugly heads. But it’s not all bad. In fact it can actually be kind of fun if you keep an open mind and your sense of humor. So now, let’s explore. Let’s talk about some of the happenings we go through as we move through life’s journey.
MOVIES AND ENTERTAINMENT
Isn’t it amazing how we can compare some of today’s movies to those of our youth. Remember going to the movies on a Saturday afternoon? It took years to realize that dad gave us the money so he could get us out of the house and have some “alone” time with mom. I am actually old enough to remember two movies, a DOUBLE feature, coming attractions and a cartoon. We were busy all afternoon. I can remember that horror movies were always my favorite so films like “The Blob,” or any Dracula movie were always on my list. I remember a movie called “The Atomic Submarine” an old-time horror flick about aliens invading. (Never saw this one on the Turner Classic channel) Our heroes were all virile, strong and tough men who never lost a fight and always got the girl. And the girls were all the kind who were beautiful and helpless but brave enough to put themselves in harm’s way by having a job on a spaceship or something like that.
Was there ever a decade like the 60’s or the 70’s. I was lucky enough to straddle the both of them so I grew up able to appreciate Elvis and his influence, the Beatles and the change from Rock ‘n Roll to Rock music. The British invasion, the American response with great groups like the Beachboys and real singers. Guys like Jackie Wilson who had probably the greatest voice and range of all time, Sam Cooke who had a sound that could only be compared to silk and Bobby Darin who actually abandoned a Rock ‘n Roll career, switched to standards and gave us “Mack the Knife” a real classic. Women like Dusty Springfield who left us way too soon, Etta James and of course Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin. Not too long ago I remember watching a TV show about Divas with Mariah Carey, Celine Deion and a few other women. Aretha was also there and stole the show. Can you honestly compare those women and lots of others to the female acts of today. Take away the glitz, the explosions and the other nonsense and you have a bunch of club singers who would be excellent where they are, in some tucked away nite club, and that’s about it. I guess that makes me appreciate what my parents used to tell me about my music versus theirs, which included Sinatra, Crosby and the rest. All in all though I was lucky enough to grow up during an age of music that we may never see again. An age that even my kids can, and do, appreciate.
Being Italian and growing up in a large family you got used to certain things. First of all, Sunday dinner was for the family and was never missed. It took hours to get through and involved course after course of great food prepared by everyone. Yes, everyone, even the men had some hand in preparing Sunday dinner. Second, when it came to family, everyone was your family. Uncles, aunts, cousins. You weren’t necessarily related by blood, but they were your family anyway. I was in my teens when I found out that Uncle so and so wasn’t REALLY my uncle or Aunt Linda was just a neighbor who was always around, lived on our street or was somehow tied to us. Remember “It Takes a Village?” Not exactly a new concept. But those days are pretty much gone now because families are torn apart for careers. A career can really take you from one part of the country to another, or even farther. Unfortunately that means that we may not have the influence or the contact that we want.
Now, this is where we separate the haves from the have nots. See, memories are funny because over the years we edit them. We can remember the good ones but even some of the bad ones have a humorous or some other redeeming side that makes them pleasurable to us. The friends, the games we played, the old neighborhood are all wrapped up in small caverns in our minds and thought about frequently, told and retold to our kids and grandkids.
But, on the flip side, don’t ever confuse memories with memory. Walking into a room and just turning around and leaving because you forgot why you went there in the first place may not be common, but it happens often enough. And in my case, with my memory, I’ll bet my wife has a word in mind and common doesn’t come close.
There are many adventures we face as we age. As we move forward into what I used to call the Geritol for lunch bunch there are changes and things to which we must adapt. I admit it’s not all pleasant though. Little things like the aches and pains, stiff joints and blurry eyes are all part of the process. But then there’s the good stuff and most of it is good.
We can look back at our lives and see some mistakes, some regrets. But we can realize that we overcame them. We can see ourselves as a block or a base upon which we built our children and family. We can relate to our own lives, then look at our kids and our grandkids and see the future. Would we trade that? Never. We can tell them tales of what it was like when we were young. Tell them stories about our adventures and how we lived, how we really did walk to school, and look at the wonder in their eyes, while we wonder if they believe us or not. We can look at our spouse, in my case my wife of 45 years and see that the love of my life, really is the love of my life.
So, what happens when the raisin bran doesn’t work? I don’t know. But I do know that a life is meant to be lived, to be treasured, to be shared. We all give something to this planet and that is what keeps it going. That, my friends, is what is known as the good life, the life worth living. Add some spice to it, some good wine, good food and good company and you build a legacy.
Anne Marie… What’s for breakfast?