Well, that day has finally come. A bit of a strange sensation to leave your forties behind. Especially when you’re the youngest, you always picture yourself as being young. A childhood friend who lives in the area told me once that she still sort of thought of me as a little kid, because when she was ten years old, I was eight. Which made me laugh. Because I think I was 46 at the time. Yep, that is me above. First Grade, I believe. I was a cute little kid, and am still not sure how I managed to evolve into this present hideous visage without some sort of tragic and disfiguring event. But, here I am.
My “youthful outlook” consists largely of the sense of humor of 4th grader, who still giggles at cartoons, the Three Stooges, and bathroom humor. (My mother used to warn that I was “confusing crudity with sophistication”.) Anybody know where I can find re-runs of Beavis and Butthead?
I will say I do believe my 50th will be considerably less exciting than my 40th. I spent that one in Ramadi, with the first order of business being told we are heading into the Governor’s Compound no matter what condition Route Michigan was (and it was invariably BLACK in May and June that year). The operations staff sang Happy Birthday to me (thanks, Doc!), and we got mortared twice.
They say that 50 is the new 40. Perhaps it is. I am considerably “younger” than my parents were at the same age, as their generation did not get much exercise, and both of them smoked. I still play basketball with guys half my age, and can hold my own in the weight room. (I am not as strong at 50 as I was at 40, but I was stronger at 40 than 30.) And my golf game is, believe it or not, improving. But, running is really a chore these days, and has been since breaking my back in the early 90s. And I don’t heal nearly as quickly. But what the hell. Never up, never in.
I just have to get used to the fact that I am no longer the “young go-getter in Sector 7G”. Then again, I haven’t been for some time.
One cool fact about the day I was born is that it is 100 years to the day after the Battle of New Market. Various friends who are VMI Alum commemorate that battle as New Market Day, where the VMI Corps of Cadets participated in the fight against Franz Sigel’s Federals. Today is the 150th anniversary of the fight, one for which VMI should be justifiably proud. Just the same, LTCOL P should mention that it is not only the 150th commemoration of New Market, but URR’s 50th birthday! I am not asking for much, perhaps a stone monument somewhere….