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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN / Notes on 60 at 60 / Editorial List

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Gary Barg

Notes on 60 at 60

When I was twelve years old, one of my junior high school classmates mentioned that her uncle just turned 21 years of age.  I immediately thought of the phrase “over the hill” while actually visualizing the hill he was must be heading over. How could anyone be that old!

For some reason turning the big 30 did not affect me, just another date on the calendar.  I was, however, rather tickled the day I turned 33 1/3.  For those of you under 40, that is a speed on a record player – if you don’t know what a record player is, ask your granddad.  I am sure I annoyed everyone I saw that day with my rather weak date-pun.  Can’t wait to see how many people I annoy (and probably confuse) when I turn 78.

On my 50th birthday, after a party thrown for me at my favorite Indian restaurant, I first saw the picture of my best gift ever. My Brussels Griffon, Morris, who I was blessed to be able to spend the next nine years with before he passed over the Rainbow Bridge.  Can’t believe he is gone almost a year now.
Now as I turn 60, I am sitting with my new Brussels puppy, Junior enjoying the fact that, the P in puppy must stand for wanting me to be perpetually playing with him, which bewilderingly keeps me feeling both young and winded at the same time…

It all goes by so fast. I can swear that I turned 40 years old only a few months ago.  That was a birthday, for some reason, I didn’t want to acknowledge.  I was faced with it anyway, since I was visiting my brother in New Orleans whose friend was hosting a local public television telethon and shared my birthday and age on the air. I am certain that no one in the entire city but me and my brother rolling in laughter noticed. But it did take the sting out of my decrepitude.

Along the same lines, it seems as if it was just a few short years ago that I was 30 and now… 

I do not know what 60 should feel like and don’t think I feel it if I did know, but reaching this milestone does bring a very important fact into clear vision that for me- age is indeed just a number.

That 80 year old that you look at with a sense of otherness- probably feels as I do, wait, how did I get to be this age?  How am I supposed to act and what am I supposed to feel like at this age?

No matter how young you are, someone younger is looking at you right now and visualizing that very same hill you must be heading over, as well. Because, regardless of our momentary age, we are all on this roller coaster of life together with countless many in the cars in front of you and countless many in the cars behind you. There are some differences obviously, yet we all find ourselves traveling on the same linear track, careening around the various turns, twists and bends that life has to offer. 

With any good luck, that 20 year old will look around and be 40, then 60 then 80 before he or she knows it and would be able to say without reservation that they have truly enjoyed the ride. 

Gary Barg

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