, Newburyport, MA


August 21, 2013

Losing or gaining ground?

As I age it is magnificent to hear people say, “My, you certainly don’t look your age.” Bless you, but calendars don’t lie. There’s nothing to blunt the facts of life, though people try with tummy tucks, face lifts or whatever, but they are all Band-Aids. You have to exercise your brain!

I know time is taking its toll every night watching “Jeopardy” when my answer is just a “hair off” the correct one. That reminds me of an old Groucho Marx remark on a Jack Paar (WHO?) show of the 1960s. Marx said, “I have Alzheimer’s disease and he has mine.”

Many a night before heading off to sleep, I do a bed-check by trying to recall movies of the 1930-1940s, my hey day. For example, as I write this essay, I can name 10 stars from both “Gone With the Wind” and “Casablanca.” Can you?

There are many things I won’t or can’t do and they rotate around hand-held devices. To me, a phone is a stationary device for use whenever necessary. Texting while walking or driving is an accident about to happen and usually does. That is totally unnecessary, as any accident report will verify. I still use film in my camera because my wife and I like to have picture prints ASAP and not wait until Thanksgiving for prints taken at Easter. It was a bit dicey, I’ll admit, when traveling to Australia and South Africa to carry 20 rolls of film, but we had pictures within hours of our return, which are in albums we can visit whenever we want. Trying to remember instructions about iPhones, iPads, phone-cameras, etc., is a pain in which I would soon as not get involved. What is an app exactly? I write essays with the world’s first word processor; a #2 graphite enclosed wooden pencil with an eraser on top just in case of an errant misspelling.

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