That was the headline for a column written for the Union-Eagle 20 years ago next week. Someone asked recently if I was going to write about my birthday coming up that would get me into the 80-year-old bracket. I said no but then found this column written as I turned 60. It gave me a chance to relive that time AND take a look at pondering whether or not things have changed much in 20 years, Maybe it will give readers a chance to think about how things have changed for them in 20 years and/or give those about to turn 60 a perspective.)
Someone, a bit sarcastically it seemed, asked last week why there was no mention in this column of a recent birthday.
"Do you mean the one that ends with a zero and is between 50 and 70?" I asked.
"Yes, that's the one," that person replied.
There is no answer, except that it wasn't that big a deal, no mention was made of it by the national media, and it's nobody else's business anyway.
So what if I got more cards than normal, many of which were sarcastic in nature? (They shall remain unquoted.) That can happen to anyone, you would think.
By some standards I had already attained senior citizenship. AARP accepts your money if you're 50, other businesses go by 55 for discounts, and still others adhere to 60 or 62.
Just because I've got a pile of reading material about Social Security doesn't mean a thing. For many years those my age just hoped — against hope, it seemed — that there would be something left when we got around to start collecting after way more than 40 years of paying in. My Social Security career began 44 years ago and I'm hoping to get some of that money back.
I can't remember the store (apparently that's part of being this age) but I was in one last week where they give discounts for those 60 and older. That posed a real dilemma. Did I wand to take the discount, admitting out loud in front of God and all others nearby, that I had attained a certain age? Or would it be better to walk out the door with a dollar or two less than if I had pressed for the discount?
I was pondering that when along came a younger person who said, "Sir, can you tell me what time it is?"
Granted, that wasn't the first time someone had called me "sir." It's been happening off and on for a few years now and it's a little demoralizing. But I usually choose to believe that it's just someone being nice and has nothing to do with how many decades they think I've been around.
One of the traditional comments today when you have a birthday, especially one after this many years, is "Where have the years gone?"
Luckily for me I have an aunt who is 86 and has the same birthday as me. She sent me a card a week before our birthdays this year, continuing a decades-long tradition of beating me to the punch, and wrote that she couldn't believe how the years have whizzed by. Coming from someone who was born during World War I, that made me feel much better.
Of course, it didn't change the fact that this birthday was the one between 50 and 70 and ends in a zero.
One friend, who also has the same birthday and is a whole year older, gave me a card with coupons for McDonald's, knowing my aversion on many occasions to fast-food places but encouraging me to devour a few calories anyway. Another person sent along a large bag of Fritos. I gladly accepted but didn't ask which food group that fell into. Yet another sent a recipe and all the fixings to make a calorie-laced dip that I enjoy.
So you can see that there was lots of levity (and food) involved, although there was a card from a grandchild that simply wished me a happy birthday. That was a keeper!
A video about my life, produced here at the ECM studio in downtown Princeton and narrated by a co-worker, reminded me of how lucky I have been to work with such good people for so long. That, in turn, reminded me of all the good things that have come my way in life, not the least of which is an opportunity to share thoughts with readers in this space on a weekly basis.
And that brings me to the conclusion that 60 is just really a number anyway. It doesn't mean a thing — unless you count those aches and pain that weren't there a few years ago, along with the senior discounts you never thought you'd be accepting, maybe hair turning a different color, and having to fight the battle of the bulge. Just little things like that . . .
Let's hope that the "older and wise" advice on a birthday card kicks in one of these years.
Monday, Sept. 5- The Twins find themselves tied for first place after winning last Sunday against Chicago as Cleveland lost for the fourth game in a row, giving the Twins a chance to move up that they missed by also losing each day to the White Sox. But then they went and lost to the Yankees as the relief corps coughed hip another loss.
Friday, Sept. 9 - Now they find themselves 1 1/2 games out of first place as the first-place Cleveland team comes to town for three games beginning today. The "new" Yankee Stadium opened in 2009 and 22 major league teams have played there since. The worst record of those 22 teams belongs to the Twins, despite the fact the Twins have had some pretty good teams since in that time span. They have won only a little over 20% of games in that stadium and are 38-98 since 2000 against the Yankees. That's hard to believe but it's true. Hey, the Twins could sweep Cleveland and find themselves back in first place.
Sept. 6, 1962 -Elaine Borchard was given the award for being club champion as the ladies golf league had a post-season banquet . . . Roger Smith and Dean Hansen were the football team's co-captainsasthe team was to open the season with Sauk Rapids, a non-conference opponent.
Sept. 7, 1967 - Princeton and Northfield battled to a 0-0 tie in the season opener at Northfield. Tom Enger caught a pass from Dennis Sternquist on the final play of the game but was stopped on the Northfield five after a 20-yard gain.
Sept. 7, 1972 - Braham beat Princeton 6-0 in their quarter of the conference e jamboree as Chuck Young passed for more than 50 yards and Mark Wilhelm was the leading rusher . . . Former PHS player John McBroom lost 6-0 to Madelia in his first game as head football coach at Waterville.
Sept. 8, 1977 - Princeton Implement beat Super Valu 18-5 for the city softball championship as Chuck Olson had four hits. Implement beat Ziggy's the year before for the title, 4-2, after losing 14-0 to Ziggy's inthe 1975 title game . . . The PHS football team lost 6-0 to Mora as Steve Blaske gained 57 yards.
Sept. 9, 1982 - A crowd of near 2,000 watched as Milaca beat Princeton 14-8 at Princeton. Fullback Erik Soule scored the touchdown but was injured and missed the rest of the season . . . The volleyball team beat Milaca as Barb Blomberg led with six ace hits.
Sept. 3, 1987 - Season Legion baseball statistics showed Bryan Hoff leading in RBIs with 34. Chris Klinghagen in average with .327 and Jason Miller (11-3), Mike Sternquist (8-2) and Marco
Voce (6-2) as the top pitchers.
Sept. 3, 1992 - Ziegler Construction won the state Class D men's softball title in Moorhead. Keith Julson won the MVP trophy by hitting .700 . . . Doug Patnode returned to coaching football at PHS after resigning in 1989.
Sept 4, 1997 - Miriam Wilhelm (6-0) was undefeated for the girls tennis team as it beat Monticello and St. Francis . . . The football team won 26-22 at Rocori as Matt Wilhelm ran for 127 yards and Mike Patnode ran for 102. Chad Carlson threw for 142.
Sept. 2, 2002 - An overtime fake kick gave Foley a 22-20 win over Princeton in football. Mike Patnode ran for 91 yards . . . PHS football coach Doug Patnode was named to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference hall of fame. Patnode played at Minnesota-Morris.
Sept. 6, 2007 -.The Princeton Panthers (31-7 lost 7-4 to Sauk Rapids in the state tournament as the team had only six hits. Brian Dorr led the way with two and Tony Stay drove in two runs. It was the team's ninth trip to state in 10 years.
Sept. 6, 2012 - The girls tennis team beat St. Cloud Cathedral 5-2 . . . John Holmes (145) and Helen Sanborn(181) won the titles at Princeton Golf Club.
Sept. 7, 2017 - Princeton lost 50-30 to North Branch in football as Jacob Chase ran for 83 yards.
(Dorr is the former editor of the Princeton Eagle (2 years) and Princeton Union-Eagle (31 years), and has written about sports in the area for the past 54 years.)