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Eighty Ain’t No Party

John W. Pinkerton


80 ain’t no party.

I’ve told you numerous times about my physical ailments.  I guess I’ve pretty much worn that subject out.  Well, it’s the truth, and it’s on my mind a lot.

I guess I should just be happy I’ve made it this far.  I guess.

Of course, I never really expected to live this long, but here I am.  For some reason, in my youth I picked 55 years to be my limit, but here I am at 80. 

My mother when in her late 90’s asked me if I thought she would ever die.  I responded, “Hell, no!”

I, on the other hand, expect that my demise is inevitable.  I’ve had so many friends close to my age pass away.  I miss some of them.  My classmates from the Pineville High School class of 1960 are presently falling over at a pretty quick clip.

I have a friend from college I email about once a month to just check his pulse: so far so good.

I have been allowed to accomplish most of the goals I set for myself.  I was a hard working high school teacher.  I was a great school district librarian. I remodeled my 100 year plus house.  I made myself a popular artist.  I’m working toward completing 500 essays, a bunch of poems and some fictional short stories.  I’ve collected some of these into four published books.  I have maintained a website which provides a space for fellow artists and fellow writers and myself to tell folks we exist.  But enough about me---never.

Linda and I have been married for 53 years.  It was easy for me.  I’ll speak just for myself.  Linda may have a different thought.

You might have noticed that I started my list of accomplishments with my first real job at the age of 25, teaching. 

Well, there’s a reason for that: I got off to a slow start.

I was a scrawny kid who turned into a scrawny adult with not a lot of obvious plusses.  I saw this coming from an early age.  Scrawny and not pretty and not gifted.  Okay, I can deal with that.

Somewhere along the line, I discovered I had a couple of gifts: a better than average brain and an innate ability to see who people actually are.  These two gifts have compensated for a lot of scrawniness.

Frankly, my first sixty years were just fine as far as I’m concerned, but the last twenty have been even better.

Go figure.