2010.11.17 One more year

Written by David Green.

“Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

- Bob Dylan

By DAVID GREEN

What’s so important about reaching a new decade, anyway? I don’t recall any big deal about turning 10 years old. It was just another birthday.

That’s how I tried to portray last week’s event when I reached my sixth decade. Just another year—with fewer left ahead.

Actually, when I reached 10 years old, I had already completed a decade and was embarking on my second one. So now, at 60, I’m starting on my seventh. Suddenly I feel older.

Birthdays are different in the age of Facebook. People who never before knew your birthday are wishing you the best.

“Hope today was as great as you wanted it to be.”

“I will always remember you as my ‘young neighbor’ when I was a child.”

“Holy crap! It’s your birthday!” (that was my wife)

“Happy birthday, even if it is deadline day.”

That one came after my preëmptive warning that my birthday was falling on a busy Tuesday this year. After a couple “happy birthdays” arrived early, I stated that I would not be celebrating. I suggested, instead, that people observe Spiro Agnew’s birthday.

“Hope you have a great day celebrating Spiro T. Agnew’s birthday, just as I celebrate Fidel Castro’s birthday every year.”

For years I’ve pointed out that Spiro Theodore Agnew’s birthday is also Nov. 9. We share that day, but little else. Younger readers won’t remember him as vice president under Richard Nixon.

Eventually, not even Nixon was satisfied with his choice of Agnew. When he was asked by an aide why he decided against replacing Agnew on the ticket for his 1972 reëlection, Nixon reportedly joked by saying that no assassin in his right mind would kill him because then they would get Agnew.

Here’s your political trivia item for the day: The other vice presidential candidate in 1972, Sargent Shriver—the driving force behind the Peace Corps—was also born Nov. 9.

There are several lists of celebrity birthdays and it’s interesting to see how different they are. Queen Isabella of Valois—a celebrity from the 1390s if ever there was one—made the famous birthday list from HistoryOrb.com but failed to be mentioned at BrainyHistory.com.

Both websites list Agnew as “39th vice president, crook.” Very well put.

Maybe it’s time to ditch Spiro and go with someone new. There are so many choices. Ivan Turgenev, Russian writer. Emile Gaboriau, father of the French detective novel. Lewis Lewin, father of pyschopharmacology and the first scientist to undertake a methodical analysis of the peyote cactus.

Actress Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler (Heddy Lamarr). Singer Tom Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Singer Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary. Singer Choi Dong-Wook, known as Se7en in Korea.

Baseball manager Whitey Herzog. Blues singer Carl Perkins. Baseball pitcher Bob Gibson. Ohio senator Sherrod Brown. Victoria Keil, 1996 Miss Universe candidate from Cook Islands. Child molesterer Roger Lee Jones.

Here’s the youngest one: Cheyenne Pyle, youngest heart transplant patient at age 90 minutes.

I’m sure it’s the same for anyone’s birthday if you check it out. A host of famous political figures, writers, military leaders, sports stars, actors, criminals—they’re born every day of the year.

Instead of Agnew, maybe I should go with astronomer Carl Sagan or comedian Ed Wynn known as “the Perfect Fool.” Or better yet, poet Anne Sexton (“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”)

My wife slipped the “geezer” birthday ad into last week’s paper without me seeing it. There was a lot in last week’s paper that I didn’t see. As deadline day progressed, it became more and more challenging. Believe me, it was no birthday. We were 40 minutes late and slapped some things together pretty quickly at the end.

Looking ahead, I’m expecting some injuries in my 60th year as I try to prove that I’m not a geezerly 60. Climb a water tower? No problem. New hobby? Why not tight-rope walking.

And you know what they say: Never trust anyone over 80.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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