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.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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