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Our 28th year of publishing

Published August 24, 2021

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’ into the future

By John Toth / The Bulletin

Getting older comes with some negatives, but it also has a lot of advantages.

“How old are you, son, 35?” I asked my oldest of three children on his birthday.

“I’m 36, dad. You know that,” he replied.

That’s right. I hadn’t turned 30 when he was born. I was six months away from doing so. That makes him 36, and me a year older - mathematically.

The positive is that we got together and had a great time celebrating his birthday.

Another negative is that I go to the dentist more often, and for more elaborate procedures. I think one of the chairs at Sabal Dental in Angleton has my name on it by now.

The positive is that Dr. Charles Stewart has taken good care of me over the years. It is always pleasant to have a conversation with him while he is working on my teeth, although my participation is a lot shorter, for obvious reasons.

Another negative is that I really don’t like going to the gym, but feel like I have to so that this body won’t fall apart anytime soon. I have never been an exercise fanatic, but my older son, the 36-year-old gym owner and physical perfectionist, has convinced me how important it is to keep that blood flowing properly through those muscles.

The positive, though, is that he convinced me over a decade ago, and I have been dragging myself to the gym ever since almost regularly. It has made a big difference. And, my membership is now free through Silver Sneakers.

Another negative is that I really don’t know what to expect as the years progress, since my parents both died at age 60 after smoking for many decades. I have no idea what they would have died of had they not smoked and lived longer, what to expect in my golden years.

The positive is that on my mother’s side, those who didn’t go out of their way to shorten their lifespan, lived into their late 80s or 90s. That’s good news. My last aunt on my mother’s side died at 86. She smoked up to the last day, I think. Without smoking, she could have reached the century mark, I believe. And, that’s after she went through WWII and a revolution, when nutritious food was not a top priority.

Another negative is that often when I come out of a store and into a crowded parking lot, I have no idea where I parked my car. So, I start walking up and down the lanes, getting more convinced at every turn that the car had been stolen. Then I remind myself that there are many more cars in the lot that would be stolen before they’d take mine, even if I had left the engine running, doors unlocked and a note on the windshield.

“It’s got to be here somewhere. I drove it here,” I told my wife, Sharon, one time when we searched for the car while pushing a full grocery cart up and down the parking lot.

The positive is that I started doing that in my 20s, so it’s not a sign that I’m losing my marbles. One time I parked in a hotel parking lot in New Orleans and could not find the car the next morning. Someone must have moved it to another floor.

Another negative is that I cannot tell you what the top 10 songs are today and dislike most modern music. I hate that I cannot buy a single record for 79 cents because technology had to come along and digitized the music industry.

My ringtone is “Judy in Disguise,’ recorded in 1965 by John Fred and his Playboy Band. My detailed knowledge of rock ‘n’ roll stops with Led Zeppelin.

The positive is that when my phone rang in the dental office, Dr. Stewart and his technician recognized the song right away. “Those were some great songs.” he commented as he stuck the Novocaine needle in my gums (it didn’t hurt).

I couldn’t turn the phone off, so the song played for about 45 seconds. Then we listened on the technician’s phone to “Little Green Bag,” by George Baker, released in 1970.

The positive also is that it’s great to have all these oldies at our fingertips, even if they are not on single records anymore. The positives win.

What are your negatives and positives, dear reader? Drop us an email or send us a letter. We’ll print them and ask our readers not to tell.

(John looks forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send comments to john.bulletin@gmail.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)