What milestone is that, you may ask. Well, today I reached my 75th year on this great planet of ours. I saw it coming, but just couldn’t delay it. It may seem odd, but I have always watched my life in 25 year increments. Age 21 didn’t do as much for me as age 25 did. Oh, yeah, at 21 I could drink and carouse around, but I really didn’t think about aging until I hit 25.
At 25 you start to think that, hey, I better start growing up and acting my age, you know, act a little more mature. Then at 50 you think that this is the top of the hump and you’re only going to start downhill. Little do you know that you also start picking up speed. So then between when I turned 70 and yesterday, I always said that I was in my early 70s.
So that brings us to today. Can’t say early 70s anymore, now it will be upper 70s for awhile. Wow, now that takes my breath away. How can that be? I feel the same now as I did yesterday. Actually, I feel the same as I did when I was in my mid-60s. And that’s what important. Age is only a number, and as the saying goes, you’re only as old as you feel.
If you read my bio you noticed that I didn’t say much about my early years. I was born a little pudgy round little babe, but started to lose weight until at about five years of age I was kinda scrawny. I got anemic, had to take weekly shots for several years to counter that. I suffered through a bout of encephalitis, which at that time was, and maybe still is, a somewhat rare malady. I had got bitten by a some kind mosquito they said, but I don’t remember much as I was in a coma for about five days.
Then at age twenty I decided to enlist in the Air Force. My younger brother Jim decided to enlist also. We went together to sign up. Now Jim was two inches taller, out-weighed me by 50 pounds. I was 6’1″ tall and only weighed 119 pounds. Everybody expected me to get rejected, but instead it was Jim that couldn’t get in. They said he had some kidney abnormalities.
During basic training in upstate New York, I contracted pneumonia. I was put in the hospital. There the docs decided to fatten me up. I spent thirty days in there, but I came out a svelt 139 pounds. Whoopee!! I ended up spending a little over seven years in the service of my country, then got released because of a medical problem. It seems that I have a little deal called Marfan’s Syndrome. It caused my lung to collapse on two different occasions. One of those times I was playing the saxophone at the Cactus Hotel Ballroom with Leonard King’s Orchestra. (More about my music career in another blog) So there is no cure for this so-called disease. It is genetic. But not to worry, it is not necessarily fatal as long as I take the right pre-cautions.
So having said all that, and I can’t believe I unloaded all that at this time, I will begin my quest of another 25 years. Despite what I said above, my overall health is great. My doctor says I am in great shape considering the shape I’m in. And my doctor isn’t the type to joke around much.
So my special day today started with a Happy Birthday from my very special best friend in Knoxville, Tennessee, then Ann and I decided to go birding at San Angelo State Park. Saw that same flock of about 250 American White Pelicans, some herons, egrets, etc. We stopped at the bird blind. Several birds for awhile, until a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew in and spooked them all away.
As soon as I finish this blog, if I can get myself to shut up, I may work on a new book that I want to publish. It will be a deluxe edition of some of my best bird photos. You know, a “Bob’s Greatest Hits” type of thing. Then maybe Ann and I will go out some for a nice supper.
I wonder what the next 25 years will bring. Hmmm………………………