● Given that I came of age during a couple of Arab oil embargos, I always thought of 55 as a speed limit, not an age.
● Rod Serling is one of my favorite writers. When he was my age, he had been dead for five years (with a tip of the hat to Tom Lehrer, who first told that joke about Mozart).
● What a difference five years make. I spent my 50th birthday swimming in a Tahitian lagoon. Today I’m still swimming in the debts I racked up during the downturn; in fact, I think I’m still paying off the trip to Tahiti.
● My paternal grandmother died at 101. That meant that for me, turning 50 really was middle age. Calling myself middle-aged today means I would have to live to 110.
● In a fit of morbidness, I Googled the term “dead at 55.” What an eye-opener. I knew that Robert Urich and Johnny Ramone had died that young, but not David Dukes, Wendy Wasserstein, and Mary Frann.
● On the cover story of Life magazine the day I was born was a picture of Cecil B. DeMille directing the exodus scene from The Ten Commandments. Inside was a story about Pan American Airlines giving Boeing a $269-million order for its first jet aircrafts, a group of Boeing 707s. Reading the ads I learned that Campbell’s once made frozen soups, Pillsbury once made pie crust sticks, and there was once an artificial sweetener named Sucaryl. I liked reading about the jets. The ads made my stomach queasy.
● When my father was 55, I was in college. I cannot imagine having a college-age child today. Sometimes I dream that I’m still in college.
● I wonder if there’s something numerological about turning 55, given that I was born in 1955. I am the same age as Disneyland, McDonald’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Ditto Kevin Costner, Bruce Willis, and Howie Mandel. I will never have as much money as any of them.
● James Dean died three weeks before I was born. I am not his reincarnation.
● I don’t feel 55 – most days, anyway. Some days, I feel 85. Some days, I feel 25. I guess I average out.
● I am already starting to feel the aches and pains associated with age. Friends who are older assure me it is only going to get worse. I can already see incipient leatheriness in my skin. When I am old, I shall look like I grew up in California.