There I was, minding my own business doing some work that needed attending to in our front yard. I was in a “Big Band” kind of mood so I had Pandora set to just such a station on my cell phone.
While I went about my work, happily singing along to Glen Miller’s Chattanooga Choo Choo, a fellow who appeared to be about 30-32 years of age, pulls up in a small pick-up truck to ask me directions to “Curly Cut.” Delighted that this is indeed a street I know in this crazy maze of a development, I direct him around the corner.
After thanking me, the fellow decides to offer some unsolicited small-talk. Nodding his head toward the music he says, and I quote, “It’s great singing along to the songs of our youth”
Smiling I tell the guy that Chattanooga Choo Choo is from 1942. He smiles back and adds, “Cool, I bet it really takes ya back hah?”
Tilting my head in dog-like confusion, I repeat the year again, slowly this time making sure I emphasis the date lest he should think I said 1972. “This song is from nineteen FORTY two!”
“Wow,” he says in total astonishment, “That was like the World War Two days right?”
Thinking he has now seen the error of his ways, I say, “Yes, it absolutely was,” only to have him ask me if I fought in the freakin’ war!
Now anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a man who would avoid conflict at all costs. That said; it was evident that diplomacy was getting me nowhere. In total disbelief, I explain to the young man (who clearly has trouble with arithmetic) that 1942 was seventy-five years ago.
All he did was shake his head and say (and once again I quote) “I sure hope that I can remember the words to songs seventy five years from now!”
I know that the past seven years or so have not been kind to me. My face shows the stress of a man who suffers chronic pain from both nerve damage and disintegrating bones, but do I actually look thirty-three years my senior? Could ANYONE ever look thirty-three years older than they are?
Frustrated I tell the young man, “you do realize that even if I were fresh out of high school in 1942 it would make me 93 years old today?”
“You’re kidding?” he questions more amazed than before. “That’s awesome!”
Then with a smile and a wave, off he went to do whatever he was going to do on Curly Cut, leaving me to ponder whether he thought I looked really, Really, REALLY bad for 60 or that he is going to go home tonight and tell his wife that he met the finest specimen of a 93 year old that ever lived…I’m hoping for the latter.
Until next time,