"Age to me means nothing. I can't get old; I'm working. I was old when I was twenty-one and out of work. As long as you're working, you stay young. When I'm in front of an audience, all that love and vitality sweeps over me and I forget my age."
George Burns US actor & comedian (1896 - 1996)
Was there ever a person better qualified to discuss aging better than George Burns? Helen Ginger brought up the subject yesterday on her blog Straight From Hel. The question she put to her readers was: When it comes to writers/authors, what age would you consider as “old”? The were a lot of folks with a lot of comments. But which one is correct? As I commented at her blog, you could ask 10 different people and get different answers.
Today's youth would probably look at Mick Jagger on stage and wonder what all the hoopla was about. Folks my age that grew up listening to the Rolling Stones, Beatles, etc. may (or may not) see the merit of the +65 set prancing about in tight pants and sneakers. George Burns would probably have said "He's still a kid" and joined him up on stage. Christopher Plummer is still gracing the stage in Stratford and on Broadway nearing 80 years of age.
Our 13 year old probably--definitely--thinks of us as geezers (I am nearing 47). My father worked as a painter for 50 years, and it's only been in his retirement that health issues have hit and he's now seeming a bit old. My father-in-law is 84 and has a hobby farm where he raises chickens and turkeys and a pig. He makes no money at it, but the freezer is full and he stays busy. Hmm, is that the key to youth...staying busy? George would probably agree, nodding his head sagely, sucking on a big, fat cigar.
As noted in my last post, my sister has now arrived with her 3 cats, aged 18,15 and 10. I'm no cat expert, but I think that 18 is fairly old for a feline. The oldest one, Harley, has taken to following me about the house, waddling around in a somewhat arthritic way (the cat, not me). It's dark grey coat has taken on an odd rusty hue and looks matted, even though it's not. If you can recall the play or movie version of Cats, one of them had sort of a nasty looking coat. Harley is ignoring the the looks of hate from our greyhound and is cloaked in an aloof demeanor while the "younger" cats hide from and hiss at the large dog. I suppose he's indifferent to the situation and is entitled to his peace. What's the magic number that you consider "old'?
Oh...and apologies to Helen Ginger for using her name alongside the word "aging" in my labels below.
Have a great week end all!
Meanwhile, Back at the Asylum…
10 hours ago