Reprise of Thoughts as I Neared my 60th Birthday

I’ve recently been scouring through things I’ve written over the years since retiring from teaching. I came across the following that I penned as I neared my sixtieth birthday. Well, In a few days I’ll turn seventy-seven and I decided to reprise this list of seventeen years ago.


As my sixtieth birthday approached I began thinking about what being sixty meant. If anything it certainly means you’ve lived long enough to have reached a few conclusions or truths about life, people, places, government, etc. With this in mind, I took a tape

recorder with me on my last fishing trip to Florida and recorded my thoughts as I navigated I-75 one more time. Here are a few of the conclusions I’ve reached:

  • In Ohio we say “hi, how’s it goin?” while only three-hundred yards across the Ohio River Kentuckians say “ha, how y’all doin?”
  • An intense study of the world’s great philosophers won’t do you as much good as an hours worth of Jimmy Buffet’s music.
  • People who don’t “Buy America” first shouldn’t have God Bless America stickers on the bumpers of their foreign made cars.
  • The litter along our highways proves that Iron Eyes Cody lived and died in vain.
  • Despite what guidance councilors say you don’t have to have two years of a foreign language to go to college.
  • Kentuckians have difficulty saying the word Quesadilla at Taco Bell.
  • Any form of extremism is dangerous.
  • I’ve never met anyone that served in the military who hasn’t concluded it was one of the most important and influential experiences of his/her life.
  • Despite your accomplishments, you’re not really taken seriously until you’re in your mid-thirties.
  • I can’t touch my nose with or curl my tongue.
  • Racism makes no sense and some of our more fervent racists are those who have the least reasons to hate.
  • People who have a right to “have nice things” are those with incomes sufficient to buy them instead of renting. It costs a lot of money to be poor.
  • The truly ugly won’t be made better looking with the addition of another tattoo or body piercing. Nor are the truly beautiful made more beautiful.
  • Jerry Seinfeld isn’t funny.
  • Too often the most opinionated are those who have made the least effort examining the facts.
  • Lotteries are a tax on the poor and the desperate.
  • There are too many Americans today who judge the worth of comedians by the number of times they can work the “F” word into their act.
  • I never met a man who looked better with a toupee.
  • North Carolinians all believe they are genetically engineered with the skills to be race drivers and have the right to exceed the speed of sound on Interstates.
  • For decades blues music was known as the Devil’s music. If true, it obviously hasn’t won enough converts, so the Devil created hip-hop to take up the slack.
  • The popularity of tabloid newspapers and reality television proves that human evolution is a very slow process. In the same vein, those who watch pro wrestling are on a different limb of the evolutionary tree than those who watch conventional sports.
  • Despite all the studies, education and laws far too many people continue to drive without using their seatbelts.
  • Too many things today cost more than what I paid for my first house.
  • Political correctness is destroying the seasoning of our lives.
  • Old people shouldn’t wear clothing made of Spandex.

Basically, these are some of the random thoughts I experienced while headed south on the Interstate. I did notice, however, that while I was sitting on my bass boat in Lake Okeechobee I didn’t have such thoughts. Now there’s a reason to fish more often!

NOTE: Seventeen years later my feelings haven’t much changed about these matters. 

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