Lucky and qualified to write today’s thoughts
By Robert McGowan
Yep, in a few months I’ll be 92 years old. I suppose that’s old and I will admit to stopping my writing here because I don’t know what to say next.
I am really thankful to be such a lucky guy in many ways. Yes, lucky in many ways.
But, instead of expressing my opinions about old age, I am going to note the opinions of others, many of whom you know, or “know of.”
I am going to quote from a small book by Randy Voorhees, Old Age is Always 15 Years Older Than I Am. The book was given to me on a Father’s Day by my son, Robert, and his wife, Peg. Both are now deceased.
“If wrinkles must be written on our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old.” - James A. Garfield, U.S. President.
“Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your view becomes more extensive.” - Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” - John Barrymore, U.S. actor
“Men are like wine. Some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” - Pope John XIII
“You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.” - Bob Hope, U.S. comedian and actor.
“A diplomat is a man who always remembers his wife’s birthday, but never remembers her age.” - Robert Frost, U.S. poet
“Inside every 70-year-old is a 35-year-old asking, ‘what happened?’” - Ann Landers, U.S. advice columnist
“Be forever a student. He and he alone is an old man who feels that he has learned enough and has no need for more knowledge.” - Silvanandam, Indian physician and sage
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” - Aldous Huxley, English novelist and critic
“The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” - H.L. Menken, U.S. writer and critic
“Getting old is a fascinating thing. The older you get the older you want to get.” - Keith Richards, English rock guitarist and songwriter
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” - Rachel Carson, U.S. biologist and writer
“Sex after 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.” - George Burns, comedian and actor
“Measurement of life should be proportioned rather to the intensity of the experience than to its actual length.” - Thomas Hardy, English poet and novelist
“From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to 35, she needs good looks. From 35 to 55, she needs a good personality. From 55 on, she needs good cash.” - Sophie Tucker, U.S. singer
“Men don’t get smarter when they grow older. They just lose their hair.” - Claudette Colbert, French-born U.S. actress
“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.” - John Quincy Adams U.S. President.
Robert McGowan is a Bartlett resident and a former Professor of Biology at The University of Memphis.