On Turning 74… – “Tom’s Take”

Posted by TommyBoy on January 30, 2019 in Comments |

Welp, to be honest, it’s like being in a time-warp (cue in: “Rocky Horror Picture Show”) – I recently read a book about ‘Time’, (Carlo Ravolli), and the author makes several points about the ‘fluidity’ of time… Put another simpler way, “Time is strange” — That’s the same way it is turning 74. – I can barely say it… We’ve all known “old people”, especially when we were young. But now, BEING seriously one of those ‘old people’ is difficult for me to comprehend; to put in its proper place.

It’s NOT that I want to go back, necessarily (since my time-machine isn’t close by); its not that I missed anything along the way. I intentionally took a full swing at the plate, and have enjoyed the ride. —  So what’s my ‘bitch’, right? – I’m not sure Hunny-Bunny. – I don’t have any apparent fear of dying… On the living front, I’ve got most of the toys I want (I tried to get my wife to buy me a Walther PPK at Christmas, but she wouldn’t do it.) – I’ve been to enough places here and there… so that the only thing I think I’m missing is Devil’s Tower in Wyoming… AND… I’m riding my motor-sickle there this summer.

So what IS this thing called love… oops, I mean, what IS this thing called, ‘turning 74’? I Don’t know for sure. I think it has to do with ‘relevance’; or the lack thereof. Nobody’s very much interested in my sage advice / comment / observation… AND… I agree with them. I was much the same way when I was young man marching forward. I think the only ‘old’ person I ever paid any mind to was this guy sitting on a porch one time out in bum-blank, Nebraska. I didn’t even know him. I was riding through Bum-blank one bleak winter day… and saw him sitting up on his front porch, ‘rockin’ (mind you, this was in the winter-time.)  I looked through my windshield and saw him wave to me. I stopped the car, got out, and went up on the porch to visit with him.

We really DID ‘sit for a spell’ (it’s a southern term), I told him all my perceived troubles, and in the end, he said “It really will all just work out fine.” – Which, if you think about it… is universally true.  An interesting thing about that visit was that I went out to see him the following spring; I wanted to tell him that things really were getting better. I went up to knock on his door.. an old ‘farm-wife’ in an apron came to the door, quizzically… I told her I talked to her husband, (I guessed) back the previous winter. She graciously invited me inside, we sat down, she went into the kitchen to fix us some tea, and sure enough, there was her husband’s picture, in a small frame, on the top of an upright piano, along with several others.

When she came back, I motioned to the picture, and said,”That’s a flattering picture of your husband, ma’am.”  She said, “Oh, he’s been dead for going on 15 years now.” (I crap you not) – I gulped and turned a bit pale. Then she said, “You know, several people have stopped by over the years and said they talked to him.” – I asked her if she had ever had any vague feeling he was still around. She said, “Sometimes, in odd ways; maybe a tool out of place in the barn… a strange humming bird looking at me, and not moving… sometimes, an old dog will mosey up on the porch and stay a bit, then move on.” – She told me these things, and seemed very lucid in the recollection.

So, maybe that’s what happens when you turn 74/84/94… Maybe you just go on living; and aren’t encumbered by the perceived concepts of time. According to ol’ Carlo up above… “All time (past, present, future) is happening all at the same time, all over the Universe.” – As I turn 74, I don’t ‘Get’ being 74… What I DO “get” is that it’s a strange number that doesn’t apply to me. In math, there are ‘imaginary’ numbers; — well, to me, 74 is an imaginary number. Also, ol’ Carlo said: “Time is different for all of us (it’s provable), and the way we see time is personalized. — I think, guess, hope he is right. – The ‘Blue-Grass’ singer, Ralph Stanly, wrote a song one time called: “Oh, Death”…. In the refrain, he wrote, “Oh Death… oh death…  won’t you ‘spar’ me over just another ‘yar’” (it’s hard to write blue-grass) – So, that’s what I’m thinking, Death has spar’d me over another year. I’m actually going to play that song right after this post.

So, how’s everything on my end? A ‘report’ you might say? – Well, I still go to the gym, still ride my motor-sickle, still go “shootin’”, gamblin’, and knocking up run-away teenage girls…

So, as much as I’m surprised to still be here… “Hey, life’s good”

Y’all come out to Las Vegas sometime, ya heah?”

Peace and out.

Las Vegas Slim…


  • Rob Coats says:

    Well Happy Birthday old friend, I guess we have been friends for about 60 or so years now, I still say Gintown was a great place to grow up, the ole swimming hole, Boy Scouts, Little League and so many other things that were just plain old fun.I really am going to make it out to Las Vegas one day soon.I have planed to go see Devils Tower on one of my many trips to Sturgis but haven’t made it yet.
    hope to see you again soon.

  • Kevin Fisher says:

    Loved the Read! Just as an added fact, you share the same birthday as my mother. You also share the same birthday as it is also the very same day she passed.

  • Judith says:

    Great reflection. Will have to listen to the song.
    Love the story about your visitation with a ghost.
    He was a wise ghost.
    Things usually do work out one way or another.
    A permanent condition of life is change.

  • Randy says:

    Tom, hope you are having a fun birthday.
    Extremely interesting about the chance meeting with the old man on the porch.
    Never had that happen to me yet, sure would like to have been there to video that conversation. Wonder if the video would have showed him, or just you.

  • Brian Nebeker says:

    Happy Birthday Ol’ man (term used lovingly)! It’s good to hear you’re still kicking, spittin’ and fighting. Hope all is well with you and family. Grant asked how you were getting along just the other day; told him you were still causing more trouble than you should be.

  • Mike Thwaites says:


    Happy 74th birthday my young man !!!
    You might remember me (Mike) and we met in 2013 at the meteor crater in Arizona, you on your bike and me in my posy Ford mustang convertible.
    A few weeks after seeing you I visited the Devil’s Tower, damn impressive, but I didn’t attempt to climb it like other mad bastards do !!!
    I’m just 2 years behind you in age and still pretty fit, so lucky me.
    My biggest trip in the last few years, was to sail with a friend of mine from Portsmouth, UK to the Danish island of Aero in the Baltic. Took 2 months (August & September 2018)with lots of stop-overs and the trip was about 1,500 nautical miles.
    Keep your ‘thoughts’ coming. Let me know if you plan to visit the UK.
    All the very best.

  • Pat says:

    Tom, I don’t think you’ve ever met a stranger. Happy birthday my friend.

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