Recently, I was looking through a recent edition of our counterpart when I stumbled across something that made me cringe in angst. On one of the pages, it was announced that they were starting a new “looking back” column.
Now, it wasn’t that announcement that garnered my reaction. Many newspapers, especially in small towns, publish this feature, including several of the Star’s sister papers. In fact, I wouldn’t be against doing it ourselves if we found someone willing and able to trudge through back issues of the Star on a weekly basis.
For anyone not familiar with this feature, someone will write up a brief summary of some sort of news story that was featured back a certain number of years ago. Usually, those years are some sort of “milestone” years ago, much like the typical class reunions. For this feature, they opted to go with 10 years ago (2010), 25 years ago (1995) and 50 years ago (1970). It’s that last one that pains me.
1970 – The U.S. was embroiled in the Vietnam War, the Beatles officially broke up, Apollo 13 had its famous accident – and the year I was born.
Now, I have been fully aware since my 2019 birthday that I am now officially approaching a half-century of living, but it’s not like I dwell on it. In fact, sometimes I have to remind myself of my age. I look at today’s teenagers and forget that not only could they easily be my kids, but in fact a 13-year-old could technically be my grandkid.
But with this new feature, it will be a weekly reminder that the year I was born is referenced as “history.” And that just makes me feel old.
I had a recent conversation with a coworker that struck me the same way. She was listening to KOOL108 and they were touting how they played “the greatest hits from the ’80s and ’90s.” I mentioned to her how I remembered when KOOL108 first went on the air, they were considered the “oldies station” by playing songs from the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s.
“That means our music is now ‘the oldies,’” she exclaimed.
Even in that, though, at least I can find solace in the fact that my music is still played and enjoyed by those same people who could be my kids and grandkids. As long as it is still popular with the younger generation, then it can’t truly be considered “old” – right?
Some of you might be thinking this column is a sure sign of me going through a mid-life crisis. I can assure you that I’m not about to go out and buy a sports car or motorcycle. I’m not going to start frequenting bars in search of some younger girl who is looking for a sugar daddy. I’m not going to go on crazy trips to exotic locations. (Mostly because I couldn’t afford any of those even if I wanted to.)
Instead, I think I will just try to bury these signs of my advanced age in the recesses of my mind and blissfully go about my life with only an occasional reminder to keep me grounded.
After all, as the old saying goes “age is just a number” – right?
BILL STICKELS III is editor of the Isanti-Chisago County Star. He can be reached at 763-689-1181 ext. 107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.