The British Open Golf Tournament is one of the sturdiest tests in all of golfdom. It is always played in July on courses in Scotland or England. This year’s battle was set at Royal St. Georges in Kent, England, smack against the English Channel and not far from the incomparable White Cliffs of Dover. With a fierce wind and driving rain, this contest, a tough challenge for all golfers, can add years to a player’s age.
Included in all of the media hoopla were stories about the esteemed ages of some of the players: Phil Mickelson, 41, Miguel Angel Jimenez, 47, and Tom Watson, 61.
Jack Nicklaus played his last competitive round in his 60s. He’s now 71. By the way, his 18 major golf wins are untouchable. And “Old” Tom Watson made a hole-in-one on the second day of the British Open. He has made 15 of these show stoppers.
Turning to baseball for a moment, the spotlight has been on future Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter. The venerable Jeter is 37. In pursuit of the 3000th hit of his career, hundreds of sportswriters concentrated on his age.
Playing baseball does take its toll on bodies. I believe that the sport ages players rapidly, adding three years for every human year. So how do you like watching a 111-year-old man playing shortstop for the Yankees? The guy is pretty spry for a real old-timer.
Now here is a problem. If you get the question, “How old do I look?” (a zinger if there ever was one) you must study the person who asks and follow this advice: If they are from 3 years to say 21 years old — you must add a year, if not two. If this question comes from anyone older than that (an unlikely circumstance), you must subtract at least five years, and as the age gets older at least 10 years. You could be safe with that formula but, of course, it varies case by case, and you could be seriously wrong at times.
We’ve created lots of stories, books, jokes and euphemisms about aging. Art Linkletter (or was it Bette Davis?) is credited for inventing the line, “Old age isn’t for sissies.”
With all of my readers in mind, I’ve created a new term called “older age” that can be used by all people on the planet. Each year, we’re all at an older age.
And some of us can now toss out words like “senior,” “super-senior,” “golden oldie” and the dreaded “of a certain age.”
I think of Hoagie Carmichael’s lyrics in the song: “Old Rockin’ Chair’s Got Me.” Cute words perhaps, but only the melody is worth humming, as long as you don’t sing it. People of an older age aren’t ready to rock their years away, unless, of course, they’re rockin’ on the dance floor.
Unite now to fight off the creaks and cranks that hound us. No matter what age we’ve notched on the belt of time, each of us can cheerfully and positively say, “I’m at an older age now — and enjoying every minute of it.”
GENE PEPPER is a published author and writer. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (818) 790-1990.