Dad in the Mirror - My New Image

The Accordion

Learning to play the accordion at 6 years old.
Learning to play the accordion at 6 years old. | Source

Aging is a Process

Amazing how my hair matches the color of my suit
Amazing how my hair matches the color of my suit | Source

PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME GO ON THE CASINO BINGO HALL BUS TRIP

What the hell happened? The time machine of life is moving much too quickly. For me, aging has become a badge of longevity, the seriousness of realizing my own mortality and a comedic look at what is in store when I join my upper classmates on the Tuesday morning bus trip to the casino bingo hall…metaphorically, of course.

HONEST...I REALLY WAS YOUNG ONCE IN A FAR OFF LAND

I showered today to soften my beard because I’m a dinosaur who, in spite of modern conveniences, still prefers shaving cream and a good razor for the “Clean shaving man” look. I don’t use Old Spice like my dad did, but I am hopelessly addicted to Ralph Loren Polo cologne. The shaving cream formed clouds on my hand, as I wiped the fog off of the bathroom mirror and then it happened. I saw my reflection and it startled me. My reflection revealed a fact that is hard to face. For you see, I had become older looking than my father. The shock of my image shattered my half-belief that I was cool and a “hip dude” to be around. How could I be a young man one day, blink my eyes and then…poof…appear older than my dad looked before he passed away? Not only have I become depressed by this realization, but I also know how quickly life starts the downward spiral. Again I inquire, what the hell happened?

1970s

Me in 1979 after I had customized my new van with a table, refrigerator, bench seating and shag carpeting. Oh...and the ceiling mounted 8 track tape system.
Me in 1979 after I had customized my new van with a table, refrigerator, bench seating and shag carpeting. Oh...and the ceiling mounted 8 track tape system. | Source

LASSIE...DID TIMMY FALL IN THE WELL

My boyhood Saturday mornings still offer vivid images of watching the following television shows The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Sky King, The Roy Rogers Show, with Dale Evans, My Friend Flicka, Fury, The Flintstones and Tom Terrific. Television of my youth was filled with Westerns such as Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, Annie Oakley, Bat Masterson, Cheyenne, Cimarron Strip, Davy Crockett, Have Gun Will Travel, The Lone Ranger, The Virginian, Death Valley Days, Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy. Variety and game shows were plentiful as well and included: To Tell the Truth, Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour, Queen for a Day, The Ed Sullivan Show, Jackie Gleason and I’ve Got a Secret. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t also include these classics: Peter Gunn, The Fugitive, Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Make Room for Daddy, McHale’s Navy, Combat, The Twilight Zone, Lost in Space, The Dinah Shore Show, Dobie Gillis, Mission Impossible, Ozzie and Harriet, Sea Hunt, Dragnet, Highway Patrol and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Even though these programs aired decades ago, they are forever etched into my memory bank as if I had just watched them yesterday.

Family Portraits

Me with my daughters Heather, Darlene and Vanessa in 1980.
Me with my daughters Heather, Darlene and Vanessa in 1980. | Source

NOW TELL ME AGAIN, WHAT WAS I GOING TO SAY OR DO


How is it possible to have total recall of events and people from 50+ years ago and then forget to remove a cell phone from my pocket when I did the laundry last week? It is so frustrating walking down the hallway, definitely on a mission of importance, only to stop midway, scratch my head in befuddled disbelief that once again, my mission must be scrubbed because I have no idea what I was going to do. Then there are the conversations that have a certain theme and suddenly, as my lips start to flap, the drapes of my mind are drawn shut and I sit, staring off into space, wondering what the heck was I going to say? My adult children become mildly irritated when I ask them a question and they state, “Dad we already told you!” “Well, if you did tell me, then I guess I just forgot,” is my normal response, as I feel so much closer to spending my remaining days grazing in the lower 40 acres of life.

Ontario

My youthful fifties, crossing the Saint Lawrence River heading into downtown Kingston, Ontario, Canada
My youthful fifties, crossing the Saint Lawrence River heading into downtown Kingston, Ontario, Canada | Source

COME ON DOWN...IT'S YOUR TURN TO PLAY "THE PRICE IS RIGHT"

It’s a known fact that as we age we start to lose some of our height. How many times have you wondered if a car was on autopilot because the driver’s noggin wasn’t visible above the headrest? Gone are the fury dice that once hung from the rearview mirror, replaced with the rather large handicap hanger. Also, when did it become chic to display an array of baseball caps in the car’s rear window, accompanied by the ever-present box of tissues? How useful are Kleenex tissues in the back window of an automobile? Then after taking up one and a half parking spots with automobiles the size of small houses, our seniors enter the supermarket and climb aboard their motorized scooters, humming around like bumper cars at the fair. Also, I must make this plea that when going out among the masses, please use odorless analgesics for those sore and aching joints. The offensive smell up and down the aisles, permeating the air with the reeking aroma of wintergreen literally attacks my sinuses and lingers with me for hours. Finally, whatever you do, do not get in the way of our seniors at the checkout line, especially when it is approaching time for “The Price is Right.”

HOW PENGUINS BURY THEIR DEAD


A dear friend of mine shared an anonymous story about where the dead penguins go in Antarctica. It seems as though penguins are complex, ritualistic, mate for life and are committed to family. When a member of their family or social network dies on the ice, the penguins will use their wings and beaks to chip away until they have dug a hole big enough to roll the corpse into. The male penguins form a circle and sing:

FREEZE A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW

FREEZE A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW

THEN THEY KICK THE DEAD COMRADE INTO THE ICE HOLE

You really didn’t think I was that knowledgeable about penguins did you? It’s so easy fooling you “OLD” people!

Scottish Games

The August 2012 Scottish Games in Syracuse, New York
The August 2012 Scottish Games in Syracuse, New York | Source

MAKE OTHERS LAUGH AS YOU LAUGH AT YOURSELF AND HOLD ON FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE


Yes, my image exposes a more mature person and maybe even one who has gained some sage knowledge with the sands of time. However, I have not lost my sense for a good joke, a belly laugh and my continuing quest to plant a smile on the faces of those I touch and to me that is timeless.

Written by Dennis L. Page

Aging

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Comments 25 comments

Hamper97 profile image

Hamper97 4 years ago

Okay - I fell right into the penguin story! I'm turning 60 this year, so I hear what you're saying.! Great piece, Dennis.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

"Then they kick the dead comrade into the ice hole" OMG - hysterical! My friend - you are as 'hip' and 'cool' a dude as any i know! This is also an awesome visual journey of your life progressing - and - very nicely i might add. May i be the first to thank you for shaving that heinous black mouse - tache off? (thank goodness you know i lack filters and love me anyway...lol)! ps - i have the same problem with memory - i find myself searching frantically for my cell phone - which i usually find tucked under my chin - with me sharing my panic with whoever's on the other end..(yes, i am admitting to this..). But, i also can't remember the past like you can, either! Love your writing and your humor! It's either laugh or...well..you know..


picadilly profile image

picadilly 4 years ago from Schaumburg, IL

This is a great piece....it flows so well right into the penguin hole Mr. D! There is so much wisdom and love in aging...you clearly demonstrated you have both through your words!!! Great Hub Mr. D.!

PS:Love the pictures of the cool dude!!!


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Voted up and FBI UA (what? a federal agent's urinalysis?)!

LOL! Ah, Dennis, this was a priceless nostalgic piece that took a rollercoaster turn at the Penguins and a gratifying stop at the Scottish games in Syracuse!

I love that pose in front of your van! You know, it made me think of Sammy Johns' "Chevy Van." You might just consider adding a YouTube video at that precise point in your Hub.

Thanks so much for getting my morning going with this senior-energized kickstart. Blessings to you for the wonderful sense of humor that graces your fortunate readers.


Ginger Ruffles 4 years ago

Thanks for the chuckle Dennis. You were oh so cute when you were a peeper. And yes. thank you for admitting to the shag'm in the van carpeting...lao, the ultimate in cool for the 70's! Beautiful & awesome!


Larry Wall 4 years ago

I am 61, and I know what you are talking about. I watched the same television shows. I did switch to an electric razor, because like my Dad, I have a tough bread and sensitive skin, so shaving cuts were frequent. I am shorter than I use to be. I attribute that to the lack of hair on top of my head.

I once had a dog that bit me. The dog had problems, and we had to put him down. We were at the hospital getting my hand treated. I went into the restroom, looked in the mirror and saw an old man that I hardly recognized. After that initial shock, the aging process does not bother me from an emotional standpoint. However, the old knees sure give me a fit.

Great Hub. Voted up and interesting.


benisan85745 profile image

benisan85745 4 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

...as I read this piece, I had the band Wilco playing, "California Stars", was the song and man, it fit good with your story. First off, bruddah Dennis, what you wrote, not only did I relate to completely, it felt like something I would have posted. Everything you wrote about, I clearly remember, yes I was a keiki(child) at the time it was all happening, but as far as your TV shows, I either ended up watching the season endings or enjoyed the re-runs. "Flipper", you forgot to mention. That savvy detective of a fish, where crime was only committed three feet from the beach in every show. I'm 40yrs old, and I am married to a 63yr old woman. I am considered old myself, plus my sickness's I suffer from, make me even more older than I appear. And my attitude, fuggeddaboutit! I never realized what a joy it was chasing kids off your front lawn ha-ha. I had the mirror incident four years ago, so I'm with you there as well and what you may have told yourself in the mirror. By marriage, I am a Great-Grandfather, AT 40 YEARS OLD! I have small baby boys and girls running around me, Tata! Tata! All day, crushing what little "Mac Daddy" I still think I am. Trust me beside the penguins, the Inuit people of Alaska, treat their elders with a bit more class: "Aged people who have outlived their usefulness and whose life is a burden both to themselves and their relatives are put to death by stabbing or strangulation. This is customarily done at the request of the individual concerned, but not always so. Aged people who are a hindrance on the trail are abandoned.

—Antoon A. Leenaars, Suicide in Canada[66]

I remember reading up on that a couple weeks ago. I want to believe that we should "feel" honored feeling this damn old, but I will let into my world bluntly put. I have not had a good B.M. in three years without having to clinch the hell out of the sink countertop with my right hand, and the bathtub with my left, and rock back and forth in prayer, "Oh Lord, just let me get through the initial pain, and all will be okay." No longer do I wear fashionable clothes, but comfort is now the key to looking sharp. Uncle Ke'ala, if you stay reading this, Mahalo for the share, and Dennis, I'll following you and read up on what else I should be encountering as the years continue. Thanks for the Hub brah.

Ka'imi'loa


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

What a fun read. It brought back fond memories. I remember going to the movies on a Saturday afternoon and watching The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Watching Ed Sullivan and seeing Elvis for the first time. You are right-on when you said that you still love to laugh. I love to laugh, and i certainly did enjoy your walk back in time..Best Wishes..Cheers


Jessica 4 years ago

This was a beautiful piece Dennis. Great memories of good times. It is amazing how fast time flies. Thanks for sharing!


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I could really relate to this hub. My favorite TV shows were Flash Gordon and Rin Tin Tin. I remember a favorite aunt of mine saying that at 80 that she always got a shock when she looked into the mirror, because in her mind she still felt as if she was in her 30's . Now I'm getting that same shock when I see myself. Good thing we can laugh about this getting older thing. Loved the penguins! Voted up, funny and awesome.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ Hamper97 Thank you for reading and commenting on my article. I apologize for being late in responding. The penguin joke is a definite keeper.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ ImKarn23 - Finally I got back to reading your response and also leaving a reply on 3 of your Hubs. Hey, I was a hip dude with my mustache and lime green leisure suit with a green leafed shirt. You should have seen me with love beads, hip hugger bell bottom pants...now that was a sight!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ picadilly - I'm so happy to see you left your footprint on my story. You are correct about wisdom gained by surviving the aging process. Mysteriously we have transformed from being shallow people focused on so many superficial character flaws and instead we now see the true beauty of a person's heart, smile and touch. You of course, have an uncanny ability of expressing that beauty so well.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ hawaiianoysseus - I'm glad you took some time to ramble on down my walk on memory lane. Please forgive me, but I don't know what FBI UA means. I still find the "Chevy Van" song timeless. Here's one for you Mr. eBay seller...in the 60s I had a record album that was only the sound of dragsters, with the beat of a drum. Yup, both sides A and B were nothing but the roar of engines and the beat of drums. Aah, life was so simple then.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ Ginger Ruffles - Thank you for reading and commenting on my article. It's funny how things happen when we are writing. You see, initially this was going to be a somber and almost a dark piece on getting older. Then, quite by accident my feelings and mind changed gears and I turned this story into a humorous one, complete with penguins.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ Larry Wall - I am so glad you read and commented on my article Larry. I apologize for being so late in responding. Living in the northeast, with short summer weather, I have been busily attempting to finish up my outside chores before autumn sets in. I know all too well what you are referring to with our knees. All of a sudden they start creaking and locking up. The biggest thing is getting down on the floor and then standing back up without help. It's all just a journey and I have been blessed to get this far.


gmaoli profile image

gmaoli 4 years ago from South Carolina

This was pretty funny, Dennis! I think no matter where you are in life or how old gets, you have to look everything you do and everyone else does with a great deal of humor. Otherwise, you just end up feeling like you have nothing to look forward...except maybe a penguin funeral. :)

Enjoyed it!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

LOL I really did LOL after reading the penguin info. Hmmm, I'm going to try that one on my friends and kids. I know we really must be close in age b/c I recognized ALL of the tv shows you mentioned! Loved the shag look (van, not you, haha) and I agree with ImKarn's comment-you really are hip and cool. Loved the hub, and your wit. Rated both way UP / Funny


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

This entire hub is a keeper! I laughed from start to finish especially since so much of it relates to me...yes, I'm on my way to old, 65 in two weeks...not overly old, but old enough to watch out for holes in the ice!

I loved your headings, from "Lassie Did Timmy Fall Into the Well" right on down!! Loved the pictures too, truly added that personal touch...and one we can all relate to.

Voted up, funny, awesome, interesting AND shared!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ Benisan 85745 Thank you for taking the time to read and reply. I am sorry you are having some medical issues. Try as we may to stay young and in good shape, eventually age creeps in and stuff just happens. My neighbor in his late 90's has the best attitude. "Every day I'm above ground is a good day," is his pat answer to me. I think those are great words to live by.


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

Thank God for a sense of humor when every other bodily system fails. If I didn't laugh at myself I'd go plum nuts. This was fantastic; a trip down memory lane and a reality check all in one. Voted way up.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

I hope you expect no sympathy from me, dear Dennis! It's 11:58PM on Feb. 1, 2013; and in less than 2 minutes, I'll be turning 81. You're a mere kid! I can tell that because when I was a kid, there was no TV, though I did see Gene and Hoppy in Saturday morning western serials at the local movie house. Then if we stayed for the afternoon matinee, there'd be a rerun of a silent movie! :-)

Great hub! I just love your humorous look at aging. You've captured so many of the indicators! It's kind of a cult classic look at the process, in fact. This one is hilarious: ". . . seniors enter the supermarket and climb aboard their motorized scooters, humming around like bumper cars at the fair." It's factual, besides! One risks life and limb when they're zipping up and down the aisles, stocking up on senior diapers and diuretics. This scene coordinates especially with that half-pint sized bus from the nearby assisted-living facility parked right at the curb near the entry door!

But the aroma indicating a senior (lady) is in a nearby aisle at the supermarket is that unmistakeable stale perfume. Can't figure out whether they're still dipping into the bottle of "Evening In Paris" from their 1940 25th wedding anniversary or it's just that their more current fragrance is mixing with the analgesics and/or with their own body chemistry! If I EVER smell like that, it'll be when I'm being embalmed, surely!

Seriously - I am enjoying every moment of being alive, and the reminders each GroundHog Day don't faze me in the least. I remember when I was 40, I decided to tell my age because I'd rather look like a (young) 40 than to try to pass myself off as an (aging) 39! It's still my credo at each and every age!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@Nellieanna - Happy Birthday and may your day be filled with good health, prosperity and the warmth of others. I certainly appreciate you taking time to read and leave such a wonderful response to my story.

I have a neighbor who is 96 and until a couple of years ago he was as spry and active as any 40 year old. Once warm weather came around, Walt could always be seen, shirtless, shoeless, wearing shorts and donning a million dollar tan. Of course, Walt's mind was sharp and his stories hilarious. I would ask how he was doing and without missing a beat Walt would reply, "I'm great! Any day above ground is a good day." I find myself using that line quite a bit because it says so much in just a few words.

I have a relative who is 4 years older and he likes to remind me of our teenage years and how we thought a 25 year old was considered an older woman. We still laugh reminiscing over that one.

The older we get the faster life seems to fly by. The important thing is to realize what was so important in our younger years appears to be so trivial later on.

Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and may you have a splendid birthday.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Lovely reply, Dennis! There are so many unique experiences that go with living the passing of years. They do seem to speed by faster and faster. I focus on living the time I have at every age. Regretting any of it being passed, past and over is just a sure way to lose what one has now.

I've had a super birthday - and the day is just about to end here. :-)

btw - a group of 16 of us Hubbers wrote a series on aging. I didn't create it; arb did, who asked me to write the first chapter. It's called "The Journey. . ."


Vickiw 3 years ago

Loved this pagesvoice, you have a delightful sense of humour. Well, that is what happens as you age - you become better looking ( thank goodness you ditched the dark moustache) and definitely more brilliant. Finally our great minds are all we have, but it sure is fun. Great hub, glad I read it!

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