At one time if you were 60 years old you were thought to be ancient. It is good to know that is not the case any more, but 60 is still a milestone and I am getting there Friday. Personally, turning 60 is no big deal. We had planned a shindig but called it off because of the spike in Covid-19. On the positive side, I believe my golf game improved because of Covid-19 and the purchase of a new set of clubs.
One of the guys I play with on occasion, Les Dickerson, said, “You can buy a game” and there is truth to that. Incidentally, a local rule says you can play from the senior tees at the country club once you become 60.
Many things have changed since my birth in 1960, and I would like to point out some of the highlights of each decade that a lot of us still recall.
To start with, if you had a television in 1960 you were fortunate. That year would see JFK elected president, the first Catholic to achieve the position. In 1962, the United States almost went to war over the Cuban Missile Crisis. This could have led to nuclear war with Russia. On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated. This was such a major event that I actually recall the day it happened. The 60s were wrought with efforts to exercise the right to vote and civil rights issues. In 1969 the United States had the first man to walk on the moon.
1970 saw the video game Pong making its debut. Main Street Disney in Orlando would open in 1971.
1973 would see the completion of the Twin Towers in New York City. It would also be the year that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein would change the face of politics with the Watergate scandal. In 1975 the City of Saigon would fall into Communist hands. At the top of the charts and the Academy Awards 1977 would have Saturday Night Fever and a new dance craze of disco. 1978 would see 900 followers of Jim Jones drinking the Kool-Aid and committing mass suicide.
The 80s would start with the first 24 hour news cycle with Ted Turner’s CNN. MTV would be launched in 1981 by Bob Pittman with ties to Tupelo. Those portable bag phone cellphones made their appearance along with the latest in computer technologys, the Commodore 64 featuring, you got it, 64 megs of memory. October of ‘87 would see the fall of the stock market with over $1 trillion lost, and the Berlin wall would come down.
1990 would bring about the world wide web, www., and this decade would be known as the decade of technology. In 1991 America would launch operation Desert Storm. In 1993 Timothy McVeigh would bomb a federal building in Kansas City with an ammonium nitrate fertilizer bomb. In 1997 Titanic was movie of the year. In 1998 we saw another Whitehouse scandal with Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton. On the horizon was the start of the year 2000 and the fear that all computers would crash when the date rolled over to the new millenium.
The year 2001 brought us a major terrorist attack with the bombing of the Twin Towers, and almost 3,000 lives would be lost on September 11. Closer to home, in 2005 Hurricane Katrina would roll across our Coast as one of the worse natural disasters ever to strike the US. It would not be long until a global recession would strike in 2007.
So the 2010s roll in with Lady Gaga and her meat dress. We saw the first of the Occupy Movements with Occupy Wall Street. 2013 brought the first of the Black Lives Matter events following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin killing. 2016 would be the backdrop for the most divisive presidential election ever with the race between President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
That bring us to the present day with our coronavirus pandemic. Its just another of the tough things we have had to endure in the last 60 years.
But in our situation we have a happily married daughter and a one-year old granddaughter who sure makes it all worth it.
I suppose live has always been full of ups and downs. The important thing is to capitalize on the good and to thank God, especially for 60 years of life. We are all much more fortunate than we deserve to be.