JFK was President.
Beer was a dime a glass.
A gallon of gas cost 33 cents.
And a pack of smokes cost a quarter.
Those things were all true the year I was born.
A few years ago, when I turned 40, a friend said I had reached "the top of the mountain," and in a strange way it has proven true. I can for the first time look back on my life with something that resembles clarity, look at the present with something that resembles responsibility, and look at my future with something that resembles optimism.
Regrets? As Sinatra said, I've had a few. Mostly that I'll be an old man when my daughter graduates college. They'll probably have to wheel me in. But in many ways, I am lucky. I have lived at least four lives in these last 44 years... the child, the drunken poet, the sober married man, and now the new father. And I have worn many hats... The barfly, the romantic, the gambler, the musician, the hiker, the photographer, the caregiver. And I am grateful for the experience. If I have learned anything as a son, a husband, and a father, it is that it is better to ask "how can I help?" than to ask "what's in it for me?".
So, just wanted to take a moment on this day to thank all those of you who stop by regularly, and those who lend your support, advice, and humor to this irregular column.