Living in New England full-time gives, to a survivor, a perspective that borders at the margins of hope and insanity. For example, my neighbors, good folks of the same generation as I, are not “Boomers” or Depression Children, but members of the generation between. My personal feeling is that folks of that generation should be granted veterans status. Being soldiers of the thin life and sometimes hard times of living without or “making do.” Although I have not made it a lifetime project to measure the physical differences between pre- and post- Depression children and the offspring of World War Vets, it is often apparent; my own sons are all taller and more muscular than their Dad. Good nutrition and regular exercise have contributed to this. Unfortunately, I did pass on to them my vision astigmatism. They all wear glasses for reading, driving, and workplace activities.
Those of us who have lived in New England for a while witnessed the awful aerial attack of the Empire of Japan upon the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor. More than three thousand Americans lost their lives that Sunday morning so long ago! We have also lived through other wars fought in places that most of America had never heard of or paid much attention to, namely, Korea and Vietnam. We also barely knew of Iraq and Afghanistan. We knew of these places if we were readers of Kipling or Churchill. Kipling was entertaining.Churchill, on the other hand, was down right boring. He was a keeper of dates and corresponding events one after another. I mention wars because each of us were Selective Service lottery winners!
As I grow older, there becomes fewer and fewer opportunities to have conversations beyond grandchildren’s adventures or neighborhood gossip. I do have a couple of dear friends from past days who like to discuss events, books read or being read, and local politics– no Trumpian asides or sports trivia, please. We have an interest in current science, interesting people, and current cinema.
And we, of course, have differing opinions about different events. All of this will probably take place in a bar with high barstools and tasteful bar food. This has been our general practice once a month over the past several years through thick or thin, come hell or high water! The current pandemic and the medical rules of survival have curtailed our past couple of meeting dates. We expect to get together in the very near future as soon as the governing authorities grant the public some wiggle room to return to a state of normality.
The agenda for our next barstool debate includes the reopening of various watering holes with ongoing idiosyncratic environments. A bar in the western suburbs that served as the central casting audition stop for a Leonardo DiCaprio movie filmed locally. Or a newly renovated south coast pub that was the backdrop for a couple of Netflix productions. And the fish house on the northern shore where Affleck filmed a couple of brawls! Generally, though, we keep local since we are all old men who do not want to stand before a clerk magistrate and explain a DUI stop by a State Trooper in mid-day.
We all hope that the plague now smothering social gatherings will soon be a bad memory. All things considered, our time is going to be getting short. We may have to extend our single monthly meetings to two per month or maybe more. There is so little time and so much to talk about.
Barkeep, I will have another if you will. And one more for my friends also!