January 26, 2008

Reflections At 47

I turned 47 yesterday, no fanfare, didn't want any. Another day of reflection, just like Christmas day was, except it was more about me, mortality, and me again.

Time flies, it really does. I can remember things that happened to me in my mid 20's like it was yesterday. OK, not yesterday but 5 years tops.

When you are in your 20's the idea of being in your 70's closing in on death's door is almost non existent. I think it really gets to people in their early 40's, the reality of the situation that is. There is no turning back....unfortunately.

Well at least we aren't living in an age when 47 is our life expectancy, unless of course, if you are living in the third world.

I started thinking about record albums for some reason.

When will I finally throw out my record collection and my record player? I haven't played a record in over 10 years, probably closer to 15. Records are worthless, maybe not all of them. I remember looking in awe when my father threw out an inherited collection of 78's that included Jolson and early Sinatras.

I remember my first record album. I was 9, and I felt peer pressure because I knew nothing about "rock and roll." It was 1970. I asked my mother to buy me a current album. I wound up with The Best of Tommy James and the Shondells....never heard of them. I listened to the album, and I didn't get it. My father weaned me on Sinatra and more Sinatra. I didn't feel any cooler thanks to Tommy James.

I think that I started getting hipper on my own, actually my grade 6 teacher (in 1973), Mr. Nixon, made me hipper. Each Friday from around 11-12 (you know, I can't really remember, it could have been from 2-3), he would play current songs in class. I remember songs like American Pie, Cecilia, Sound of Silence, Sweet City Woman, and lots of Cat Stevens. The first album I actually got because I wanted it, was Sweet City Woman by the Stampeders. I didn't even know they were Canuckians until way after the fact.:

I remember signing the dates on the school books that year, and I also have a vague recollection of thinking what it would be like to sign the year 2000 instead. The year 2000, I would be 39 then. It seemed like light years away.

I went on to buy some Ktel albums. They were the ones that put a bunch of number ones on the same album by different artists. Bought American Pie too.

I then started discovering The Beatles, actually this happened after discovering Paul McCartney in 1974 or 1975. I remember going on one of those charity Walkathons in Toronto. 26 miles. My motivating factor was a puppy love crush. I was really shy, but somehow got the girl of my fancy (her name was not McGill, Lil or Nancy, but Rachel) to join me on the walk. Somehow my friend Eddie (he was a Bad Boy) also wound up tagging along, and by 15th mile, I think Eddie and Rachel became boyfriend and girlfriend. He quit after the 18th mile, his mission was complete, and the last 8 miles and the ride home (Rachel's dad drove us) was awkward for me.
Back to McCartney. The most popular radio station in those years in Toronto was 1050 CHUM. During the walkathon, for some reason, they played Band on the Run at least 10 times that day. I liked it more and more every time I heard it. I had to buy the album.

Whatever happened to Rachel I wonder? I wound up going to a different high school, and I have no idea. Does it really matter anyway? I'm married, and before I know it, I'll be forty fricken eight.

Whatever happened to the blonde girl I used to walk to school with from kindergarten to grade 3? Her name was Ray Beetelstone (or Beetlestone). I moved halfway after grade 3, and never saw her again.

Upon further reflection, I remember really liking some songs when I was 9 to 10. One that comes to mind is As The Years Go By (appropriate for this post):

Mashmakhan was another Canadian band (just found that out now).

Yes Patti (see comments), I forgot about Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog (Joy To The World)...that was a biggie in school (grade 5 I think, my teacher was Mr. Buttons). Lets also not forget "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head."


  1. I'm a little more than a year older than you, and I remember all those songs you mentioned the same way you remember them. One you didn't mention was Jeramiah was a Bullfrog...that was a biggie here in Ottawa the summer it came out.The first album I ever owned was Puppy Love by Donny Osmond (it was a gift from my mother), but the first album I chose and bought for myself was Supertramp's Crime of the Century. I can still sing along to almost every word on that album.

    At our age, mortality starts to become very, very real. I had an eye exam recently. The doc explained how I could expect my eyesight to change over the next couple of decades. A couple of nights later as I was dropping off to sleep, I had a realization that brought me fully awake and kept me that way for quite a while. Barring critical illness or accident I will probably only need to change my eyeglasses prescription three more times before I die. Being able to quantify the remaining time you have in life with something so mundane is a very chilling thing.

  2. Patti, I did a little add on to the post.
    I didn't get into Supertramp until high school. The year the Blue Jays came to town and I learned that skipping school to drink alcohol at baseball games wasn't such a bad thing to do.
    I admit it, I liked Puppy Love and other Donny Osmond hits around the early 1970's, and then of course, The Partridge Family and The Carpenters, and who can forget the DeFranco Family and their hit "Heartbeat, Its A Love Beat"

  3. LOL Oh my, yes...Haven't heard that song in years (Heartbeat) But it was good one. *Sigh* Great memories. Thanks :-)

  4. Oh my... at least I'll always be younger than you. By about 5 years...

  5. i always think about that. at 27, ive seen the past 10 years just RUN BY... so im wondering if im going to stop, catch my breath and realize, shit, im 50 already... dammit.

  6. Hey Simon, long time no see. Yep, soon you will be 47 and I will be 52.

    Ammaro, I've heard one theory that when you are 5 for example, 1 year only represents 20% of your life so it seems longer. At 30, one year only represents 3.3% of your entire life, so it seems shorter.

    Even football games seem shorter to me than when I was a kid.