23 April 1963: Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. Three days old.

I have arrived at yet another milestone and a major one at that. In my wildest imagination, I never conceived that I would be where I am now. There’s an old curse that says, “May you live in interesting times” and I certainly have lived through quite a few of those with, hopefully, more to come.

23 April 1963: Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.

On the day I was born, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was President of the United States; Carl Sanders was Governor of Georgia; Ivan Allen, Jr. was Mayor of Atlanta. The number one song on the Billboard charts was “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons and the top book on the New York Times bestseller list was Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters by J. D. Salinger. Movie goers were being terrified by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. A new car cost around $3,000 (according to Google) and a new house was around $18K.

At the time I was born, it was not possible for Blacks and whites to eat in the same restaurant in Atlanta. That wouldn’t change until July of ‘63. The Cold War was in full swing, and politicians were debating whether or not to get more involved in Vietnam. A communist sympathizer, Lee Harvey Oswald, had just narrowly missed killing Major General Edwin Walker ten days before in a Texas suburb. Oswald would employ his mail-order rifle to greater effect seven months later in Dallas.

I sometimes believe that the world in which I was raised and the circumstances which would influence me also had their origins in 1963. The Civil Rights movement was heating up. That summer would bring the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Idealistic students, inspired by our youthful president would be shocked by his assassination in November and totally rebel against society in the latter part of the decade. Of course, I was way too young to understand any of that.

I must admit that I’m more than a little surprised to have made it to this age. In my teens and twenties, I was the angry young man who believed I wasn’t long for the world and often did my best to hasten my demise, usually with alcohol. This trend has continued throughout my time on the planet, but without the same vigor as in my teens. Prior to 2018, my weight was a constant struggle and the years between 2008-2018 were particularly frustrating.

GML, Age 14 Months

As I come to the end of my sixtieth year, I find myself dealing with quite a bit of disappointment. I regret that my brother Wendell isn’t around to taunt me for reaching this age as I know he would. My job situation continues to be tenuous though I’m hoping yet again that things will turn around this year. I’m still not doing a very good job of marketing my writing. Quite a few people seem to recognize me as a writer but that’s not translating into sales. My health overall is better but I’m still experiencing quite a few aches and pains common to people my age. Still, my weight has stayed down and I’m no longer regarded as diabetic, so those are positives.

So, here’s to another twelve months. As has been noted, the only constant is change, and I’ve certainly seen my share of changes these past few years. Time will tell what lies ahead, but I’m certain the times will remain just as interesting as ever.


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