Monday, July 07, 2008

Hitting a dreaded birthday and counting summers

VALOIS, New York, USA - A lot of the Class of '66 may have already hit the big 6-0. For me, it comes in just a few days (July 10) and while I haven't ever made much of a fuss about my birthdays, this one seems, well, more significant.

I remember moving to Lakewood when my grandmother was in her mid-60s and wow was she old - rickety, crotchety, cranky, white-haired old.

Does it hurt anybody else to look in the mirror some days?

When I turned 40, I remember thinking, whoa! Same thing for 50. But 60? This birthday might take a little getting used to. How many summers more can I look forward to?

(Do I dare eat a peach? Remember having to read T.S. Eliot in English class?)

All of these kind of thoughts were banging around in my brain Saturday when I went to the Watkins Glen Race Track and marveled at the youthfulness and energy of the crowd. It probably didn't help that I had a world-class hangover from the July 4th activities.

But as I was walking around I spotted a green 1965 Triumph Spitfire, a twin to the first car I ever owned. In fact, who knows, it could be the first car I ever owned, just restored. I can't imagine there are too many of those in circulation.

Like all first loves, I remember the car quite fondly, even though it spent quite a bit of time in a shop down on Washington Street in Jamestown being fixed, draining away the money I was earning as a lifeguard at Lakewood Beach.

Maybe for a 60th birthday present I should go shopping for another one. I think the Admiral would like it a lot better than any of the motorcycles I've been looking at buying.


1965 Triumph Spitfire
1965 Triumph Spitfire