Monday, October 3, 2011

36 days until completion

Dad and Mom on left. Uncle A.B. and Aunt Bertha on right

“Favorite age”

    How old would you like to be? Would you care to go back to the puberty? Was that a lot of fun for you? How about the mid-twenties? How would that work?

    That’s what Brad asked me the other day. Brad is the local restaurant critic and reporter. Brad Meyer? Big guy? Mean? By the way, I want to thank those of you who commented on Facebook and by e-mail asking Brad to be nicer to me. It didn’t help a bit, but I appreciate the support.

    Anyway, I was driving us back from our latest restaurant experience when Brad asked what age I wanted to be. His question made me think about how much time I spend with the guy. Next to Kay, I talk to Brad Meyer more than anybody else in the realm of Mark. That just scares the willies out of me.

    The Plilers don’t have as much time for us anymore, ‘cause they’re with grandkids. You can never really assess the true value of one’s friendship until they have grandkids. I think William James said that. Or William Tell. One of the Williams.

    Point is, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Brad. Way too much time. Fortunately, he seldom says anything to me that requires a great deal of thought. So, you can see why I was genuinely surprised when he asked what my favorite age would be.

    Unfortunately, I spent too long thinking of my response. A nanosecond after asking the question, Brad started telling me his favorite age. Seems like it was 27. I wasn’t listening all that much. 

    Instead, I started thinking about my current age. It’s been on my mind quite a bit since my last birthday.. My 23rd, 33rd, 53rd and 62nd birthdays hit me hard. When I was a kid I thought that at the age of 23 I’d have everything figured out. I’d be smart, wise and on top of stuff. Instead, I was as confused as ever.

    At 33 I realized I had to get a move on, ‘cause time was really running out on me. At 53, time had run out on me. And, at my last birthday, 62, I realized that in late November I’d be as old as my dad was when he died.

    Dad died one year after taking disability retirement from Crown Refinery. I think it was the happiest year of his life. He and Mom did a little traveling, went out on dates, and spent a lot of time with their kids.

     We thought Dad just had minor heart trouble, and would be with us for many more years. One day in late March, while most of my siblings were visiting Big Al and me in Conroe, we got a call from Mom telling us to come to the hospital in Pasadena. Dad was gone by the time we got there. 

    That’s what I was thinking of when Brad was telling me his favorite age to be. I never told him how old I wanted to be, but I’m still glad he asked the question. It reminded of one of my goals. It was just over 15 months ago that I began writing a book about my life with Dad. Originally, my goal was to finish it by Christmas. Last Christmas. But, my lack of writing discipline forced me to move the deadline up to late November. November 18th, to be exact. That’s the day I’ll be exactly Dad’s age when he died. I had to do some serious math.

    I’ve completed 19 chapters of the book and have about six to go. I haven’t written on it for three weeks now. I’ve gotta get busy. Thanks to Brad’s unintentional prodding, I am now going to build a fire under my rear and finish the thing.

    I guess at some point I’ll get Brad to repeat his story about his favorite age. I’m not sure if he was telling me he liked being 27, or just wanted to go back and change some stuff he did at 27. While being 27 didn’t do much for Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison , Amy Winehouse and a host of others, it was probably a real gas for Brad. Just a guess.

    By the by, you can find the work in progress by logging onto Or you can wait till November 18, and read the entire thing. Unless Brad does something to really discourage me, I plan to be finished by then. 


To view Brad and Mark’s latest review of Guadalajara Hacienda and Grill click on picture.


  1. Well, you could look at it this way... you've already been able to enjoy retirement, longer than your Dad was able to.

  2. You've got that right, Cora Beth. I've sure got it better than Daddy ever did. I've been way blessed. And, having Faris for my Dad was one of the gigantic blessing. -- Thanks so much for reading and responding. You're a blessing. mark