A Birthday

12670250_10153928968568320_3499135618729851516_nIt’s Donna’s birthday. She’s 74. How did that even happen?

I’m the younger partner in this enterprise, but I’ll catch up with her in October. When we were kids we couldn’t have imagined living so long, yet here we are. Both still healthy and happy … life has been, and continues to be, good.

We’re Baby Boomers, obviously. First-year Boomers. Boomers, too, in a stricter sense of the word: both born to fathers starting out after serving in WWII. We claim no merit for any of that. You’re born when you’re born, you live when you live.

That photo. It was taken in 1967 by my high school friend Ed, re-friended after I returned to California from two years in Germany, now in college and married. Ed was one of the biggest horndogs I ever knew, and he wanted nothing more than to coax Donna into posing for nude photos. She wouldn’t do it, good Catholic girl that she was, but she did grace him with that flirty pose, and I treasure the memory.

What with people parroting inane tribalisms like “I’d sooner die than let Bill Gates vaccinate me against COVID-19,” I think it’s worth noting that in the late 1940s, when I was three, my mother contracted tuberculosis and went away to a sanitarium: my younger sister Sue and I spent the next two years living with our grandparents. In the early 50s, when Donna and I were starting grade school, kids still got polio. Every day, we were around older kids—students in grades ahead of us, brothers and sisters of friends our age—with braces and withered legs. Everyone our age remembers iron lungs—hell, most of us grew up in neighborhoods where there was a better than even chance someone in a house nearby was being kept alive in one. Donna and I (and my sister Sue, may she rest in peace), caught childhood diseases like diphtheria, and can never forget struggling to breathe through what felt like a pinhole in the trachea.

I wonder whether there are any people our age on the anti-vaxx bandwagon. If there are, they must be a special kind of stupid. Speaking of which, courtesy of Twitter I’ve added a new phrase to my vocabulary: “the vector class.” You know, these guys and girls, photographed at my local Safeway last month:

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The vector class

Good. I was growing weary of calling them MAGAts and deplorables.

I have to share a short video I took this morning. Mister B has a couple of neighborhood buddies, and we occasionally bump into them on our walks. He usually snarls and lunges at bigger dogs (it’s all for show … he knows I’ll hold him back before he gets close enough for the bigger dog to bite), but with dogs his size he has a greeting ritual, and this dog in particular gets it.

© 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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