Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Advice on Aging for Boomers (1975)

     Esquire Magazine, April 1975. How to Get Old and Do it Right.
     Advice for what we now call Boomers, before they began to think of themselves as God's Gift to America.
     “8 Basic Rules” (Stand Up Straight, Learn to Narrate, Acquire a Big Ego, Never Stop Working, etc). “Good Old With Nothing” (Stanley lost his legs when he was ten, is now in his 50s, has been on the road for several decades, meets a lot of people, some of whom put him up in a motel or take him home for a night and a wash, etc. Content with his life).
     “Good Old with Everything” (Samuel Eliot Morrison, historian, professor at Harvard, distant cousin of T. S Eliot, Admiral. Content with his life, and worth reading).
     “Many of Today’s Young will Make Lousy Old” (Mark Spitz, Reggie Jackson, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, etc. Fluff. Some of them have died, John Lennon was murdered. So much for predictions). “Alden Whitman’s Golden Oldies”. (Obit writer, gossipy, not engaging). “Where Old Went Wrong” (Shuffleboard in 1913, ‘senior citizen” in 1930, etc. More fluff).
     “The English do Old Best of All”. (Well, yes, but the writer did not realise that what he sees as eccentric insistence of being oneself was really the bloody-mindedness that would result in the current awful politics). “I’m Waving Tomorrow” (Fiction, about two sisters who ride the El to the cemetery every week to tend the family graves, pick the lettuce they’ve planted between the geraniums, and bicker. On the return journey of this particular day, a stray bullet fired from an idiot vandal gun kills one of them. Depressing but accurate portraits).
     Interesting collection, useful data about that era in American life, now 40 years past and feeling like ancient history. If you can find old Esquire magazine, grab them. Besides the fashion and lifestyle puff pieces, they published some of the best journalism of the time. ** to ****

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