The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 January 2005

Timing is everything

Spoons contemplates intervals on the timeline:

I'm 33. A person who was my age on the day I was born would have been born before Hitler invaded Poland. He'd be old enough to remember the A-bomb being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He'd have been a few days past his 18th birthday when Ike was elected to his second term — except he wouldn't be able to vote, because the 26th Amendment would still be 15 years away. He'd have been almost 25 when JFK was assassinated.

And he'd be 66, and probably retired by now.

I probably should have just gone on down the blogroll and ignored this, but for some reason I started thinking about some mythical fellow born in September 1902, which makes him a contemporary of my grandmother on my mother's side. He would have been fourteen and a half when the US entered World War I, and the first President he could have voted for would have been Calvin Coolidge in 1924. The Depression, I assume, was hard on him and his family. After Pearl Harbor, he would have had to register for the draft; the upper age limit for registration was 65, though 45 was the maximum age for actual conscription, and after the war ended, he would have been off the hook rather quickly anyway. Nearing 60 when Johnny Carson started doing the Tonight Show, he reached retirement age for Social Security purposes in late 1967, and if he's still alive today, he's a hundred and two.

Or to look at it another way: during the 1980s and 1990s, I put together a series of sixteen mix tapes (24 hours of tunes) from the Sixties, a period I define for purely personal reasons as November 1963 through May 1969. The most recent songs contained on these tapes (six of which I have since redone for CD) were already half a lifetime ago in 1985.

I think I'd best drop this line of thinking now, before I become despondent.

Posted at 7:06 PM to General Disinterest


Having been inundated with the annual this year's entering freshmen have no recollection of... emails for years I simply refuse to play this game. In fact, I gave up with the "weren't the Beatles Paul McCartney's first back up band?"

Posted by: Punctilious at 10:18 AM on 26 January 2005