This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 18, 2003 11:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was I learn something new every day. The next post in this blog is We are very near the end of civilization. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, May 18, 2003

It's alright, Ma, I'm only aging

When I was a teenager, there was nothing worse than the music they played in the supermarket. I remember Mantovani, the 101 Strings, the Jackie Gleason Orchestra, etc., just butchering current pop tunes as well as classics from the swing era. But the folks who were my parents' and grandparents' ages didn't mind it at all. You'd hear them humming along as they squeezed the cantaloupes.

So it's with a bittersweet self-awareness that I find myself grooving on what the supermarkets are playing nowadays. Some expert must have verified that piped-in boomer music helps move out the merchandise, because, man, I'm in heaven when I go grocery shopping. Marvin Gaye in the vegetables; Creedence Clearwater by the time I get over to dairy; Blood, Sweat and Tears behind me as I place my order at the butcher counter. And most of the time they don't spare the volume. I'm sure the teens and collegians of today loathe the stuff, but it gets me in the mood for some Meyer lemons, Chilean grapes, and free-range chicken breasts.

The realization that I've turned into my dad hits home with particular impact this week, the week that Bob Dylan turns 62. The bard who told our parents to "get out of the new [road] if you can't lend a hand" will qualify for Social Security retirement benefits come this Saturday.

Will Bob hold out and get full benefits at 65? Or will he go for the reduced benefits that start at 62? Is he a member of AARP? How's his prostate doing? His colon? Who's his health insurance with?

I believe the times, they have a-changed.

It seems that every day there's an obituary of another great entertainment figure from my youth. Like so many artists, their deaths can spur a renewed interest in the music they made, the laughs they gave us, or the tears they let us shed. But I'm trying as hard as I can to appreciate the folks who are still with us, while they're still here.

Bob, have a great 62nd birthday, and many happy returns. I hope you're still making new records that get us to feel and think when you're 90. Meanwhile, we look forward to hearing your younger self soon, over on the snack aisle.

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