Friday, 3 August 2012

1962: It Was a Very Good Year

A great deal happened in 1962.

-John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth

-Johnny Carson took over hosting duties on the Tonight Show

-Pete Best was dumped by the Beatles and Ringo Starr came aboard the Fab Four

-JFK played chicken with Khruschev in Cuba

-Marilyn Monroe died at the tender age of 36

-The Maple Leafs were on a roll and once again took home Lord Stanley's hardware

-One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was published

-Lawrence of Arabia hit theatres

-Matthew Broderick, Rosie O'Donnell, Tom Cruise, Steve Carell, Roger Clemens, and Demi Moore were all born

And...some of my all-time favourite people came into the world. The closest friends of my youth. I wasn't around for most of it considering that I was born on the third last day of that year, making me the baby of the group, but...1962 was still a very good year. (BTW-I used to hate my December birthday. I always was the last to do everything. Now, in the throes of middle-age...It's not so bad!)

When talking with a few of those friends earlier this year about our upcoming dates with destiny and the impending half a century that we were all due to mark, we hit upon this idea of a mass birthday party. Given that our birthdays were obviously spread out across the twelve months of 2012, the idea of holding a get together as close to the middle of the summer seemed only logical. Our resident organizer took it upon herself to contact the group and a brainstorm was born. After much haggling over the calendar, (so many schedules to sync) the seven of us, our spouses, and a few offspring gathered last evening to celebrate 50 years together. It seemed only fitting. We were all so close-knit growing up, that ringing in this milestone was a natural. Yes, it is true that we all have our own lives now. Careers, families, and travels have all interceded. But it was amazing how easy it all seemed. Old patterns. Old jokes. Old stories. Like time and distance had never separated us.

There was more grey and less hair. A few more lines and a few more pounds. But none of that mattered. It was like we had never left each other for lives that demanded to be lived.

We had party favours. CDs with our favourite songs from another generation and retro candy came in personalized loot bags. Old photos provided some frightening reality checks on fashion faux pas and 70s hairstyles. And laughs. Lots and lots of laughs.

Many people have inquired about my feelings on this upcoming birthday. I have decided to embrace it for all its glory. And, why not? What's not to embrace. I look at 50 as a presentation of opportunities. Opportunities to try new things, to see new places, and to meet new people. But I refuse to dismiss the ones that got me here. Last night we celebrated it all! Happy Birthday 1962. You were indeed a very good year.

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