When your oldest child turns 50 . . .

Carolyn Cary's picture

I have been telling friends and anyone sitting still that when your oldest child becomes old enough to join AARP, then you are really old.

My son David will turn 50 years old this month, and I want an explanation of where the time has gone, please.

I was four months pregnant when I moved from Ohio, and while there were doctors there I wouldn’t go to for a cut finger, I did not worry about moving 700 miles south of my lifetime home.

I made an appointment with a recommended obstetrician here, liked the man, and five months later, a son was born.

Let’s see what was going on in the year 1959:

In National News, pantyhose and Barbie dolls are introduced; Ford’s Edsel is officially declared a flop; Alaska becomes the 49th state, followed several months later by Hawaii as the 50th state; and the first house with a built-in bomb shelter is exhibited in Pennsylvania.

On the television we find “Father Knows Best” and “The Price is Right.”

The World Series champion was the Los Angeles Dodgers, the pro football champion was the Baltimore Colts, and the U.S. Open golf tournament was won by Billy Casper.

Oh, yes, the president of the United States was Dwight Eisenhower and the vice president was Richard Nixon.

In Ohio, you had to be 21 to vote, and Eisenhower was the first U.S. president I voted for, which was in 1953.

One statistic that has changed is the life expectancy: It was only 69.6 years. I have managed to live seven years longer than that, and I expect David to do even better.

Now here are some figures that will blow your mind: a new house cost $12,400; the average income was just over $5,000 a year; a new car was $2,250; gasoline was 25 cents a gallon; and a first class postage stamp was four cents.

Milk was at $1 a gallon, eggs were 29 cents a dozen, and a loaf of fresh baked bread was 20 cents a loaf.

Someone else born in 1959 was Randy Travis, who appeared in concert in Fayetteville this month.

David and his sister, Julie, and I have shared some good times, some very lean times, some unbelievably historic times, and some sad times. But all in all, the present times are without a doubt the best.

So go ahead, David, and join AARP. I’ll even pay for the first year.

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