Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Today is Bill's 70th birthday, in retirement (not in relief)

Today, Wednesday, July 10, 2013, I “celebrated” my seventieth birthday.  Yupm three score and ten.
I don’t think I’ll make an “eleventieth” birthday, like Baggins.  And I made “career” decisions that depend on living off accumulations, and not veering off course of being a journalist, not hocking things—not good if I could live as long as people in Middle Earth. 

So I find myself watching interest rates, the markets, stability, the debt ceiling. Watching how real people work and live.  
It’s interesting to go back in time, reverse chronological order, by ten years at a time. It's not so optimistic as to how many decades ahead there can be. 

At this time in 2003 (as I turned 60), I was in my last two months in Minneapolis, engrossed in my job job as a debt collector for RMA near the MSP airport, even though I knew I would soon go back to VA. “Lawrence v. Texas” had just been decided.  Much of the past decade would be consumed with eldercare for my mother.  I would start Social Security early in 2005 at age 62.

In 1993 (turning 50), I lived in a high rise apartment in Arlington VA, near mother.   I worked for USLICO, an  insurance company with ties to the military that would be obliterated by mergers (eventually with ING). Bill Clinton was about to announce   “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue”, and I was contemplating my dance moves to get into the debate.  That would happen with my 1997 book, after a lot of preparation. 

 That would lead to my relocation to Minneapolis for six years and become one of the most interesting periods of my life.

In 1983 (turning 40), I was living in Harvey’s Racquet apartments in the Oak Lawn section of Dallas, TX, working for Chilton (now Experian).  I was active in the chess club and winning games.   But the AIDS epidemic had become a big scare.  I would even have a (negative) biopsy for Kaposi’s Sarcoma and become an AIDS buddy with the Oak Lawn Counseling Center.  Economic downturns would help stimulate my move back to Virginia in 1988.

In 1973 (30), I lived in Caldwell NJ and worked for Univac.  I had just “come out” a second time.  I wanted to move into NYC and explore my new life, which I would do in 1974.

In 1963 (20), I was living at home and going to GWU full time. I would soon take my first wage-paying job, at the National Bureau of Standards.  I had been thrown out of William and Mary in the fall of 1961 for admitting homosexuality, and undergone “therapy” at NIH in the fall of 1962.  These were not good times.  
But I would go on to graduate school at the University of Kansas in 1966, earn an MA, and get drafted and serve in the Army honorably, setting myself up for a Great Irony three decades later.

In 1953 (10), I was about to start fifth grade, but had started piano lessons in 1952. I learned to root for the Washington Senators baseball that summer. 

I do count on pension and social security.  It’s a good thing I’m not a retiree from the city of Detroit, from what I read today.  Comerica Park is an oasis.  I was there in 2012. 

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