To my fellow Baby Boomers and Cold War kids who are still denying the arrival of middle age and the encroachment of old age, please note: You are closer to the grave than the cradle.
Also note: Fear not. Roger Angell has encouraging news for you in his essay, “This Old Man,” which begins on page 60 of the Feb. 17 & 24 edition of The New Yorker www.newyorker.com. Read it. Put it down. Think about it. Pick it up. Read it again.
Roger Angell is 93 and is one of my favorite writers, particularly on the subject of baseball (his story about Smoky Joe Wood is another gem). “This Old Man” isn’t about baseball. It’s about living long. Being brave. Taking things as the come. Adjusting. Looking forward.
A snippet, from the section about deceased friends: “Why do they sustain me so, cheer me up, remind me of life? I don’t understand this. Why am I not endlessly grieving?”
This is a thoughtful, insightful, enlightening and sobering piece of work that’s a tiny bit disturbing.