Age 21….just 40 years later

Published 8:48 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This past Sunday (June 22) marked the 40th anniversary of my 21st birthday.

There was no major party at the Bryant homestead to mark the occasion. Deborah let me sleep in late and fixed a nice breakfast. I kicked back in my chair and surfed the TV for something decent to watch, and later we went out for dinner. It was a perfect day…the best present was spending time with the love of my life.

And the day was preceded by another great gift as my grandson, Brody Ray, came for a visit on Saturday. His broad smile and funny laugh is more than enough to warm anyone’s heart.

About the only reminiscing I did over the weekend was to think that in five years I’ll be eligible for retirement. That thought was scarier than looking at myself in a mirror.

Some say that age is only a state of mind. I guess that’s right. I’m trying to convince my mind that I’m 20 years younger, but my body isn’t buying in to that notion.

But I can dream, can’t I? I simply close my eyes and visualize a high school kid in size 26 blue jeans; a tee-shirt that doesn’t stop at my naval and a head full of thick, jet black hair. Reality sets in when I open my eyes and peer towards the floor – ye gads, where are my feet?

But with age comes wisdom, even though I can’t remember it all. With that said, here are a few things I’ve learned in 61 years:

There’s more room out than in.

We don’t need Nike to tell us to, “Just Do It.” If something needs to be done, then just do it.

There’s nothing better than the love of a loyal dog. Dogs don’t get mad when you look at another dog.

When a woman says no, she means no. When a woman says yes, she means no.

Never forget the previous pair of facts.

The secret to success is as follows: At age 4, not peeing in your pants; at age 12, having friends; at age 16, having a driver’s license; at age 20, having sex; at age 35, having money; at age 50, having even more money; at age 60, having sex; at age 70, having a driver’s license; at age 75, having friends; and at age 90, success is not peeing in your pants.

Here’s what I’ve learned about the “devil box” on my desk: State-of-the-art means a computer I can’t afford; obsolete means the computer I own; a keyboard is a device used to create computer errors; and a mouse is an advanced device used to make errors easier to generate.

Never express an opinion, nobody wants to hear it anyway.

Foreign films are best left to foreigners.

Football is life.

To women – you can either ask a man to do something or tell us how you want it done. Please, pick just one; you can’t have both.

If you get an envelope from a company called the Internal Revenue Service, please, do not open it. This group operates a scam, claiming you owe them money. They claim to use that money to pay for the operation of essential functions of the United States government. These scam artists have bilked honest, hard working Americans out of billions of dollars. Don’t be among them!

Men do not need to stop and ask for directions when traveling. We always look to our hero – Columbus. He didn’t know where he was heading and things turned out pretty good for him, now didn’t they?

I would share more on my observations of life, but I’m tired and in need of a nap. Wake me up in time to write next week’s column.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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