It takes time to adjust to a geriatric roaming the halls


Harry Reynolds, Contributing Reporter

The big guy sits beside me in the Western Civilization class. I figure he must be at least 10 feet tall. Fortunately, he bends forward when talking to me; else I might need a stepladder.

His name is Tromon Weston and he plays center on the Lake Land College Basketball team. I would guess he is about fifty-five years younger than me. We come from generations as distant from each other as Saturn is from the sun.

He is kind, thoughtful; I would guess the type of person who goes out of his way to help little old ladies. Maybe, I will go to some basketball games to see Tromon play, and root for him. Before I met this giant; I had not given any thought to attending a game.

You may have seen me wandering the campus; going around and around the sidewalk that loops the library. Whatever happened to squares? Finding the Northeast building, which is where my class is located, remains a challenge.

It does me good to be a part-time student at Lake Land. Hanging around young people, well, that is great. The last thing I want to do is sit around talking about how I lost my dentures five years ago (they are still missing).

No interest at all do I find in damning the younger generation. Socrates dwelled on their alleged deficiencies. Thousands of years later – let us just say, nothing ever change; the laments march on.

 I came from the 1950s, when we embraced our absolutes. Preachers made a living thumping their Bibles and ranting about rock n’ roll. To no avail, of course; stopping a musical trend is as futile as trying to stop a train – while standing on the tracks.

The ultimate goal of a teenager was to have a car, borrow dad’s car; or steal the keys to his car when we were desperate. If you owned a car, you were the leader of the pack. Girls loved you; in those days, few girls were allowed to drive.

I had a 1956 Buick Special; it would exceed 100 miles per hour, which was pretty impressive. A friend helped me install a glasspack. Nothing sweeter than a glasspack; power lived in the rumble.

The height of technology came in the form of a black and white TV, and a transistor radio, made in Japan. Change came slow; a big engine, gathering momentum; technology building on technology.

I am an old man now; seventy-five. From your standpoint, we have nothing in common; but, I have found that young people tolerate old people. Perhaps, it is because we live in the ranks of grandparents. We are not parents.

When I look upon you, I see grandchildren; really great to have you in the world; being among you – and accepted.

It takes a little time to adjust to having a geriatric roam the halls.

Facebook Comments Box