Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Landmarks In Time

Michael Sedano

the consciousness of a well-spent life and a memory rich in good deeds afford supreme happiness.
--de Senectute, Cicero 

August is my birthmonth and wedding anniversary month. They’re the same day. So as we turn the calendar into this significant-for-me month, age and milestones preoccupy me as I'm reminded tempus fugits faster for some of us, making memory precious and dwindling.

I imagine everyone has their own age milestones. I don’t remember the ages for First Communion, or Confirmation. Nor how old before admission to the show wasn’t a dime. Some life events don’t come with age restrictions while several events have statutory limits that build-in excitement about turning N.

I looked forward to turning 15 ½ so I could get my learner’s permit and take Driver’s Ed in Summer School.

I turned 18 in 1963, drove myself to Berdoo where I registered for the Draft. I could buy tobacco but couldn’t vote.
Move-out day 1964. 2 weeks later, Sedano, R,
will be working at Kaiser Steel.

Turned 21 in Isla Vista and voted, but could not beat Nixon. I could buy liquor, and go into bars, but booze wasn’t my thing.

I remember that I got the learner’s permit but have zero recall of going to the DMV and filling out the paperwork. I do remember vaguely walking into the Selective Service office in San Bernardino to register. It was next door to a building housing an encyclopedia sales outfit where I applied for a summer job.

I was an underage drinker so turning 21 was not a memorable introduction to forbidden fruit. I didn’t enjoy bars and couldn’t hold my liquor. When my roommate Durfee turned 21, Mori and I drove him to a Goleta pool hall where we got kicked out and Durf didn’t get to buy his first legal drink. I wish I had a recording of Mori shouting, “Morrie’s an asshole” as we exited Morrie’s Galley.

Men and boys were eligible to be drafted into the Army after their 18th birthday. High school graduates got drafted out of high school at 18. I got drafted out of grad school at 23 and turned 24 sitting in a Quonset hut on the highest antiaircraft missile site in the world. It was also my first wedding anniversary. I ate C-rations.

This month, August 2018, brings one of those significant landmarks not everyone gets.
Mae Bong dominates the landscape
My first wife and I celebrate our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary at the end of the month.

I’ll wake that day and remember that morning on Mae Bong in 1969, when in an “I’ll be darned” moment I realized it's my First wedding anniversary and 24th birthday.

Things being what they are, I may have to remind her what day it is. We'll squeeze some supreme happiness out of the moment.

18,250 days blend into one another, one day as good as it gets, better than the day before, not as good as tomorrow. That’s the theory. Love honor cherish in sickness in health all the days of our lives. That’s the promise. So far, so good on the theory. Unquestionably on the other, no matter what.

No comments: