WHEN YOU HIT SIXTY or so, you start having a new feeling about your own generation. Like you they can remember the Trilon and Perisphere, Lum and Abner, ancient Civil War veterans riding in open cars at the rear of Memorial Day parades, the Lindbergh kidnapping, cigarettes in flat fifties which nobody believed then could do any more to you than cut your wind. Like you they know about blackouts, Bond Rallies, A-stickers, Kilroy was Here. They remember where they were when the news came through that FDR was dead of a stroke in Warm Springs, and they could join you in singing "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris." They wept at Spencer Tracy with his legs bitten off in Captains Courageous.
As time goes by, you start picking them out in crowds. There aren't as many of them around as there used to be. More likely than not, you don't say anything, and neither do they, but something seems to pass between you anyhow. They have come from the same beginning. They have seen the same sights along the way. They are bound for the same end and will get there about the same time you do. There are some who by the looks of them you wouldn't invite home for dinner on a bet, but they are your compagnons de voyage even so. You wish them well.
It is sad to think that it has taken you so many years to reach so obvious a conclusion.
- Originally published in Whistling in the Dark