1964: 50 Years Ago

cSo… yesterday I posted a bunch of miscellaneous images from 1964 because it was my, gulp, 50th birthday. As long as I’m wearing a hat (and I always do) you wouldn’t think, looking at me, that I was more than 40. And no one is more surprised than me, given my love of potato chips/crisps, that I’m only one pants size larger (now size 30) than when I was 18.

What does surprise me are 2 things (gather ’round youngsters and listen to the wise middle aged man):

1 – Being age 50, as long as you’ve been reasonably active, isn’t much different than being 30 or 40 in most ways except that you’re wiser, more secure, and more mature. None of that hurts. In fact, it’s very much worth the price of age. And it can bring inner peace and happiness at times even. The insecurity and angst of youth do eventually subside.

2 – My parents have never been ones to give me any snippets of sage advice about life lessons. So I’ve learned on my own (often through repetitive mistakes till I say OK, that’s enough of that shit), on the streets, on the ocean, and through friends and the kindness of strangers. And also on the internet. One thing I wished I had been told or that I had discovered earlier is that time is indeed relative. There will always be 365-366 days in a  year but, as it turns out, your perception of time changes over the years. The first 30 years of life seemed like they were slow as molasses and the last 20 years have just sped by in a quick blur. The arc of time bends, my friends. Time speeds up, or at least your perception of it does. Maybe it’s because you’re busier in middle age or maybe time is more of a blur because, as I read (ironically), you learn & do fewer new things so time just seems all the same or something. Anyway, just be aware that time does speed up. Keep experiencing new things, learning, growing and stretch that time out for as long as you can. It may seem like a slow plod up a ladder for the first 30 years or so but then it’s slide time from there on out and you can make that slide all the more fun by growing along the way.

1964: The year of the US Civil Rights Act

1101640103_400 toryrace1964conservativerascismmigrantThe issue of “Time” pictured above came out exactly 50 years ago today.

The British Conservative Party poster is from 1964 as well: That’s what racism (and anti-immigrant bias) looked like in politics in the US, UK, and elsewhere. Ugly and raw. In 1964 the US passed the Civil Rights Act, one of the biggest milestones in American history and second only to the Emancipation Proclamation of hundred years prior in importance for African-Americans and for creating a more equal society. Racism didn’t die in 1964 but it was seriously injured. I met one of they key US Senators who helped pass the US Civil Rights Act, a Republican who crossed party lines to support it. Even as a child I knew enough to thank him for that political bravery and for that compassion.