This year I celebrated the 59th anniversary of my 21st birthday and turned 80. It seems like yesterday that I was young, graduating from high school, getting married and embarking on my life’s journey.
I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all.
I remember how it was back in the day, what life was like during the late ’50s and early ’60s when everything worked with an on and off switch.
But here I am, like it or not, in the back nine of my life.
I got here a lot faster then I could have imagined. As I look ahead I see great changes facing the country. Unless something changes, the lifestyle I enjoyed during the front nine of my life will no longer be available to my great-grandchildren.
Every day, I hear and read about mass shootings, corrupt politicians, unethical business men, drug-assisted sports stars, the disgusting mistreatment of women and children, the hate-filled dialog between political parties, anti-religious hatred, the white supremacist movement, ANTIFA, and the drive to turn the United States into a third-world socialist country.
And now that I have begun my journey on the back nine, I know I’m moving slower, and I no longer consider my self vibrant.
Fortunately, I’m in much better shape than some of my high school classmates and former business associates. I don’t worry if they forgot my name, because they may have forgotten they even knew me.
I no longer wish I was young again. I’m prepared for the aches and pains of aging and the loss of the strength to do the things I always did.
I’m not certain how long it will last.
This I firmly believe: When it’s over here, a new and better adventure will begin.
My advice to the readers not yet on the back nine is: Whatever you hope to accomplish, do it quickly. The back nine will be here before you know it.
There is no guarantee you will even see all the holes on the front nine, so remember life is a gift to you. make it a great one. I have regrets.
There are things I wish I had done, things I shouldn’t have done and there are many things I’m happy that I did. It has been a great journey and I’m happy I did it my way.
James M. Edwards Sr. is the retired president and CEO of WJAC Inc. and the Johnstown Chiefs, and former general manager of WJAC-TV. He is a member of The Tribune-Democrat’s Reader Advisory Committee.