A sob for SAAB and aging

Aging is an ugly and annoying process; but on a good day it can be ignored – that is on a good day.  Yesterday, I had a really, really good workout and ran faster and with greater ease than I have in a long time.  I could imagine running fast, really fast – hell, I could visualize it.  It was a good day; that is not the rule however, most days I am very painfully aware that my stride is shorter, my reflexes slower and my range much diminished.  Possibly if I did not run I would miss more of the signs of aging, that is except on a day like today when the signs seem to be everywhere.

Tuesday; I was in the grocery store doing my weekly shopping.  The store serves an older established residential neighborhood and  I frequently see people that I have known over the last 30 years.   Tuesday, I saw a member of  family whose family has owned casinos here for at least that long.  He is somewhat younger than I am, ten years more or less.  We have know each other since the early 1980s, but now that I am totally disengaged with downtown casinos there are few occasions for meeting.  However I do see him occasionally, the last time was four of five years ago in a movie theater.  Anyway, this time I was struck by the obvious signs of aging – not that he looked old, but certainly not young either; he stood and moved like a much older man than the man I remember from other times.

Today, the UK Guardian has an article on the last tour of Glen Campbell – he has announced the impending release of his last album and his final tour for this fall.  Campbell is 75 and has been diagnosed with Alzheimers; his wife said they wanted everyone to know so that if he forgot some of the lyrics or showed other signs that his fans would understand and not think he had relapsed and was back drinking and taking drugs.  A final album and tour are very courageous acts. One last time, going on the road on last time while he is still able and is fully conscious of who he is; and I worry about being slower when I run.

The final event came from Sweden; SAAB cannot meet its payroll this week.  More than the speed of my feet, business associates or media stars, SAAB is a symbol for me of the dynamic years of my career and family.  In 1979, when my gaming career was just starting to accelerate I bought my first SAAB; it was my first new car and the beginning of the longest standing love affair in my life.  The next SAAB came a couple of years later, (the pattern of buying a new SAAB every couple of year lasted at least 10 years), by then the company made a turbo charged model – one ride in that car changed the way I thought about driving.  It has been almost 15 years since I owned a SAAB, but I still lust after them every time I see the 2011 offspring of my first turbo – the Areo.

Of course, the job, casino, marriage, competitive running and all of the “stuff” my wife and I accumulated in those years are long gone – my granddaughter held a yard sale in Santa Cruz last weekend and sold the one remaining “collection” of my marriage and the 1980s.  It is all gone, but as long as I could see a new SAAB occasionally, I could dream the dream;  flying around Pyramid Lake in the dark at a hundred miles and hour with one of Glen Campbell’s contemporaries blaring into the night sky – oh, what a rush.  Now, I am left sitting in my rocking chair with a blanket wrapped around my legs, drooling and repeating for the thousandth time to a bored, but captive grandchild wild tales of wilder times – was it really just my imagination or did it really happen?  Lets take the SAAB and go ask Glen – oh wait they are gone too.


1 Response to “A sob for SAAB and aging”

  1. 1 lynne rosner June 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I am sorry you have times when you feel frail or ailing and I am also sorry to hear about your wife passing away, a tragedy to me. Please be well.

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