Thoughts on Getting Old

by Wilbur Witt

Well, I finally bowed to the pressure and got a checkup. I wasn’t really surprised that my blood pressure was high. To be honest I knew I needed medication for my cough which is brought on by allergies, and I’ve had all my life. Of course, the doctor leaped on my cigar. We negotiated, but she’s right. I have limited my cigar to one over morning cigar with coffee, and maybe one in the evening while sitting on the porch, and to be honest that hasn’t affected me adversely. I enjoy my morning smoke, and don’t crave them all day. I now take a little pink pill for my blood pressure, and I feel good about that.

When you’re young you wonder what’s gonna get you in the end. As you round the corner of sixty, and approach seventy you slowly become aware of what your fate will eventually be, and this is not a bad thing. The idea is to have a quality of life that is happy, healthy, and not a burden on your family and friends. It’s nice to be able to just move a box without having to plan the move. However, that having been said, this is the period of realization that one is not twenty-three anymore, and most likely will not see one hundred twenty-three.

The very fact that I am writing this article reflects my basic optimism about life in general. Seems that I never was given an even break in my life, and that’s a good thing. It prepared me for this final stage. I had polio and encephalitis when I was three and a half years old. That’s an eye opener no matter who you are. Then, at eighteen, I was crushed between two cars in a filling station parking lot. Boy! Now THAT dates me. How many of you remember filling stations. For the uninformed there used to be businesses where you went to get gasoline, and that’s all they did. You’d drive up, a guy would ask you what you wanted, they would fill your tank, clean you windshield, check your oil, and take your money, all while you sat comfortably in your car. Well, that’s what I was doing on June 13, 1970 when a woman named Hilda came into my station and ran headlong into the car I was servicing, standing in front of it, getting both legs broken in the process.

All of this made me a winner. And, contributed to my mental problem of believing I could do anything I put my mind to. I not only learned to walk all over again, I climbed telephone poles for thirteen years. When I quit that job and plunged into the music business I couldn’t sell a song to save my life, so I invented Weird Wilbur, wrote adult country and sold THAT! When I couldn’t get a gasoline credit card I worked until I owned not one but three mansions in Berry Creek. When I couldn’t get distribution for my music I worked diligently until I had them on iTunes because I could clearly see the end of the old order and the beginning of something very new and exciting. Publishers sent my books back over and over, but I self published and in time the world saw the birth of things like Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, and my books are now world wide. You can even download them.

When you have a man who does these things you have a man who generally thinks he’s right about just about everything. You tell him he’s getting older and needs to take care of himself and you get, well, resistance. What I needed to understand was that I couldn’t run I second gear all the time anymore with the motor revving at 4000 RPMs . I needed to shift into overdrive, let the motor run slower, and actually produce more product with less effort. In a word I had to throttle back. This is very hard to do. I have to learn this trick.

I don’t want to become lazy. I definitely don’t want to be one of those old farts who uses his age as an excuse to have other people wait on his every beck and call. I will continue to produce. If I can’t be the singer ill be the writer or producer, giving advice about things I’ve learned over the years. I will write better books, selling more, having more money. If the weather in Texas doesn’t suit me I will buy a winter home in California. I will survive.

Everyone gets old. Everyone dies. On every tombstone there is a date, a dash, and another date. The idea of life is to concentrate on the dash, not the dates. In the meantime I’ll be sitting here writing and taking my little pink pill.