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Sunday, January 22, 2012

62 and 80 Years: An Insignificant Difference in Geologic Time---An Email Exchange with my Journalist Brother-in-Law on my Birthday‏

My brother-in-law, William Johnson, is a professional journalist, author, and once, many decades ago, a Jesuit priest.  The Vatican released him from his priestly vows so he could marry his first wife, have his two children, and be transubtantiated into a budding journalist by taking his family to Alabama and following Dr. Martin Luther King on his civil rights marches.  On that journey, it dawned on William that maybe he could make a living reporting on events like Dr. King's journey for human freedom, like the reporters William observed on the marches that summer.

William is 18 years older than I.  However, he is a YOUTHFUL four-score man.  Today, on my birthday, I am three-score and two.  William wrote me a nice email and I replied.

It is now in the waning moments of my birthday evening.  Soon, I shall never be just three-score and two years.  Add one day on the morrow, another the day after, and so on.  And so it is for all of us Mere Mortal Men.  You Goddesses, well that's another story, for another day, another blog post.

For now, I'll close my three-score and two with the email thread, by which William and I were, on this day, connected. cbream is Carol, my sister.

From: wjohnson@
CC: cbream@
Subject: RE: January 22
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 19:43:34 -0500

Hey, you Babe-in-Woods,

I hear a rumour that today is your birthday and that you have struck age 62. I still remember when I was a callow youth of 62: my best years lay ahead of me, though I did not yet know it.

May you enjoy many more years of happy life – as you have enjoyed over the past year or so. And may the years bring you emotional satisfaction, growing maturity, more self-confidence and more love for all other human beings. And may all the people you care for love you.

And may I accompany you for a few more years yet.

Your much older brother,


  • 62 and 80 years: an insignificant difference in geologic time‏

To William Johnson

hey, allegedly much older bro',

the only thing i need say is this.  rumors of your impending earth-exit ("a few more years") are greatly exaggerated.

other than that, i needs agree with thee, that your best ones lay after thy earlier years, my now not-callow wiser, better.

your wishes are gratefully received, and generously given.

should i ever learn to have but a small part of your emotional satisfaction, maturity, self-confidence, and other-love, then, when i am god's blink older, as you, accomplished much shall i have indeed.

your slightly younger, in the gods' time, bro',



  1. Happy birthday, Bob

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you very much. I appreciate your reading "Bobs blog" and, even more, taking the time and trouble to post a Comment. Even more, thanks for the kind birthday wishes.

    All best,