Working for AARP could have its perks

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

OK, maybe I’m not officially an old geezer yet but recent events have got me a little concerned about the inevitable.

In the last week or so my younger brother (the one with a lot less hair than me), called me to let me know how old I was getting. He wanted to know if I had heard that the rock band Kiss was going to be playing at AARP’s (American Association of Retired Persons) 50th anniversary party. That would be the young virile rock band of my youth.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he told me rock band Foreigner’s latest tour was going to be sponsored by AARP. Boy that’s a wakeup call.
Still, I’m exactly a year and 15 days from getting that AARP card myself. My wife has refused to send for hers, as if ignoring the senior discounts it would provide will make her seem younger.

In the barber shop this week I became guinea pig to a young lady’s first day at the local shop. The mother of a one-year-old had cut at one of those family franchise joints but it was her first taste of a mostly men’s barber shop.

After I sat down, she and her new boss began talking about her adjustment to the new shop and the comment was made that “She would have to get used to dealing with old men.”

Boy, that stung a little.

With my receding hairline trips to the barber are hard enough, now I find out that the barber’s cloth they wrap around me is to keep me from drooling on myself, not necessarily to keep the hair out of my collar.

After my brother’s call, I happened to be in the waiting room at the hospital. (OK, all the time I spend in medical waiting rooms may be another subtle clue here.) I made a point of picking up the current issue of AARP magazine, you know, to catch up on Kiss tour information.

The cover story was on Jack Nicholson and how he was aging. Granted, he’s a couple of decades older than I am, but still, he was playing young leading roles, like the one in “Easy Rider” as I was growing up.

Inside was an article penned by Erica Jong about her grandchildren. Jong, authored the steamy bestseller “Fear Of Flying.” about the time I was in high school and was in the forefront of the “sexual revolution.” Granny Jong is a little hard to imagine.

In the AARP magazine issue before Nicholson’s, the cover was about Caroline Kennedy. OK, that one’s dead center on my generation.
A list on the AARP Magazine Web site reveals that Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer, Prince, Madonna and Viggo Mortensen all turn 50 this year.

Dennis Hopper, another star of “Easy Rider,” is constantly on TV these days in commercials for a financial firm urging our generation of baby boomers to reach for the stars and not be satisfied with a rocking chair. He mumbles something about 60 being the new 40 and 50 being the new 30 or something.

I’ve got to admit as I approach 50, some days feel like the new 30 and other days feel a lot more like the coming 70.

The first official baby-boomer, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, received her first Social Security check last month. A part of that generation, my first check is due in approximately 16 years and 45 days. Lets just hope it’s not an IOU instead.

As depressing as researching this column and sharing it with you has been, I think I’ve hit on a new career path just in case Social Security doesn’t work out. I’m sending writing samples to AARP magazine back with my reply for the AARP card.

I can’t wait to interview Gene Simmons, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Karl Terry is managing editor of the Portales News Tribune. Contact him at 356-4481, ext. 33 or e-mail: