Born in the Panama Canal Zone 79 years ago, Mr. Zidbeck came to California in 1944 with his mother and three siblings. He enlisted in the US Army after graduating from high school. Honorably discharged in 1952, he attended college under the G.I. Bill. After graduating from UCLA in 1958, he worked as a probation officer in LA County. Mr. Zidbeck, married for 54 years, has lived in San Luis Obispo County since retiring in 1985.
In addition to penning observations and reflections since living in San Luis Obispo County, George has authored six volumes of a family saga that addresses the negative influence of alcohol on a family from the perspective of the mother (two volumes); the father (three volumes); and the first born son. Anyone interested in contacting the author, may write George Zidbeck.
Rochester, George's Good Buddy
Aging on the Squiredom
by George Zidbeck
Sweet sixteen. Such a charming phrase until reality intrudes, particularly in evaluating mid-adolescence from the perspective of someone who's trod the sod for nearly eighty years. Naagh, not for me those teen years filled with angst and uncertainty over life's passage, often mired in melancholy and poetic fantasies. Sweet sixteen? Balderdash Give to me the Dulcet Seventies.
Resting in my Eden, secure from ancient emotional tsunamis that attached to a body shy by eight years of even physical maturity, the dicey questions of my young adult life barely linger. Do the young of this generation remain free from wondering how many years lie in moratorium before psyche and soma blend comfortably into a decent measure of self confidence? Perhaps here and there, now and then, some bright and stalwart teenage prodigy exhibits tremendous physical and/or intellectual talent sufficient to propel his/her self into a long lasting life filled with success and comfort. Therefore, let's avoid the top percentile with their surfeit of wherewithals. This paper has its focus on the vast masses of those born without silver spoons and golden opportunities.
For, indeed -- in my appraisal -- the young of every generation confront the lessons of basic survival the hard way: without fame or fortune. In that the majority of adolescents do not know how to weave/darn their own clothes or suitably shod their very feet, manufacture an array of tools, nor have an armory in their closet, they must begin their future by first recognizing their nakedness and vulnerability.
If a sixteen year old stands solo before a full length mirror and says, "I'm all that I want to be; I possess all the skills needed to propel me into a successful future," that individual should write and publish a manifesto for all to see and praise. For, most surely, that person symbolizes and validates the phrase "sweet sixteen" to its highest standard.
However, if youth be not sweet, what age bracket then? I might counter that no metric applies - neither the twenties nor the thirties. And who can ignore the foolish mid-life forties? Do I pine for the initial senior moments of the fifties? Naagh. Fie on the fifties. What then my lordship? Surely the sixties offer some surcease of life's hardships and travails. Nope, not even then. Sorry
I plan to soon conclude this treatise. Abide me a few more thoughts.
1) I can but hope that those who manage to maneuver their sorry old existences into the seventies might, should such fortune befall them, evaluate their past and conclude that life is more than age or aging; that an abiding life flows from the insights gleaned from countless mistakes and mishaps.
2) Growing up ain't easy, but a decent measure of confidence eventually blossoms from the very simple virtue of surviving innumerable travails and misfortunes.
3) Life may not be great, but comfort and joy abound by amassing and synthesizing the vast knowledge and experiences deriving from reading, traveling, and socializing.
You want the best of times? Then, whether sixteen or a hundred, regularly enrich your mind. But, more importantly, establish fulfilling and endearing relationships. You just can't beat love and friendship at any age