#564 – Dick Bernard: Another Birthday.

Today, all day, I was 72 years old.
I got a head start on a great day on May 3 with a short trip across the Mississippi to Lincoln Center School in South St. Paul MN. There granddaughter Addie (she’s the one in the black and white polka dot dress you can see if you look at center in the photo) and her colleague first graders entertained other students, teachers and assorted parents and grandparents with a program with a Caribbean theme. Louis Armstrong had nothing on these kids when they sang a snippet of “It’s a Wonderful World”. “Entusiasmo” as the Spanish word for enthusiasm spoke for them from the wall beside them.
(click on photos to enlarge them)

Lincoln Center First Graders May 3, 2012

I thought of first grade for me. It was 1946-47, at St. Elizabeth’s in Sykeston ND. I still have the report card. It’s been awhile since I was in First Grade.
As birthdays go, 72 is nothing much to talk about. For me, it has more meaning, this year.
My Mom turned 72 on July 27, 1981. Three weeks later she passed away. She’d been very ill the preceding year (cancer) and there were no miracle cures. For more reasons than Mom’s death, 1981 was an important year for me. Among other things, Mom and Dad helped jump-start me into a family history ‘career’ which has gone on, now, for 32 years. (You can never really retire from family history.)
Being 72 – born in 1940 – means I missed the Great Depression, and was out and about when World War II began for the United States. Recently the 1940 census was released, and I looked. I missed the cut. The census taker in Valley City ND came around in April, 1940, and I was just thinking about arriving on the world scene. It was the census taker who came early, not me!
Of course, when the odometer of life turns over one more digit, it is always a reminder that you are actually a year older than your birthday cake shows. So today I completed 72 years, and begin my 73rd. Such is life.
It’s been a good day today which, for someone my age and temperament, means a reasonably laid back retired person day.
About noon-time today I was at Jefferson High School in Bloomington watching goings-on at the schools annual Diversity Day.
Like the First graders on Thursday, the high schoolers on Friday gave me some sense of optimism about the future IF we adults don’t mess things up too badly. It’s up to us to leave them a future to build upon.
My friend Lynn Elling gave his annual talk, an “old bird” of 91 (as he describes himself) with his spouse of 68 years, Donna, with him.
His talk always focuses on the WWII that he experienced at places like Tarawa Beach, and a 1954 visit to Hiroshima which has had a lifelong impact on him.
In the kids he sees our future, and I like that.
Forward into my 73rd year!

Lynn Elling at Jefferson High School, Bloomington MN May 4, 2012

Kids listen to Lynn Elling May 4, 2012

Martha Roberts, Donna and Lynn Elling at the World Citizen Table May 4. Martha is President of World Citizen, Lynn founded the organization in 1982.

UPDATE May 8, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME, at a gathering on May 6, and ...

... and Grandson Parker, who shares May 4th as birthday, albeit 62 years later.

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