COLUMN: XLVII

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to CacheValleyDaily.com. Harry is a resident of Logan and an alumnus of Utah State University. He can be reached via email at hacaines@gmail.com. His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees. 

<em>“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”</em>

—from the film “Love Story”, the highest grossing movie of 1970.

Unfortunately, it happens every year. My birthday is Monday. If you think I am a cantankerous curmudgeon the other 364 days of the year, you should see me on June 19th. I am nearly inconsolable on that day.

I hate aging. In my heart, mind and soul, I am forever a 16 year old kid, running on the beaches of the Jersey Shore. Journey and Bruce Springsteen are blaring in the background. The future is a far off place that will wait on me until I am ready. So, so wrong.

And this year, I turn a weird age. On Monday, I turn 47. Officially middle-aged.

47 is not a great number. It looks and sounds peculiar. It is a prime number, but you knew that just to see it. XLVII is the roman numeral for 47. That’s clumpy.

Think fast! Name the greatest athlete to wear uniform number 47 (Utah Jazz players excluded).

You see what I mean? 47 is metaphorical to the planet Uranus. It’s big, but it really just sits there…listless, dull and devoid of distinction.

I plan to commemorate—with snarling solemnity—the anniversary of my being pulled defiantly from my mother’s womb by going to The White Owl. The signature bar (<a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/article_becfe1ce-3629-11e7-a1b8-6ffb6fa84288.html” target=”_blank”>not a restaurant</a>) in Logan offers a free cheeseburger on your birthday. I will meet friends there for lunch.

It’s cool that The White Owl offers you a free burger for your birthday. I always wondered how many Mormons considered going in there on their special day. It must create conflict for them. The head-swelling magnetic desire most Utah Mormons have for free food pushing against the fact that bars (not a restaurant) are dens of iniquity where patrons drink large quantities of beer before ominously driving the streets of Utah looking for cute blonde-haired children to mow down.

I assume this is what Utah Mormon politicians think is what bar (not a restaurant) dwellers do for kicks. It is difficult for me to relegate my brain to that level of ignominious stupidity.

Was that rude? Good!

If you do the math, you would see that I was born in 1970. I tell people that I was conceived at the Woodstock Music Festival during Joan Baez’s set. Woodstock actually took place 10 months before I was born. The Moon landing was 11 months before the Great Event, so that does not work as a plausible story. Remove the mythos and my creation more likely came to glorious fruition on my Aunt Patty’s basement couch in her South Philly rowhome. In fact, 87% of teenage pregnancies in America are the result of an older sibling allowing a younger sibling to use their place for sex. I saw that on “Fox and Friends”, so it must be true.

June 19th, 1970. I was born on a Friday. The <a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN197006190.shtml” target=”_blank”>Phillies would lose to the New York Mets</a> 13-3 later that day. The number one song in America on the day I was born was “The Long and Winding Road”, by The Beatles. It would be their last number one song.

That’s right! I broke up The Beatles!

Some great songs hit the airwaves in 1970. Van Morrison released the “Moondance” album, which featured both the title track and “And It Stoned Me”. Simon &amp; Garfunkel released “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Johnny Cash released his best love song, “Cause I Love You” in the year of my birth. Five days before I was born, The Grateful Dead released “Casey Jones” as a single.

<em>“Driving that train, high on cocaine.”</em>

That is the only lyric I know from the song.

And then there was Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky”.

<em>“Never been a sinner. I never sinned. I got a friend in Jesus!”</em>

It is impossible to hear that song and not sing it full-throated.

Television was interesting back then. ‘The Brady Bunch” was finishing up its first season. The grotesque plot twist known as Cousin Oliver was three years away.

“The Ed Sullivan Show” was still on the air. “Hee Haw” was on CBS. Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash had network shows. Country music was bankable TV back then. In September, “Monday Night Football” premiered. So did “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”.

Movies were…not so good. The top grossing film of the year was “Love Story”. I prefer not to describe it to you. Don’t get curious. Trust your good friend Harry on this and resist every chance to see this movie. You can never unwatch it.

The Ford Pinto made it’s notorious debut in 1970. It is, quite possibly, the worst American car ever produced. What it lacked in good looks and head space, it made up for in combustible gas tanks and continuously-failing breaks.

In the mid-1980’s, my Cousin Mike owned a Pinto. We drove that powder blue, powder keg death-mobile to every town off Route 9 in New Jersey looking for fun times. We were not terribly successful in picking up girls, which was fine. We really did not have anywhere in the car to put them. And if you carried over 350 lbs. of weight in a Pinto, the car would explode.

On the subject of bodies that have had a ton of work done on them, Melania Trump was likewise born in 1970. My best guess is Donald Trump’s future 4th wife will have been born between 1984 and 1990.

It sucks to get old.

And 47? What an awkward number. I have to own that for an entire year. And own it I shall, with my usual bombast and smug indignation. I will be damn good at being 47—but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

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