By Floyd Allen, Editor


As many of you may know, In January of 2023 I will turn 74. That means, of course, that I am a third of the way through being a Septuagenarian. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not unhappy about being in my 70s. To be honest, however, there are a few drawbacks to the situation. As a result, I thought I would take a minute and share a few of them with you in this issue.

1. Many Family and Friends are Gone – I am the last of the Nuclear Family that I grew up as a part of. Mom, Dad, and all five of my brothers have passed away, and I am now the oldest male of our extended family which, I guess, makes me the Patriarch of the clan! I do have one sister-in-law left, Judy, Bernard’s wife, but she is back in New York while we are here in Phoenix and I just don’t get to visit with her very often.

Now, the thing about losing people from your past is it gets to the point that you don’t have anyone to share memories with. My wife, Chris, does really well in this matter, but she just doesn’t know everyone, everything, and everywhere that I sometimes wish I could talk about. I have questions I would like to get the answers to, and clarification on a few points.

There is a way to combat this, though, and I constantly implement this with those I know and Love – – Create new memories!!! From the time we got married Chris and I have instituted a host of traditions that encompass every known Holiday and a few we created ourselves, including but not limited to:

  • Back to School Parties
  • World Series and Opening Day Smorgasbords
  • All day Football Buffets on New Year’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday
  • Country Music Road Trips (Known as “Runs”)
  • The Allen Family Game Trophy

Now, the most exciting part of this, to me at least, is that the vast majority of these are being carried on by my children, grandchildren, and even some especially good friends. When the time comes that I will join my Family and Friends in that Great Party Place in the sky, I hope that those remaining here still enjoy all of these things and remember me fondly as a result!

2. I have Outlived Some of my Favorite Eateries – To say nothing about those in Upstate New York, there are a plethora of places that I used to love to dine at that are no longer open and available to go to. These run the gamut from PAESANOS to TOM TATE’S BUFFET to BILL JOHNSON’S BIG APPLE STEAK HOUSE to the Chinese Buffet on 19th Avenue and Bell Road.

There are, of course, a few places that I enjoy going to to eat today, but, I must admit, I still miss some of my old haunts. And, the number keeps growing as the Ecuadorian Restaurant on Bell Road and 43rd Avenue and the BLACK ANGUS at Metro Center join the ranks of closed doors. I guess all I can suggest is enjoy your “hot spots” now, for they might not be there next year!

3. You Tire of Some of Your Favorite Foods Speaking about food, here is a seldom discussed fact: Some of your Favorite Foods no longer taste the same once you take the bend around 70!

In regard to this, I remember my Dad telling me a story when I was a kid. The discussion came as the result of us discussing the fact that he always had candy for the Grandkids when they came to visit.

My Dad was so poor that the poor people felt sorry for him, so, as a kid, he didn’t have a whole lot of tasty delectables to enjoy. As a result, he said that he promised himself that once he grew up and had a job, he would buy himself all of the candy and bananas that he wanted. Well, when the time came he made his first big purchase and sat down to enjoy himself. The thing is, nothing tasted the same as it had when he was a kid!

Well, I have found that it is not just candy that doesn’t taste the same. While I used to consume peanut butter sandwiches like they were petrol and I was a gasoline combustion engine, I find that one a month is now more than enough.

Another aspect of this is that when my wife asks, “What would you like for dinner?” my list is shrinking by leaps and bounds. So my eateries are gone AND I enjoy less dishes!!!

4. Your “Pop Culture” Knowledge is About Four Decades Behind – When TRIVIAL PURSUIT came out in 1981 I was a superb player! In fact, during the mid- to late ‘90s I would play my children and just plain scorch them.

A few years later, however, a strange thing happened: They bought a New Edition and I found that I didn’t stand a ghost of a chance against them! The only way we could play each other anywhere near equitably was for me to use Cards from the old set, and them to use the Cards from the new one!

Much to my surprise, I’m not even up on Sports anymore – – not even Baseball! My memory is still good, I just don’t spend the same amount of time accumulating Input as I did in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The reason? Something called “Life!” This includes such things as a Wife; Marriage; Children; Church; Jobs; Grandchildren and so on and so forth! Trust me, at 70 you will be nowhere near “In the Know” as you are at 40!

5. I Find that my “Get Up and Go” has “Got Up and Went” – This is rather intriguing, for it’s not so much that I don’t have the energy to do many of the things that I used to do, I just don’t seem to have the desire!!!

To give you an example, my church, ONE CHURCH SCOTTSDALE, is beginning to work diligently to build an active Men’s Group. This is being accomplished by several methods, including monthly social gatherings. Now, so far I have attended all of them and, actually, have enjoyed all of them. However, going into them I have more of an “I have to” attitude than an “I get to” attitude.

Another example is that Chris and I very seldom go out to Dinner – – we got out to either Lunch or “Linner.” And, we try to go to “Lunch Time Theatre” as often as possible. Bottom Line – we just plain prefer to not be out after dark!

       Well, there you have it – – Five Downers to being a SEPTUAGENARIAN! Like I said earlier, it’s not ALL bad! But, life is different than it used to be, though it continues to be better than the alternative!!!

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