The 969-Year Old Methuselah Crossed Many Rubicons

— Me? I’ve lived in nine decades — feel like I’m a pen running out of ink!

“If a bird is birthed in a barn it is still a bird; not a horse!” — The Saker’s Mother

Born in the Halloween season of 1949 and eventually becoming old enough to conclude things, I reasoned: “A handful of right is more powerful than a handful of might.” I’ve lived accordingly and have employed some artful tricks to beat aging along the way.

Among them, I never got in a ‘duke-it-out’ fight with anyone — but I certainly helped break up a whole lot of ’em. Why do people behave like this?

Before I crossed the 50-Year-Old Bridge, I used to fancifully quip: “I’m 49, look 39 … but act 29!” However, once past the 50 mark my pat line lost its luster as I realized acting in my 30s was way different than acting in my 20s. Plus, so long as I was still cool, it really didn’t much matter how old I looked.

Perhaps my best aging strategy was living in Cambridge during my ‘40s. Not only was I surrounded by the bent of strong intellectualism, poets, artists and musicians, but I threw the very best live music parties humanely possible. For nearly a decade I threw a holiday-styled party every single Thursday night. This, of course, helped my friends go on to enjoy three-day weekends as they’d — willingly or unwilling — end up taking the Friday off!

Yes, I think the ‘40s are the best years of anyone’s life.

Why?

Because you tend to hang out with folks half older and half younger. This helps one to keep in tune with one’s self. You leave a trail behind you, with still have a strong trail ahead of you. You’ve picked up some tips along the way! Shoulder to the wind, you put the plow down and move on through it all until you’ve reached the sunshine.

When you’re in your ‘40s, there’s something wrong if you haven’t yet come to realize that anyone can play a bongo on a beach and it’s important to dance with friends in life. A sense of laughter, duty and understanding should dominate … that living in the spirit of living for others holds meaning and purpose … that you become determined to keep your smile in front of you!

Anyway, after I crossed into my ’50s, I again pulled off a pretty good move. Having been raised at Hampton Beach (New Hampshire) with a nearby rollercoaster, I moved to Nantasket Beach (Massachusetts) also a rollercoaster town. My theory was I’d be a kid again, that the only way to defeat aging was by remaining young both in spirit and action.

Roll over, Methuselah — I’m on my way!

My duties in life up to the 50 mark were as follows: I was an integral part of the peace movement, managed rock n’ roll bands, had an independent transcription business, worked for a couple of newspapers as a typesetter/sports correspondent, drove a cab, served a couple of terms as a state legislator and eventually took the important upward mobility step of becoming a Harvard Square/subway street musician.

Once settled at Nantasket Beach I determined it was time to begin doing physical work, this in a belief it’d help keep me in shape both mentally and physically. So I became a painter of beach houses, working on 30 to 40-foot ocean-view ladders. Living and working on a thinly stretched peninsular, the ocean air helped beat back my penchant — my addiction — to smoke unfiltered Pall Malls and Chesterfield Kings.

Plus, over the years, I’d been a long distance rollerblader and a pretty good ballplayer on the local diamonds. As aging evolved, I went from shortstop to a second baseman to closing out my playing days as ‘The Old Man on The Mound,’ always priding myself as a great glove man, an over-.300 average hitter and once striking out the side in unlimited high-arch softball.

Yup. I got through my ’50s in a pretty good way.

As you can tell from reading this, every decade required a new move. Call it a trick of the ages. So as a believer in seasonal romance and never having been bogged down by marriage, in my ’60s I put down my acoustic guitar and finally picked up my electric guitar — I formed my first rock n’ roll band.

I’ve since had three bands.: Heavy Weddle & The PrettyKats; The Rolling Beatles; and my current band, Climate Change. Below, is a YouTube Playlist of songs I’ve written over the years.

I also organized a monthly All-Ages Rock Show at one of the finest concert clubs in New England, The C-Note. The first Friday of every month we’d feature the local high school band with some amazing South Shore Boston teenage rock bands together with an ole-timer band to close the show. On holidays, we’d organize charity concerts to raise money for the high school music department, local fire & storm victims, opiate awareness, the local social service agency and animal rescue shelter, among other good causes.

Indeed, I was on a roll chasing down the ages … long live me and Methuselah!

But my wonderful bingo card on aging became sorrowfully disrupted when the anticipated joy of my ’70s arrived. So also came the tragedy of Covid-19. Given heart difficulties encountered during my mid-’60s, which were manageable, my fear of contracting the deadly virus forced me into becoming a hermit. My life has become me, my two cats and my brain tied into the Internet! Except for shopping once a month (my only time out) I avoid human contact. Were I to catch this virus, I’d become a goner.

So for all of the joyful years I’ve encountered with so many experiences of meeting thousands of different kinds of people while living in Boston, its northern and southern coasts and from several times hitch-hiking across the continent, today I find myself all alone.

Though still able to write, I feel like I’m a pen about to run out of ink.

When I die, and you wish to find me? Look for a special bird.

PS: My ace in the hole, my aging trick for the ’70s, in the face of Covid, has now become collecting baseball cards over the Internet. Here’s a coupla hot tips: Buy Fernando Tatis, Jr. rookie and parallel cards, and don’t forget to pick up a Clayton Kershaw as he’s close to landing his 3,000th strikeout~!

It saddens me I won’t see today’s Rookies become tomorrow’s Hall of Famers! Methuselah, where art thou? Why can’t I be at least a little like you — lol!

Founder of Climate Change Band; former NH State Rep; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!