Older and Better
All he kept talking about was glory days.
I was thinking about this piece this morn and then Springsteen’s , “Glory Days” came on. Now that’s what I call a set your dial to write clue. “Good Friend” calls that summoning something else. Barely got any coffee in me, damn.
Many of us know one or two or three people that are like that. One of the best film portrayals of the “Glory Days” individual was by Dennis Hopper in “Hoosiers”.
You’re not getting older you’re getting better. A well known campaign with an affirming PSA touch by Clairol.
Once upon a time I was a member of the “Yea right” brigade as it applies to the “You’re not getting older you’re getting better” slogan.
Change of perspective, and it happened a good while back, changed the mindset.
Yes I’m old. We have statistical data for a reason and statistically, I’m in the last quarter of my life.
I’m adverse to dragging my old glory days out. Even writing it in this context where it’s actually useful, it doesn’t fit well with me.
You can find the following online and is an older posting. Which do you think I was…. Bear, Ram or Hawkeye?
The Toronto area really needs to look at getting back into the Canadian Junior Football League (ages 19 to 22 years). Back in the day there were at least three teams in the GTA. The Lakeshore Bears playing out of Centennial Park in Etobicoke, the Scarborough Rams playing out of Birchmount Stadium, and the Oshawa Hawkeyes playing out of the Shwa.
Back then talented football players who couldn’t attend college or university because of grades, money or whatever reason had a place to keep playing a high level of football in Canada. Back in the mid 70s the Scarborough Rams having winning records of 10 and 0 seasons along with the Ottawa Sooners, and the Hamilton Hurricanes could give any University ball club a run for their money. Bring Junior ball back to the GTA!!!!
I see in my research for this tale that the Ontario Football Conference in 2017 is again part of the CJFL. Toronto is represented by the GTA Grizzlies.
So yeah, I had some Football glory days. Last one I signed, it was with Junior Argonauts. I’m pretty sure you can figure out the affiliation.
I remember it well. A weekend in mid March colder than a witch’s…., down at old CNE Stadium (I could tell you where to find pieces of CNE Stadium today but that’s a story for another time). Wind was blowing in through that gap between the 3rd base line and the North Grandstand.
The Bulova Clock Tower which used to be the Shell Tower was stuck at a balmy -6 C. Fun Wow!
There is an eeriness to an empty stadium. It’s both a bit haunting and really thrilling looking around all the empty seats when you’re down playing on the field. Visualization is an important tool and yes I envisioned 55,000 people cheering for me.
If the witch image isn’t working for you, try going with, “Brass Monkey”. Equality friends, equality, something for everyone.
I do appreciate why football players bitched about that outfield fence seam on the CNE gridiron! You hit that seam the wrong way, hey what’s a new ankle or knee between friends! Back then they had, “Turf Gripper” footwear. All those things did was make it easier for the “Turf Monster” to get you!
I’m old. This is a fact. Using our measuring sticks, ¾ of my life is over, I’m old.
I had a brief conversation some months back with one of the people in my community I’m friendly with. You don’t need the entire context. What I told the individual is this, at this point in my life, if I want a story I write one. If I want a pretty picture, I make one.
Community friend was not made aware of what is in my past. I’d love see the face of community friend when they’re reading this piece.
I’m a far better writer, photographer, artist than I ever was a football player. We’ve already established, I was a good football player.
How wonderful is it to be able to do those things? How much better is this legacy of art? Sure, those questions are debatable, debatable to everyone but me that is and it is all about me.
To sit down and create. To be seen and read in 103 countries around the world. Now that is one glorious ego stroke. I worked and pushed out, I earned it.
My top 5 countries in order of viewership:
- South Africa
Number 1 and 2 aren’t a surprise. Those two should be where they are. Now number 3, if you know what I am now and what I espouse, it isn’t a great surprise.
When comparing numbers between Canada and the USA, Canada has about 10% of the people that the USA does. When I look at the stats I’d kind of expect to see the same ratio of 10 to 1. It’s about 5 to 1 and that pleases me.
“Far have I travelled and much have I seen”, Mull Of Kintyre. I don’t have your miles on me but hey, thank you Sir Paul!
What I’ve become is much better and far more powerful. I grew stronger and better. As I grew, I touched others significantly. I’ve met some real outstanding individuals and made a couple lifelong friends. To my mind, that’s the glory.
It isn’t all one way. I have been significantly touched myself. This makes me stronger, it makes me better.
“Carry me back to the days I knew then”, thank you, no. I have mulled it over and I have no desire to return.
Yeah, I’m older and I’m better. I’m worse too, the physical thing. I have that aspect of my life under control. It’s a non issue in the older/better sense.
The better not older campaign was aimed at the preoccupation with aging and death. That preoccupation is still with us. If you can give someone something they can rationalize a condition with, they just may.
If quarterbacking from the armchair and reliving whatever your “Glory Days” were and are, you can. Being the intelligent donkey I am, I’d say enjoy your retirement!
I’m telling you, if stronger and better is what you want to have as you move through life, then you gotta be engaged in life. Why? Why because that’s how it works.
When people tell you that your style or something you’ve done reminds them of the greatest of dead poets, you know you’ve achieved your goal of someday being one of them.
Try wrapping your head around this one. I knew it when I first started writing poetry. Monetary returns, never a real concern. I write for me and share. I happen to think some of my stuff is gonna live forever.
I don’t expect to realize the full glory until 150 years after I’m dead.
No, no, no, don’t fret for me!
I will be checking back to see if I’m correct. What!? You don’t think someone as glorious as I wouldn’t be able to check back and see what y’all are up to. Not a question.
G.R. Hambley ©
July 31st, 2017
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