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Jack’s Mid-Missouri Memory: 75 and Counting, Just a Bit Slower

Jack MillerI have passed many so called milestones in my life. At 17, I became old enough to join the Navy, which was an important one that made me feel all grown up. Just before I reached 21, I got out of the navy for the first time vowing to never return (a vow which proved to be premature). At 21, I was old enough to walk into a bar and show my real ID card in order to buy a beer. The first legal one was at a long since gone tavern called “The Spot“ on 2nd St. here in Sedalia, and it was on the house. The second one was at “The Interlude” next door, also on the house (I knew how to milk a good thing back then).

Thirty was no big deal, but it was a milestone we all must pass. At 40, the milestones began to weigh me down, and perhaps because of that thing called mid-life crises, I joined the naval reserves out of Springfield, which proved to be one of the better choices I made in my life. I went to work for Payless Cashways just before I turned 50, leaving a career in real estate behind, another great choice I have never regretted. I turned 50+ while I was in the reserves and had my first heart problem requiring Angioplasty, a milestone that in affect required my retirement from the naval reserves with 24 years active and reserve time under my belt.

At 60 I was on cruise control, working towards retirement and swearing I would spend my retirement years doing all those things I had talked about over the past years. When I turned 62, Payless Cashways closed its doors, and I decided it was a sign that I should retire. The problem with retirement at 62 is you get bored by 63 and your wife spends a lot of time trying to get you to not be so helpful around the house. So I went to work as a security guard. I also wrote a weekly column for the Sedalia Democrat at the time, something I had started several years before retirement. I eventually started doing my column on the radio too, a job that eventually expanded into what I do today as a newsman. At 74 I had another heart attack which required two stints. I can only hope if I have anymore problems like that, it follows the pattern of around 25 years like this one did.

Now I have a new milestone in my life; on Oct. 7, 2013, I pass the 75-year mark, and all those jokes about “if I knew I were going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself” don’t seem near as funny now. There have been many other important milestones not mentioned here that I have covered in other Mid-Missouri Memories, like my marriage to the woman who has kept me anchored for the last 50+ years. I have three children who have always given me something other than myself to worry about; along with grandchildren and great grandchildren who have filled up my later years. I have also gained a lot of friends through the years, along with enough weight to make a second person, something I can always hope will change by the time I am 76.

I look forward to the coming year just as I have the last 74, which have been enriched by family and friends. I feel blessed that people listen to my chattering on this station and some mention that fact as I go around town. I have been writing my memories for over 10 years now and I still have some I want you to read and hear, so please join me here on Doug’s show each Monday morning for my next 75 years of Mid-Missouri Memories.

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