SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Still Aging After All These Years



October 30, 2010
Saturday AM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
A while back, I mused on how it was that folks in my age group had suddenly become “old.”

jpg Dave Kiffer

Natch, I have received several emails, phone calls and letter bombs from people who are a wee bit over-concerned about “premature” aging. The most common question I have received is “Hey Dave, you old geezer, how can I be sure that I am not on the Road to Ruin like you?”

Well, I can assure you that you are all aging, and at a speed that is indeed somewhat faster than continental drift.

But, in order to ease your concerns, I have come up with a series of questions that could help clear things up. As always, your answers are completely confidential and I promise not to share them with any more than one or two dozen of my closest personal friends or on more than two social networking sites. And I promise not to laugh too loudly when you come into the room.

Got your number two pencils ready? (And no using Google or Wikipedia to find the correct answers!)

1)    Do you know who Walter Brennan is? Several folks remarked that my cultural touchstones date from the Jurassic Period.

2)    When you hitch a ride on Alaska Airlines do you pay extra for an aisle seat? And not because you like the extra leg room? Do you seek a seat not so far from the bathroom cubicle? Can you hold it long enough to make it to Wrangell?

3)    When was the last time you slept in a reclining (sort of) chair on a state ferry? Do you sign up for a stateroom even for a short (six hour) trip? Do you think the solarium is only for hippies? Does even the thought of sleeping in the solarium make your back hurt?

4)    When you go to the grocery store to you mentally chose between Wingrens, Supervalu, and Ferry’s? (Tatsuda’s doesn’t count, they never change their name or go out of business!)

5)    When you hear the name Pinkerton, do you think “detective agency” or “former mayor”?

6)    Have you forgotten how many times Radio Shack has moved back and forth to and from the Mall? (extra credit, do you remember when there was a Dairy Queen in the (at least this week) former Radio Shack building?)

7)    Did you buy your first record at the Warehouse of Music? (I did). Did you buy your first (CENSORED) at the Warehouse of Music? (I did).

8)    Do you remember the great Thanksgiving Day “hurricane” of ’68? (If you think I mean 1868, add an extra 10 points!)

9)    Do you remember staying “up late” to watch Totemland Topics? Do you remember when staying up late was after 8 pm?

10)    Do you defer driving to the West End because you don’t feel up to sitting in your car that long? Without a potty break?

11)    Do you remember complaining loudly when gas topped 50 cents a gallon? Do you remember when Ireland Transfer used dray horses?

12)    Do you remember when “out the road” was anything past the tunnel?

13)    Do you remember looking ahead to the year 2000 and wondering what it would be like when you were that “old?”

14)    When was the last time you thought it would be “fun” to camp out on the ground in the woods? 70s? 80s? Never?

15)    When you hear the words “big island” do you first think of somewhere inside or outside of Alaska? Somewhere warmer? Somewhere you want to retire to? (and no, not Sequim).

Of course, these are just a sample of the possible questions that determine your current state of decrepitude.

As always, your results may vary and these particular results were realized by a professional driver on a closed track.

And in the event of a brain cramp lasting more than four hours, please consult your doctor.

On the Web:

More Columns by Dave Kiffer

Historical Feature Stories by Dave Kiffer


Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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