Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 6, 2015

50th redux

View From The Cheap Seats

William O. "Bill" James, Jr.

As I mentioned recently, the half century birthday has been haunting me for several years. In fact, in my mind, I’ve been 50 since early in my 48th year. Now that I’m past the actual date, it seems like I might have made the milestone bigger in my mind than it actually deserved. They say you’re only as old as you feel, and they might be on to something. My focus on this random date on my lifeline did nothing to improve my day-to-day existence. What it did do was make me worry about something I can’t control.

Even though I was reluctant to have any type of celebration commemorating the day, Patti put together two such events without my help: one in Little Rock, Ark., and another this last weekend in Fayetteville, Ark. At both parties, I was pleased to have many old friends in attendance and had a great time. I pretended I didn’t want the parties, but I enjoyed them immensely. Fun as the two parties were, I was still in bed quite early on both nights, and had no regrets about doing so. I don’t know if my early slumber was a function of old age or wisdom. Either way, I felt much better than I have on most mornings following past birthdays. At least those birthdays once I turned 21.

The biggest event of the big day for me was the delivery of my present from Patti. It was parked in the driveway with a big bow on it. For many years, I’ve opined that I really want a big, black, jacked up four-wheel drive pickup. For a long time, I’ve hoped that a client would give me one in return for a fee. I’ve actually taken in three pickups as fees over the years, but never hit the jack pot. Apparently, Patti got tired of my talking about it and went out and bought me one. The pickup is oversized and a little on the obnoxious side. In other words, it’s awesome. I feel just a little uneasy getting this truck at my advanced age, but I guess it’s OK since I skipped the corvette when I was 40. Patti knew I’d never buy it for myself, so she hooked me up. I’m certainly glad she did.

The only negative I took away from my birthday week was something someone said to me at the end of my second party: They pointed out that this is probably the last time anyone is going to throw me a party. That might actually be true. After 50, you only get parties thrown for you after you’re too old to know what’s going on. Although, I bet you still get cake. Assuming I’m able to make it to my next party, I certainly will look forward to getting cake.

As Dr. Red Duke used to say “Living can sometimes be hard, but it certainly beats the alternative.” That is certainly true for everyone, especially those of us growing old way up in the CHEAP SEATS!

Bill James is a criminal defense attorney and co founder of the James Law Firm with offices in Little Rock, Conway, and Fayetteville, Ark. He has yet to receive his AARP card in the mail, but he’s certainly looking forward to the day it arrives. He may be contacted at Bill@JamesFirm.com.