Pretty nifty to see Susan at 50


Every so often the urge strikes me to really look at a serious conflict facing the world today and take a stab at offering potential solutions or alternatives. Monday morning, while combing through the front pages of the top daily newspapers in the world, I ...

Excuse me.

Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50. Susan turned 50.

Wow, that felt good.

I swore I’d be good — that I wouldn’t use this space to discuss the significant birthday our publisher celebrated on Tuesday, and I would not discuss her personal business to the people who read this paper.

But, come on.

This is good stuff. It’s not every day someone turns 50 ... well, fine, I guess every day somebody does turn 50. But not our Susan. No, this is an event to cherish, to grasp close to our collective bosom and let loose with a cheer worthy of her first half of a century on this planet.

Ha.

Actually, Susan saw this column coming. While sitting in her office a few weeks ago, she suddenly grew very serious and looked at me from across her desk.

“Be nice,” she said.

“What are you talking about?”

“When you write that column about me turning 50, you better be nice.”

How can you not agree to that?

Therefore, I will not be mean to Susan as she celebrates the dawning of a new era in her life. I will not make any jokes concerning new hips or how she now coughs dust, nor will I do something cheesy like point out how a first class stamp only cost 3 cents when she was born in 1955, and how that was also the birth year of fiber optics. No, the simple thing for me to do would be to inform people that On the Waterfront won best picture that year and the Federal Republic of West Germany became a sovereign state on May 5, 1955.

There’s no way I’m going there.

I’m not going to note that the very year Susan was born the Syracuse Nationals beat the Ft. Wayne Pistons in the NBA championship (though neither Syracuse nor Ft. Wayne have NBA teams today) and the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in seven games to win the World Series (even though the Dodgers have been in Los Angeles longer than many of us have been alive).

That would be too easy.

I had to look at this creatively. I mean, come on, it’s pretty hack to suggest that Susan would be 350 years old if she was a dog, or that her age is now a speed limit on many wide open roads. She means way too much to me personally to opine in a public forum like this that our reporter John Denny and photographer Ruslana Lambert combined do not hit that magical chronological number she has reached.

That would be low.

What I needed was a different angle. I needed to look past the observations that she is now a grandmother and no longer spends her evenings hopping from night club to night club, instead choosing to hop from one episode of I Love Lucy to another via her remote control. Surely there was a direction I could go that did not include her eyeglasses getting thicker or her patience growing thinner. I mean, come on, I’m above all that.

Actually, after much specualtion, I decided I’d just tell her how happy I was for her in reaching this age at a point in her life that should make her feel comfortable. Look, she has a husband who loves her, parents and siblings she gets to spend time with, kids out of the house, me as a business partner and Sam Harvey mere inches away from her office door at all times.

She has a beautiful new granddaughter, employees who would fight each other to walk through fire for her and friends who stop by the office just to say hello. She has good health, great clothes and only a few signs of the aged, ancient woman she has become — though those signs become stronger ...

But I digress.

To Susan, my publisher and dear friend, I offer birthday wishes and an old Irish birthday toast:

We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a 100-year-old oak tree that I shall plant tomorrow.