Time to accept turning 50 years old

A Word to the Wise
By: Tom Rupp
-A +A
The roller coaster slowly clanks its way up, up, up to the top of its first summit. You sit in it, looking around as you ascend into the sky, giddy at first and then progressively more timid as you inch your way higher and higher. It seems to slow down just a bit as you reach the top, and you sneak a peek at the plummet that awaits you. By the way, I turn 50 this week. OK, it’s not that bad. But hey, it is supposed to be some sort of milestone, isn’t it? When I turned 40, I had my house packed and was going to be moving to Folsom in a few weeks. Now that was a milestone. And now, as oldies crooner Dion said, “I just looked around and it’s gone.” John Mellancamp once sang, “Hold onto 16 as long as you can.” Hey, I’ll be happy to hold onto 49 as long as I can. I saw one of those free newspapers at The Sutter Street Grill. The free paper caters to seniors “aged 49 and up.” What? What? You have got to be kidding. When I was 20, 49 was a senior citizen. But now, let me tell you, it is still some time away. At least, I think so. As in 1959, Aug. 17 falls on a Monday this year. My mother died two years ago. She used to tell me stories of when I was born. In 1959, Alaska and Hawaii became states and Barbie was born. In fact, here is a short list of folks who share this birth year — Magic Johnson, Weird Al Yankovic, John McEnroe, Linda Blair, Danny Bonaduce, Fabio, Kevin Spacey, Keith Olberman, Marie Osmond, Rahm Emanuel, Sade and Val Kilmer. Whew. There are many more, but I was beginning to feel pretty insignificant. TV shows that began in 1959 include “Rawhide,” “Bonanza” and “The Twilight Zone.” Pantyhose were invented and some newfangled thing called the “microchip” was introduced that year as well. OK, enough of that. It’s time to move on. It’s always time to move on. We are all moving on. If you think I am old, that’s fine. You’re day is coming. We are all marching to eternity. Or, as Longfellow said in “A Psalm of Life,” “our hearts like muffled drums are beating funeral marches to the grave.” That being the case, pass me a huge slice of chocolate cake. Tom Rupp is a minister and Bible teacher at Capital Bible College. He can be reached at or through his blog at