Thanks for the memories

Dudley Wooten



“Thanks for the memories” was the song that Bob Hope ended his shows with and it very appropriately describes this past week. A lot of family and friends put a lotta effort into celebrating my birthday. This came in the form of visits, conversation, cards, presents and old pictures.

There I was just going through life fat, dumb, and happy, minding my own business, not looking for any trouble with anybody and then “BAM” it hit me – the dreaded birthday syndrome.

At my age, you quit counting at 39 and if you’re married, there’s always someone who tells your real age. The problem is that this year she called in “back up” and they brought dated pictures. They came in from Florida, Arizona, Columbus, Cincinnati, Wooster, and Elyria, while others wandered in from Greenbriar Road. For the most part they came in peace. There was a little of the harassing the old guy but once they got that out of their system, everything was cool.

This was one big night of party but also a week of visiting well-wishers. These conversations and all the pictures really took me back in time. I’ve spent a week thinking about all the great memories that I’ve shared with these loved ones over the years.

The pictures showed Little Laura and myself when we were “just a couple of kids,” full of life and great expectations. Many more pictures showed us living life and fulfilling those great expectations. Some pictures showed us with our babies, Little League, tap dance, scouting, graduations, weddings, and holidays.

We had pictures of when my sisters Bev, Lisa, Deb, and Mary were knee-high and also all the hair-do’s we all went through. Remember these people are products of the sixties and they come with tie-dye, bell bottoms, paisley, and flowers in big hair.

Mike Flaig was there and that’s partly because he and I are the best friends and partly because his brother, Charles was a big part of my younger twisted development. When Mike’s around, I’m reminded of many, many adventures with Charley and Mike – everything from fishing and camping to corning cars and rat-killin’s.

What I’d like to say to each and every person who visited, called, or wrote is, “Thanks for the memories.” It’s the reminder of these memories made long ago that make today so special.-

Since all the witnesses and evidence gathered concluded that I was at least 39, I thought it best to see how others deal with this age thing.

“Whatever poets say of it, old age is still old age.” – Sinclair Lewis

“I’m in the prime of my senility.” – Joel Chandler Harris (Uncle Remus)

“To me, old age is 15 years older than I am.” – Bernard Barush

“To grow old is to pass from passion to compassion.” – Albert Camus

“I’ll never make the mistake of being 70 again” – Casey Stengall (N.Y. Yankees)

“When everyone tells you how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting’ old,” – Mark Twain

“The older they get, the better they were when they were young.” – J. Bouton

“You know you’re getting’ old when the candles cost more than the cake.” – Bob Hope

“If I’d have known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. – Leon Elfred

“First you forget names and then you forget faces. Next, you forget to pull your zipper up and then you forget to pull your zipper down.”- Leo Rosenberg

Enough is enough. This is about where we write all that off as too depressing and get a second opinion. Groucho Marx sums it up like this, “A man is only as old as the woman he feels.”

And there you have it. That just took decades off the age factor. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


Dudley Wooten

Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.

Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.