Me And Methuselah

I became 60 years old today. I know, it’s ridiculous. It’s way too old.

If this keeps up, I’ll catch Methuselah, who apparently lived until he was 969.

When I was born, on Oct. 4th, 1950, the Rocket had only played eight seasons with the Canadiens. He’d go on for another ten years after that. Dick Irvin was coaching the Habs when my mom gave birth to me, Gerry McNeil was the goaltender having replaced Bill Durnan, and it was three long years before Jean Beliveau put the sweater on.

I was born five years before the Richard Riot and nine years before Jacques Plante decided to wear a mask for the first time. I’ve been alive for 18 of the 24 Stanley Cups Montreal has won.

I’m really freaking old. But I’ve been told a few times that I have the passion of someone half my age.

World War ll had ended only five years before my birth. Hockey telecasts wouldn’t start until I was a two-year old, in 1952. I’m the same age as Tom Petty and Jay Leno, a year older than Guy Lafleur, and three years older than Bob Gainey.

But I want to confess something. I’m glad I’m this age and wouldn’t trade it for anything younger. I mean this. I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s, in great and exciting times, and among other things, watching the Original Six teams get it on. The first expansion didn’t happen until I was 17, and so my youth was seeing what many of you only read about. 

I ate dinner with the Leafs (I know, the Leafs) at their training camp in Peterborough when I was 13. I saw the Rocket play live, as well as Jacques Plante and Doug Harvey and the rest. At one game in Toronto, my dad corralled Toe Blake and had him go into the dressing and get Doug Harvey’s autograph for me.

I saw Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr, Tim Horton, Stan Mikita, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Esposito, Terry Sawchuk, Dickie Moore and all those old greats play, either live or on TV, and I was a 21 year bartender working in Sudbury when the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series was held.  And while in my 30’s I spent an evening drinking beer with an old man named Aurele Joliat.

When I was 13, the Beatles came to America for the first time and played the Ed Sullivan Show. And in the summer of 1966 when I was 15, I saw the Beatles live in Toronto.

I was a teenager when all that classic rock you know the words to was fresh and new. I went to the Atlantic City Pop Festival held two weeks before Woodstock and saw a very similiar lineup as in Woodstock, and I was a 22 year old in the crowd at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum in 1973 enjoying Led Zeppelin.

You’re doing your own thing now, seeing your own players you’ll tell your grandkids about, and singing along to your own music. I say savour everything, because believe me, from the bottom of my heart, you’ll be 60 before you know it.

But don’t despair. Getting older isn’t a bad thing at all. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

34 thoughts on “Me And Methuselah”

  1. Many Happy Returns

    As the last time I saw 50 it was disappearing over the horizon with it’s arse on fire, I can empathise with the sentiments you express.

    I can see what a good move it was to have the tatoo done so recently.

    Had you done that 20 years ago it would now be faded and lost in a mass of loose wrinkly flesh…….

  2. Happy Birthday Dennis. Methuselah has nothing on you, he never saw the Rocket or Zeppelin.

  3. i agree, i wouldn’t change my age and experiences either. but i’m not as old as you. habby birthday and remember, ” only young people do not know how long youth lasts”

  4. Dennis allow me to add my Happy Birthday wishes to those of your devoted other readers. Hopefully the Habs will make your wish come true.

  5. Holy, Dennis…I had no idea that you were the age that you say…goes to show that everything our mothers said aren’t always true…as I do not act my age either!!! In my books, 50 is the “new 30″…so 60 must be the new 31.

    Happy B-day DK and many happy returns on your lottery ticket, that you do have to buy yourself.

  6. Sixty?????????? Wow!! Look at Keith Richards, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and many others. Before any of them hit 60, they already looked 80. You’re entering your sixth decade. You don’t look a day over 40 and you didn’t have to cheat like Cher and Gene Simmons. Happy Birthday buddy.

  7. My only request is that you stop wearing those Speedo’s when cutting the front grass. That’s for the young bucks.

    All the best big guy!!!!

  8. All the very best DK. The number means nothing it’s whats in your head that counts. If you say your old & act as though your old you will be far too soon! Just remember Dino’s & you will be for ever young!
    Cheers & have a couple of wobbly pops, hell have as many as you like!!

  9. @Blue Bayou. Thanks for the message. I’m trying to figure out who’s older – me or Prince Philip.

  10. @ Danno. Thanks, Danno. I expect the next 60 years to have a few aches and pains but I’m sure medicinal marijuana will help.

  11. @Hobo ” only young people do not know how long youth lasts.” That’s the second really great saying you given me. The first was “people who care what others think live in fear.” Thanks, Hobo.

  12. @Tyg Thanks a lot Tyg. They’re going to make our wish come true, as long as there’s not too many suspensions.

  13. @ Jan Thanks, Jan. And please don’t be mad at me when I joke about the Canucks. I’m just trying to be funny.

  14. @Mike Williamson Thanks my old friend. And If Atlantic City has another one, we have to go. All the best to you and Diana.

  15. Dennis, Methuselah may have been old, but he never lived. He just forgot to die. Have you also seen Richards in concert? It would be great to have a back to back to comparison between him, Page and Clapton. I’m jealous.

  16. Christopher,of the three of them, Clapton by far looks the best. Jimmy Page is overweight and looks bloated, Keith Richards’ skin looks like its alligator skin, but Clapton looks like a schoolteacher. And of the three, I would say Clapton is the finest guitar player. I’m hoping Hobo jumps in here and gives his opinion. This is the kind of discussions he and I would have over wine or beer and talk for hours about music and guitar players and the Habs. I’m saying Clapton was technically the best.

  17. Clapton also has the best voice of the bunch. Richards looks fantastic for someone who’s been dead for 30 years. A night of hockey Gods, guitar Gods, and beer sounds perfect.

  18. Some day, Christopher, I think it would be fantastic for some of us to get together for music talk, hockey talk, and beer. I’d just love to do this.

  19. Ack, it’s past midnight in Ontario but the date hasn’t changed in BC so HABBY BIRTHDAY! You’re truly amazing for having been a fan for so long and for sharing your memories and rare things with us. Please keep blogging for many more years! Thanks for all your hard work.

    (I hope the art works out.)

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  20. i’m jumping in….. keith plays like keith better than any one i’ve heard. clapton plays like clapton better than all the rest……… how is that for diplomatic? when it comes to personal opinion, which is all this really is, i would say keith is the best guitarist in r&r. having said that, if sugar kane was thrown into the equation, i’m afraid i wouldn’t be so diplomatic.

  21. if he thinks that he wouldn’t be my friend………. to me, hendrix is the bobby orr of guitarist. there is everyone else, then there is jimi.

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