Friday, September 30, 2011

Birthday confession: I’m older than Johnny Appleseed

By Jim Heffernan

I was going to ignore my upcoming birthday (Oct. 4) blogwise because I’m getting so old, but, what the heck, there’s no denying one’s age, so I’ll reveal right now for the record that I’m older than Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed? Why Johnny Appleseed?

Here’s why: I have twin grandsons enrolled in kindergarten. They are 5 now and starting to figure out the world. Apparently one of them (they’re in different classrooms) has been learning about Johnny Appleseed’s exploits, something that always fascinates children. I remember being very interested in Johnny Appleseed when I was about that age, but I got over it.

The boy also learned that after spreading all of those apple seeds, Appleseed died at the ripe old age of 70. It prompted him (my grandson, not Johnny Appleseed) to question his mother about the relative ages of his relatives, including grandparents.

It turns out I am the oldest person in his extended family, two years older than a presumably healthy guy like Johnny Appleseed was when he died. Here’s this great historical figure who trekked through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois planting apple trees along the way – could a healthier lifestyle be imagined? – dies at 70 and a sloth like me, who doesn’t even eat apples, is still going strong at 72.

Yup, life is unfair, but I’m not complaining. It never does any good.


Generose Scheidt said...

Don't feel bad Jim, I'll soon be 74 & still going stong.
1955 Denfeld grad

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim
Whatya mean "sloth like me". You have to be going strong to keep up with a couple of 5-year-old grandsons. My grandson is 4 and I get winded just watching him.
Skal! I say to you, as I raise my glass of apple juice and fork into another piece of applekaka.

Happy Birthday!

Erick H

Jim Heffernan said...

Hey, thanks you two ... Generose, I guess we spent a year at Denfeld together -- my sophomore, your senior. At 72 I look forward to being 74 and still going strong. Gotta do 72 and 73 first, though.

Erick: Applekaka? Those last four letters, standing alone, were my family's Swedish-rooted euphemism for a certain substance often known in America as No. 2. Concerning small g-kids Ever notice how even at age 5 they don't know how to walk? Only run. Thanx for writing. -- Jim