I was dreading yesterday’s trip: two talks in Exeter N.H. to a bunch of old people… the first to visitors to a fancy adult community and the second at my 60th (sic!) high school reunion. I was dreading them for two, good reasons. First, I don’t do well with people my age. People in their 70’s have mostly made up their minds about life and they are not much open to suggestion. The idea that they are going to leap up out of the Lazy-Boy and jump on the bike or the elliptical… not a congenial notion for most of em. Pity…because the stuff I talk about could do more for them than just about anyone. The second reason – and this only applies to the reunion talk, is that no one is a prophet in his own high school class. Obviously. I’m going to tell them how to live their life?… The hell I am. So this was going to be a slog.
Except it wasn’t.
The 130 people who came to the adult community (another 50 were turned away) were terrific, for some reason. Loved the talk… filled the room with energy, and I returned the favor. Wonderful event… as much fun as I’ve had in a while.
And then – utterly inexplicably – my Exeter classmates were even better. Which is astonishing. These folks were even older than the morning crowd. A whopping 40% ’em were DEAD. That number is not going down, either. Every one of ’em can hear the dear old Waterfall, loud and clear. And here I am, up on my hind legs, telling ’em to make fundamental, difficult changes in their lives… exercise like lunatics… quit eating the slop they have cherished for a lifetime. Not a promising situation. And they were all over it. Laughed a lot (especially at the references to The Waterfall, God bless ’em) and clapped like crazy. They were so into it. A couple of ’em stood up at the end to say that YNY had already changed their lives profoundly and to beg their classmates to give it a shot… it was not too late, and so on. I was astounded. And so grateful, I had tears in my eyes. Pretty nice couple of days.