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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: April 12, 2012

A Weekend In Tucson, Arizona

I always sneered at people who boarded planes with tennis rackets. Who comes into this crazy environment at the airport with a gawky thing like a tennis racket? People are disrobing, taking off their shoes and belts. This is no place for a fine tennis instrument: it surely doesn’t fit into your luggage.

However, last week I succumbed and joined the ranks of wannabe jocks flying with a racket. My daughter Cara had arranged a Greenberg family get-together at the Hilton Conquistador Resort in Tucson, Arizona.

Tennis is a great family game, so I brought my racket. It was not my new one, but one that had served me well for many years. The hotel was magnificent, but I discovered something grim in my life: My family members all played better tennis than I did. Even 14-year-old Eli, who returned everything hit to him, was superior to me. It was a sad plight for a 77-year-old.

I then decided that I should engage myself in the gorgeous countryside. The Oro Valley, with its craggy mountains, was a pleasure to view each morning. Actually, I have never seen so many cactuses on mountainsides before. No trees are present, but cactuses dominate the scenery.

A cactus does not spring an arm until it is 70 years old. The odd shapes that emerge are sometimes comical and sometimes downright sad. The flowers that emerge from the cactus plant have radiant colors. Oh yes, and each plant has numerous quills.

On the hotel grounds we spied some road runners darting about. The male (I think) had an extension on his head. They are odd and humorous to see, with their walking, then running gait.

The restaurants were eclectic. There were some western places, some beer palaces and some fine food and drink. The Congress Hotel featured stories of the Dillinger Mob, who had hid there from the law. It was a mob museum.

A trip to the Desert Museum is certainly a “must see and do” on a Tucson trip. Walking the nature trails and observing wildlife is fun but tiring. Trying to climb those rugged hills is better left for the young at heart.

Arizona, the last state to be admitted into the territorial U.S.A. in 1912, is harsh and rugged, but also fun and effortless if you adjust to Southwestern ideology.

News

Thousands of Long Islanders streamed into Burn Park in Massapequa recently for the Town of Oyster Bay’s annual Salute to America concert featuring Dean Karahalis and the Concert Pop Orchestra with fireworks by Grucci.

The event paid tribute to veterans, past and present, and honored three deserving honorees: Guillermo Torres, Plainview’s Robert Reahl and Barbara Tortorice.

Torres is the winner of the Town’s Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award. A Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Torres was wounded while on maneuvers.

The kids may be grown. The marriage may have not worked out. Perhaps retirement affords more free time than was anticipated.

Enter The Transition Network, an national social group featuring an active chapter on Long Island that meets regularly at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library.

Judy Forman, Plainview resident and program co-chair, noted that The Transition Network is an organization of women ages 50 and over who are ‘transitioning’ into the next phase of their lives — whether it be retirement, divorce, losing a loved one or so on — and helping them to meet new people while expanding their horizons.  


Calendar

Movie: Last Vegas

Wednesday, July 23

Women Artists You Should Know

Thursday, July 31

Adult Summer Reading Club

Through Aug. 7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com