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Over 60…And Getting Younger: August 13, 2010

The Mail Bag

Throughout the 11-plus years I have been writing this column, I have always appreciated mail. Mail lets the columnist know what his/her readership is thinking. In the past month I have received some interesting letters (e-mail) and I will pass them on to you.

Letter One

From my pal Joey in the Bronx. A former teacher, Joey (Yussel) reads the column online every week. This is his response to the column Ellen of July 23:

Stan, beautifully written! That is all.


Letter Two

It comes from my wonderfully attentive reader, Rick. Richard is a CPA and he reads the column carefully. The letter pertains to the column called Surprise of July 30:

My wife and I have not been big fans of surprise parties since (a) her wedding shower surprise was ruined by my brother saying, “have fun, tomorrow” and the doorman saying, “Oh, you must be going to the party, there,” and (b) our friend at a surprise birthday almost having a heart attack (it was only his 30th!) when 40 guests hiding in his basement shouted “Surprise!” when he came down to get what his wife sent him for and turned on the light.

Also, we discovered that the anticipation and preparations for an occasion party are more fun for the honoree(s), hosts and guests over a longer period of time, than the momentary elation (?) of being surprised.

Just my 2 cents that you asked for. As always, I look forward to reading your columns.

Best regards,


Letter Three

Anonymous, but poignant. Writer shows literary talent. A budding “Hemingway”:

I agree with you about “Surprise Parties” not being appropriate for certain occasions, and have an anecdotal story. A few years ago when I was approaching my 65th birthday, I had a suspicion my wife was planning a surprise party. So I made sure not to ask any questions of her or look for clues around the house. As the day of my birthday approached I couldn’t help but contact some relatives and friends to see if I could learn about the party.

No one said anything or even dropped a hint so I was now convinced there was going to be a party.


There was no party. At first I was relieved but then disappointment entered and I even got angry. We had a quiet dinner at home and I opened my birthday present, which was a sport shirt I still haven’t worn.

Not sure what the moral of the story is. What do you think?

See you on Monday evening at the gin rummy game. What’s the knock card?

Letter Four

The column was My Old Gang. It was sent by Bernie, my dearest friend for the last 70 years:

Well written, but somewhat sad.

Thank you, my readers, for your comments. All comments will be accepted gratefully.