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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger

The Paths Not Taken

When I was a teenager I was positive that I would someday be a writer in Hollywood. I fantasized that I would write scripts that would be Oscar-nominees that the world would view on the silver screen. It never quite happened.

I went to City College of New York and in my coursework I did very well in German Studies. When I told my mother I intended to become a teacher of German, she was shocked. Her immediate answer was “No”, and that took care of that career.

I took science courses and did well in Comparative Anatomy. I followed the crowd of “B.S.-ers” and applied to dental school. I was accepted at NYU and spent four years there.

Dentistry compared to film writing was a conventional path as opposed to heading out to California to try to make it in the movies. It proved to be a decent way to make a living and provided myself and my future family with all the necessities of a life that counted.

I also toyed with opening a practice in Columbia, Maryland, a town that was just being built near Fort Meade, where I was stationed. I longed for my family and the Bronx, so I came back to New York, married sweet Lorraine and found a practice in Jamaica, Queens. Another path not taken.

Recently I attended my grandson Eli’s Bar Mitzvah in San Diego. The Rabbi praised him and predicted a great future for the young lad. I took him aside and said to him “Eli, you don’t have to become President of the United States; Vice President will be quite sufficient.” He looked at me quizzically.

Each of us has traveled down a circuitous route to get to a final destination. We are all entitled to wonder and guess what route our lives would have followed, had we taken another pathway. Your imagination is your only limitation!