You been following my adventure as I turned 60, and I thank you for your encouragement along the way. Turning 60 was easy, but suddenly I'm 61 and pushing 62. Life moves quickly at this age.
There are times when I long for the days of being 35 -- what I always thought of as an invincible age. Young, strong and dumb enough to think you know everything. But for the most part, I like my current age. The main exceptions are those daily trips to the medicine cabinet for blood pressure, cholesterol, and other age-related medications. I understand why pharmaceutical companies make so much money. Baby boomers have traded the illegal drugs of their youth for very expensive legal drugs.
The job at the newspaper is still a wonderful challenge -- much more now that we have fewer resources. But I have been blessed being in a business that has allowed me to meet presidents and foreign leaders, and seeing firsthand what has been called the "first draft of history." I've covered tragedy and scandal. And I have been able to fight for the underdog, even as government at times has used all its resources to unfairly overwhelm the innocent. We won a few of those, and they represent proud moments in a 40-year newspaper career.
I also know that when I get a letter from a state prison and the inmate says he's been framed, he probably hasn't been. I have received dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of those kind of letters over the years. But there are a few who are innocent, like the parents wrongly accused in the Bakersfield child molest debacle of the mid-1980s. The newspaper made a difference when it exposed the phony charges and drew a line against the hysteria.
People ask me when I'm going to retire. I don't have an answer for them. I love my job and I think I can still have an impact. If I hit the Lotto, I might change my mind. But until then. . .