75 (Really?)

September 4

Included herein are a few scattered photos of an occasionally exciting life now a surprisingly three quarters of century long . . .

I kept a diary right after I was born. Day 1: Tired from the move. Day 2: Everyone thinks I’m an idiot. ~ Steven Wright

[My sister labeled my high school graduation photo “Tilt” – and yes, that was a fake tie (but everything else was real . . . ]

There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. ~ William Barclay

To me – old age is always ten years older than I am. ~ Bernard Baruch

[As I’ve previously noted, when it’s the 75th all one can do is grin and bear it . . . ]

My life is better with every year of living it. ~ Rachel Maddow (But there does come a time when a rebuttal will be necessary. ~ Me)

[A present from sister . . . ]

I threw my 20th birthday party at Brown, and I didn’t even have to say to anyone not to put pictures on Facebook. ~ Emma Watson

[The babies had to join in on the celebration, of course . . . ]

There is still no cure for the common birthday. ~ John Glenn

I looked up the names of other September 4 birthdayers. The only one I knew was Beyonce. But she hasn’t called yet? ~ Me


A gift, with a kind countenance, is a double present. ~ Thomas Fuller

[When it’s momentous birthday, like the 75th, it should be celebrated in a unique and special way – like a road trip with the roof down to Battle Lake, with its famed restaurant row, on a beautiful day . . . ]

[My first ever visit with a deer (c. 1949) . . . ]

It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.’ ~ Sam Levenson

[Country roads, take me . . . to Battle Lake . . . ]

I was forced to live far beyond my years when just a child, now I have reversed the order and I intend to remain young indefinitely. ~ Mary Pickford

The worst part about celebrating another birthday is the shock that you’re only as well as you are. ~ Anne Lamott

If I could be doing anything, I’d be laying on the floor in my birthday suit eating junk food and watching something dumb on TV. ~ Anita Baker

[Approaching Battle Lake . . . ]

I intend to live forever. So far, so good. ~ Steven Wright

[Arriving Battle Lake, some 38 miles from home . . . ]

[Empire State Building (c. 1988) . . . ]

My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it. ~ Boris Johnson

[Stella’s, on Battle Lake’s main street , Main Street . . . ]

Every year, I think you earn the right to eat cake on your birthday. ~ Bret Hart

[Joined by Helen and John Etnier, friends from Ashby . . . ]

I decided if you’re lucky enough to be alive, you should use each birthday to celebrate what your life is about. ~ Mary Steenburgen

[An award received for never once getting lost on the way to work (c. 1990’s) . . . ]

He said the government was always listening and that anything you had to say you should say in person. ~ Jess Lourey

[If you’re a fan of Jess Lourey’s Murder-by-Month mysteries, you know Battle Lake is the venue for the series. This is Prospect House, prominently featured in one of her novels . . . ]

The woman rolled her eyes so loud I could hear it. ~ Jess Lourey

Don’t go in there. Basements are where men hide their secrets. ~ Jess Lourey

[With grandson Tom (1994) . . . ]

He watched a lot of TV. I guess many people did. Maybe like him, they preferred their lives delivered to them in a box. ~ Jess Lourey

My head was just circling things, so I had to pull out all those squirming thoughts and nail ’em to the paper. ~ Jess Lourey

[And this is Chief Wenonga, prominently featured in many of Jess’s novels . . . ]

My eyes were scratchy with middle-sleep. ~ Jess Lourey

His accent was coarse, pure backcountry Minnesotan. If he had to string together more than five words, we’d hear the “I seen it” and “can you borrow me some” that my parents said were the signs of ignorance. ~ Jess Lourey

[Obert plates, always ISO . . . ]

I suddenly realized how much I loved her when we attended Alfred Hitchcock’s 75th birthday party last August. There was something magical about that night, and it made me see how much she really meant to me. ~ Rod Taylor

I’d been thirteen, not stupid, though a lot of people confuse the two. ~ Jess Lourey

[The waterfront of the town of Battle Lake overlooks West Battle Lake (the lake), which at 5,565 acres is the equivalent size of Lake Miltona, the biggest lake in the Alexandria area . . . ]

I enjoyed my own company enough that I didn’t feel the need to socialize with people who exhausted me. ~ Jess Lourey

There’s about a hundred shades of green in a Minnesota summer, light like celery, deep like emeralds. You wouldn’t think one color could have so many different flavors. ~ Jess Lourey

[Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France enjoying orange beer (1997) . . . ]

Brilliantly lit from stem to stern, she looked like a sagging birthday cake. ~ Walter Lord

[My first ever visit to Clitherall, population 109 . . . ]

Handmade presents are scary because they reveal that you have too much free time. ~ Douglas Coupland

[Lake Clitherall is a substantial 2,500 acres . . . ]

As I approach my 88th birthday, it’s become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren’t quite what they used to be. The prospect of long flights to wherever in search of whatever are not quite as appealing. ~ Mike Wallace

I was fired by ‘America’s Next Top Model’ on my birthday. ~ Paulina Porizkova

[With Goldy at Carlos Creek Winery (2003) . . . ]

As I approached my 95th birthday, I was burdened to write a book that addressed the epidemic of ‘easy believism.’ There is a mindset today that if people believe in God and do good works, they are going to Heaven. ~ Billy Graham

[Downtown Clitherall . . . ]

I’m most comfortable in my birthday suit. ~ Amanda Seyfried

[Vining’s, population 41, famous sculpture garden . . . ]

[With Dennis Murphy at Carlos Creek Winery (c. early 2000’s) . . . ]

Don’t judge me. I made a lot of money. ~ Samantha Bee

[This is Urbank, population 52. On the way to Battle Lake, the whole town was blocked off. It must have been Urbank Days, or something. Everybody in the whole county must have been there . . . ]

With my wife I don’t get no respect. I made a toast on her birthday to ‘the best woman a man ever had.’ The waiter joined me. ~ Rodney Dangerfield

I hate birthdays. I thought that I only hated my own birthday, and then I realized that I hate my children’s birthdays too. ~ Samantha Bee

I wanted to be a priest, but when they told me I could never have sex, not even on my birthday, I changed my mind. ~ Johnny Vegas

[Alexandria Golf Club, a new golf shirt fell apart while being worn. Crazy Dave, who lives close to the 7th green, rushed out with the yellow shirt so I could finish the round without being arrested for indecent exposure (2008) . . . ]

About astrology and palmistry: they are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm. ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

[Ebenezer Lutheran Church at the confluence of County Roads 5 & 6 in Douglas County . . . ]

Let them eat pizza. ~ Me

[Party time at Carlos Creek Winery with known acquaintances and musical accompaniment from Anthony Miltich . . . ]

Let them eat cake. ~ Marie Antoinette

I quit high school on my birthday. It was my senior year and I didn’t see the point. This was 1962, and I was ready to make music. ~ Barry White

[Promoting the Beavers at Carlos Creek Winery (2013) . . . ]

One of the shocks of a 50th birthday is realizing the fundamental fact that your youth is irrevocably over. ~ Marianne Williamson (Try 75, Marianne!!)

[Anthony . . . ]

In 1993 my birthday present was a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. ~ Annette Funicello

I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ ~ Steven Wright

[Dancing with the lovely Olga, the Governor’s House, Yaroslavl, Russia (2018) . . . ]

I gave a funny speech at my wife’s birthday party, and I’m thinking, ‘Hey, I’ve still got it.’ ~ Larry David

[The group at Jack’s Pub at the winery . . . ]

Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words. ~ Plautus

[My first (and last) ever Big Mac (2020) . . . ]

I wrapped my Christmas presents early this year, but I used the wrong paper. See, the paper I used said ‘Happy Birthday’ on it. I didn’t want to waste it so I just wrote ‘Jesus’ on it. ~ Demetri Martin

It’s odd the things that people remember. Parents will arrange a birthday party, certain it will stick in your mind forever. You’ll have a nice time, then two years later you’ll be like, ‘There was a pony there? Really? And a clown with one leg?’ ~ David Sedaris

[Cub reporting, the early years. Soon to be back to that size as a recent physical exam revealed that I am now two inches shorter than when I was just a kid of 70?]

I love a card. You know, cards? At birthdays? I collect them. ~ Adele

It takes a long time to become young. ~ Pablo Picasso

We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me. It’s the day I was born. My mother’s birthday, and a lot of my friends’ birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date. ~ Beyonce

When someone asks if you’d like cake or pie, why not say you want cake and pie? ~ Lisa Loeb

[Thanks again to Paul Trumm, who roasts his own . . . ]

This is a wonderful way to celebrate an 80th birthday… I wanted to be 65 again, but they wouldn’t let me – Homeland Security. ~ Art Buchwald

If Congress can move President’s Day, Columbus Day and, alas, Martin Luther King’s Birthday celebration for the convenience of shoppers, shouldn’t they at least consider moving Election Day for the convenience of voters? ~ Andrew Young

Up Next: No doubt something as equally compelling . . .

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