Turning 70.

I am a member of the “Class of 1952” when 3,913,000 Americans were born in the midst of the Boomer bubble. Boomers are defined as those born between 1946-1964, so the oldest Boomers will be 76 this year and even the youngest are now approaching 60.

I was born on October 11, 1952, in Newark, New Jersey (at St. Michael’s Medical Center) and therefore later this year I will turn 70. The bulk of my classmates from elementary school in Newark and later from junior high and high school in Springfield, NJ and later from Rutgers, from which I graduated in 1974, are now beginning to turn 70.

Let’s get this straight. 70 isn’t the “new” anything. It’s 70.

There’s no shame in turning 70. It’s an accomplishment. Many of my classmates are now retired and others are winding down their careers. Alas some of us have already passed on. I still have tread, energy and endless wisdom (hah) so I continue to work for now. I do like being engaged professionally, but surely not with the same zeal nor time commitment I had when I ran ad agencies years ago. Who needs that grief! I may have indeed lost a few miles per hour on my intellectual fastball, yet I make it up with experience and craftiness. I paint the corners well. (If you don’t know baseball you won’t understand)

While 70 may not be old, it is surely “older”. And I am OK with that. In fact, the clarity in which I see life and business is far crisper than in my younger self whose judgements were more clouded and based on less experience. I am not a “grumpy old man”, yet my points of view are ones I share freely with less of a filter. Nothing wrong with that either. And I am impatient with anyone trying to blow smoke up my butt. Then again, I was never a patient man in my youth.

Yet with everyone who is turning 70 there is much we’ve experienced, including:

1. Death of a loved one/friend

Here I have far too much experience, beginning with my dad in 1967 (age 46), my mom in 1996 (age 72), my sister Barbara in 2016 (age 67) and recently my wife Beth (age 65) in 2020. Experience does not make anything easier. There is nothing worse than losing a loved one.

Death spares no one and virtually everyone who reaches 70 has had to deal with loss. We all have our specific family issues to deal with, and as I said you don’t reach age 70 without having had them.

2. Accepting one’s own mortality

A corollary of #1 makes one appreciate that life is not forever, and as a result have a greater appreciation of times of happiness, health, family, and friends. It also makes me want to seek happiness for my (hopefully many) remaining years. The average 70-year-old will live another 15-17 years. Ladies live a little longer than guys. So, in golfers terms a 70-year-old is surely on the back nine, in fact we’ve been on the back nine since our forties. I am trying to avoid the clubhouse.

3. Major world events

President Kennedy’s Assassination, 9/11, and the current pandemic to name a few. All have shaped us. I surely remember being in 6th grade in shop class with “Mr. Ski” at Florence M. Gaudineer Junior High School in Springfield, NJ on that fateful Friday when President Kennedy was assassinated. Our national equilibrium shifted that day, as it did later on 9/11 and more recently with the current pandemic which is lingering far longer than we expected.

4. Our children becoming adults

Virtually none of us who are 70 who’ve had children are young. Many of us have grandchildren which I’m told is a unique joy. I have no such experience yet. But for those 70 year olds who’ve had children they are no longer raising young ones.

So as my classmates from the class of 1952 and I turn 70 this year I am resolved to do the following:

–Be as healthy as I can for as long as I can. Nothing wrong with that. I used to discount when people would say “If you have your health, you have everything”. I understand this more at a far deeper level.

–Enjoy life—no woulda, shoulda, couldas. I am putting off nothing I’d like to do (other than COVID changing our lives)

–Appreciate my family.

–Appreciate friends and always work hard at maintaining friendships. I am blessed with many friends I’ve made in childhood through adulthood. Friends are gold and they are aging as well. I do not take them for granted.

–Give to others in any way I can, whether that’s through mentoring, sharing experience or through charitable works, or just kindness to others. Family comes first (at least to me) but I also respect those that give to others and try to make the world a better place. In my modest way, within my means, I am trying to do so as well.

–I would like to play basketball as long as I am able. I am disappointed about the erosion of my skills. I was no star in my youth or middle age either. But I had a decent midrange jump shot and could rebound and block shots. My reflexes have slowed, my ability to jump diminished but my girth remains. 

–Walk more. I enjoy walking and it’s a good time for reflection, listening to Spotify and looking at the world. I am proud to have walked almost 2000 miles during this past year. Steps are good. I am a stepping fool.

Happy 70th birthday all year to my classmates from 1952. I have 10 months to go but I’ll be there in October. My best to my classmates for continued health and happiness for years to come.

BTW—I’d like to see several more Yankees World Championships. The current drought (since 2009) stinks.

More Strumings


  1. John Trush says:

    Lonnie, Welcome to the club this year. I hit 70 in November. The 4th Quarter is great. Can’t wait for overtime. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, perspective and wisdom. Go Yankees. Cheers, JT

Leave a Reply