My dad reached a milestone today, turning 90 years old. George is definitely a bit slower these days, but his mind is still sharp, and he's able to take care of himself, his house, and is still able to drive.

A little about the picture:  Family and friends gathered over the weekend to celebrate, and a birthday that big deserves a candle of equal proportion. You may think he's scowling. He's not. He wears a rather serious expression most of the time, but in the picture, he's smiling. That's about as big as they get for George.

He makes his generation proud, pulling those pants up nearly to his chest, doesn't he? (Quite the opposite of his grandson, whose pants barely cover his butt.)

He's had a good life, and an honorable life, serving the US Post Office for 23 years, and retiring in 1989. There have also been struggles. He buried his youngest child a few years ago, and has had a few cancer scares along the way. We thought we were going to lose him after a heart attack in his early 60s.

We laughed at my parents' 25th anniversary party, when he thanked everyone for coming, and quipped, "We sure as hell won't make it to 50!" He was right, but for reasons other than he predicted. Dad assumed he would follow in his father's footsteps, going to an early grave. He's lived well past that milestone, but lost my mother shortly after their 47th.

Don't ask him the secret to longevity, he'll just respond, "I really have no idea! No idea at all."

P. Larkin

- George McIntyre
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