Author note: This is a revision of some earlier submissions
My professional career spanned the last third of the twentieth century and completed its tenure in a year identified with three zeros, that number not occurring since the last millennium or until the next. I decided to avoid gainful employment any future year with even one zero. Back to work in year 2111.
First major life style change, a move to Las Vegas.
Laurie, my wife, asked, “Why Las Vegas?”
I shrugged. “No particular reason other than, like Mt. Everest, because it’s there.”
“Okay. I’ll pack my bags.”
Like a snake, I slithered out of my winter skin and entered a world sun-bleached and desert-brown from Minnesota’s alternating green and white.
My first foray into one of many active clubs in Del Webb Senior Community led to Sun City Writers Group. I have collected over one hundred of my creative writing exercises to selectively publish on my blog.
Day one, I set out to write the Great American Novel. Within the decade, I over achieved this goal by half: three American Novels and one set in outer space, all good but none great. Since then, a short play and two memoirs with a third, my own, in progress, of which this is a part.
Parallel to my literary pursuits, a musical challenge, specifically singing in St. Andrews church choir, followed by trying out with the Sun City Music Makers, a choral harmony group.
“What range do you sing?” A logical question from the director.
“The last time I participated in a choral group I still sang soprano.”
Without cracking a smile, he said, “Let’s hear you sing the scale.” To the pianist, “Give him a C.” Her name wasn’t Sam.
I sang up and down, each time to a higher and lower note.
“You’ve got a two-octave range. Good. Can you read music?”
“A bit.” My memory slid back to Sister Margot who taught weekly half-hour sessions for each of eight grades and directed our high school choir.
“If I told you to go to D flat on measure ten, could you find it?”
“You mean those little black things have names.”
A muffled chuckle. “Maybe you should re audition after a few sessions with the Silvertones.”
Eight years I participated in the suggested sing-along group, three of them as their president, before joining the Music Makers. I continue singing with both choral groups and the church choir, expecting to continue throughout the next decade.
My concert exposure reintroduced me to acting on stage, dormant since high school. Drafted into a Sun City Community Theater musical, I have since taken roles in half a dozen plays, ending my career by drinking poison.
My literary involvements exceeded singing and acting performances: two book discussion groups, two writers’ groups, and two local critique groups and one on the internet. I continue to write and edit my previous works to publish on my website/blog, currently a story about a five-year-old boy sent to Minnesota on the Orphan Train in 1899.
Regrets, I’ve had a few, too few to mention, not always my way. My philosophy of life, I may not always get what I want, but I usually learn to want what I get.
A breakdown of my anticipated eighty five years alive on this planet:
25 years preparing for a career
35 years in that career
25 years beyond my career (10 more anticipated)
Any remaining years beyond eighty-five, I intend to just idle away, probably lying on my back with life support tubes invading my body.