If you’re under the age of 30 don’t read this column. It’ll mean absolutely nothing to you. Flip back in the pages of The Source and read one of Blake Schnitker’s articles. The kid can write and he’s young . . . way too young to understand anything I’m about to tell you.
Okay, if you’re still with me I’ve got some terrible news. Twiggy turned 65. I’m not kidding. The pixie-ish little supermodel of the 1960’s now belongs to AARP. When I read this it was like the time when as a little boy I realized that Frank Sinatra went to the bathroom just like the rest of us. This simply could not be happening. Twiggy was once the girl of my dreams. Okay, she was overly-made-up, not especially bright and probably anorexic, but dog-gone it, she was cute! When you’re a teenage boy your priorities are way out of whack and my eyes were set on that svelte little mini-skirted girl from London.
I had another Twiggy moment this week when I was making my morning oatmeal. I went fifty years of my life without eating oatmeal. My mother grew up during the Great Depression and she banned oatmeal from our house since she’d been raised on it in her Pike County farmstead. Then one day while traveling in Ireland our hotel served oatmeal for breakfast and a tried it. Pretty darned good! And my buddy the Schwan’s man sells a frozen brand that is remarkably tasty, if a bit bland, so to spice it up I bought a shaker of Cinnamon and could hardly wait until the next morning to dust my oats with the spice. Maybe it’s the fact that I was too excited so I got up early and didn’t put on my glasses. Don’t laugh. “Chili Powder” and “Cinnamon” both start with the letter C and they’re colored exactly the same. I took one bite and was ready to shoot the tires out on the next Schwan’s truck. I went to the cupboard, put on my glasses, and read the label . . . more carefully this time. Darn it, if Twiggy can turn 65 then I can be forgiven for making oatmeal that causes smoke to come out my ears.
This spring I graduated a theatre student named Brittany who’s about the size of Twiggy but with a good deal more gray matter between her ears. When I’m announcing something to the class and I see Brit raise one eyebrow that’s our secret signal that, “You already told us that, Mr. Bradbury.” Two raised brows mean, “This is the third time you’ve told us,” and two raised eyebrows plus a slight wrinkling of Brittany’s nose means that I’ve told them twice and sent them a text. Now that Brittany’s gone from my class I may have to quite teaching or start writing for the AARP magazine. Did I mention that Bob Dylan was on the cover of last month’s AARP magazine? This just isn’t right.
I couldn’t help myself and did a search on who else would be turning 65 this year . . . Mark Spitz, Martin Short, Jay Leno, Stevie Wonder (How can you be 65 if they call you Stevie?), Princess Anne (a royal pain for her no doubt), Bill Murray, Jane Pauley, Karl Rove (who deserves it.) These are mere children! Good grief! And Donny Osmond is a grandparent along with Whoopi Goldberg, Ron Howard (Opie! Say it’s not true, son!), Mick Jagger (no Satisfaction, there), Tom Hanks, and Billy Crystal. How could this be? I went to sleep one night and someone had pulled a Rip Van Winkle on me! I may not sleep again.
Yearning to recapture a bit of my misspent youth I looked it up. I’m only twelve days older than Twiggy. I found a line in her official bio stating that her great great grandmother had died in a stampede of shoppers at a bargain sale at Messrs McIllroys store in London, 1897. I’ll bet the old lady was shopping for cinnamon. Twiggy’ s still a successful model and consultant and advocates healthy eating and leads various anti-fur campaigns. You go, girl. I’m glad to see that at your advanced age you’re still with it.
In the pre-Facebook days you could hold the memories in your mind and in the words of Bob Dylan they’d stay “forever young,” but now you can watch them age each day on their homepage. I’ve managed to disguise my demise with a neat little program called Photo Shop, but there’s a limit to what even technology can do to wrinkles.
I pondered all this as looked at the carton of ice cream that I’d mistakenly put in the refrigerator last night. I got creative and called it my Twiggy Slushy.