With apologies to Jimmy Buffett, a newspaper guy looks at 60:

Turned 60 this week. There's no fooling anyone. You've entered the land of senior discounts, AARP newsletters and nostalgia TV stations.

It finally sinks in that those ads for Medic Alert ("I've fallen and I can't get up") alarms, chairlifts and anti-arthritis creams are aimed at you.

Here's a handful of oddznendz I've scraped together as I celebrate 60 and wonder how to unstick life's accelerator.


At some point you've lost track of the hits on the radio. And at another point, you just don't care.

I grew up with older cousins who owned Beatles records and played them for me. There was a skip in the guitar solo on "I Saw Her Standing There." I still hear it in my head.

I'm fortunate to be at the end of the age group who loved the Beatles while they were still together. I saw "A Hard Day's Night" in a movie theater where girls screamed the whole time.

I barely heard any dialogue, but it was so exciting.


The best Christmas present my parents gave me was a transistor radio in 1965. It opened up my world to all kinds of music: Beatles, Stones, Motown, garage rock, Sinatra. AM radio was wide open in styles then.

I often fell asleep at night to a deejay named Joe Thomas on WPRO.


The 1978, 1986 and 2003 Red Sox were soul-crushing. The 2004 Red Sox were exhilarating. But my main feeling when they won it all? Relief.

My mother taught me to read by kindergarten. Mother Mary of the Cross at Blessed Sacrament Academy in Providence reinforced my passion for books.

I grew up in two cities, but Pawtucket for the most formative years. The older I get, the more fondness I have for each.

I still miss Yesterday's restaurant. My wife and I had some of our first dates there. And it was my go-to spot (along with the Brick Alley) to go with friends, co-workers, relatives.

I still miss Salas's, too.


I met two classic Newport characters on the same day in 1981 — Sid Abbruzzi and G. Brian "Dr. Love" Sullivan — about two hours apart.

Before moving here, my experience with Newport was largely bar visits and the beach as a kid. It turned out to be much more. The late Elliott Stein, then the managing editor of The Daily News, hired me in 1980, and I remain grateful.

At age 24, I covered the first Claus von Bulow trial with colleague Cathy Callahan. I would love to have tackled that one with 10 to 15 years of experience.

I'm old enough to remember when the Patriots were the worst franchise in the NFL. They'd fill half the stadium and you could hear fan conversations during the radio broadcasts.

Bands come and go. But the Ravers are eternal — 30 years now.

I could not have gone to college without Pell grants. They are part of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell's legacy. His family is and should be proud. This was life-changing legislation.

I never thought I'd see children torn from their parents' arms and sent to detention camps. And I never imagined Americans would be OK with that.

After almost 38 years on Aquidneck Island, I must live near water. That's non-negotiable.

I'm amazed that the current generation expects so much for free: Music, movies, news.

Favorite books of all-time? A tie between "The Catcher in the Rye" and "The Great Gatsby."

Yusha Auchincloss told me I'd get emotional covering the Dalai Lama at Salve Regina, emotional in a way I'd never pictured.

I was skeptical. I'm not a Buddhist or all that spiritual. But when the Dalai Lama entered the tent and walked through the crowd, my body trembled.


I feel very fortunate to have covered or attended every Newport Jazz Festival since 1981 — great music and friends.

My 11th-grade English teacher, Elsie Masterson, steered me toward a career in journalism. I can never thank her enough.

Worst experience in 60 years? My parents dying while my sister and I were kids. You never fully recover.

The best? Meeting Julie Bisbano in 1991 and finally showing the good sense to marry her in 2010.

Here's to another 60.

 

Jim Gillis is a Daily News columnist. Send him email at jimgillis13@gmail.com.