Thirty-Eight Bad Shots

At Least It Wasn’t Eighty-Three

By Les Tanner

Several years ago, I recounted in these pages my chagrin at having been greeted, “How are things going, old timer?” by a couple of whippersnappers in their thirties, during a fishing trip to Hells Canyon.

It took a long time for me to get over that. I have, however, finally begun to accept the designation, but only to some extent. I still don’t feel any older than I did then, although parts of my outer shell may not agree. I have the same number of teeth I had then, the same amount of hair (a fringe), the same feeling of disbelief when I see an elderly gent in the mirror using the exact same electric razor I’m using.

Last year, I decided to join the local YMCA so I could play pickleball. I’d been playing racquetball for more than fifty years, but had begun to have knee problems. A fellow racquetballer, who had had similar problems, switched to pickleball, which is considerably less strenuous than—but at least as challenging as—racquetball. He found it to be perfect for him, and he eventually talked me into giving it a whirl. I did, and now I’m hooked.

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