It’s been a long-time coming, but it came. I remember when I turned 50 and received an invitation to become a member of AARP. I hid the invitation. I didn’t want to go to that party. I was too young, still too full of myself. A senior? Forget it!

Last week, while checking out of the supermarket, a 17-year-old bag boy with bluish-blond hair said rather proudly, “old timer, can I help you bring your bags to the car?”  Old-timer?! I looked around to see whom he was talking to. The last time I heard the term “old-timer” was when one of my favorite western heroes, Roy Rogers called his comedic, quintessential western sidekick, Gabby Hayes an old-timer.

For those of you younger folks, every early western star had a sidekick. Gabby Hayes fit the bill. Pushed back brim on his hat, a beard that looked like tumbleweed and then his mouth—he had no teeth. His favorite phrase was “dagnabbit.”

I said to my new friend, “Do I look like I need help? Am I shuffling around with no idea of where I am? Do I not have a full set of teeth in my mouth?” He seemed startled. Was this old-timer prideful? Assertive? Self-assured?

My new friend became embarrassed, mumbling something that was unintelligible but sounded like ‘wow – you’re really something!’

Then I quoted Gabby Hayes… “Young whippersnapper, if you want to put those bags in my car, have at it.”

So is there a moral to this story? Perhaps some life-changing words of wisdom? Sure, just be proud of who you are – no matter what someone else may think or perceive.  Let’s face it – we were all young whippersnappers once.

Take my advice for what it is…It’s just, AS I SEE IT.