42

Yesterday was my cousin Linda’s birthday, so I sent her a Birthday Howdy, and she replied:

Can’t believe I’m 52 — isn’t it amazing how time flies?

Well, here’s the biggest shock in that area that I’ve had recently. You remember Rosa Parks? Of course you do. On December 1, 1955, she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white.

When I was a kid, her story was constantly drummed into our heads during Black History Week (later to become Black History Month in 1976 as part of the Bicentennial, but that was after my time). I remember thinking of her as an old black woman who had had enough. A feisty old black woman, built on the lines of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Ok, but she was born in February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama, which makes her 42 years old at that time.

As a 45-year-old myself, I’m somehow no longer thinking of 42 as being the age where feisty, colorful Old Folk careen around in a rickety and amusing manner. Some day soon, I’ll come to regard 42-year-olds as being hot babes.