Like many others in their bonus years, my K-12 years were marked by the Cold War between the US and the former Soviet Union, which included a nuclear arms race and later the space race.  This stirred my interest in national security policy, which led to a 30-year career as a professor teaching national security…

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After reading last week’s Bonus Years column on assisted living and other types of senior housing that have developed over the years, Annapolitan Dick Schoeller gave me a call. “Hey, Phil,” he said, “I read your column today.  I took a different path.  We should talk.” Anytime I get a call from Dick Schoeller I…

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Artists rendering of the new Bay Village development in Annapolis

Over the years, we’ve been treated to many expert forecasts that have turned out to be wrong. Among the most flagrant were forecasts after the 1970 Census about the coming “grey tsunami” and how the rapid growth of aging Americans would overwhelm everything – from housing to hospitals.  Well, the “grey tsunami” part happened.  The…

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“If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” Those in their bonus years, who went to school before “modern” history books, will be familiar with this laconic but also profound observation.  It’s often credited to German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck – the celebrated 19th century general and political leader who created…

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The coronavirus is hitting older Americans harder than any other age cohort.  Older Americans are vulnerable because many have pre-existing conditions that make them susceptible to the disease.  Some infection data show, for example, that a 76-year-old is 20 times more likely than a 36-year-old to die from COVID-19. Many others cannot isolate themselves because,…

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How old is old? After spending another week in isolation but observing the daily reports of the White House coronavirus task force – and especially the remarkable leadership of Dr. Anthony Fauci (age 79), the public face of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic – it’s noteworthy that people aren’t questioning the advanced…

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Remembrances.  Reflections.  Recollections.  Time for musings is clearly a benefit of the bonus years.  With each passing year, our life experiences pile up.  Some we want to forget, especially memories of those times we got in the way of good judgment.  But most memories are rooted in positive anecdotes, rich tales or experiences that tell…

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Readers of a certain age will remember Art Linkletter, the radio and television talk-show pioneer who, for 25 years, hosted the Emmy-winning “House Party” and “People are Funny” broadcasts.  Of his many achievements, Linkletter is perhaps best known for eliciting hilarious and sometimes indiscreet remarks from the mouths of toddlers, preschoolers and even youngsters in…

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Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, December 14, 2018 Last week, Mary Sue and I were ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s red donation kettle located at City Dock by Zachery’s jewelry store in downtown Annapolis. That’s when I first met Steve Rice. Like many others that brisk Monday morning,…

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Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 16, 2018 Thursday next is Thanksgiving – first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789 and formally established as a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. None of us should need a special day to count our blessings or express gratitude. Still, Thanksgiving…

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Places like Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, North Carolina are names familiar to most of us – especially after their recent bashing by hurricane Florence. But if you travel about 300 miles to the west of these well-known coastal communities – to the foothills of the Blue Ridge – you will find Lenoir, a North Carolina…

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(Dick Libby, of Annapolis, officiated at the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan at Washington National Cathedral in 2010, 50 years after he had been ordained there as an Episcopal priest. [Capital Gazette]) Poet Robert Browning talked to us about “…the last of life for which the first was made.” For some, the link between the first…

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Though it’s a national sport to complain about our culture, much of what we “know” is fed to us by national media that are fixated on what is nasty, brutish, scandalous or weird – all of which is amplified in the 24×7 national “news” cycle. But if we stand back and look at things, especially…

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Unabridged from my Bonus Years column in the Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital, Annapolis, Maryland Last week I was driving west over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge – returning home after an afternoon’s conversation with three members of the Christensen family, the owners of the Visiting Angels in-home, elder-care franchise in Easton, Maryland.  Along the way, I was…

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