Sunday, July 27, 2003

Old Men
by Skald

Old men next to me, stinking of old money... bitching about weeds and the sun.... obsessed with stocks and dividends.

Pathetic creatures sucking on cigars. 60+ years old but no wisdom- no compassion -no enthusiasm for life.

Used up husks... all trace of authenticity squashed. These are my anti-heroes, what I never want to become: the walking dead.


Then there's Rambling Ron. Here's how he describes himself: "I am a vigorous retiree, and have been touring around the world since I retired twelve years ago. I am well past my "Best By" date but I enjoy excellent health, have never been seriously ill in my life and stay fit and active by keeping continuously "on the go" to see new places and experience new pleasures."

What a wonderful contrast to the old men I observed in Gainesville. Ron is a true hobopoet. Here's how he describes his lifestyle: "The best plan is to have no plan at all....then I am never behind schedule. I live on my US and Canadian social security pensions, plus some modest savings- but I am able to travel world-wide by spending much of my time in low-cost places such as India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. When I am in places where hotels are more expensive, I travel and live in an RV (North America, Australia and N.Z.) or on a canal boat."

Looking at Ron's picture you can sense his enthusiasm for life.

Ron, and folks such as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Picasso, Timothy Leary, Anais Nin, Paul Bragg,etc. prove that we can grow wiser, freer, more creative, more radical, more adventurous, and more compassionate as we age.

We can reject the American model of growing old-- of spiritual death. We do not have to become fearful, bitter, petty fools.

We can age as hobopoets.

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