To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I just read the June 13 op-ed column "What it means to be old" by Leonard Quart and was surprised to see him say "I will be 75 at the end of August." I am 87 this June, and other than losing a kidney in the Army playing football some 50 years ago and having heart bypass surgery some 30 years ago, I feel great except for all those signs of old age Leonard mentioned.

I did not expect to live so long, since both of my grandfathers lived to be 78 and my parents lived to be 67, I expected to be gone at 56. Natural mathematical progression would so indicate to me. That was the year my wife says was the worst year she had to put up with me. Well, she is still putting up with me.

So, each morning as I wake up I say "thanks" to the supreme being who has put me here, and each night I say "thanks for another day." I don’t say long prayers. He’s busy enough with running this universe and does not need me tying up His time.

When I went in for bypass surgery, I was told that I needed three bypasses. The assistant surgeon told me a few days later, "You came in for three bypasses, we gave you five, no extra charge." I think he was trying to make a joke.

EDWARD J. PTAK

Pittsfield


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