Growing old can still be a lot of fun


The photo above is one of our neighbours here at the Ocotillo Lodge in Palm Springs, Ed Rooney.  Yep – Ed’s part of our Irish diaspora & when he isn’t sunning himself over the winter in Palm Springs he lives up in Portland, Oregon – which as everyone knows is more like Ireland than Ireland itself – even the weather is the same.  Ed visited Ireland a year or two ago with his son, Ted Rooney.  Ted’s an actor (isn’t everyone in southern California?) who’s been hampered throughout his acting career by simply being too tall – all the romantic leads are automatically snapped up by short men because all of the Hollywood starlets are tiny.

Ed is exactly how I hope I’ll be when I’m in my mid 80s and he’s a shining example of how a person can still have a lot of fun, even when they’re getting a bit older.  He’s independent, keeps himself active, he’s out & about every day, has loads of friends and he’s always got plenty of stories to tell which I love to listen to.  I snapped the pic yesterday just before Ed was going for a swim.  He’d just been telling me about how his brother Art used to try & pass himself off as THE Art Rooney when they were young, growing up in Pittsburgh.  I’d been telling him about how I was next to Art’s famous son, Dan Rooney, in the White House last month on St Patrick’s night – Ed wasn’t too impressed by the whole White House thing but he was impressed that I’d met Dan Rooney.

I wonder to myself why it is that Ed’s the way he is – so positive and so cheerful.  Is the answer as straightforward as having been born with a sunny disposition or is there something more that we can do to as we get older to make sure we maintain a positive outlook.  Ed has a computer & keeps up to date with what’s happening in the world.  He uses skype to keep in touch with his family & many grandchildren.  He was a schoolteacher & reads more than most people I seem to meet these days.  So is that his secret?  Remaining plugged in & up to date with current affairs?  Look forward to your thoughts on this subject.

There’s a big outcry in the US at the moment re the price of petrol – it’s $4.50 a gallon in Palm Springs (it must surely be 3 x as much as that in the UK).  Everyone’s baying for blood on this – especially as the oil companies’ (massive & obscene) profits were announced this morning.  Ed’s talking about trading in his big saloon car for a Mini Cooper – someone’s told him they’re perfectly comfortable for guys 6’3” & taller – I’m only sorry to be leaving Tuesday & missing out on going out for a spin in it.  I hear someone in the desert is selling Mini Coopers that have been “Kiss” customised – gonna see if I can persuade Ed to get one of those before I leave…