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Brock: Happy birthday to me

Harvey Brock

Earlier this week, my birthday came and went. Maybe the fact that my age is now bigger than my birth year, I must admit to feeling a bit melancholy and nostalgic rather than celebratory.

Forty years ago this week, I was a 17-year-old senior at Marana High School just outside Tucson, Ariz. I was so much smarter than today, and everything was so much bigger.

The world I studied in my history and geography courses was so much larger and contained mystical places so far away that as a wise young man, I questioned the wisdom of even studying the courses. I never would have mentioned at the time, but the teachers were right back then. Thanks to the Internet and technology, and that many of the people who live and work in Dickinson are from those places, the world doesn't seem nearly as big four decades later.

Classes seemed to last forever and a one-hour world history class seemed like it would never end. The time between Monday morning home room and Friday night football games was forever and the distance to Christmas break was an eternity. Graduation day was so far in the future it wasn't even possible to imagine.

Jet propulsion has replaced the snail's pace time traveled in the '70s. Everyone I talk to my age tells me how busy they are and remarks how quickly time passes.

I have to agree because hours speed away like seconds, weeks like minutes and years quicker than an hour at Marana High. Sometimes I feel myself wishing that there was some way I could make everything and everyone just slow down, but 40 years of living has had a way of reducing my genius and I no longer have the answer to life's big questions.

These days, I no sooner put away the Christmas lights and it is time to restring them. Birthdays and anniversaries multiply at break-force speed to the point they lack the anticipation and celebration they once did.

Thankfully, just about the time I start wishing they would outlaw birthdays, family and friends take time out of their busy days to send birthday wishes.

Thanks for the ad, lunch, cards, emails, posts, videos and presents. You all made my day.

Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press. Email him at