Birthday cake
Another year, another victory

| I've lately turned to archeology, digging out relics from moving boxes in the garage. Among the treasures were photographs, some dating back to my earliest years. I thought a little trip down memory lane might be a nice way to commemorate #72.

The early years

image goes here
Awwww!
image goes here
I learned to walk
image goes here
Button up, it's cold outside
image goes here
Dressed for work
image goes here
I loved this old dog, but I don't remember his name. Maybe Shep.
image goes here
And my teddy bear with his big button eyes. In later years nephew David plucked all the fuzz off Fuzzy Wuzzy, then he wasn't fuzzy, wuzzy?
image goes here
One of my best catches. It was always my job to collect worms to use as bait for the weekly fishing trips
image goes here
Sitting on the iron-wheeled, flatbed cart for transporting milk cans from the barn to the garage where the cooling tank was.

School years

image goes here
I believe this is my first grade picture
image goes here
This looks like late elementary or junior high. Oh, what lucious lips! (I wasn't using lip gloss, really.)
image goes here
Early on I decided I would play the accordion, emulating my brother Harold perhaps. I got really, really good. Lady of Spain held no fear for me. Note that even at that tender age my feet were simply enormous.
image goes here
I was also fond of horseback riding, here on my purebred Morgan horse officially named Mor Ayr Victory Pop, which was such a frou-frou name I called him Chuckles because of the way he would nicker a greeting.
image goes here
This has junior high written all over it
image goes here
Probably late in high school
image goes here
My high school graduation picture, 1961

College years

image goes here
Could you make an ID card that looks any more like a mug shot? I guess I let my hair grow out over the summer.
image goes here
I did graduate, class of 1965. Apparently I still wore the same heavy horn-rimmed glasses for four years.

Awkward years

It was the 70s. What can I say?

image goes here
My sister Florence lovingly crafted a hat for me by knitting together Budweiser beer cans. She never explained who drank the beer from the cans.
image goes here
My sister Edna decided she would make grasshoppers. She served me in a suitable glass. The small boy in the background is my nephew Tom who is now a fire department chief. Who would have guessed?
image goes here
During one of my sister's family camping trips it rained all the time. My rain gear caused my nieces to compose a rendition of The Sheik of Araby for our camp entertainment.

Grad school

image goes here
Good lord, but my ID photos are all really, really awful! Those eyes are the Eyes of Laura Mars.

Running years

In the late 70s I took up running, and after I moved to Hawaii in 1983, I began competing in races.

BBBS my first race
Big Brothers Big Sisters, Feb 26, 2984. This was my very first race. Fun run, really.
image goes here
Great Aloha Run, 7.5 miles, Mar 3, 1985
image goes here
Honolulu Marathon, Dec 9, 1984. What I love about this picture is contrast between my grinning and the grimmaces of the much younger guys finishing with me.
image goes here
Bridge to Bridge, Sep 27, 1987 in San Francisco
image goes here
Coming off the last bridge in the Vancouver Marathon, May 1, 1994. Spectators told me the finish line was "about a mile" away, and when it turned out to be five miles, my spirits sank as I hit "the wall."
image goes here
Finish line, Vancouver Marathon, May 1, 1994. Trying to look happy and not half-dead.

There's a funny story about my running the Vancouver Marathon. This was during a time when I had decided I was old enough and would not celebrate nor acknowledge any more birthdays. This went on for years. But then they scheduled the Vancouver Marathon on my birthday, and I decided I would enter so I could say I ran a marathon on my 50th birthday.

At the finish line they even announced, "Here comes number 213, Paul Williamson from San Jose, California, and today's his birthday!" Do you know how hard it is to wave your hands in the air and act happy when you could hardly stumble up to the finish line?

What makes this so funny is that some time later, a friend with mathematical talents pointed out that I had not been 50 years old at the time, but actually 51. No wonder I was so tired!

HP years

The HP years overlap my running years, having started at HP in 1987.

image goes here
One of my first days at HP, looking all professional.
image goes here
Four of us rented a vacation house on Oahu's North Shore. We had a rule: No photographs below the neck!
image goes here
HP people are always doing off-sites. For this one we went to the beach in Santa Cruz — and did appropriate HP business, of course. In this case, that involved sand sculpturing.
image goes here
After HP acquired Compaq computers, the handwriting was on the wall and thousands of us would soon leave HP. Just before I left, my last manager had a party for her staff. Margaritas flowed freely.

Retirement years

image goes here
Morning coffee on the patio, circa 2003
image goes here
Dinner with Pandora's Box, circa 2005. This piece by Cecilia Garcia Amaro was a find while gallery browsing on one of our frequent trips to the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.
image goes here
Life boat drill on my first cruise, 2006
image goes here
Enjoying the back yard 2013

On growing "old"

This is a speech from a conference on aging. They guy is a weather forecaster, but I'm guessing he might have moonlighted as a stand-up comic. It's a tad long (15 minutes), but I promise you'll find the time well spent.

placeholder_375x250
Shoe Apr 30, 2015. Men of a certain age understand only too well.

Last updated on Apr 29, 2016

Chronicles

Archives

Recent Articles