Turning 50 in 2014

2014

In but a few days, we shall be entering this new year. To many, no doubt it will be a year like any other tending not to be of any particular significance.
Then of course, to some others it might be something of a very significant reckoning. I fall into the latter grouping, as in October of 2014 I’ll be turning 50.

It still boggles my mind, but the reality is settling in, especially when reinforced by my health issues of the past few years. You know you’re getting older when among your favorite Christmas presents are an orthopedic chair cushion and a computer program for speech to text to save the wear and tear on hands weakening more and more every month with arthritis (yes, I’m extolling the virtues of Dragon Naturally Speaking yet again).

I’m amazed at what we take for granted now, that back when I was a kid were things I’d see on TV or in movies. Look at Skype. Look at robot vacuums. Look at cell phones which evoke memories of the original Star Trek communicators.

Look at video games. This might seem strange in this era of Grand Theft Auto and Mass Effect, but I remember the Christmas morning that I opened up a present and within was an Atari system. If any of you have seen the commercial for the Skylander toys, with the little boy bouncing around his living room screaming, “Skylanders!” at the top of his lungs, that was me so many years ago reacting to the Atari. My thrill was infinitely multiplied the day I brought home Space Invaders for the Atari, after waiting half an hour on the checkout line at my local Playworld toy store with my mom.

Look at movies. Back in the 80s, when 3-D was nothing more than a flash in the pan craze that some studios cranked out half-baked movies to take advantage of, while they could grab any money that they could. These were also made with the obvious “gags” of things shooting towards the audience that made no sense when later viewed in 2-D on television. Now look at today, where nearly every movie, with the probable exception of straight drama and comedy films, are released in 3-D. The difference today is that the 3-D is not just a gimmick, but an enhancement for the viewing experience. On top of this we now have the ability to see these 3-D movies in our homes on advanced televisions. It’s amazing.

I imagine that as I get closer to October, I’ll be freaking out a little bit more, especially when I get even more sinister messages on Facebook from friends that consist of “heh heh heh, just wait till October,” than I’m getting right now.

But for now I guess I’m okay with it especially when you consider certain other people who will be joining me next year in our emerging eligibility for AARP membership. I’m talking about such names as Sandra Bullock, Nicholas Cage, Bridget Fonda, Rob Lowe, Courtney Cox, Keanu Reeves, Teri Hatcher, Russell Crowe and Matt Dillon.

Let’s look back 50 years ago.

In 1964, Beatlemania arrived in the US at JFK airport.

In 1964, Elvis Presley starred in Viva Las Vegas, Roustabout, and Kissin’ Cousins.

In 1964, we were first introduced to the castaways of a three-hour tour gone wrong on Gilligan’s Island.

In 1964, we said goodbye to, among others, Alan Ladd, Peter Lorre, Ian Fleming, Harpo Marx, and Cole Porter.

In 1964, Peter Sellers was one of the busiest men in movies that year as he appeared in The Pink Panther and its sequel A Shot in the Dark, Dr. Strangelove, Carol for Another Christmas and The World of Henry Orient.

In 1964, James Bond killed the bad guys and loved the ladies in both Goldfinger and From Russia with Love.

In 1964, we were first introduced to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the classic Rankin-Bass animated holiday special.

Here are some notable movies that debuted in 1964.

Carry on Cleo
The Disorderly Orderly
Ensign Pulver
Fail-Safe
Father Goose
A Hard Day’s Night
Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Kitten with a Whip
Marnie
My Fair Lady
Night of the Iguana
Paris When It Sizzles
Robin and the 7 Hoods
Seven Days in May
Sex and the Single Girl
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Zorba the Greek
Zulu

Finally, here are the Imagi-Movies that are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their releases in 2014.
7 Faces of Dr. Lao
The Brass Bottle
The Comedy of Terrors
Crack in the World
Dogora The Space Monster
The Earth Dies Screaming
Face of the Screaming Werewolf
First Man in the Moon
The Flesh Eaters
Ghidrah the Three Headed Monster
The Gorgon
The Incredible Mr. Limpet
The Last Man on Earth
Mary Poppins
The Masque of the Red Death
The Misadventures of Merlin Jones
Mothra vs. Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. the Thing)
Pajama Party
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
The Time Travelers
The Tomb of Ligeia

Thanks for listening. It gives one hope for future generations. NURSE! Who put these stairs here??

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