≡ Menu

Happy Birthday to Me: In My Extreme Age

Turn around, more than half a decade evaporates. 70?71?727374 75 76  77? It doesn’t feel so old. I’m told that it is but it doesn’t feel that old. At the same time, I confess I’m not exactly sure who this geezer is who shows up in the mirror every morning — or where he came from. The thing is he keeps writing notes like this and leaving them where I can’t help finding them:

In my extreme age —
In my age extreme —
Skin planed to glassine,
Bone buffed to crystal,
Light locked in the marrow,
And memory melded to images only…

Of my extreme age —
In my age extreme

In my extreme age —
In my age extreme —
Thoughts thinned to one
And dreams dimmed to soul;
To that one shred of thread
Which stitches the shroud

Of my extreme age —
In my age extreme.

In that age extreme,
That extreme edge of age,
There shall still
In such stillness
Ring in my ears
One echo of now;

Of my extreme age —
In my age extreme.

In our age extreme
Your echo shall glimmer
Ever on the river that streams
Through time’s silted canyons
Of my extreme age —
In my age extreme.

Of our extreme age —
In our age extreme.

— Vanderleun for Emma Jean.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey Klahn December 26, 2017, 12:49 PM

    Many, many, many more. Happy Birthday, Gerard.

  • Terry December 26, 2017, 12:51 PM

    Happy birthday Gerard! And I wish you many more!

  • Dave December 26, 2017, 1:18 PM

    You have three weeks on me, Gerard, however, I prefer to think of it as forty-something. It just happens to be forty-thirty-two.

  • Sam L. December 26, 2017, 1:45 PM

    It’s those Damned Chinese mirrors being snuck into our bathrooms, replacing the American-made mirrors that show us how we really are!

  • MOTUS December 26, 2017, 2:12 PM

    “How terribly strange to be seventeeeeeee…two”

  • Rob De Witt December 26, 2017, 2:34 PM

    You’ve caught up at last; with any luck I’ll surpass you again in four months.

    Congratulations, old man, and many happy returns of the day, whatever that means.

  • Howard Nelson December 26, 2017, 3:19 PM

    Gerard, you keep brightening in the Light.
    We all wish you to keep on keeping on.

  • Dr. Jay December 26, 2017, 3:34 PM

    Be thankful: You still got the body of a 71 year old.

  • w barna December 26, 2017, 3:51 PM

    Happy Birthday! I’m not far behind you. Thank you for your wise and occasionally snarky rhetoric….keeps me thinking and laughing.

  • Leslie December 26, 2017, 4:06 PM

    Has it already been a whole year? Happy, happy Mr V!

  • Bunny December 26, 2017, 4:12 PM

    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Getting old beats the alternative,
    Happy Birthday to you!

  • pbird December 26, 2017, 4:24 PM

    Happy Birfday GV. We’re all pushing it.

  • Bill Cox December 26, 2017, 4:49 PM

    Happy birthday Gerard, I hit 70 a month ago. It’s a little strange.

  • Phil in Englewood December 26, 2017, 5:44 PM

    Happy Birthday Gerard! Something wonderful indeed… Here’s to many more, buoyed by your enthusiastic readers.

  • Julie December 26, 2017, 5:53 PM

    Happy birthday, Gerard. May you be blessed beyond all reasoning in the coming year.

  • Ga Gator December 26, 2017, 5:58 PM

    A tip, Gerard. When I hit 69 I started counting backwards.
    I’m 64 now and feeling a helluva lot better. Cheers anyway!

  • Joan of Argghh! December 26, 2017, 6:50 PM

    Fortunately, you’ve chosen your parents wisely. I wish you many more happy returns of the day!

  • ghostsniper December 26, 2017, 7:52 PM

    Happy birthday to you….
    I don’t care what they say, you don’t look a day over 70.
    But then, I stopped caring about age about 20 years ago.
    Except to just stay away from people that appear to be 40 or less due to inherent incompatibility.
    ….and many more!

  • ChrisP December 26, 2017, 8:25 PM

    I’m right there with you brother.
    Strange days, and, who is that old man in the mirror?

  • KMM December 26, 2017, 8:41 PM

    Happy Birthday Gerard!

  • JohnPeg December 26, 2017, 11:11 PM

    Happy Birthday, sir. I’m older than you . . . . and always will be. And you’re still the best writer in America. Come north and visit some day and we’ll have a blast!

  • Mumblix Grumph December 26, 2017, 11:12 PM

    Hey, happy birthday and all the requisite sentimental folderol.

  • leelu December 27, 2017, 7:09 AM

    Happy Birthday. Here’s to many, many more!!

  • Monty James December 27, 2017, 7:12 AM

    Happy Birthday.

  • Kevin Dickson December 27, 2017, 7:26 AM

    Nice words.

    Have a happy happy!!

  • Snakepit Kansas December 27, 2017, 7:56 AM

    Happy birthday sir! I wish you many more years to continue your writing! Thank you!

  • Jim in Alaska December 27, 2017, 8:47 AM

    In my extreme age…
    At 79 I still read and laugh
    At that young whippersnapper

  • John The River December 27, 2017, 8:51 AM

    72! Never!
    I myself look forward to the 29th Anniversary of my 39th Birthday.

    But Happy Birthday anyway Gerald!

  • BillH December 27, 2017, 9:39 AM

    Have a good one kid. I was a shiftless 14 year-old when you came along.

  • NealinPomerene December 27, 2017, 11:08 AM

    I will be 19 this January and wish you a sincere Happy Birthday. My suggestion is to just start over with the age thing when you turned 50 (that’s what I did). So you are 22, correct?

  • Phil in Englewood December 26, 2018, 5:30 AM

    Happy birthday, Gerard! I will drink a toast to you of whatever Keith Richards is drinking. We should both be around for another hundred years or so.

  • jwm December 26, 2018, 6:54 AM

    Happy birthday, Gerard. At this point in the game every day is a gift.


  • Hangtown Bob and Peg December 26, 2018, 7:43 AM

    Wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays……..
    I always think that each day that one awakens not looking UP at the sod is an accomplishment and a gift from GOD.

    May you have many more such days!

  • Sam L. December 26, 2018, 8:11 AM

    Your age is not extreme until you’re dead. Hang in there!

  • Terry December 26, 2018, 8:40 AM

    Happy Birthday Gerard. You and I are of equal age again.

  • Dr. Jay December 26, 2018, 8:47 AM

    Rejoice! You still have the body of a 72 year old.

  • Everyman December 26, 2018, 9:45 AM

    Age-old problem, unchanged since we shared an evening meal in Seattle several years ago. You look no different than you did then, and you have spent some time among the dead since then. Thank you for your return to our precincts and your writings here. Enjoy your remaining days which, although many, are meant to be limited by He Who Makes the Rules.

  • MOTUS December 26, 2018, 10:45 AM

    “How terribly strange to be seventeeeeeee…three”
    Wait, what? I might have sent the same sentiment last year about this time. Of course you were much younger then (than now).

    Okay, I’m done talking to you in songs.

  • Eskyman December 26, 2018, 12:42 PM

    So you’ve got six months on me! Good to know that your words are well-seasoned: with age comes wisdom, and a young whippersnapper like myself needs to hear from someone of an age.

    When my daughter turned 40, she told me that 40 is “the new 30.” So with that yardstick, we’re just entering early middle age!

    Many happy returns Gerard, and all the best to your Mum!

  • MIKE GUENTHER December 26, 2018, 1:25 PM

    Well, I just turned 60, but according to one of those health machines in the local pharmacy, I’ve got the health of a 73 yr old.

    Happy birthday and many more to come.

  • Denny December 26, 2018, 2:15 PM

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Poetry is hard
    Happy birthday anyway

  • rabbit tobacco December 26, 2018, 4:46 PM

    here’s the secret:You want to get older, you just don’t want to get old. lengthen your telomeres

  • lendie December 26, 2018, 5:16 PM

    Old myass. You are 10.42 years in Olive units. I figure you have
    another 6-7 lives left as well.
    Happy BDay!

  • Kerry December 26, 2018, 6:02 PM

    Happy birthday!

  • Janet Miller December 26, 2018, 7:38 PM

    Well, you look pretty good for an old geezer. Happy Birthday and I sure do enjoy your writings.

  • R Daneel December 26, 2018, 8:35 PM

    Happy Birthday! I wish you many more.

  • MMinLamesa December 27, 2018, 12:23 AM

    Happy BD dude. Enjoy.

  • Theduchessofkitty December 27, 2018, 1:20 AM

    No, the seventies are not an extreme age! My own mother is 85! My grandma passed on at age 99.75. Besides, I’m getting the impression that longevity might well be somewhere in your genes…

    Happy Birthday, Gerard!

  • H December 27, 2018, 4:04 AM

    “Ve Git Too Soon Oldt Und Too Late Schmart”

    I’ve still miles to go on the last half of that equation.

  • ca December 28, 2018, 6:20 PM

    Congrats, man.

    Thanks for all you do (and have done).



  • John the River December 29, 2018, 7:15 AM

    Happy Birthday, belated. I didn’t realize it had been a few days since last I rolled by.
    Got some Gerard reading to do.

  • RosalindJ December 26, 2019, 6:19 AM

    From one member of the Christmas season birthday club to another, I hope you enjoy this one, and many more to come.

  • RosalindJ December 26, 2019, 6:19 AM

    From one member of the Christmas season birthday club to another, I hope you enjoy this one, and many more to come.

  • Dave in PB December 26, 2019, 6:54 AM

    Happiest of Birthdays to you Sir!

  • Phil in Englewood December 26, 2019, 7:10 AM

    Happy Birthday, Gerard!

  • John The River December 26, 2019, 7:14 AM

    Happy Birthday!
    I’ve got a few months before I enter the seventies, but at least this year I didn’t arrive late to this party.

  • brinster December 26, 2019, 7:36 AM

    Happy Birthday Gerard. You have me beat by 4 days and 4 years and feel just as you do. You have alot more hair than I do. It’s why I wear a hat.

  • jwm December 26, 2019, 7:41 AM

    Glad that we can all wish you another happy birthday.
    Grateful that we’re all here to do it.


  • bfwebster December 26, 2019, 8:03 AM

    Happy birthday, and glad we’re all still here for another trip around the Sun.

  • Julie December 26, 2019, 8:31 AM

    How good it is to be able to wish you a happy birthday again!

  • dave drake December 26, 2019, 8:53 AM

    Happy Birthday and wishes for many, many more!

  • Terry December 26, 2019, 9:43 AM

    Happy birthday Gerard!

  • James ONeil December 26, 2019, 10:08 AM

    Gerard, another year older and deeper in somethingorother.


  • rabbit tobacco December 26, 2019, 10:09 AM

    Most all doctors agree 85 is OLD, so
    you got a ways to go. God Bless

  • captflee December 26, 2019, 5:09 PM

    Warmest wishes for a happy birthday, Gerard! Given the clamor and tumult of the past sixteen months, may your next sixteen years be calm, happy, and filled with love.

  • captflee December 26, 2019, 5:25 PM

    …and a happy St. Stephen’s Day, as well. Keep on spinning that curious sense of your own!

  • OldTexan December 26, 2019, 7:38 PM

    Holy Crap, where did they go, I will be 75 years old in 2020, one more decade under the belt and I talk to my older brother who is 85 and he has the same problem. Truth is we have all had a lot of bumps and bruises but here we are, one more freaking New Year.

  • Snakepit Kansas December 27, 2019, 7:40 AM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR!!!! I look forward to many more years of your writing.

  • Nowut Ameen January 3, 2020, 12:51 PM

    It is possible that you might be the inspiration for Ezekiel Emmanuel’s desire to off us old people at age 75.

  • Francesca Dricot December 26, 2020, 5:49 AM

    Happy birthday and Merry Christmas. 75 is the new 40.

  • Snakepit Kansas December 26, 2020, 5:57 AM


  • Andrew R December 26, 2020, 7:09 AM

    Happy 45th anniversary of your 30th birthday! Have a god one.

    P.S. My favorite Indiana Jones quote: “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”

  • jd December 26, 2020, 7:21 AM

    Happy Birthday wishes, Gerard. I love Andrew R’s typo,
    a perfect gift on your special day.

  • Phil_in_Englewood December 26, 2020, 7:22 AM

    Happy Birthday Gerard! Thank you for sharing The Best Blog Ever with us all 🙂
    Today is something wonderful indeed.

  • Brady in Texas December 26, 2020, 7:33 AM

    Have read you for many years. 75 is not old. You look wonderful “at your age.” Let us hope for more years!!!

  • jwm December 26, 2020, 7:35 AM

    And one more year…
    Thank you once again for the light you provide in this darkest of seasons.
    Happy Birthday.
    Keep gettin’ older.


  • Kevin Shaughan Dickson December 26, 2020, 7:38 AM

    I have enjoyed your blog every day for well over a decade. Happy birthday…….may you continue forever.

  • John The River December 26, 2020, 7:40 AM

    Happy Birthday! I’ve finally joined you in the Select Seventies, not everyone is privileged to enter that club. My late dear wife did not. None of our cats, not surprisingly. BTW how old is Miss Olive?

  • rabbit tobacco December 26, 2020, 7:46 AM

    “you’re only as old as the woman you feel.”
    groucho marx

  • TrangBang68 December 26, 2020, 7:47 AM

    Happy birthday Gerard. I ain’t too far behind you. One thing I figured out this year is what the hell can they do to me at this stage of life? Might as well go all in to mock, ridicule and resist these filthy leftist bastards.

  • Terry December 26, 2020, 7:48 AM

    Happy 75th Gerard ! Stay well for us, you are a key to our sanity. And a great friend !

  • Nobody Atall December 26, 2020, 8:08 AM

    Best wishes on your birthday! Prayers for blessing this Christmas and New Year season! Gratitude for the joys and insights you have given me and many others over the years — may there be many many more to come.

    P.S. We celebrate our wedding anniversary today – 39 years, pretty old for a marriage these days, and amazing how we never quite spun apart at several particular junctions in our journey. The Lord wills it, is all i can figure.

  • captflee December 26, 2020, 8:20 AM

    Happy 75th, G!

  • Sam L. December 26, 2020, 8:23 AM

    I got two years on ya, and all I can say is, my memory ain’t what it never was…as best I can remember…

  • Uncle Mikey December 26, 2020, 8:26 AM

    Love from Texas

  • Geo December 26, 2020, 8:52 AM

    Happy Biethday, Gerard, I’m not far behind you.

    I tell my Doctor…..’If I only knew I’d live this long, I would’ve taken better care of myself”.

    De Oppresao Liber!

  • Auntie Analogue December 26, 2020, 9:02 AM

    Happy Birthday!

    MISSION CONTROL: “You have a GO for orbit number seven-six. Copy?”

  • EX-Californian Pete December 26, 2020, 9:12 AM

    Hey Gerard,

    I’m not calling you “senile” or anything, but are you absolutely SURE you’re 72?
    Because the photo above looks like some dude in his mid 50’s.

    Have a great birthday, brother. Enjoy it to the fullest.

  • Jay Worth Allen December 26, 2020, 9:19 AM

    ditto! . . . one through eighty eight.

  • Hangtown Bob December 26, 2020, 9:48 AM

    Happy Birthday, Gerard !
    For me, it’s even worse when I realize that 3 weeks ago, I turned three quarters of a CENTURY of age…..

  • James ONeil December 26, 2020, 10:00 AM

    Repeating what I said in 2017, with only the age changed to rub it in more;
    In my extreme age…
    At 82 I still read and laugh
    At that young whippersnapper

  • Boone December 26, 2020, 11:57 AM

    Happy birthday! And keep em coming!

  • John Fisher December 26, 2020, 12:25 PM

    Happy birthday, Gerald! Thank you for providing a refuge from all the crazy out there.

  • George_Banner December 26, 2020, 12:40 PM

    Roses are red
    Decent people are cool
    Getting old sucks
    All the best to cool you.
    And many more.

  • The Universal Spectator December 26, 2020, 1:11 PM

    I grow old … I grow old …
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

    I do not think that they will sing to me.

  • The Universal Spectator December 26, 2020, 1:13 PM

    Finding your blog has been a blessing for me as it probably is for so many.

    Happy Birthday, Gerard. I’m only 11 years behind you…

  • julie December 26, 2020, 1:28 PM

    Happy, Happy Birthday!

  • Elmo December 26, 2020, 4:28 PM

    Keep on Truckin’, Gerard. That’s me behind you, pushin’ ya up the hill!

  • Motus December 26, 2020, 6:40 PM

    I want to be just like you when I grow up!

  • Casey Klahn December 26, 2020, 7:29 PM

    Continued good wishes.

  • Jewel December 26, 2020, 7:30 PM

    Live forever O Bard! Happy 75th birthday!

  • buddhaha December 26, 2020, 8:28 PM

    Happy birthday, whippersnapper.

    Accept the changes coming, for they will. Accommodate, not acquiesce.

    Every day on this side of the grass is another opportunity. I know you will grasp them.

  • Stiiv December 26, 2020, 10:34 PM

    Happy Birthday Gerard!

  • Sally December 26, 2020, 11:34 PM

    You are consistently fascinating and I love the ka-ching postings too. Happy Birthday, you lovely man.

  • Geri December 27, 2020, 2:24 PM

    Happy Birthday! I’m wishing to you a healthy and happy year. 🎉

  • Willyruffian December 27, 2020, 6:51 PM

    Happy birthday. Thanks for the great content all these years. Don’t retire from this.

  • mmack December 27, 2020, 6:52 PM


    You have nearly a quarter century on me and you have many weird and wonderful stories to share with all of us. May you keep going and sharing those stories with all of us, and meet new people and friends and make more new stories.

    “No man is lost if he can share a drink, a story, and a laugh with people.”

  • Jeff Brokaw December 28, 2020, 9:06 PM

    You look pretty good for an old guy Gerard 😉

    Wishing you a Happy Birthday and many, many more!

  • Joan Of Argghh! December 31, 2020, 2:24 PM

    Wishing many happy returns of this day to Real America’s poet laureate.

  • Mike Austin December 26, 2021, 5:55 AM

    Seventy-six? “¡Feliz cumpleaños!” as my Mexican half would say. Well Gerard you have 8 years on me—ok, a little less than 8. July 16 is when, no doubt somewhat reluctantly, I came into this world in Glendale, California. At least, that’s what my birth certificate says. It also lists somebody’s name there as my father though he wasn’t my father. Some shenanigans there for sure.

    I am a bit odd in that I actually enjoy getting older. I cannot imagine going back in time and reliving—or better, redoing—some aspect of my past. Given the opportunity to return and start anew, I would just commit entirely different sins, and probably end up in a worse place than I could conceive of now. And older guy and I were talking some time ago. He was much too nostalgic for my taste—I’m not at all nostalgic or wistful or melancholic—and wished he could return to being 39 years old. That is, almost half his life ago. I guess that nothing since being 39 has mattered much to him. As much as I could I felt sorry for him, but of course did not tell him that. Why make things worse?

    All my thoughts, all my mind, all my soul, point forward. God will place surprises there for sure, just as He has placed surprises in my past and in yours. I hope we like them.

    So “Happy birthday!” as my Caucasian half would say. I’ll use your birthday to toast you this very evening.

  • Francesca Dricot December 26, 2021, 6:09 AM

    Merry Christmas 🎄🎁 and Happy birthday !!! 🎈🎁 from snowy maine. Hope you are well and safe.

  • LadyBikki December 26, 2021, 6:12 AM

    Happy Birthday, dear sir.
    One of my favorite people in the world share this birthday with you…my eldest son Joshua.
    Born this day in 1979, he is wise beyond his years and a wise ass, too.
    Wishing you both a wonderful and wonder filled day.
    God bless.

  • jd December 26, 2021, 6:13 AM

    I’m with Joan of Arrgghh! above. Happy Birthday, Gerard.

  • Dirk December 26, 2021, 7:06 AM

    Happy Birthday GV.


  • Jack December 26, 2021, 8:00 AM

    Happy Birthday G and I hope you have as many as you desire. I remember hearing the oldsters in my life say that ‘having your health is everything’ and I’ve always thought that statement would be a killer comment for a tombstone but humor aside, it is true.

    Thank you again for providing a fantastic forum for information and for comment and for putting up with what some of us will say. I don’t believe that I’ve ever attended a class that I have enjoyed more than my morning sessions here in AD. Have a happy and safe NY and the same to all who enjoy being a part of this place.

  • Ed in Upstate NY December 26, 2021, 8:12 AM

    Right behind you in 6 weeks, Gerard, and my only regret is that I probably won’t outlive all the assholes I wish to. I don’t know if that makes me a bad person, but that’s the way it is.
    Happy birthday and many more years of good health and prosperity to you!

    • gwbnyc December 26, 2021, 9:04 AM

      oh, I dunno. I got a fairly stout folder of obits behind me.

  • jwm December 26, 2021, 8:14 AM

    There comes a point where you stop saying, “I’m gettin’ old.”
    There’s no more ” gettin’ ” about it. We’re there.
    It ain’t so bad, is it?
    Have a great day.


  • Aggie December 26, 2021, 8:52 AM

    Or as Jack Benny would say, the “47th Anniversary of my 29th birthday”

    Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, and all the best for the coming year, sir – and thank you very much for what you do!

  • KCK December 26, 2021, 9:07 AM

    My wife’s birthday is next week (60). It’s difficult for someone whose BD is right on the coattails of Christmas, I think.
    76? I like that number and it suits you in some ways (maturity) but not in other ways (youthful ardor).
    Keep on keeping on, and happy birthday.

  • Roll-aid December 26, 2021, 9:41 AM

    I can’t say it any better than what has come before on this thread. Happy Birthday. It will be 70 for me next month. And tomorrow, 48 for our marriage. In some fashion, each occasion gets a little easier and a little harder at the same time.

  • charley hua chu December 26, 2021, 9:53 AM

    Happy Birthday, G.
    Jeez! I can’t remember just how long I’ve been reading your stuff and that of others you put up on these interwebz. But I’m five years ahead of you in that “elderly stuff” and it seems to get better every time I log on and find AD. You’re doin’ great. Keep on until you catch up with me.

  • John Venlet December 26, 2021, 10:17 AM

    Happy Birthday, Gerard! Keep it goin’!

  • Terry December 26, 2021, 11:32 AM

    Happy birthday Gerard! I reached your age in April. As my Brit friends would say, “Bottoms up chap”!

  • julie December 26, 2021, 11:55 AM

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Gerard!

  • ghostsniper December 26, 2021, 5:24 PM

    That’s mere childhood in van der loon years.
    You’ll outlive the “Lady in Red”.
    Go U!

  • Daniel K Day December 26, 2021, 5:35 PM

    Happy birthday, sir! And belated Merry Christmas. May you live many more healthy and happy years.

  • mmack December 26, 2021, 6:26 PM


    As my Polish heritage would say: Na Zdrowie! (To your health) 🍺😋

    As My Lovely 🥰 Mrs. Italian heritage would say: Salud! cent’anni! 🍷🙂

    (To your health, may you live 100 years!)

    Keep writing to stay young at heart.

  • Hale Adams December 26, 2021, 7:29 PM

    Happy Birthday, Gerard.

    I turn 60 in 11 days, and my sister turns 70 tomorrow (the 27th). Our parents are dead, now, alas.

    “Oh oh I want to know-ow, where does the time go?”

    On the other hand, as my Grandfather Adams was wont to say, “It’s a heckuva note to grow old, but consider the alternative.”. (Grandpa had a wry sense of humor.)

    Again, happy birthday, Gerard, and many more. I still want to be reading your blog for another 20 years.

    Hale Adams
    and to heck with the rest of the signature.

  • Giles Overreach December 26, 2021, 8:12 PM

    I’m pretty sure your mom lived to, or is still alive at, 104. Mine turned 103 last month. We’ve no choice but to rejoice. Happy Birthday, Gerard. I love this place!

  • Leslie December 26, 2021, 8:43 PM

    It has been 4 years since I wished you a happy, happy. I hope it was a good one!

  • SteveS December 26, 2021, 10:57 PM

    Let me jump on board the wagon with the band wishing you a happy birthday G! I’m right there a couple of orbits behind you and I just want to say thank you for bringing this all together. Your writing continues to amaze. and the subject matters which interest you always resonate. ‘Lord, may your grace continue to shine through G and this special place”

  • Teresa Pittman December 27, 2021, 11:33 AM

    You’ve probably already dealt with this. But the worst thing about turning 70 is muscle loss. It’s like one of those werewolf movies, only your arm turns stringy and wrinkled as you watch. Really hard to deal with.

  • Brian_E December 27, 2021, 12:37 PM

    Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, and Happy New Year!

    My, what a busy week! Thanks for being here for another trip around the sun.

    I consider my visits here as some of if not the best of my time spent on the web. It’s certainly the sanest and most thought provoking. And for this – I’ll be eternally grateful.

    When you’re finally called home, you will be SORELY missed, by me at least.

    Best wishes for another year, hopefully not as crazy and a bit more peaceful than the last couple have been. I know – perhaps wishful thinking, but I can hope can’t I?

  • Karen December 27, 2021, 1:11 PM

    Well, I hope you had a good birthday. I’d like to thank you for sharing your space on the internet with all of us. American Digest is an almost daily read for me; there is no superlative adjective for the quality of your writing, thanks again. Karen

  • Dave J December 28, 2021, 3:35 PM

    Happy belated, I appreciate you and what you do!

  • Ginny December 31, 2021, 1:04 AM

    Happiest of days! Don’t give up.

  • John G Condon January 4, 2022, 5:46 AM


    Old has a kind of last-chapter finality to it.

    You’re not old, you are older.

  • John Venlet December 26, 2022, 5:30 AM

    Happy Birthday, Gerard, and may this post continue to be seen in ongoing years. God Bless.

  • captflee December 26, 2022, 5:50 AM

    Happy Birthday, sir! May merciful Providence continue to rain blessings upon you.

  • jwm December 26, 2022, 5:53 AM

    And we’re all here for one more turn around the sun. Much to be grateful for. Have a great day, Gerard.


  • MizzE December 26, 2022, 6:54 AM

    Gerard, Best wishes for good health, good humor and continued good sense.

  • Daniel K Day December 26, 2022, 7:22 AM

    Happy birthday, Gerard, please stick around.

  • Terry December 26, 2022, 7:41 AM

    All the best on ‘Your’ day Gerard. Seems you have many, many people here at AD that expect to see your site daily.

  • Anne December 26, 2022, 9:20 AM

    Wishing you a very happy birthday! The poem is still lovely!
    Some of us still have so much work yet to do–please stay with us!

    Wishing you a happy and healthy 2023!

  • Snakepit Kansas December 26, 2022, 9:57 AM


  • julie December 26, 2022, 11:28 AM

    Once again, a very happy Birthday to you Gerard! I look forward to wishing you a happy birthday again next year.

  • jd December 26, 2022, 11:33 AM

    Happy Birthday, Gerard. Blessings on your special day even though it’s not as special as your other one. Or is it?

  • Casey Klahn December 26, 2022, 12:04 PM

    You don’t look a day over…

    Have a blessed birthday!

  • Vincent Frodl December 26, 2022, 2:12 PM

    Happy Birthday, mine was yesterday, hope you have many more!

  • Mary Ann December 26, 2022, 2:24 PM

    Happy Birthday Gerard!

  • ThisIsNotNutella December 26, 2022, 3:47 PM

    Happy Birthday!

  • booger December 26, 2022, 4:10 PM

    Yes, yes, Happy Birthday Gerard from Lake Pueblo. And many more!

  • Logueflower December 26, 2022, 7:22 PM

    Keep on living and loving life the way you do Mr. Van der Leun. How generous you are.
    You got a couple decades on me, and I got a crush for you that won’t quit.
    Check you email box, Only By Fire finally to music. Ageless poetry.

  • AbigailAdams December 28, 2022, 1:29 AM

    Happy Birthday, brother! Tried calling you today to wish you a belated one! And I finally figured out where you are sitting in that picture. It’s the coffee shop across from Ken’s, right? That building was modified way back in the early 80’s by the Love Israel family and has been occupied at least a dozen times by everything from a nail spa, children’s clothing store, multiple coffee and deli shops, and is now standing vacant (I think), waiting for the next entrepreneur to try their hand. Come back to QA and see what you can do with it! Love you! AA

Next post:

Previous post: