Young at heart with splendid gray hair

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, September 20, 2023

By Les Ferguson, Jr.


My 17-year-old senior in high school likes to tell me I’m too old to have a son his age. On occasion when he has stepped on my last nerve, I might think he is right. But only on occasion.

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But it’s funny how often our kids think we are technologically inept. In their way of thinking, if we are over forty, we must be old and therefore dumb too.

However, I think of myself as being technologically apt as well as young and good-looking. Brad Pitt has nothing on me.

It’s true. I wouldn’t fudge something that important.

But back to technology. There was a time not so long ago that I could program a VCR. Before that, I was a wizard with an 8-track tape player and then a master with a cassette player. It’s a whole new level of tech to be able to manually wind a cassette with a pencil.

Not to be left behind by evolving music systems, somewhere in one of our closets is a big case of compact discs – a history of my favorite music. Yes, I still occasionally show my game by pulling those bad boys out.

To be completely forthcoming, I kind of let the MP3 player era slip past me a bit, but by the time of the iPhone, I was a master once again – this time with the digital download.

iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, and Sirius XM offer no intimidation to a techno-geek like me.

And then there are my computer forays. I worked on mainframe computers in the Navy. I cut my personal computer teeth on DOS machines. I moved through IBM clones from desktops to one of the earliest laptops to be found. I kid you not, it was called a lunchbox computer.

You won’t find me far from a MacBook or an iPad these days. In fact, just to show my tech chops, this column and the last two were written on my iPhone which was the latest edition until last week.

Social media is another area of expertise. I regularly use Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly called Twitter), and Threads. My phone also has apps for Snapchat, TikTok, and others I can plug into if I so desire. To further illustrate my prowess, I don’t accidentally post things or make unintended Facetime calls.

Just because I have experience with dial tones, party lines, and busy signals doesn’t make me old, right? Right? Not by a long shot.

As far as old goes, that’s just a frame of mind.

And believe me, I can Tiky Tok with the best of them. (Note to self, ask one of the boys if I used that correctly).

Whether old or young, I like this verse: “The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is gray hair.” (Proverbs 20:29 CSB17)

It may be cliched, but age is but a number, and young can be found in the heart.

Have a great week!

Write to Les Ferguson, Jr., at