Southern Indiana Living

SEP-OCT 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Sept/Oct 2018 • 9 I am headed west. My hotel shares its neighbor- hood with ethnic food galore, intrigu- ing museums and views to match Utica's. There are also as many pot shops as there are McDonald's restaurants. I am no more a pothead than I am a ballroom dancer. But here I am, with a Medicare card in my wallet but no mellow in my memory. Should I do something about that? I would like to think I obey the law because of how I was raised. But the truth is, I tend to wimp out if things get crazy. Jail and I would not get along. So, part of me figures, why not part with my mad money on something other than my 300th T-shirt? Besides, the gov- ernment is on my side out there. I don't have to meet some shady guy in an alley— I can score in broad daylight between the sightseeing and the gluttony. I can simply step up to a counter and order some marijuana, right? On one shop's website, the options seem endless. It's like looking for sneakers on Amazon. Here I had assumed pot was just pot. I had not felt this naive since I bought a large, concrete picnic table for my par- ents and figured I would pick up the thing and put it in my Chevy Nova, no sweat. The $10 delivery charge was the best money I've ever spent. I well may be in over my head with any drug beyond blood thinner and Pep- to-Bismol. The point is less about getting baked, though, and more about getting more from life. A year ago, I wrote about what I call "why-not people." They travel and then travel again. It's not if they've seen the Great Wall in China — it's when they will return. They know the best karaoke bars in Amarillo and the worst slot machines in Biloxi. They need a CPA to keep count of their frequent-flyer miles. They should be my role model. I pledged last year to follow suit. Shame on me. I pledge again this year to follow suit. The why-not club may not need me, but I need it. I talk a little about years left and increasingly more about good years left. Better to be broke at 90 than to be re- gretful at 90, I guess. Yes, I luckily am able and nearer to ready. But am I truly willing? What about the challenge after pot shops and the chal- lenges after that? I got bopped in the eye this summer by a wayward pool missile. Probably no lasting damage, thank God. But the doctor reminded me that eyes — like everything else head to toe — wear down. Like old newspapermen, old body parts tend to retire. Better to get ambushed by a hard- plastic fish at half my age, in other words. And better to get more from what's out there, however well I may see it. My wife and I upped our getaways to three this year. That's a promising start. Next might be snow-birding. Florida in February used to seem a copout, but now it seems as smart as paying bills online. No matter that the hardest drug in Florida might be Metamucil. Looking back comforts more than looking forward. The future scares me when I let it. The past mostly entertains. I almost missed the obituary for one of my former newsroom editors. I hated reading that he was only 70 when he passed. I loved, though, recalling the enduring, vital lessons I learned from him. He cut me no slack and I deserved none. He expected as much from me as any teacher or professor had. A curmud- geon among curmudgeons, he had no de- sire to be my pal. He was my boss, the guy who, with- out apology, sent me to fires and school board meetings be it early or late, week- day or weekend. Each lousy assignment helped me become a less lousy journalist. I hope I thanked him but I doubt I did. He was but one of a batch of teachers and preachers and neighbors and friends who molded and inspired me. I still am under a wing or two; it's never too late to wise up. Paying it forward can be ahead for me. It too can help me act alive, not mere- ly be alive. The best why-not people care more about others than themselves. They make sure to fit in good deeds between visits to Spain and to South Bend, that's all. Here I am at the crossroads of being more like Mother Teresa and more like Cheech and Chong. Can I save the world? Of course not. Can I handle a pot brownie? Well …• After 25 years, Dale Moss retired as Indiana columnist for The Courier-Journal. He now writes weekly for the News and Tribune. Dale and his wife Jean live in Jeffersonville in a house that has been in his family since the Civil War. Dale's e-mail is dale.moss@twc.com A Note to Baby Boomers Going to Pot... Or Not The why-not club may not need me, but I need it. I talk a little about years left and increasingly more about good years left. Better to be broke at 90 than to be regretful at 90, I guess.

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