Celebrating 68 Fabulously Groovy Years

JudithphotoBy Judith Kristen, AAP Columnist

By the time you have this month’s AAP in your hands, I’ll be just two days short of my 68th birthday.

Now most of us, after say age 40, don’t do much about birthdays for another decade, until it’s another one of those “landmark” ones that Hallmark has cards for, you know… 50, 55, 60, 65…

Personally, I think every day is a landmark day, as is every additional year, and it requires celebration even if you’re the only one celebrating it.

As for the bigger numbers? They were pretty cool for me.

My 60th found friends from all parts of the country at our house to enjoy a really terrific party. It was the 60s revisited; we even had a tie-dyed birthday cake a friend made for me. Another dear friend, Adam Junker, who I’ve known since the late 60s when I lived in Germany, flew all the way over here to make merry right along with us! It was a really great time.

Then there was my “When I’m 64” birthday, a party of the same name as the Beatles song on the Sgt. Pepper album. What fun that was! We even had a four-tiered cake, all in Sgt. Pepper colors, with each Beatle’s insignia and “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” or M.B.E. medals, reflecting the LP itself. It was so cool that no one wanted to cut it, but you know… somehow chocolate cake always manages to win in the end.

Birthday number 66 – another “off year” – found me trekking the old Route 66 from its start in Chicago, ending up in the loving care of my dear friend and fellow Beatlemaniac, Shelly Fredman, right there in Santa Monica, California, the very end of the Route 66 trail.

So where will we adventure off for number 68?

Well, once again, our dear friend, Shelly, has invited us to celebrate my birthday in her new home out in Los Angeles. Palm trees, the beautiful, blue Pacific, good friends, Disneyland, and plenty of chocolate cake.

Does it bother me that the numbers are going up and that the glow from the candles on my cake can be seen by the International Space Station? Nah. Seriously, aging certainly beats the alternative. I’m also happy that I’m at the point in my life where my brain has gone from, “Jude, you probably shouldn’t say that,” to, “Oh what the hell, let’s see what happens?”

Truthfully, I do miss that occasional midnight pepperoni and onion pizza; and I freely acknowledge I’ve traded in my 3:00 a.m. run to the fridge for a run to the bathroom. Yet, all things considered, I’m doing just fine. Life is good… and fun!

Now, hold this thought… Those who smile often, have fun, live gratitude, and love deeply never grow old. They may die of old age, but they die young.

That’s my plan.

Peace and love… and chocolate cake.


Judith Kristen is a Pennsauken-based author and animal rights activist who stalked George Harrison of the Beatles before it was illegal. For more information about her work, visit JudithKristen.com.

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