Watch out for Big 'Red'
You may have read that my wife, Carol, has retired as Lifestyles Editor at The Mountaineer. It has been a wonderfully fast-paced almost five years for her — celebrating the countless events that mark the lives of Haywood County residents.
From birth announcements to honor roll — graduations to engagements — weddings to milestone anniversaries — retirements to funeral and memorial services — Carol has been there for everyone and everything.
I’m very proud of her, and pleased that after 50 years of working, she is finally going to “dial it back” and spend more time on herself.
So what’s next for “Big Red?” — More timely visits to Elements Salon to keep her namesake red head of hair; more cheering for her alma mater, Indiana University — “Go Big Red;” More of the same community involvement — as a hospice volunteer, serving on the board of Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation and joining the women’s circle at church.
Carol also plans to stay on as my personal wife, muse, editor, stylist and chief grammarian. She even continues to suggest topics for my column, from time to time. Last week’s, meaty piece on cockroaches was her idea. Way to go, Carol.
This piece is indirectly her idea, triggered by a movie that we recently rented, from her first choice of movie purveyors — the antiquated Blockbuster.
I have been on Carol for years to sack Blockbuster and get movies on-demand, but Blockbuster occasionally rewards us with a great movie “off everyone’s radar” like “Red.”
Carol chose the 2010 movie “Red” mostly for its cast —Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Richard Dreyfuss, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren, with cameos from Ernest Borgnine.
All but Parker portray “retired” ex-CIA operatives that have made a new government hit list, and have been labeled “R.E.D.” — Retired, Extremely Dangerous.
This movie is a mantra for all of us boomers, who are “put out to pasture,” then repeatedly targeted for volunteer assignments, mentoring programs, guest lecturers, committee chairs, H.O.A. boards and all manner of “free labor.”
We all rise to the occasion — when nobody else can seem to find the time — yet we’re labeled “old timers,” “geezers,” “grandpas” and “old goats.” Some even dare to call us “retirees.”
I say, the opposite of what Nixon said in the 1950s, “Better R.E.D. than dead.”
The movie, “Red,” celebrates life after our working years, when we can all come out at a moment’s notice — guns blazing, kicking some A$$ and singing along to “Back in the Saddle Again.”
Heck, we can sing along to either the Gene Autrey (or) Aerosmith version.
So, if you are under the age of 40, bite your tongue and bide your time. Your days are numbered — maybe with more years than the rest of us — but numbered none-the-less.
Sooner than you realize, you will be “Retired and Extremely Dangerous.” Enjoy yourselves, and thanks so much for the Social Security Trust Fund.
And BOLO — “Red 2” will be in movie theaters July 19.