Dagnabbit! - Aging in Place


It’s been a long-time coming, but it came. I remember when I turned 50 and received an invitation to become a member of AARP. I hid the invitation. I didn’t want to go to that party. I was too young, still too full of myself. A senior? Forget it!


Last week, while checking out of the supermarket, a 17-year-old bag boy with bluish-blond hair said rather proudly, “Old timer, can I help you bring your bags to the car?” Old-timer?! I looked around to see whom he was talking to. The last time I heard the term “old timer” was when one of my favorite western heroes, Roy Rogers called his comedic, quintessential western sidekick, Gabby Hayes an old-timer.

For those of you younger folks, every early western star had a sidekick. Gabby Hayes fit the bill. Pushed back brim on his hat, a beard that looked like tumbleweed and then his mouth—he had no teeth. His favorite phrase was “dagnabbit.”

I said to my new friend, “Do I look like I need help? Am I shuffling around with no idea of where I am? Do I not have a full set of teeth in my mouth?” He seemed startled. Was this old-timer prideful? Assertive? Self-assured?

My new friend became embarrassed, mumbling something that was unintelligible but sounded like ‘wow – you’re really something!’

Then I quoted Gabby Hayes… “Young whippersnapper, if you want to put those bags in my car, have at it.”

So is there a moral to this story? Perhaps some life-changing words of wisdom? Sure, just be proud of who you are – no matter what someone else may think or perceive. Let’s face it – we were all young whippersnappers once.

Take my advice for what it is…It’s just, AS I SEE IT.


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Leonard Baer About Leonard Baer

Leonard Baer is an elder law and estate attorney with offices in the Highlands, NC and Wellington, FL. His specialty is the prevention of elder abuse, particularly those who are victim to fraud. Visit his website

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