Friday, March 12, 2010


Leave a happy memory in someone's life today.

DB - The Vagabond
When I turned 20 I was free at last to pursue my career, think about a family, go on adventures and try to fall in love. I was opinionated, intolerant and egotistical. I did not know what I did not know. I hitchhiked to California and flew back. And then I was being paid full time as an entertainer. I thought I was hot stuff.

When I turned 30 I had been polished a bit and some of my rough edges had been filed down by life. I became sarcastic and critical. My career was going well and I was respected for my artistry. But I was beginning to learn some things that I didn't like. What was left of my innocence was eroding. I tended to retire to myself when not working. A fellow actor described me as appearing like an old fogy with a blanket over his shoulders and soaking his feet. So I changed my ways. I became a wild man, trying to recapture the adolescence I never fully completed. I overextended myself physically and emotionally. and I had no use for the aged. or for children. That was the decade when I began to realize that my life was not stable, in the normal sense of the term. and probably never would be.

When I turned 40 I thought that at last I knew everything. I was in the prime of my life and my career. I was impulsive, energetic, creative, intelligent and good looking. Now I really was hot stuff, I could do no wrong, I thought. So of course I did wrong. I hurt myself and other people. I was piling up a big stack of nasty regrets. But I knew, somehow, that I was turning a corner. I wasn't ready to admit that I was really an emotional, social and intellectual vagabond, and that I was not going to fit in any mold. But I was still searching for love and not finding it.

When I turned 50 I was now an experienced actor and master at my trade but I began to realize how much I didn't know. I was curious about how I could have lived for half a century without acquiring any wisdom. I concluded it was because I thought I knew. That's what kept my mind closed from actually learning. It was a humbling experience and it was then that I began to learn, to sift through things, to separate the truth from the error and to prepare myself for another 50 years of life.

When I turned 60 I was getting to be the age of many of the characters I had played. I had a big voice that had the sound of authority so I had often been cast as older than I was. Looking back over my career I realized how prejudiced I had been about older people. I had to rethink the whole subject of age. My attempt at a love life was winding down, so was my energy and so was my enthusiasm about some aspects of the work I had been doing. I looked beyond it for the first time into an unfamiliar world of science, philosophy and experimental ideas. I was finally growing up. Somewhere during that decade I retired.

When I turned 70 I had to get used to the idea that I was an old man, a geezer, a fogy. I developed a lot of pain in various places. I actually found myself one day with a blanket over my shoulders, soaking my feet. It was then I discovered finally and completely the things that had sustained me and were still sustaining me through my life. When all the nastiness, sarcasm and egotism are chopped away by the hammer and chisel of the world, what remains are the joy of discovery, a deep appreciation for the finest achievements of the human race, an abiding sense of humor, the great, unfathomable sea of friendship, and the reason and determination to not give up.

Every decade seems to be a transition period, a passage, a retranslation of reality. I look forward to what the rest of the 70's and the 80's may bring.

This Day In History: March 12, 1939. On this day there was a blizzard in the northeast and during the blizzard at The United Hospital in Port Chester, New York a vagabond was born.


Gerry said...

I enjoyed the good writing in this and appreciated the ruthless honesty that it took to be so hard on yourself! You might have been thinking these things about the old, etc, but I am sure you were a good enough actor to hide your thoughts most of the time, because the insight had to have been there for it to have emerged in the greater wisdom of old age. Methinks there are some who never get that wise. But I am very glad you did!

salemslot9 said...

I wondered if
you were 'Brian'

happy birthday, DB

Linda's World said...

And that Vagabon is having a birthday.....hope you received my card....mailed it Tuesday. Have a good day and if you were here, we'd drag you to the wedding.

pacifica62 said...

Happy Birthday wishes to you DB. You have done a lot of soul searching today and you seem to have such a clear vision of what brought you to this point in life. You are very wise.

Nina P. said...

And what a Wonderful Gift came to us that day! The snow may have been falling outside, but inside the miracle of Life was starting. And oh what a Life it seems to have been. Whatever and wherever your journey took you, It brought you to here. We are Blessed with the Energy and Wisdom of your thoughts and words... of YOU. Your spirit is amazing! Your stories turn the imagination as we read, bringing us into them sharing them, reliving them in sort with you. I am Blessed to know you and call you friend. Funny how the internet can bring people together, one bit at a time.
So I wish you a day like no other, filled with reflections, laughter and love... know that you are dear to many souls. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR DB, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! AND MANY MORE!
Blessings to you and yours. May every day and every breath bring you happiness, love, peace.. Dance, Light Candles, Eat Cake,it's your day to Celebrate!
Love and Light, Nina P

Sue said...

Dear DB,
Happy Birthday. You give us a gift every day. Thank you.

Donna said...

Happy birthday!

That corgi :) said...

DB, just stopped by to wish you a happy birthday; interesting to read your thoughts about each decade of your life and what you thought you knew versus what you wished you knew, etc. I hope it is a good day for you


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Happy Birthday DB, enjoy each and every day to its fullest. When we are young, it is so easy to pull the wool over our own eyes, it is as we mature that we hopefully gain the ability for introspection. You obviously have :o)

Alice said...

Happy birthday, D.B. & many more into the eighties , nineties & even more & may they all be happy ones :)

Ally Lifewithally said...

"Happy Birthday" Hope your day is a special one ~ Ally x

Big Mark 243 said...

Happy Birthday D.B.!! And you certainly left a happy memory in a person's life today. I will vouch for it!!

Arlene (AJ) said...

Resending my note to you that I left on a previous blog by mistake that we're wishing you a Happy Birthday and to let you know you are kept in a special place in our hearts always. Your words always touch all of our hearts, so hope our birthday wishes to you do the same for you today.

krissy knox said...

DB, what a beautiful accounting of life. And yes, you have found out what is important in life, now that you are older -- or much of what is important, anyway, bc there is always more to learn. And you have also found out why love is -- "an unfathomable sea of friendship." To me that's real love, to love someone with a great love, doing whatever one can for a friend, and in the end, even what God did for us. For "greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friend." And if you have an unfathomable sea of friendship for someone, you are laying your life down for that friend, whether it be physically dying for them, in the way Jesus did for us, or dying to ourselves for someone -- either physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. Just really loving and helping someone. You know, I know many who wonder about what love is ;) and I think you have found it. This my friend is true love, to have a friend or friends such as these. Some may never get a spouse, some may, but to have someone you can really love, and they love you back, spouse or no spouse, is your true friend forever. May you have some of those, DB, in this time of your life! :)

So, DB, learn on, never give up, enjoy your 70s and 80s! I'll be here to be friends with you if you'll have me.

And oh, Happy Birthday!

krissy knox :)
Visit my main blog: Sometimes I Think
Hey! Former Jlanders (former AOL bloggers) ~ Please add your blog(s)
to our Directory: From Jland To Blogger
follow me on twitter:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Happy Birthday. I love what you had to say about the decades as they passed. I just had a birthday the 8th and am soon to retire from working at my job away from home and sure am looking forward to the next 20 years or so!

nancy said...

Happy Birthday DB. No you are no geezer.. Have a good weekend and enjoy your birthday. Nancy

Cathy said...

Have very true it is, and as you've made so clear using yourself as an example (brave!), that we're nothing if not evolving little creatures who at our final stages return to our beginnings. Wonder what that says about the human animal? I can't think of any others who become more fetus-like as they age...but in that regard one could conclude that the wiser of all states is infancy. So in celebration of yours, I send you congratulations and love.

Rose~* said...

Enjoyed your post today - such a wonderful reflection of your past. I barely remember my 30's as they were spent raising my children, with many, many sleepless nights (and foggy days). I'm raising up a toast to you tonight, and wishing you a very Happy Birthday and a wonderful year!

Rose said...

Hey, Hot Stuff!

Happy Birthday Darling!


Judith Ellis said...

Happy Birthday, DB! Many blessed more!