Look on the Sunny Side of Life

Growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s was a lot different from today. We respected our elders and, God forbid, we didn’t listen to our parents. My dad (Jacob Klein) had an old leather barber strop that was four inches wide. If we were out of line, he didn’t hesitate to take it to our butts.   

If that happened, today, my dad would be in jail and I would probably be placed in a foster home. I enjoyed sitting with my grandfather (Isaac Klein), watching wrestling. He would playfully elbow me at times when his favorite wrestler hit his opponent. I don’t think many kids today sit with their grandparents to watch a show or to just be with them to have a nice conversation. 

We have seen so much happen in the last 100 years, and with the technological and medical advances being made every day, maybe one day in the distant future diseases will diminish, along with endless conflicts between countries.  

Just think what we’ve been through to get to today. We saw two World Wars, the Korean War, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, plus helping our allies currently in the Ukraine and Israel.  

We saw old diseases like polio and tuberculosis eliminated and modern diseases like Covid and AIDS brought under control. The computer was invented and we saw men land on the moon. Space exploration is underway to enable living on another planet in the future. Testing is being done today with flying cars and unmanned vehicles. 

It truly is a miracle to see what has happened, and I hope as we get older, we are around to see even greater advances.  

When I turned 65, I officially became a Senior Citizen. Some organizations consider 50 as the age you become a Senior Citizen, but I think 65 is the right designation. For the most part, getting older has been good to me, but I have a lot of friends and family members who haven’t been so lucky. Cancer, heart ailments and just plain old age are the culprits that have stricken so many of us.  

Socializing with others at a senior center is a great way to ward off loneliness

People are living much longer today than they did 50 years ago. Still, it’s up to each of us to take care of ourselves. Nobody is going to do it for us if we don’t watch what we eat or do the proper exercises to keep our bodies in good condition.  

Staying healthy and in decent shape is not the only thing seniors should be doing. They should get involved in their surroundings and meet people out of their comfort zones. Loneliness is probably the worst thing for a Senior who has little or no friends to communicate with. When my wife passed away three-and-a-half years ago, I was devastated, but my daughter (who I live with) told me to join the Cortlandt Senior Citizen Center. It was the best thing I ever did, meeting new people and getting involved with the membership. 

There is something to do every weekday and sometimes on weekends. Trips to different venues have been terrific and I can’t say enough about the staff. 

It’s nice to hear “Thank You” once in a while and have someone hold a door open when you are approaching, or ask if you need help with something. Maybe today’s Generation Z (born 1997-2012) and Generation Alpha (born 2012-present) will be able to cope on their own when they become a Senior Citizen. Good Luck. 


Cortlandt Manor resident Arnie Klein loves being a senior citizen and enjoyed writing this story. 



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About the Author: Arnie Klein