No Birthday Respect

Ken Steinhoff as depicted by Post Photo Staff on 40th Bday 03-24-1987If I hadn’t gotten a happy birthday message from a Facebook friend, I probably would have forgotten that March 24 is my birthday. Dad and his brothers all died by age 60, so I had a rough year expecting my number to come up in 2007.

When I hit 61, I figured there would be a chance that I might pile up a few more years. That’s one of the reasons I jumped at the chance to take a buyout and early retirement, a decision I haven’t regretted for a second when I see what has happened to newspapers.

The only problem with getting older is that it keeps getting harder and harder to get respect. Above is how my Palm Beach Post photo staff my age progression for my 40th birthday.

Zem Zem Potentate

potentateA former intern sent me this story about my apparent promotion.

Even Curator Jessica mocks me

Ken Steinhoff c 1967 in Scott Quad caption by Jessica CydersI’ve worked hard to scan and bring to life photographs of SE Ohio for the Athens County Historical Society and Museum. What kind of respect do I get? Here’s a photo that’s on the wall of Curator Jessica’s office. The thought bubble is her creation.

The Real Me

Ken Steinhoff c 1967 by Lila SteinhoffFor a few minutes after the alarm goes off on Birthday Morning, I’m going to be this guy.

Until, unfortunately, I heave myself out of bed, walk into the bathroom and look in the mirror at some stranger staring back at me.




I’m a Year Younger!

Ken Steinhoff celebrates birthday in Advance with Elsie WelchMarch 24th is my birthday. Like I wrote last year, since I thought I wouldn’t make it past 60, I haven’t paid much attention to birthdays.

Sunday afternoon, the Florida Clan (note “clan” is spelled with a “c,” not a “K”) descended on the house. In addition to Matt, Sarah, Adam, Carly, Malcolm, Graham and Elliot, Neighbor Bill and Friend Anne showed up for ribs, turkey burgers and birthday cake.

Miz Anne, bike partner and Road Warrior, had the temerity to ask me how old I was going to be. I suspect she was flaunting her youth.

“Sixty-eight,” I replied without hesitation, “if I make past midnight.”

“You’re not going to be 68”

“You’re not going to be 68,” Wife Lila responded. “You are only 66. You were born in 1947. You’re going to be 67.”

I didn’t bother to pull out a calculator because it was a given if I wanted to make it past midnight to whatever my new age was going to be, the right answer was, “Yes, Dear.”

(When I got back to my office, though, I pulled out my calculator and did the math. Not unexpectedly, she was right.)

So, I just got a year younger instead of a year older. (I wonder how many forms I filled out over the past 12 months where I claimed to be 67?)

I hate to break the news to Curator Jessica. She checks the obits every morning to see if she can lay claim to my Ohio photo collection for the Athens County Historical Society’s museum, and she’s going to be sorely disappointed to find out I’m not as old as she thought.. (Although, in her case, she has to stand on a stepladder to see 30, so I don’t know if she can tell the distinction between pretty old and REALLY old.)

By the way, you can click on the photo at the top of the page to see me celebrate my birthday with my Grandmother in Advance before my cute wore off.