From time to time, people in my age bracket have difficulty calling a name, a place, or a fact to mind. It is called "having a senior moment," and is widely viewed as the very first hint of dementia. I have had such moments, myself -- or at least I think I have. I cannot recall just now. But I have a totally different and quite new theory of why they happen. You see, people my age know an enormous amount more than young people. This fact was borne in upon me one day when I was doing the NY TIMES crossword puzzle, which I finish, in ink, on all but the very rarest of occasions [hem hem]. My son, Tobias, who is ferociously smart and superbly educated, asked me how I knew something or other which came up in one of the clues, and I replied, "because I was there." It concerned something I had lived through, so if course I new it.
People my age know, or at least can recognise, simply vast numbers of names of old movie actors, political events from the 40's and 50's, long forgotten sports figures, and minor television shows too trivial even for Trivial Pursuit. Of course we forget things from time to time. Anyone can remember the last six or eight years of ephemera. But sixty years of ephemera is a feat of memory.
You youngsters out there -- how many of you know that "cute as a bug" refers to June Allyson? Or that Randolph Scott was gay. [Do you even know who Randolph Scott was?]
I rest my case. Now, what did I have for breakfast?