Back in Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, he called the U.S. Supreme Court “nine old men”. Now, with women on the court, the oldest of them claims she’s capable of continuing to make those heavy legal decisions until she hits age 90. Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman justice and retired from the court after 25 years at the tender age 76.
But, hey, maybe Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is absolutely right. From age 65 to 75, I was a volunteer at several nursing homes. Many patients, age 70 and up, were very alert and mentally capable. As for my story, I retired from my career job at 65, then worked five more years for pay (one kid still in college) and another five as a volunteer.
Now in my 90s, I still do daily freelance writing, photography and cartooning. I also take an hour’s hike twice a day and swim for another half hour or so. I don’t know if I could make Supreme Court decisions at this age. However, as Dylan Thomas ironically wrote before he died an alcoholic at age 39: Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should rage, rage against the dying of the light.