The first part of my tribute article to the great Don Knotts.
Finding My Lost Fury
By Richard Mabey Jr.
There was a time in my life, when a flame of fury, determination and persistence burnt brightly in my heart and soul. I don’t know what it is of late. I’ve become complacent. I long for that flame of determination to once again burn brightly in my heart.
I once had a feeling, deep in my heart, that I could take on the world. I honestly thought that there was nothing that I couldn’t do, if I set my mind to it. In the past few days, I’ve been going through shoe boxes of my old writings. I’ve been going through old scrapbooks of my published articles. And, it is so strange. It is as if I’m looking at the accomplishments of someone else and not of myself. It is hard to explain.
The second part to my tribute to Don Knotts.
The one, single article that hit such a nerve, is reading over my tribute to Don Knotts article. It really wasn’t that easy to get the interview with Don. But, I was persistent. I would not take “no” for an answer. As I read the article today, I actually found myself admiring my younger self, for holding such a determined spirit in my heart and mind. I realize now, that I’ve got to get back in the saddle and ride off to battle on the wild stallion.
This gated community thing in Florida, at first it’s all roses. Then, a person can become complacent; lost in watching too many reruns of the old Andy Griffith Show. Then one day you wake up and you see that all the rose petals have fallen off the rosebush and all that’s left are the sharp thorns. That’s how I feel.
Dad and I when we won the Cable Television Network’s “Best Talk Show of the Year” back in 1996.
Above all else, I miss my Dad. It’s been over 10 years since he went Home to be with the Lord. And, I still miss him so. If I got down in the dumps, he’d tell me that I’m a Mabey and that we’re tough as nails. He’d tell me that there’s nothing I couldn’t do, if I truly set my mind to it. Plain and simple, I just miss him so.
The biggest thing for me, is overcoming all the age discrimination that is so prevalent today. It’s especially true in the newspaper trade. And, well for that matter, age discrimination prevails in ad agencies and in corporate public relations. They almost laugh at people over 60, looking for work.
I can’t remember the title of the song, but in one of Merle Haggard’s songs, he wrote a great line that he just can’t sit in the rocking chair by the fireplace, he’s got to be on the road singing his songs. And, I realize more and more, in the past few weeks that I’ve just got to get back in the groove. I don’t know how. But I’m determined to find a real, full time job on a newspaper, in an ad agency or in some public relations department.
And, if I get a hundred rejections from sending out my résumés, I just will not give up. Writing this blog has been a blast. I love writing my entries for my blog. At first, I thought that it would fulfill that burning desire within me, to share thoughts and ideas. But, alas, I really do need more.
I know now, I need to be back in an office. Facing the challenge of a tight deadline. Researching facts and figures for an article. Writing, rewriting and rewriting a story, so that it fits the allowed space in some publication. Putting just the right amount of sweet honey in a story, then delivering a punch or two mid stream in the article.
And, truly and earnestly, to all the people reading these words, who are faced with looking at retirement or are presently semi-retired. If you still want to make real contributions to the world, in the working world that is, then simply refuse to accept this baloney that corporations push down on us about the joys and thrills of retirement. Give it all you got. Fight back against age discrimination.
Some people try to tell me that age discrimination is not real. Well, if you believe that companies don’t discriminate against older people, then I’ve got a great bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya! Because age discrimination is real. I know it first hand.
If you reached that “over 50” age bracket, don’t give up. Never give up. Fight back with all you’ve got. Plain and simple, never give up. With age comes wisdom. With age comes insight. With age comes discernment. With age comes inner strength. And yes, with age comes greater beauty; both inner and outer.