Orthodox Easter Sunday came late in May this year, and I spent it at an old friend’s Fifth Avenue home chatting with his young relatives. During a great lunch, I thought of those calendar pages one sees in old black and white flicks turning furiously to represent the passing years.
It was the three generations present that brought on these reflections. My host George Livanos and I have been friends since 1957, and he and his wife Lita have five children and 15 grandchildren. Not all of them were present, but there were enough youngsters to remind one of the ballroom scene in The Leopard, when Prince Salina watches the younger generation with pride but also with sadness at having grown old. Old age for me is like being on death row without having to spend time in the cells. Mind you, I kept such profundities to myself in view of the youth surrounding me. The young don’t think about the man in the white suit, except perhaps where rock stars are concerned.
Back in the good old days, rock stars enjoyed the mortality of mayflies, but like everyone else they now live to a very ripe old age. Unless you have spent your life immured in a Tibetan monastery, you must know that the wrinkly Rolling Stone Mick Jagger has reached the grand old age of 112. It is an insult to rock, let alone to those stars who died young, to have lived this long. All living Beatles and Rolling Stones are included in the list of shame. And what about my fellow Pug Bob Geldof? Most are fooled by his looks — ravaged, tortured, cursing — but Bob is a very happily married fellow, aged 107.