When Dylan Thomas wrote:
"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Dan Rather was a young man of 22 and perhaps like me at that time, not quite convinced of his mortality and sure that he would never get old. Now both Rather and I are well passed the "three score and ten" mark, wondering how we got this far.Some say that he should walk away gracefully - quit while he's ahead but I know he wants to have that "last hurrah" and not just "fade away" as Douglas McArthur described the demise of old soldiers.
Our society has removed many taboos, sexual and otherwise but one of the new taboos is the obscenity of old age. It just isn't something to be exposed in public but instead hidden away and never mentioned in our polite, politically correct society. One day soon, people will be tested annually after the age of seventy or so and when found lacking in the abilities and faculties necessary for a dynamic and "productive" life style they will be confined in appropriate premises for their own and society's good.
I remember watching Marciano knock out Jersey Joe Walcott in the first round of their final bout. It was sad. Jersey Joe should have quit a winner.
Good luck Dan