Reading through the Audience section of the May 19 Maine Sunday Telegram, I noticed something interesting. We are told that author and historian David McCullough is 85 (“In new book, David McCullough follows pioneering New Englanders into Ohio,” Page E4), and teacher, performer and music festival administrator Lewis Kaplan is 85 (“Festival brings ‘the greatest in the world’ to Portland,” Page E1).

I’m left wondering “Why did we need to know that?” Is it because they are in their 80s and we are surprised they have lasted this long or are still producing?

We aren’t told the ages of other performers or authors. Alice Cooper (“Rock out at new spot in Westbrook,” Page E1) is a “veteran” rocker. I looked him up; he is 71. Author Richard Russo and his new book (“Three new Maine reads for summer,” Page E4) are recommended with no birthday information. He is 69.

We are aged by culture as well as biology. Seeing the ages of Kaplan and McCullough listed, one could infer that they are exceptions, and people in their 80s are not usually productive. Of course, not true!

Noting the ages of authors or celebrities in their 80s or 90s, or any decade while they are still living, needs to go. Save it for the obituary!


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