There are not all that many things that a man can enjoy at the age of 75 just as much as he enjoyed them at age 25, especially if those things involve a lot of physical activity. I can recall, at the age of 25, cruising timber all day long and then on Thursday night, when most small towns during that era closed down on Thursday afternoon, I played third base in both ends of a double header while wearing the woolen uniform all ballplayers wore in those olden days.
Just writing about it now, makes me want to go and lie down for 30 minutes. My tastes have undergone some distinct changes over the years in the things I find enjoyable. But there has been very little change in my relationship with turkeys, although I would rather kill a hard one than three easy ones now, which is a distinct change from my attitude at the beginning.
I delight in calling one up for somebody else, far more than I did at first, and I have even developed the capacity to be able to take wry pleasure in getting my tail kicked by turkeys, something I used to consider an insult to my manhood.
I take the first sip of the first drink, every night of my life, to the “United States of America, confusion to her enemies,” and I take the second to “absent companions,” but that second sip is not exclusive. There are companions today that are just as comforting as the absent ones were, 50 years ago.
And the turkeys, God bless’em, are like fine wine. They get better as I get older. There is no less juice in them and no less dash. They are neither less cantankerous nor less absorbing. They still possess, after all these years, the capacity to pat you on the back with one hand and kick you in the rear end with the other foot.
The only difference between a class of ‘55 turkey and a class of ‘05 turkey, is 50 years, and I am delighted they have had the forbearance to keep me around for all these years.
The pleasure, gentlemen, has been all mine.
This is an excerpt from the cover notes of Take Back Fancy (2005); out of print, available as an eBook and Audio Book at [www.tomkellyinc.net](http://www.tomkellyinc.net).