Changes for the better

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Gray Line Tour – Leonard Gray

It’s the season for change at L’Observateur, with the departure of one publisher, Ellen Ishmael, and the arrival of her successor, Kevin Chiri. Staffer Monique Narcisse is welcoming her new daughter, Claudia, into the world and life goes on.

Life is good in the River Parishes. People can often live to enjoy a long life, as countless residents survive into their 80s and even 90s and centenarians are becoming more and more common.

Much is made of the fact that by 2030, according to those people who estimate such things, that one in four Americans will be age 65 and more.

How this will transform American life can only be imagined. In Washington, D.C., the Social Security Administration, Congress and various lobbying organizations, are trying to come to grips with that notion.

Obviously, one booming enterprise will be anything to do with retirement communities, medical insurance, extended-care nursing centers and recreation for senior citizens.

At the same time, the “youth culture” of the past several decades will be those same people searching for hair re-growth products and good golf courses in Southern states.

I hope to be in that number, as by 2030, I’ll be turning 67, with hopefully a few more decades of productive living ahead of me.

Though I do have a few medical problems, on the whole, I’m pretty healthy. My genetics also give me hope, as most of my family survive comfortably well into their 80s and 90s. One direct ancestor lived to be 108 years of age, a Mississippi midwife who delivered at least 2,000 babies.

Born and reaching adulthood prior to the Civil War, she survived long enough to see the end of World War II.

I was born right after the Korean Conflict and have seen everything from the “space race” to the Vietnam conflict to Desert Storm, 9/11 and today’s Iraq War. I cannot imagine what I may see in the coming 30 or 40 years.

I can only hope to be able to enjoy and appreciate it, just as I appreciate every day.

LEONARD GRAY is managing editor of L’Observateur. He may be reached at (985) 652-9545.