Report from Fall 1974, Editor-in-Chief, The Odyssey, Andy Caffrey to His Grant High Classmates, on Turning 60

 

I’m probably happier now than I’ve ever been. I’m also really healthy. I take meds for high blood pressure and to stimulate my neurotransmitters. But I’ve had no illnesses, cancer, heart or lung disease. My blood chems two weeks ago and EKG were perfect.

I walk a lot, drink a beer or two on more days than not, drink a lot of coffee and on most days walk for 30-50 minutes out in the meadows and forests or run for 14-25 minutes. And I smoke a few “doses” of pot almost every evening through my “pulmonary inhaler.”

Not bragging. Just the moral of the story is that you can be almost as healthy and full of vigor and enjoy having a body, at 60 as you did at 18.

Other major lessons I’ve learned:

Simplify your life. Don’t do too much. Smell the flowers, talk to your neighbors and friends, and be sure to laugh a lot every day!

Take naps! Make sure you get enough sleep.

Read a lot! Books are fun!

Dump deserts.

Sing a half hour ever other day! I recommend learning to sing all of The Doors songs, as I have done over the last few years.

Always keep in front of you the things you most want to do with your life according to your values, interests, and desires. Try not to have too many obligations that pull you away from those paths.

Get rid of all the toxic people from your life even if they are family. Surround yourself with friends and family that really care about your happiness and love you. Realize that you are just fine.

Get involved long-term with the people and places in your community and neighborhood ecosystem.

Have weekly activism as part of your lifestyle. Put more of what you have–resources and capacities–into making your family, community, nation and world a better place than you do on entertaining and distracting yourself from all the horrors in the world.

You are the same inner self at 60 as you were at 10.

For most people, explore psychedelics, Buddhism, and shamanism, before you design your whole-life infrastructure.

Don’t do the stupid shit like smoking cigarettes, developing alcoholism, having to drive to work for hours in traffic jams, becoming a couch potato, mall rat or worse, a Republican!

Keep on rockin’ out! I still have my hearing! But I do have ringing in the ears for the rest of my life. It’s a trade off. May not be worth it for you. For some of us, Jim Morrison turned out to be right, that “Music is your only friend until the end.” I can’t imagine how much emptier my life would have been if I hadn’t listened to so much music. So, be careful.

You will be happy at 60 if you still have aspirations for your life.

At 60 I am now for the first time thinking about wrapping up the projects of my life because the time limits of life could drop in. Like I should actually start this year to write memoirs and finish some video projects, organize my photos, etc.

But I am starting new projects all the time: I’m running for Congress in 2018, going to go to Texas and Florida in a few months to help folks out and to make my Clear the Coasts of Nuclear Power road show presentation. I’m starting to work on my first album of my own musical performances and making a 100-minute Earth First! video out of 400 hours I shot from 1988-1994.

Most important lesson: Watch Out! Don’t fuck up your body!

And then…

Join the Revolution!

Let’s create peace and beauty and epidemics of laughter! Let’s Save the World! And don’t forget to have fun!

Party on tonight my fellow Dionysians! And don’t forget a moment of chaos for Jim Morrison. Happy Hippie Birthday to you all!