Yeah, but later this week (March 6, to be exact) it becomes more than a number to me. It marks how many years I’ve been on this plane of existence since the day I was deposited here by the Mother Ship. Holy crap, 78?!? I thought only old people achieved that number. Oh, wait…

Okay, I can do that “78 is the new 58” thing, but come on! Hanging around this long, Jacqueline and I have been subject to the bodily wear and tear associated with longevity, and on many days it ain’t no fun, I assure you. Still, not a day goes by that we don’t paraphrase a line from Frequency, one of our favorite movies: “We’re still here, Chief!” And I guess that is what matters.

Bruce Smith had his No. 78 retired.

Two years ago it was 76 Trombones, and last year it was 77 Sunset Strip. This year it will be California State Route 78, which runs through our North San Diego County neighborhood, and which I drive along nearly every week. And the great Buffalo Bills defensive player, Bruce Smith, a Hall of Famer (most ever 200 sacks, baby!) whose number 78 was retired by the team for which he played the majority of his career.

So the road to 79 officially begins this week. Bring it on! (But not too fast, please…)

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