Birthday Wish

Numerology intrigues me, the occult significance of numbers. More specifically the mystical relationship between numbers and events.  Without engaging in pseudo science allow me merely to observe that I am fascinated by the gulf between 1955 and 2015, there is something solid about it, something round and fulfilling, as I suppose turning 60 years of age is.

The obvious peril in turning sixty is the hackneyed jest about becoming a senior citizen.  This is plainly pig swill.  A moment’s reflection illustrates my point.  For example in 1986 when I first met you, Franz, you were a mere 31 years of age, handsome and tall as you are now. The only distinguishing feature was that you were then clad in a wolf fur coat.  Quite honestly the imperceptible patina of life has done little or nothing to erode that lingering memory of you. In fact I prefer to say that time has rather imparted that gloss or sheen produced by polishing.

Franz, while there are features of living which I and many others share with you – for example, the pleasures of the table, literature and travel – there is one shared element which I feel may go unnoticed, and that is the attraction we have to people who are older and who by strength of their age are wise and cultivated.  Our initial overlap of this quality was our mutual friendship with Louis de la Chesnaye Audette, QC, OC.  Others include your Greek friend George, Mel Ralph, Tommy Cavanagh and of course the very dear and erudite Charles Fisher. In short you have unwittingly pronounced your approbation of age by courting the company of certain of those who possess it in abundance. You will no doubt be wont to observe that the driving force of those people is not their age but their personal richness.  It is of this similar character that I now speak of you.

You have provided your family and friends with an abundance of compassion, genuine interest, beneficence, generosity, laughter and elevated intellectualism for as long as I can recall.  You are at very real risk of becoming as irresistible as those octogenarians you so admire!  Naturally you are many years from attaining that advanced age and a fortiori your prospects are thereby enlarged! Think of the opportunities yet to be afforded you!  For the time being it is your privilege to relish the pungency of life, all that it has given you and all that you have given it.  Many happy returns of the day!

L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina