Passages: Growing Up & Growing Older

I REMEMBER IT WAS February 9th, 1964 when The Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sitting with my parents in our Bronx, NY apartment suddenly there on the black & white TV screen where these four young musicians from someplace called Liverpool England. The music that produced mass hysteria in the crowd swept over me. Not that at 8 years old it was especially hard to get swept up by almost anything.

In a blink 5 years went by without me stopping to think about it. At 13 in the Jewish religion a Jewish boy is given a Bar Mitzvah which means he is now come of age and is now considered to be a “man.” My first thoughts were wait a second if I am a “man” does this mean all the fun stuff you do as a teenager (smoke marijuana, stay out late, go to concerts or just “hang out”) will no longer be available to me. Yes, I rebelled! Who knew back then I would eventually become “Observant” after all that rebellion.

The calendar moves 5 years forward again without me realizing it and next thing you know I have to register for the “draft” aka Selective Service(in those days the government could call you into the army to learn to fight in a war. In this case it was The Vietnam War) luckily my “number was never called and no I did not burn my draft card as others did. But next thing you know I am graduating High School and decision just prior to that had to me about what college I was going to. College? Did you say College? How did all these events happen so quickly?

I did get my driver’s license at 18 which lead to excursions into Queens (being from the Bronx I never knew much about Queens or Brooklyn or Staten Island for that matter)) onto a restricted runway used for the Army at Laguardia Airport. Fun but scary. Milk shake wars were a common event whereupon we would chase each other in our respective cars to try to get close enough to hurl a milkshake (White Castle Thick Shakes were the weapon of choice) at each other’s car That my friend was fun as was hurling eggs at “pimp” cars or any other trouble we could get into.

From there things are blur other than living in Santa Rosa California for a few months before returning home after becoming homesick for the Bronx, my friends and my File Clerk job (first real job I ever had) in an Insurance Broker’s office. Hated insurance but the money was good especially the bonuses that ranged from $1,500-2,500. For a “kid” like me that was like being a millionaire.

By the way I eventually moved to Queens to be near a friend I met while vacationing with my parents in someplace called Woodbourne, NY. My friend met this girl from Canarsie (Brooklyn) who kept “fixing me up” with her friends for me to date. So what happened was one of her friends introduces me to this friend of hers who was in the middle of a bitter divorce/child custody battle with her husband the gambler. We begin “dating” leading into staying over her apartment. Before I knew it I was packing up the contents of my basement apartment in Rego Park (Queens) where there were many “crazy” nights and relocating to Brooklyn to move in with this woman with three small children. Can you imagine the shock when somebody asked me how it felt to be an instant father of THREE CHILDREN? Now I am father? What is going on here? What do you mean that I am grown up plus growing older still? By the way “that woman” has been my wife for 27 years now.

Before I knew I was working in the insurance industry to support the “family” which is what I chose to do. From insurance I went into the Mortgage Business and finally becoming a recruiter. But wait a minute I am now only one year from turning 60. Where are the twenties, thirties, forty’s and now close to 60. I feel so old. When my mother passed away at the age of 90 last year I felt older still. Not to mention more scared that I may not have much more time especially since my father passed away at age 65. HELP ME! PLEASE HELP ME TURN BACK THE CLOCK! I WANT TO BE YOUNG AGAIN AND HAVE FUN!

There are/were many more stories, events along the way that I skipped over as some were too painful to remind myself about. Despite the above statements I am relatively comfortable with being “middle aged” (whatever that means) having lived a pretty full life but now armed with wisdom I can pass along to my 28 year old son (he is the only child from our marriage and often referred to as the 4th child which is another story for another time (“I’m Not Daddy which is the book I never did write).Sometimes he reminds me too much of a younger me that leads to feelings of wanting to be his age again.

Other than the aches and pains and anxiety to boot I still don’t know if I am really “grown up” (sometimes I still feel like a kid trapped inside of this body)but I sure as heck do know about growing older. No can somebody PLEASE tell ME how this all happened and where was I when this all happened.

I hope some of you will read this article and provide your own experiences, thoughts and insights. Or in other words I need to communicate with people to make sure my “wits” are still with me other than when I am recruiting which yes I still do. Don’t know why I do it but I am doing many nights past 1:00am.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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    • I ignore labels placed by anyone, especially those who I don’t know. It’s only the government doing this..and others follow. I don’t. Be what you feel Joel!!

    • I ignore labels too. The government wants control of our lives. These people do not represent me. Be it at work or elsewhere there are rules. We have laws that I may not like but they must be listened to or you can be arrested or have other problems depending on what law you brokem

  1. A wordsmith par excellence, drawing a caricature in humility, this is how I see this remarkable story of your life in these words, Dear Joel Sir! Whether I share my feelings with you or not, my admiration for your wisdom knows no bounds.

    Thanks a Million, with Best Wishes!

    • Bharat, your comments wether you agree or disagree with what you say are a treasure. You are a true statesman. Did you ever make it to New York? I would love to meet you someday.

    • Thank you, Joel Sir; your kind words are much appreciated. Re my planned trip to NY, I had sent you my regret on Whatsapp. Looks like you missed it. I’m sure we’ll meet one day, hopefully in the near future as I am equally keen for the same myself.

      Have a great weekend, Sir!