One of the most-asked questions over the past few years has been “When will you retire?” My response has been, “Why retire? I love what I do, as it keeps me thinking and active.”
Retire? Why? Is it because I have been doing my radio show for 56 years, (55 of them on the same radio station, WOND AM-1400), my television shows and writing a column for more than 40 years? Is it because of my age?
The former great Negro League baseball pitcher “Satchel” Paige said, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”
I play tennis three days a week, am still able to hit the ball and win a few sets. I still stroll the finest Boardwalk in the world and breathe the wonderful fresh salt air from the ocean’s breaking waves.
Why should age determine when a man or woman should stop doing what they have been doing most of their life? Being involved in various organizations that are looking to improve Atlantic City and its environs keeps the body moving and the brain churning.
Instead of casting aside those who have been here for many years, stop and listen to what they have to say. Yes, we talk about the old times and how good they were. But younger people can learn a great deal from what was done in the past.
I’m grateful to the good Lord for providing me with the wherewithal to continue to do what I have been doing. I guess by now you know I will not retire as long as I remain in good health. My sincerest appreciation for those of you who have listened to and called my show, watched the interviews on television and read my columns. Please, continue to do so.
‘Only a number’
The following is a story by Roy Rowan, who wrote in the Smithsonian magazine in 2009 a view on aging that I relate to.
“My heroes are the two Pablos — Picasso and Casals — who pursued their painting and cello playing well into their 90s, not the corporate titans whose golden parachutes landed them safely inside gated communities for unbroken days of golf, bridge and sunsets seen through a martini glass. Or voluntarily inhabit one of the 36,000 retirement communities with bucolic names like Sterling Glen, Pleasant Valley and Meadow Ridge. ‘Live the dream, an uncompromising lifestyle awaits you,’ one of the promotions promises. As far as I’m concerned, they can keep on waiting.
“I still wonder why that young woman gave up her seat. It’s not as if our bodies bear visible proof of our years like the trees’ cambial rings or male elk antlers. And I’m not convinced that I really am that old. I take heart in cliches such as ‘age is only a number.’ Of course deep down I know our biological clocks keep ticking.”
Where is the rodeo?
For the past two years, Boardwalk Hall has played host to the Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo. The event has drawn good crowds and been successful. Janet Markowitz, who developed the idea of having a rodeo and worked diligently to make it become a reality, said the time frame for this year was not conducive to having a rodeo. She decided the month of October was better suited for this year’s rodeo.
Fall seems like a good time for a rodeo, and so it shall be done then. Cowboys from throughout the nation have learned that the Atlantic City rodeo is a classy and well-run event. Inquiries on the date have come from all over the nation. Without a doubt, it will draw some of the outstanding names in the rodeo industry. Get your hats and chaps for this outstanding event in October, and thanks, Janet, for keeping it going.
Miss America Parade
Last week, this column broke the story that the Miss America Parade will be held on the Atlantic City Boardwalk on Saturday, Sept. 14.
If you look at your calendar, you will note that the Jewish religion’s Yom Kippur begins on Friday evening, Sept. 13, and concludes at 7:16 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
On behalf of those of the Jewish faith who will be in their synagogues until 7:16 p.m., I am urging the Miss America Organization to begin the parade at 7:30 p.m. so that those of the Jewish faith will be able to get to the Boardwalk in time to see the entire parade.
The Steel Pier, Atlantic City’s major amusement park, has been completely renovated and looks good. The Catanoso brothers, the pier’s owners and operators, have developed an entertainment area at the end of the pier that will feature such acts as Louis Prima Jr.
Between now and Memorial Day there will be eight new exciting rides from Italy on the Steel Pier. One of the rides is a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel with gondolas that may be heated for year-round use.
On the front of the pier there will be a beer garden with chairs and tables on the Boardwalk and a pizza shop next door. There are plans for a two-level building that will extend to the Boardwalk frontage. The building will be available for a variety of uses and open year-round.
Another phase will include extending the pier 83 feet toward Margaritaville and 300 feet out from the Boardwalk, providing space for more activities, making the Steel Pier a major attraction.
The Catanosos are seeking a major food vendor to open an operation on the bridge that connects the Steel Pier to the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort over the Boardwalk. That will be the only facility of its kind and will allow spectators and piergoers to watch the action on the beach and Boardwalk.
Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND-AM 1400. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky,” airs at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on WMGM-TV 40. Email Pinky at firstname.lastname@example.org.