In Living Out Of My Time
Watching television, including CBC and TVO, with which I had so much to do, and especially the programs on museums, with which I also had so much to do, I realize to what extent I do not belong. Those working under good pension schemes retire after 35 years of service or less, and so people retiring today from jobs in media and museums came into them as fresh recruits just as I was completing my 35 years of service, and moving on. They are the authorities now, and I am a generation "out of touch", wondering what my opinions could possibly offer, or matter. Yet perhaps that is too pessimistic. Very recently, I was asked to give an interview for an article to mark the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Museums Associations, of which I am the only surviving founder and original member.
This is, of course, how time flies. Space travel is old stuff to the new retirees of today. Television was old stuff in my day. My father worked for Alexander Graham Bell, and was out of university with three degrees by the time the Wright brothers flew. As I watch war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is all so familiar to me at 92 — the good guys, the bad guys, loyalty, slogans — and I remember that Germans and Italians were once our enemies, then the Japanese, and now terrorists of all origins.
Of course, I am loyal, but sometimes confused as to whom that loyalty should be directed. My grandfather was born British in Nova Scotia, and as a blacksmith working in Virginia at the outbreak of the American Civil War, was not yet Canadian — Confederation wouldn't happen for another six years. Since it was not his fight (the Civil War, that is, not Confederation), he lit out for home. Now I am Canadian, watching on this TV gadget the never ending struggle to determine what I am supposed to be loyal to. Do you wonder that I feel like a spirit come back from the dead?