NEW: Take Me Back To Brooklyn - [Official Lyric Video]


 

. . . and listen to "60," the album, below.

14 songs, 14 themes about turning SIXTY.


YOUR STORIES

 

APRIL'S FEATURED STORY:

Having hit 60 and survived cancer I’m thankful for my family and friends, music and art. I’m happily retired and thankful every day I wake up. Living this long shows you what is really important and not to sweat the small stuff. Makes for a better life.
— Edward Morehouse

If I was just 60, well I would have less to say. I am 60+ and I am finding all of my dreams are the same, just a tad slower.

— Becky Bucalo

 60
I remember when I was a teenager, I would do the math to see what year it would be when I turned 60 (doesn’t everyone retire when they turn 60)? I would turn 60 in 2016! Wow – back in 1970, I couldn’t fathom the idea of the year, 2016!
Will the world be destroyed, or will there be World Peace?
Will we be living “The Jetsons” or “Star Trek”? 
Nope.
But here I am, a couple of years past 2016. 
Still working...
My daughter just married her girlfriend...
My son is in college...
I'm living in a world I couldn’t imagine. 
Adapting. Surviving. Enjoying it.
Wow! 60 is great!
Not what I imagined back in 1970 though…

Contributed by: Sue Zaccano

I Want to Take You Higher

I shiver in anticipation
Of my Chicago Impressionists
Kicking up the milky stairs
To the illumined floor
I show em off to you
As if they are my own
Here’s Georges’ afternoon
And the Gaughin women
Handing us that fruit
I suck in my cheeks
Whistle in tune to the hush
In the gallery
Sway with the silent vibes
And whisper to you
These are real.
—- Regan Burke age 71 Chicago



THE MEANING IN MEMORIES

I walk through the splendid dark oak door into our home at 2811 Girard to the bright sound of our children and our many pets.

How I loved to fill the house with the sweet smell of baking bread, chocolate chip cookies and snicker doodles.

The colors of a spring day filled my heart with gladness, seeing the blossoming trees and forsythia bushes as they rebirth each year, and hearing the gleeful terrified shouts of “Ghosts in the Graveyard” that echoed down the alley and between the houses in the early evening

I see images of the mother duck leading her brood of ducklings across the road – stopping traffic on Isabella. Just like the story we loved to read to the children, first Matt, then Jennifer, then Josh

Or the blueberries and chocolate cake that our beagle/basset hound named Buttons loved. Buttons who lost himself in the weeds along the canal, only to resurrect himself a week later with a jingle at the door and a little bark to say I’m home

The richness of our lives, our friendships, a sense of belonging to that beautiful Tutor house on a cul de sac overlooking the golf course

Now I go to the old secretary in the hall of our condo, that oak piece I so proudly bargained for at the Kane County Fairgrounds that held our stamps, birth certificates, passports and memories.

The house was a retreat, full of secret places and spaces for each of us to grow up and grow out.

— Phyllis Mitzen



HARVARD ON THE ROCKS

Scotch on the Rocks
Bourbon on the Rocks
Harvard on the Rocks

No, No, fit….

University of Chicago on the Midway
Northwestern University on the shores of Lake Michigan
DePaul in Lincoln Park

No, No, fit….

Campus ¾ mile long, ¾ block wide,
Surrounded by water on three sides, (Lake Michigan)
Tuition $90 a semester, 2 year school

Railroad tracks down the middle
Semi trucks backed up to outside walls of the classrooms
Ships handling freight and unloading noisily outside of lecture halls

That fits Harvard on the Rocks

Classrooms the size of walk-in closets, no windows
Wear your coats in the winter
See your breath
Skin on arms stick to desks in summer

The Long narrow hall, filled by earnest students marching toward their futures
And committed, competent professors
Dr. Shuly Bell
Dr. Robert Corley
Dr. Bernard Kogen
Dr. Milton Rakov

4 minutes between classes….look out for engineering students racing to the East End, slide rules (Google it) hanging from their belts.

One coffee shop, cafeteria halfway down the hall, and one for the engineers

Two years at the “Pier” with credit accepted at virtually all US colleges and universities.
Best place to study was on the floor, sharing space with future academic leaders at Duke, London School of Economics, University of Chicago, Fulbright scholarship winners

Governor Jim Thompson, Senator Carol Mosely Braun, Bobby Rush, Jack Mabley, Shel Silverstien

SATs and ACTs took 2nd place the importance of the CTA

It had phrases of “call me Ishmael.” “This is the Best of Times, “ Now replaced by “This is your Big Mac”, “Chips not fries”, “two Tee shirts fro $15”

Odors of gasoline, diesel fuel, cigarettes, dead fish and pigeons, replaced by Harry Carey’s Marinara, French fries, beer, pizza and fried chicken, Stabucks and the smell of Garrett’s Pop Corn.

Two years of the Pier got this Pier-ite no undergraduate degrees,
but two law degrees.

The University of Illinois at Navy Pier Chicago 1945-1965, gone, but not forgotten, although I think back to how we would have enjoyed the Ferris Wheel.

—- Michael Motzen





Rocketing into the Fourth Dimension

Willmette, Illinois 1950’s


All the girls and all the boys

All ages all sizes oh! the noise

Came to slide down Suicide Hill

At the Great Lake

Out my window

In Midwestern chill

Firemen hosed it

For faster downhills

Cardboard sleds for maniac thrills

On our butts then on our feet

Shredding and shedding to a beat

Open coats and pigtails flapping

Off the daredevil flyers’ heat

Till medics came and bandaged

Limbs of the first snowboarders

Climbing up the slippery stairs

Never waiting, pushing, dares

No guards no rules no stupid fights

Girls and boys in equal flight

Racing each other for no prize

Bumping and falling into old snowmen

Overparked cars on Michigan Street

Smoke pouring from all the pipes

Winter stuck in our noses

Parents gathering, yelling, let’s go!

Stars led to No Man’s Land chocolates

We soared like heavenly rockets

— Regan Burket
— Poems from the Chicago Skyline Community
As with most of us, the journey across 60 years came with change. Loves came and went. Wives, parents, homes, health – all have changed here and there.

But, the one constant over these years has been the many friends I have kept for most of my life. Some date back to Kindergarten (P.S. 199), others I met in Junior High School (Hudde) and High School (Midwood). These close friends from Brooklyn? It says something about these relationships, that we still get together for dinners and gatherings, and chat as if no time has passed.

Having lost my mom when I was 6, I learned early on that each day is precious, as the next one might not come. I appreciate every day, as a gift. I don’t look back on my 60 years with any regrets (well, perhaps a few), as changes to any decision I made - might not lead me to where I am today.

Milestones? Plenty.
I guess becoming a father is #1 on the list, followed by becoming a grandfather. Finding my partner for life (it took 2). Surviving Cancer.
Still here.

Looking forward to the “Back 9” of my life.
More Family time, Less work.
More Golf time, less work.
More time with my wife, less work.
Notice the theme?

Thanks to Ira, one of those best friends from Brooklyn, for creating this site as a way for all of us to record our 60 years. I’m looking forward to the 120 edition.
— Howard Levine
 
 
Who was I growing up - I felt like a mixture of bits and pieces of conversations heard as a child, choices I never knew existed until I became older, because I was running toward the unknown. My friends were everything to me and we confided in one another - our moments of happiness and fears. And there was my friend Sheila who was was always there for me and was the person who always caught me as I was falling off the cliff. We were from the onset fast friends. And to this day when I think of her it brings a smile to my heart. I played handball against a garage door, never had a bike, had one pair of roller skates that you tightened with a key, played pick up sticks, watched black and white TV, had a blast at the disco in New York! It was a time of confusion and a time of enduring friendships and in some ways solid ground. It was the foundation of who I am today. I am a woman who can survive and knows that life is a nothing more than choices. I am a woman who will always believe there is another road to travel, another opportunity around the corner, another moment, an opportunity to see the sunset and the sun rise. I know embrace the unknown for what adventure lies ahead. I am me and always will be....I embrace my age and I yet to find the next story of my life!
— Anonymous
 
 
I retired as a professor of plant science at South Dakota State University three & 1/2 years ago. I played music as a teenager in the sixties (I’m 66 soon) but only kept up some guitar playing and songwriting at home for fun as I pursued my academic and scientiific ambitions. Music never left me, so when I retiredI had the time and financial safety net to explore. I started really learning songs to cover and gearing up. My confidence to do this was positive feedback from friends and others who had heard me play and sing over the years. I put on my big boy pants and started doing open mics and feedback was so positive that I launched my second career. I’ve been working gigs around the area for two seasons. I’m having a blast and wish I’d started earlier, All I can say is get out there and do it. You can hear me and learn more at: http://www.tommyedwinmusic.com
— Tommy Edwin
 
 
“My First Love”

I’m not sure why we always remember our first love... but we do!

When i first met my first love she was already 5’ 7” tall, myself only 5’ 4” at the time. She was “maturely” developed while I was still picking a consistent octave to speak. Genetically blessed with a smile that went from one side of her face to the other she lit up any room she was in with personality and confidence.

Her name was Kimberly (Kim) and she was a beautiful women. Raised by incredible parents showered with true and unconditional love.

Kim passed away just a day ago after a long bout with cancer.

I don’t know what Kim saw in me for all of those years we dated in High School, God knows I didn’t see it in myself - I can’t even put into words how grateful I am for that time in my life! I spent so many hours and days with her and her family every moment a joy and an adventure.

My heart is heavy with sorrow - The world in which Kim lived is a sadder and less complete world today.

I’m not sure why we always remember our first love... but we do!
— Thomas Clark
 
Wow ! SIXTY gives me hope ! Thank you i really enjoyed your positive attitude and [Huffington Post] article. I’m 59 1/2 but I can relate. I have two songs I’ve finished writing on You Tube and plenty more to come 60 ain’t stopping point it’s my GO sign!
— Linda Natole
SIXTY means...nothing at all to me, I am still the same person I was at 30, 40 and 50. But wait, hmm..I dont sweat the small stuff so much anymore, I really know from experience that not so good things will pass and good times will come again and the most important thing is I’ve learned is that friendships give a great sense of well being and nourish the soul..
— Lakshmi R
Isn’t it said, that we write from our hearts, and we write best through our insight and inference, gained from our appreciation, convictions and experiences. Basically life. And life at 60 has delivered us all the wisdom wanted, but can only be had through living.
— Joan Topp
21,900 days. Where’d it all go. Kids are grown, dads passed on, career path with many turns, but don’t count me out. More to do, more to live, more to give, more to share with friends and loved ones....
— Anonymous
Linda’s house. Where all the (kissing) parties were. Linda’s house with the orange beads hanging from her room.

Mom loved having all our friends over. There was never too many kids, too much noise. My friends knew her as Dee.

When mom was in her last days, I told her I saw Ira and that he sent his love. Tears came to her eyes as she fondly remembered him and asked about him. Audrey was fortunate enough to see Mom at the nursing home and they reminisced about our childhood.

I am blessed to have my life long friends still in my life. As I said to Audrey and Michelle on my daughter’s birthday, ‘I love you my sister friends’.

Happy 60th birthday, Ira. Happy 60th to us.
Thank you for this gift.
— Linda Mandracchia
As I say in “Fewer Tomorrows,” 60 feels like “I’m rounding third base. . .”

21,900 days are gone, with hopefully many more to come. For two years I’ve been thinking about some common themes that many of us have experienced during our 60 years:

Our own personal journeys, broken hearts & first love, music that changed our lives, childhood memories and places growing up, loss of loved ones, and the concept that one day our partners or spouses might have to carry on without us. The hope is that the music will be like a spark to share some of our most inner thoughts about any of these themes. All our lives are so different, and there’s much to learn from others.

For me, this project has made me embrace and appreciate turning 60 in such a positive way. To have Kevin Salwen and Andy Bernstein also contribute there gifts on the website made this so much more special. 3 kids from Brooklyn, collaborating after all these years.
— Ira Antelis, Founder of SIXTY
Sixty is old. I never thought I’d be old or any of us. We were the rebels. The rock and roll and stoned generation. My parents never got to get old. Nah, I never thought of actually being 60; But it’s happening
Life has been, life. Ups, downs, happy sad, hard times, great times.
I had three absolutely amazing children, three of the finest in laws and the three amazing grandchildren.
I am grandma, mind blowing. I use more Yiddish words than ever and I have turned into my mother. A loved, fulfilled woman with the wisdom and heart of 60.
My husband, my family, my unconditional love and support. I am a lucky lady and I’m turning 60.
— Wendy Jacobs-McClanahan
I think about the friends I’ve lost way too young. What they’ve missed, to not see there children grow up, to know that there Life was cut short. The pain amongst there families who miss them everyday. I write this for them.
— Anonymous
I met my best friend at Huddie. We were 13. We are now 57. We live 3000 miles apart. We speak 2-5 times a day. Have since the day we met. My life would be completely different had we not met. She taught me how to form and sustain relationships thru good times and bad. Trust me there have been many of both. I can say without question my life would have been very different had we not met that chilly day at Huddie Jr. high school
— Honey Antelis
Music is timeless, from age 0 to 60 and beyond. Being a part of this musical journey is something I will always carry with me— plus exploring the SIXTY journey has helped me appreciate the everyday!
— Emily Blue