Generally, 98-year-olds can get away with things the rest of us can’t.
Talking about politics in polite company, for example.
I enjoyed a lively visit with my 98-year-old grandmother today, and at some point in the conversation (I believe it was right after her praise for the “Biography” episode on John Tyler, U.S. president from 1841-45), she observed that she’s lived through the terms of 17 U.S. Presidents.
Grandma was born in 1915, about halfway through World War I when Woodrow Wilson was president.
I marvel about that. She was alive when Woodrow Wilson was president.
She remarked that her favorite presidents were Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. Before you dismiss her as a hopeless liberal, she said this about Barack Obama: “I don’t know about him.”
I think she’s still not forgiven him for ruining the chances of Hillary Clinton to be the first woman in the highest public office in the land which, for a woman who’s seen a parade of 16 other men through the Oval Office during her lifetime, probably would have been a nice change of pace.
Whatever her politics, it’s impressive that my grandmother — who still lives by herself (with some help) — follows politics and can form valid opinions about goings-on in Washington. My personal presidential count: I’ve been alive through the terms of nine U.S. presidents, roughly half of what Grandma has seen.
I’ve got a ways to go.