On Dec. 7, I’m moved to think about numbers

Of course Dec. 7 means so much to many people.

Pearl Harbor. Horror. Honor. War. Bravery. All of those emotions will forever be tied to the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese Air Force descended upon Honolulu and destroyed the U.S. ships in the Hawaiian base.

The devastation of 73 years ago. (From U.S. Naval publication)

The devastation of 73 years ago. (From U.S. Naval publication)

My dear wife Karen and I toured Pearl Harbor in October, 2010, and I’ll never forget the feeling in my chest as I read the names of the men down there as we walked the monuments on the tropical water.

The military tour guide told us on the boat before we got off to walk slowly and pay tribute a story I’ll never forget. Many of those who had survived that attack had it in their will to have their remains shipped to this spot so they could be interred with their mates who were killed that horrible day. Guilt? Pride? A lifetime of both, I thought, tears welling.

My father was just four years old and my mother just three when the U.S. was rocked that day. Yet I have no doubt how it marked their youth. Sixteen years after that attack on Pearl Harbor, I was born.

In fact, I think the war has a whole lot to do with the fact that 1957 spiked what we call the Baby Boom. Thinking about our big birth crew back in January turning 57 this year spurred me to write a post I titled Those of us born in 1957 will turn 57 this year.

Simple, right? That’s probably the best headline I ever wrote. Google loved it. Googlers, too.

That little post caught on. My sense of curiosity was right. As I continued my search about the match of numbers, I wrote about the Beddian Birthday, too. That one was a heart-breaker, what with New York City fireman who was charmed about the magic of the numbers dying in the line of duty.

Later, I speculated that this once-in-a-lifetime birthday should be celebrated in a special manner.

(From WordPress)

(From WordPress)

All year, every day, these posts have been attracting views. A lot of views. The most views of any I’ve written, as you can see.

I’m thinking about SEO-worthy posts with legs for January 2015. Right?

My Beddian Birthday is a week from today. Plans one week out call for dinner at the big Turning Stone buffet with my dear wife Karen and, hopefully, all three of the big kids. And, hey, I do know that in the grand scheme, 57 is young.

Ian McLagan passed away this week from complications of a stroke at the too-soon age of 69.

McLagan was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Woods with the Faces and the Small Faces.

The keyboardist nicknamed Mac was a fun-loving sort, I recall from a phone conversation I had, an interview in 2011 with he and a member of his band at the time as they drove in a car during a tour prior that included a stop here in Central New York. I wrote a story for the big daily and a this blog post for syracuse.com.

Ian McLagan, left, and Jon Notarthomas. (Photo by Tom Honan)

Ian McLagan, left, and Jon Notarthomas. (Photo by Tom Honan)

Tom Honan, who promoted that show back then for his company Live Space Entertainment, sent me the photograph above. Honan texted with Notarthomas, who he said is “understandably shook” by his band mate’s death. Condolences to all who knew and loved McLagan and his music. The man could play, and knew that it was about sharing the love of it and having a good time.

Here’s the source for the photo of the air raid on Pearl Harbor.

Have you visited Pearl Harbor, or do you have words of tribute on this anniversary of Pearl Harbor? What year will you turn the age of the last two digits of the year you were born?
Do you like the music of the Faces, and if so, what’s your favorite song?

59 thoughts on “On Dec. 7, I’m moved to think about numbers

  1. I have not yet visited Pearl Harbor, but am dying to. I love your experience there, though, It almost brought a tear to my eye. As far as your Beddian Birthday and related posts, ever since I started following you, when you comment of Like one of my posts, I get an email that notifies me and it gives me the following three links of yours: Those of us born in 1957 will turn 57 this year; Fallen firefighter Bobby Beddian discovered the magical match of birth year, age; As those of us born in 1957 turn 57, the birthday should be special. Only once that I can remember (during your Nanopoblemo month) did one of those headlines change to the post you had with your pepper face in it. Then the next day, it changed back. I always click one of those links to take me to your blog. But everyone else’s notifications that I get change every few days for the most part. I always see yours and think they must stay the same because they are such popular posts. I say Congratulations and Yay for you! ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh, and I have to wait for 2038 for mine. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • I think come Jan. 1, my blog will become like everybody else’s with the three-most-read, Rachel, unless I somehow get thunderstruck with another idea-of-the-year for 2015 in the next three weeks. And for your BBD, start planning now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, next month, you just need to write about “The Year I Turned 57 When I Was Born in ’57.” Also, “The 57 Gifts I Got When I Turned 57” and “57 Years After My Birth In ’57…”

        My mom was born in 1950. (I think I’ve told you this before.) The year she turned 60, I had a surprise fifties costume / theme party planned called “Back to the Fifties” meaning THE fifties and also HER fifties. But then she started being a bi&%h again and I had to cancel my plans. Which stank, because I was really looking forward to dressing in a poodle skirt and dancing to a jukebox! (Yes, really.) LOL!


      • Oh, Rachel. Your family strife was never-ending. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ You need to do something now that would allow you to wear a poodle skirt and dance to a jukebox, my friend. “Happy Days” party! Richie, Potsy, Ralph Malph and The Fonz!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am glad I sent you an early Happy Birthday, Mark, since I am belated on getting the actual day of your birth. Remember when I asked does Karen celebrate all week for your birthday?
    I hope it was a fantastic one. Happy Beddian Birthday!! Hope it is an awesome year, Mark!!

    I am sad that your birthday is one where a disaster happened. I appreciated your sharing about your visit to Pearl Harbor and how it affected your parents, too.

    As far as I know my birthday is fairly calm in history. I turned 59 last month. Rather not say the date, I choose to keep quiet since i like Congratulations for good jobs on my writing, but not for growing older! ha ha!


      • Oh goodie, so glad it is not on Dec. 7th, I guess I should try to be better at checking my facts! So glad you reminded me it is still coming up…
        Did you hear it has been 34 years since John Lennon was shot? I heard a newscaster mention this and it stopped my head from going any farther. I went into a short fall in an abyss of time and space, where I am thinking it would have been so lovely to have John still here… Take it easy and try not to get too excited about this Beddian Birthday, my brother who had his on 5/7/57 and turned 57 thought it was fun but not as flashy as he expected! ha ha!


      • I don’t want to tizzy about Lennon’s murder being that long ago. I could free fall on that one, for sure. Nor will I get too giddy about the BBD. Stay sort of level, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ Learn from your bro about how to take 57.


  3. The Turning Stone casino? Is that what you’re referring to? Let me know what that place is like. I’ve always wondered. I fancy myself a bit of a casino aficionado and have never been there.

    Not only did McLagan pass away but just before him, Bobby Keys died. What a loss! Here’s the excellent (they’re always excellent) NY Times obit.



    • Yes, the Turning Stone Casino and Resort is just 25 miles to the east of our house, and we love the restaurants. It’s the place I took my wife to see Santana, too, at their 5,000-seat arena, and they have a 680-seat showroom. They’ve built it up over 20-some years to be quite robust. Big gaming floors, thousand machines, more than a dozen restaurants, plus food court for the masses. Three hotels, bingo hall, three golf courses. A complex all linked by hallways. They’re now building a shopping wing for the significant others to be even more self-sustained. They know they have to draw guys like you up from dowstate to bypass Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun sometimes.

      Yeah, I saw that Bobby Keys left us, too. Who next. Always in threes, you know.


  4. You always have to do it up special, Mark. Can’t just say Happy Birthday, can I? Will make it a Happy Beddian Birthday ๐Ÿ™‚ Mine will be when I’m 70. Holy cow–can’t even imagine. The passage of time truly scares me. Mortality and all that. I will just keep raising my glass–cheers to you, Mr. Mark. I am a smarter person because of you!


    • I will raise my glass to you two days prior, dear Liz. You teach me much, you know, at Food Is Fun and in every comment all around the WordPress town. This Beddian thing, once-in-a-lifetime.

      The kids both texted back RSVP yes yesterday. Yippee. Turning Stone Harvest Buffett beats them all. I’m already imagining walking up and down the steaming serving plates. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Firstly, my birth year is ’57 but I think you already know this. My BD is April so I am still older then you are! As for Pearl Harbor … just tragic and now I haven’t been there yet I can imagine the powerful emotions it would evoke when there. Great post, Mark. I’m glad you are getting the attention! You deserve it!!! ((HUGS))) Amy


    • I remember that you and I are birth year buddies, Amy! Beddian sharers forever. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Pearl Harbor in person is unforgettable. It hits home hard.

      Thanks for your kind words. By the way, I loved your hubby photo post today. That deserves much attention.


      • I hope it does get the attention it deserves. Bill’s work is absolutely breathtaking, and I will encourage him, Mark, to explore to great depth what he has yet to tap inside of him. I am SO touched you spoke of his talent here again. I have wracked my brain for years to try to get this man to leave Vietnam behind, and I think I just may have stumbled on the Jewel of all Jewels. It’s no coincidence that now I read what you wrote and what Ann wrote too. Time for some of us to step away from war. BIG (((HUGS))), my friend. Love, Amy


  6. I’ve never visited, but would love to one day. I feel like I’ll be moved to tears, when I’m in the actual location with such a sad history. So glad you are planning ahead for the big day, my fellow bb celebrator.


  7. You are much younger than your Beddian Birthday would indicate Mark. And I have quite a few more years to go before I match that birth mark.

    I cannot imagine going to Pearl Harbor. I would go given the opportunity. And I don’t know that I would feel like I earned the right to be there. So I would be ever so gracious and grateful to the people who made it possible for me to be there.


  8. Mark, to my shame I didn’t know it was the anniversary of Pearl harbour today. The date in my mind is 3 September 1939. My mum was evacuated from her home near liverpool. How in the world did people cope with the separation?
    Birthday next week … enjoy!
    Really envious of your stats – just shows that you should be writing. Glad I’m one of the readers.


    • That 3-9-39 date is an awful one for your family, Rachel. I will think of that for you next September.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes. I will enjoy.

      And lastly, I don’t write for the stats. But I do like to see them go up regardless. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • I think that the reason you get so many readers is partly due because you don’t write for the stats.

        My mum survived being evacuated pretty well. She experienced it twice. The first time wasn’t good but then there was the phoney war so everyone went back home. The second time the family she was with were lovely. She has lots of stories to tell!


  9. 2054 is my year.

    My mother’s 67th birthday would have been yesterday, so I always remembered today when going through school. Date association and all that.


  10. I have never visited Pearl Harbour Mark. I am impressed with your stats – over 10k views, my goodness! Happy Birthday coming up Mark, may it be a good one. Why not drag it out as well, you know…birthday week or month, etc. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Diana xo


    • We did the birthday week for Karen. I think just the day may suffice for me, Diana. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the wishes!

      About the stats … this post is the most viewed, by far. I wish they all had that number! Thank you nevertheless. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for talking about Pearl Harbor Day. It was on my mind this morning. The words hadn’t come yet.
    The birthday concept is new to me! After cuppa 2 I might understand it more fully, but I did do the math with a calculator. Mine would be 2026, when I am 63


  12. December 22, 1956. So I’m 57 for another week or two – just missed sharing this Beddian birthday year with you. I am so pleased you noted Pearl Harbor. It didn’t surprise me to read that survivors wanted to go back with their shipmates, but it did bring a tear to my eye. The bond shipmates share is unbreakable.

    Huge, huge fan of early Rod Stewart/Faces. I’ve always liked “Three Button Hand-Me-Down” as just a great old rock and roll tune.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So your BBD was 2012, Barbara. A matter of 10 days away from born in ’57 put you two years ahead in that regard. I love the math of this thing. And I don’t love math. Odd, I admit.

      The Pearl Harbor experience was unforgettable. Today is the day to remember most of all.

      And, yes, Rod really rocked in those years. Great song choice. RIP Mr. Ian M.


  13. Happy Beddian Birthday Mark. I was born in 1958 so my BBday is in 2016 when I’ll be 58. I’ve never been to Hawaii, yet I understand the memorial is very worthy of a visit. Maybe one day…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Paul, the very next class of Beddian birthday celebrations! They only occur on even-numbered years, I discovered through my research. Happy BBD in advance. And Hawaii is worth the journey from our part of the world, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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