When We Were Naught

The day after San Geraldo turned 50, we were walking through our San Francisco neighborhood of Glen Park and saw a new sign in the window of the bank. It offered free checking for people over 50.

“Well, what is ‘over 50’ supposed to mean?” grumbled San Geraldo. “If you’re 50, are you eligible or do you have to be 51?”

I said, “Well, if you’ve been 50 for one second, you’re already over 50.”

“No you’re not,” he responded a bit defensively. “You’re not over 50 until you’re 51.”

GLEN PARK, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA:  FREE CHECKING… IF YOU’RE OVER 50.

I tried every argument I could think of, but I couldn’t convince him to see it the way I did. No matter how I tried to argue the point, San Geraldo insisted he was right. We opened the discussion to friends. Most sided with me but a few sided with him. We’ve disagreed on the issue ever since. And that’s a shame because, otherwise, we’d have always been in perfect harmony.

Today, while we were having coffee at Café Manila, I teased San Geraldo that, since his birthday was yesterday, some would say he was now over 65. I then shared San Geraldo’s way of thinking with one of the other regulars, Heather, a quick-witted and very clever Englishwoman well over 65.

Heather thought a moment and then, looking perplexedly at San Geraldo, said, “So then your entire first year you were naught?”

And now he understands.

SAN GERALDO IN 1949:  THE POOR BOY THOUGHT HE WAS NAUGHT.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

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