EIGHT AGES THAT PASSED YOU BY
“It’s a startling fact that when Mozart was my age, he’d been dead for two years.” — Tom Lehrer
The temptation to celebrate youth and prodigy is an old one. And a dangerous one for parents. So if you’re a parent, please don't tell your children about the following accomplishments by American kids. And don’t feel bad about yourself, either. You’re doing the best you can.
At the age of. . .
— Shirley Temple won an honorary Oscar
— Yo-Yo Ma was playing Bach on the cello
— Billiards champ Willie Hoppe, standing on a box, was shooting pool
— I dreamed of being an astronaut and wrote a book on SPACE (four pages, self-published)
— Drew Barrymore appeared in “Altered States.”
— Jackie Coogan co-starred with Charlie Chaplin in “The Kid,” becoming the world’s youngest millionaire.
— John Updike wrote his first short story
— Hank Williams got a guitar and began writing songs
— other than Mozart, no one did much at this age
— Forget astronauts. I’m going to play centerfield for the Dodgers
— Tatum O’Neal won an Oscar for “Paper Moon”
— Stevie Wonder signed a contract with Motown Records
— Herbie Hancock played piano with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
— Vicki van Meter flew a Cessna from Maine to San Diego, becoming the youngest coast-to-coast pilot
— I set my sites on the NBA
— Ray Bradbury began writing four hours a day
— Tanya Tucker recorded “Delta Dawn”
— My hoop dreams dashed, I devoted myself to becoming “Master of Space and Time” (stay tuned)
— as we all know, it’s all downhill after this.