Like A Rock

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – May 3, 2019

by Columnist Tom Blake

There are two parts to today’s e-Newsletter

Part 1 – Like A Rock

This past Saturday evening, while sitting at our desks in the downstairs office at home, Greta (my life partner)…out of the blue…said to me, “Do you realize we’ve been together for 20 years?” Her comment hit me like a rock.

Of course, I knew we’d been together for 20 years, but when she said it out loud, at that moment, it got me thinking about those 20 years and how fortunate we were to have met each other when we did.

And whenever I hear the words “20 years,” I always think of the great Bob Seger song, “Like A Rock,” because of a verse in the song that begins with the words, “Twenty years now, where’d they go.”

I imagine nearly all Champs recognize, “Like A Rock.” For years, it was the background music for the Chevy truck commercials.

And if you grew up in Michigan, as I did, you for sure knew who Bob Seger was. He was born in Lincoln Park, a Detroit suburb, and attended Ann Arbor High School. He was close to our age (he’ll be 74, Monday, May 6) so he represented our generation.

Greta continued talking, as if in a stream of consciousness, her thoughts just kept rolling along:

She said, “When I met you, I was 57, you were 59. I’d just gone through a tough divorce five years before. Didn’t want to date although I’d had a few dates. Walked in the neighborhood or on the beach alone…Mostly worked, teaching special needs children, plus four nights per week, home-taught severe special needs children…felt like I was doing something important. It took all my time. Thought my dating life was over. How wrong I was.”

She paused, smiled and then continued, “I never dreamed when I went into Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, on June 24, 1998, and ordered a freshly squeezed carrot juice, that my life was about to change. You walked around the counter and said, ‘Would you like to have dinner with me?’ Wow, what an incredible 20 years it’s been.”

I interjected, saying, “The key to our happiness…in my opinion…is our thoughtfulness toward each other. We’ve shared homes, travel…lots of it…and families. As of two weeks ago, you were blessed with a fourth great grandchild. We’ve shared each other’s retirements. We’ve shared sad times, losing friends and family members. And now, we’re sharing growing old together. How blessed we’ve been.”

At that point, I went to You Tube on my computer, pulled up Like A Rock, and turned the volume high. We toasted to it, with a glass of our favorite Chardonnay, Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve, the same wine we both ordered on our first date June 27, 1998, at the Claim Jumper restaurant on La Paz in Laguna Niguel (California).

Here are the words to that 20-years verse from Like A Rock:

“Twenty years now, where’d they go. Twenty years, I don’t know.
Sit and wonder sometimes, where they’ve gone
And sometimes late at night
When I’m bathed in the firelight
The moon comes callin’ a ghostly white
And I recall
I recall
Like a rock, standin’ arrow straight
Like a rock, chargin’ from the gate
Like a rock, carryin’ the weight
Like a rock
Like a rock
The sun upon my skin
Like a rock
Hard against the wind
Like a rock
I see myself again
Like a rock
Oh, like a rock!”

(Link to “Like A Rock” at end of today’s article)

At the end of the song, I looked at the office shelves that hold photos of many of our 20-year memories together. I pointed to a picture of Greta that I had taken at an AARP convention in 2010, and said, “That photo is my favorite picture of you.”

The photo shows Greta and Maya Angelo, seconds after Greta had given her a copy of “How 50 Couples Found Love after 50,” a book I had just published, that Maya is holding in her hands.

Maya Angelo smiling at Greta while holding “How 50 Couples Found Love After 50.” Greta was thrilled, as you can tell by the grin on her face

Then I said to Greta, “I wonder if our Champs feel the same way about their last 20 years? I imagine, some do, some don’t.”

As a coincidence, Champ Chris emailed three days later, “I am now 85; Tina and I have been together for 15 years. It’s amazing how fast time flies.”

Regardless of how we feel about our last 15 or 20 years, we must make the best of our remaining years. We’ve got to keep moving, we’ve got to stay active, we’ve got to interact with our friends and family, regardless of what fate deals us.

We’ve got to be: like a rock.

                                  Part 2 – So Cal Senior singles gathering – May 22

Just a heads up to Champs who live in southern California. On Wednesday, May 22, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the new, enthusiastic owners of Tutor And Spunky’s are going to resurrect the Senior Singles Meet and Greets that were so popular five – seven years ago. Greta and I are honored that Samantha and Elena have asked us to host the event.

Tom, new owner Samantha, 19-year employee Debbie Pachyn, and new owner Elena at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli April 22, 2019

However, this event isn’t going to be for single seniors only. We’d like all Champs…single, married or in relationships…whatever… to join us.

There is no charge. Appetizers will be served, and beer and wine will be only three bucks a pop.

It will be fun to put faces with names. We’ll take photos for the e-Newsletter. Email me if you think you might attend.

Tutor and Spunky’s is located at 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, 92629. Telephone: 949 248-9008.


Link to Bob Seger singing “Like A Rock (I suggest click on full screen; turn volume up):”

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at

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