Turning 18, the milestone birthday

First Posted: 9/16/2014

Everyone in our home has “attained the age of majority” right now, which is a legal way of saying the youngest, Alex, turned 18 last week.

It is that milestone birthday. You know, the old “I’m a boy and I’m a man” tune being played out.

So, what has changed? Is there a big difference between being 18 today compared to when the old man turned 18 in 1975?

Well, you can still do legally dumb things:

Back then, you could go out and get plastered by drinking a whole lot of 3.2 percent alcohol beer. Today, you can run off to some tattoo joint and have your body painted with “skin art” without Mom or Dad having any say. The difference between the two is that, one of those you could sleep off, while the other won’t come off.

Prices have changed:

I bought a 2-year-old Camaro in 1975 for $3,000. The cheapest price a local car lot had for a 2-year-old Camaro on Sunday was just under $20,000.

We paid 57 cents a gallon for gasoline while Alex filled his car up Saturday at the bargain price of $3.08 cents a gallon. Of course, in 1975 minimum wage was also $2.10 compared to $7.95 in Ohio right now.

Alex at 18 can now go out and buy his own cellphone plan and get ear piercings, nose piercings, tongue piercings and you name it body piercings without Mom or Dad’s permission. We couldn’t buy cellphones — they didn’t exist — and believed you had to have a hole in your head to let somebody embed a marble into your tongue.

Actions have greater consequences:

Still true is that the age of majority does not necessarily correspond to mental maturity, but signing on that dotted line means being dumb is no longer an excuse. You can buy a shack and call it a house, earn fast-food wages and marry your high school sweetheart, and make terrible investments … just put that ink to paper. You can sue someone, be sued or blow your money in a casino. It’s as legal today as it was then.

You can also vote, and believe, me that has consequences. You may be stuck for four years with that candidate you picked because you liked the way he or she dressed.

What shouldn’t change?

The family rule of law: “You may be 18, but as long as you live under this roof, you’ll do as I say.”

It has worked from generation to generation.

ROSES AND THORNS: A watermelon big enough to feed a Chinese Army found its way into the rose garden.

Rose: To Willy Brewster, of Bluffton, who grew a 130-pound watermelon and put it on display at Bluffton Elementary School.

Rose: To Hope Yadel, Elida’s first homecoming queen in 1935. Her smile said it all when she was treated like a queen again Friday by being escorted across the field during this year’s homecoming festivities.

Rose: To the Bath girls soccer team, which defeated Van Wert 20-0 last week. The 20 goals were the most ever scored by a high school girls team in the Lima region and the sixth most in the state. The state record is 24 goals, done by Xenia in 2001 and Findlay in 2000.

Rose: To Adam Vieira, of the Bath High School golf team. He found during the winter that he has a tumor on his neck. He’s sill playing this year, averaging 38 shots per round.

Rose: To Mildred Stewart, of Lima. Upset with all the junk piling up in her neighborhood, she formed the City View Terrace association to get neighbors involved with cleaning up surrounding property. She was named this year’s “Outstanding Citizen” by Lima-Allen County Neighborhoods in Partnership.

Rose: To Travis Walton. The all-Ohio basketball star from Lima Senior who played for Michigan State is now an assistant coach of the Idaho Stampede of the NBA developmental league.

Rose: It’s truly all in the family for Chris Samford and her two brothers, James and Michael Riepenhoff. They now own 20th Century Lanes in Lima, a business they managed for 11 years and one where their family has worked for more than 50 years.

Thorn: To Richard Beasley, of Lima. He resigned from his job with Allen County after two employees turned him in for intentionally damaging a county vehicle. The total damage was less than $1,000.

PARTING SHOT: The problem with troubleshooting is that trouble shoots back.

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