My Twentieth Century: Leaves from a Journal

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My Twentieth Century: Leaves from a Journal

by Anne Firor Scott
Southern Cultures, Vol. 9, No. 1: Spring 2003

"For a moment the world stopped turning while we, a great nation, felt ourselves suddenly headless, directionless."

I am not sure why the number eighty seems so weighty, compared with its predecessor or even with its successor. What are the landmark ages? Being old enough to drive? To vote? Or fifty? One young friend told me gloomily that after fifty it is all downhill. I could only respond that my resumé begins at age fifty. At any rate, eighty is a good time for putting the pieces together, for trying to make sense of eight decades of life.