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Birthdays are funny things. I remember how hard turning thirty was for me. Subsequent milestones, however, hardly fazed me. Forty. Fifty. Even sixty was largely uneventful. But this last one was a sledge hammer. Sixty-two. I am now eligible for Social Security. Holy Cow. Suddenly, I look different in the mirror. Feel different. And that long-suppressed, inescapable question has finally reared its ugly head. 

Where did the years go?

Knowing I couldn’t tackle answering it head-on—it’s far too intimidating—the best I could hope for was an earnest attempt on a greatly reduced scale. A single segment. Eventually I chose my early teens—the subject of most of my writings. And my answer wouldn’t be subjective. I simply don’t have the gumption required for such a philosophical undertaking these days. No, I would have to approach it from an empirical standpoint. And so I gathered my camera, climbed in my pickup, drove to Archer City, enlisted the help of my friend Gary Beesinger as co-pilot/photographer and hit the road. Here’s what I found: