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Of Thee I Sing, Amigos

al martinez

Good morning. My name is Martinez. I write.

I write about Hispanics and I write about Anglos. I write about the Irish, the Dutch, the Brazilians and the Peruvians. I write about our Western culture and I write about the Eastern Culture; I write about retirement, I write about teachers, truck drivers, dancers and poets.

I write about the old and I write about the young. I write about African-Americans and Native-Americans. I write about our history, I write about our future. I write about the animals among us and the animals within us.

You get the idea. "I sing," as Walt Whitman once wrote, "the body politic."

My home base is L.A., or rather a village in the Santa Monica Mountains called Topanga. A place of natural beauty and art, of environmentalists and Earth Mothers; of shakers and movers.

I have been a journalist for 62 years, 38 of them with the L.A. Times. The last 25 were spent as a columnist, from which I "retired" two years ago. But it was not to last. Now I am writing columns for the Los Angeles Daily News.

Retirement is a state of mind. An old detective once told me that he would never retire because if he did, he would be dead in two years. Forced into retirement, he died two years later almost to the day.

So I said to hell with puttering in the garden, playing bingo or taking hula lessons at the senior center. I hit the ground running, creating a blog, organizing and conducting a writers workshop, freelancing and writing for the Daily News. And now I write for you, the ultimate achievement.

I am 82 and hurt sometimes as physiology responds to time's relentless passage, but I march on. "I will die young at whatever age the experience occurs," a woman named Ruth Bernard once said. I too.

So this is the first of my blogs for AARP VIVA. I will write once a week about you, about me, about our world and about the fools and the fantasies contained within on a journey without end.

Come walk with me.

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