By Jug Varner

Before his recent demise, country guitarist Chet Atkins cut a new rendition of the old standard, There'll Be Some Changes Made, with young country newcomer guitarist Mark Knopfler. It is a comedic reprise of an old standard that dates back to the 1930s or 40s (I think).

Not only is the repartee between Chet and Mark funny, they offer some great pickin' for those who appreciate guitar music. Chet sang, and may have written the following updated lyrics (as best as I can remember them) about what he was going to do to change his image from an old geezer to a more youthful one:

There'll be a change in the weather, a change in the scene,
I'll start wearing leather and change my routine,
I'll wear dark glasses, maybe a toupee,
I'll get down and boogie and become risqué,
I'll start wearing makeup, like Jackson and Prince,
You'll see me riding in my Mercedes Benz,
Nobody wants you when you just play guitar,
There'll be some changes made to-mar (ow)
There'll be some changes made.

While this is a spoof, and quite out of character with the laid-back Chet, it parodies the desire to bring about some change into one's life.

Life is one continual change, and those who don't change with it grow old a little faster than those who learn to roll with the punch and keep abreast of the times. Not that we need to accept EVERY change… piercing eyebrows, navels, lips, tongues, etc., are not my cup of tea, nor are green or blue hair… but we shouldn't be such critics and grouches, and think that our way is the ONLY way to go.

There are some great innovations happening every day and older folks should latch onto some of them… while keeping everything in perspective and taking what will work best in their lives. Age is really a state of mind.

Some of my long-time friends and relatives who were schoolteachers have lived much longer than most of their contemporaries. The good ones learned early on (dealing with a bunch of unruly brats) how to roll with the punch and handle stress and chaos. Of course, they taught school in the days when teachers were in control and could discipline kids without fear of being sued by the parents!

In my experience, people who laugh a lot, especially at themselves, who don't hold grudges, and who take their troubles with a grain of salt, have a better possibility of a happy old age than do the humorless grouches.

It only SEEMS like the grouches live longer because they make life miserable for everyone else