Don’t write off the old guys (Roger Federer). The old gals either (Venus Williams).

Federer, soon to be 36, beat Marin Cilic in the finals of Wimbledon on Sunday. He didn’t beat Cilic, he smoked him. Federer torched him in three crisp sets and didn’t lose a set all tournament.

Williams, a graceful 37, lost in the finals to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza. Lost but she reached the finals. Lost but charged past women 15 years younger than she was.

Getting old looks better all the time. Federer, who has won 19 Grand Slam titles (Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Australian Open or the French Open), has been written off a million times. Williams, winner of 21 slams including doubles with her sister Serena, has been written off two million times:

You don’t have to be a tennis fan to appreciate this — Federer has now won two Grand Slams this year including the Australian Open — you only have to be a fan of life. A fan of exceeding expectations. A fan of never saying die as long as you are able to speak and put one foot forward and follow it by a second.

If Federer and Williams can do it, why not the rest of us?

You guys in the bike group know who I’m talking about. Substitute “bike” for any group in which you are a member where the whippersnappers give you that “are you still out here” look.


Traveling through Southern California, which many of us do, is both a trip forward and back in time. We compare travel times — the last one was to San Diego — as if it were a competition, with previous trips:

“We made it in 3 ½ hours. That’s almost an Olympic record but on the way home we paid for it with six hours.”

LA freeways are like Bakersfield summers. There is no winning, only small victories for which we are grateful and for which we will soon pay.

We crawl through Castaic (friends used to talk about a great bar in Castaic) and limp through Santa Clarita.

For the hungry traveler, one of the best things about Santa Clarita is the In-N-Out at the Lyons exit.

You can get fancy (Neapolitan shake), you can go off the menu (mustard-grilled patty burger), but what’s better than the cheeseburger, with onions (you don’t have a meeting to go to, you’re on vacation include the onions), regular fries (well-done takes longer) and a chocolate and strawberry shake?

Lunch will take you close to LAX, where your next decision is whether to stop at Randy’s Donuts (the big doughnut in the sky) seconds off the Manchester Boulevard exit for the best crumb cake doughnut in the world. Don’t settle for one crumb cake, order a dozen in the pink Randy’s box. What a housewarming gift or better yet, a present to yourself.

If you plan on eating Mr. Crumb Cake in the car, smart to spread a beach towel on your lap because the little bitty napkins Randy’s includes are best for a girl’s tea party rather than offering protection against the powdered sugar adorning the top of the crumb cake.


Mitch Styles emailed. File this on under "the next generation is going to be fine."

“We were returning from visiting my mom in Porterville. We drove towards Merle Haggard Drive and ordered french fries at the Jack in the Box. As we pulled onto Merle Haggard Drive, I told my granddaughter Lola Vasquez, "Merle is one of my heroes."

She said, "What did he do?"

I told her.

Then I said, "Who is your hero? Wonder Woman?"

"No Grampsie."

"Is it Doc McStuffin?"

“No Grampsie."

"Who is it?"

"All of the soldiers who died for our country."

Lola is 5 1/2 years old.