This is a story that starts in the old west with a young whippersnapper, Billy Hardaway seeking his fortune along a river bank. He’s heard the stories of hard work, long hours and little chance of success in finding even small flakes of gold. He’s young, strong and cocksure he will strike it rich.
Now some old timers will tell you Billy’s kinfolk were originally known as the Hardy clan. Yup, they were hard workers, honest folks that only stopped to go to church on Sunday. By the time Billy was born the family name had changed, it seems the Hardys worked hard but not smart. The story goes that Billy’s great grandpa was known for doing things the hard way so much so that people just called him Hardway.
By the time Billy’s granddad came along the name had come to be, Hardaway. To Billy that made no difference, because if he couldn’t out think you, he could out work you and he was on his way to fame and fortune. Billy heeded the advice of Horace Greeley he had gone west to seek his fortune.
Billy worked long and hard, each day from dawn to dusk he toiled in wind, rain, summer sun and winter snow. Never did he feel the need for support from the government, he took care of himself and with the passing of time found a wife and raised a family.
Billy settled down in town finding work but always dreamed of gold and riches. He would work any job and he was a good worker, but his heart always remained with the dream of gold and riches. While others took time off for fun and hobbies fun for Billy that was an opportunity to head for the hills and seek those golden nuggets.
The only gold Billy ever found was fool’s gold but his wife stuck by him and time passed until one day Billy could not get to the hills and the mountains, no Billy had gotten old and frail, said he just couldn’t do it anymore. Time had crept up on old Billy, the kids were gone, and life was just not the same. The tasks he once done with ease were now a challenge.
Billy never thought about getting old but he knew he just couldn’t bend the way he used to, he was slower and a flight of stairs seemed a whole lot higher. Billy didn’t give in to old age easily, he hoped no one would notice he was a step slower and his memory just wasn’t what it used to be. No Billy thought he had everyone fooled.
Then it happened, there right before his eyes, it all became crystal clear, the evidence was there and apparently everybody knew. It was election time and in the mail from his local elected Representative was a flyer addressed to him, with the words, “Dear Senior Citizens”.
It cut to his heart, he was old he was a senior citizen and now everybody knew. Billy went to out to his barn, gathered all his prospecting tools, put them in the wheelbarrow and carted them out by the road. There he piled the dreams of youth, the tools of riches and placed a sign that said, “FREE tools to seek your fortune”.
Billy walked slowly inside grabbed his wife by the hand and said, “get dressed because we are going out for dinner then we’re going dancing. We are going to live life to the fullest and nobody from the government is going to call me a senior citizen and tell me I’m ready for some darn government program to run my life. I may be older and we may not be rich but I don’t need the government telling me I am a “senior citizen in the middle class”.
Billy was riled up and began to rant, “I’m Billy Hardaway and I am proud to live in a country where we all have opportunity, I’m not in a class and I’m not old. I have a lot of living to do and tonight we’re going to show the world what good living is, with a thick juicy steak, a pile of fries, all washed down with a couple of beers then we are going dancing. They can keep their organic food, spring water and arugula in Washington I don’t need some tree hugging, politician to tell me how to live, but I will remember to vote on November 6th.”