Fran Liebowitz says that you can only truly relate to people who were born within 10 years of you. People who were born 20 years from my date of birth – those born in 1942 or 1982 – are alien creatures, literally born on a different planet than me. I have a slightly better understanding of those born in 1982 because I once lived on the planet they were born into, although when I arrived there I was already fully formed, more or less. Someone born on this day in that year would be turning 39.

Friendships that form over such temporal distances are rare, and like many such rarities they carry unique value in their opportunities for insight. Even if Fran is right, and friendships that try to reach across a generation are doomed to failure, it is often the impossible and senseless things in life that generate the most enjoyment. So, happy birthday 39.

In the year of '39
Assembled here the Volunteers
In the days when lands were few
Here the ship sailed out into the blue and sunny morn
Sweetest sight ever seen
And the night followed day
And the storytellers say
That the score brave souls inside
For many a lonely day
Sailed across the milky seas
Ne'er looked back, never feared, never cried

Don't you hear my call?
Though you're many years away
Don't you hear me calling you?
Write your letters in the sand
For the day I take your hand
In the land that our grandchildren knew

In the year of '39
Came a ship in from the blue
The Volunteers came home that day
And they bring good news
Of a world so newly born
Though their hearts so heavily weigh
For the Earth is old and grey
Little darlin', we'll away
But my love this cannot be
For so many years are gone
Though I'm older but a year
Your mother's eyes from your eyes cry to me

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