“If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them,” is one of Bob Dylan’s prolific quotes that I love. Because May is Older Americans Month* and with Bob Dylan celebrating his 78th birthday on the 24th, he and his life’s work have been on my mind. He is best-known for his singer-songwriter career that spans decades, is an accomplished visual artist, and rumored to have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and depression. Although we may never officially know if Dylan is a person with disabilities, there is no doubt he is a man of principle who has and continues to have a profound influence on society. Bob Dylan is a mirror into modern American history and a reflection to our living past, but he is not finished pursuing success well into his senior years. In fact, he is tapping in on the Tennessee whiskey popularity right here in our community. His Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts** is scheduled to open in Nashville in fall 2020. Will the world eventually remember Bob Dylan for his voice, lyrics, art, whiskey, romances, protests, or prose? I feel his greatest legacy will be that he lived with heart and conviction on his own terms. The 2019 Older Americans Month theme – Connect, Create, Contribute – is exemplified by Dylan. Whether you are a Bob Dylan fan or not, he reminds older Americans, and all of us, to never stop being passionate about life. No matter your age, get out and go make those memories!
*The Administration on Community Living (ACL) lead’s our nation’s annual observance of Older Americans Month. For more details, please visit https://acl.gov/oam/2019/older-americans-month-2019.