It Was A Very Good Year


This picture comes to us courtesy of a one Al Forbes.  Thanks, Al.

From November 6, 2014, comes this story, extensively re-written.  I don’t know if it’s a superior version or not, I just know I drug it out of mothballs and went to work.

The restaurant mentioned in this story actually exists, by the way, and is one of my favorites — the Gas Light Grill in Leawood, Kansas.  Elegant food, a classic jazz ensemble and a dance floor.  Love it!

I’m a fan of vintage stuff, although this story really has nothing to do with cars. It’s actually about a guy going out with a younger woman and the guy feels the age gap is, for him, anyway, an elephant in the room.

You see, Tom and Janine are on their third date and she has chosen this restaurant.

So … let’s listen in —


Tom’s third date with Beautiful Janine started feeling awkward.

“Janine, why’d you choose this place?”

“Why wouldn’t I? I like steaks, candlelight, soft jazz with dance floors …”

“ …and thought I might like it because I’m older, right?”

Janine sighed.  “Older?  Look, Tom. You’re 52, you never married. But, you’re accomplished and respectable. I’m 30.  Men my age are nothing but boys.  You’re like vintage wine aged to perfection …”  She took his hand. “… and good enough for me.  Dance?”

As they danced, Tom held her in his arms, softly singing, “It poured sweet and clear, it was a very good year …”





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86 Responses to It Was A Very Good Year

  1. neilmacdon says:

    There’s hope for us old foggies after all

  2. wmqcolby says:

    There certainly IS. Thanks, Neil.

  3. Dear Cuzzin Notnek,

    Hope springs eternal. It was a very good year and a very good rewrite. Five out of five bottles of Geritol.


    Cuzzin Shelley

  4. michael1148humphris says:

    Aged to perfection, I love that.

  5. Iain Kelly says:

    Lovely sweet tale. Age is just a number and all that….

  6. ceayr says:

    Dear Sir or Madman, can you please ask Cuzzin Shelley for a copy of the rules (assuming you can read).
    There is more of your story in the intro than after you finally get started.
    Five out of five You did it your ways!
    Great fun.

  7. wmqcolby says:

    What is this? Pick On Kent Week?

  8. Dale says:

    Wonder what would have happened were the woman 52 and the guy 30… 😉 Would she feel any qualms? Oh look… just happens to be MY age… maybe I should be scouting for young’uns, sans qualms…
    And I won’t pick on you. This time.

  9. Nice tale and, oh, boy, I love to hear ol’ blue eyes croon.

  10. Any man who can turn a picture of an antique car into a romance definitely has a gift for writing.

  11. Sandra says:

    Loved that song. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  12. wmqcolby says:

    You are entirely welcome, Sandra.

  13. I loved your intro, the story AND the song. Can’t get a better combination than that!

  14. Lynn Love says:

    Oh, smooth! That’s lovely, really very romantic. I knew a similar couple a few years ago – he was 52 and she was 27 – I think they would have certainly identified with these two! Nicely done

    • wmqcolby says:

      Really? How did that turn out?

      • Lynn Love says:

        Well, they had a baby together (after he had a certain operation reveresed!) but I moved away after that and as we weren’t close I didn’t keep in touch. He would be nearly 70 now and she was a very fiesty Dutch girl. Who knows how that turned out 🙂

      • wmqcolby says:

        Hahaha! After he had it reversed. Too funny! That has been known to happen in BOTH parties’ situations. Yeah, who knows how it turned out. I have never known the Dutch to be feisty on anything, but I don’t live close to Holland. I just know their progeny in America. I would have to go to Iowa or someplace to get an inkling. In Kansas we’re mostly … I don’t know WHAT we are anymore! Hahaha!

      • Lynn Love says:

        Haha! Yes, the Dutch have a reputation for being laid back – this lady certainly was not. Shrewish, I think you’d say 🙂

      • wmqcolby says:

        Ohhhh that’s a red-flag warning right there.

      • Lynn Love says:

        Ha! Absolutely 🙂

  15. James says:

    When I was in my early-mid 20s, I briefly dated a woman ten years my senior. She kept making a big deal about the age difference. I don’t remember how the relationship ended, but I can attest that the older member of the couple does worry about these things.

    Oh, I have twin sons who are 30 and they are just beginning to figure out “adulting”.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahaha! I hope they find out soon. My mom and my aunt are twins, so that’s cool. For years, I was dating women ten years older than I was. Not by choice, though, it’s just how it turned out. I rather wanted someone by age. It came around eventually to where the age diff. was negligible.

  16. Good tale. Vintage wine and a lot of butter. 😉

  17. I was swept off my feet for a moment and perhaps that’s all this couple will have but who cares. “Dance as if age doesn’t matter.” I always say that when I’m shaking my vintage tail feathers.
    5 out of 5 cheek to cheeks

  18. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Tracey. I’m glad you felt something. I wrote and wrote on that thing, so I hope the result was desirable.

  19. HonieBriggs says:

    You old softy! Isn’t it romantic of you to bring such a sweet memory back to life.

  20. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    A smooth story just like the wine!

  21. plaridel says:

    umm… age doesn’t seem to make any difference. good for him.

  22. rgayer55 says:

    There may be frost on the roof, but the fire hasn’t went out.
    Nice flow to this peace. Her response seems to have calmed his anxieties.

  23. wmqcolby says:

    Yes. In the re-writing, I tried to dig out the emotion and the “reason” for the story. I think it worked, but MAN! Did I have to DIG!

    I did, however, in the digging find several blind rutabagas. 😀

  24. Beautiful! My exact sentiments at that age. Men mature so late! My daughter now has the same issue!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Really? Well, send her my regards. 😉 😀

      Thanks for reading, Sabina. It’s one of my writings that deserved a repurposing. I have no problem doing that. Repurposing of content gives you some space but also introduces new people to the material and also provides that avenue of making it better, if you can.

  25. Michael Wynn says:

    She seems like a very nice girl, understanding and sympathetic with a great philosophy. Lucky bloke

  26. wmqcolby says:

    “Janine” was modeled after a girl I knew, who worked in a BBQ joint near my work, named Billie. She was about, maybe, 24 or so, but she was very mature for her age. Her voice was kind of husky-sounding and she seemed to have, as we say here, “been around the block” in terms of life. She left to go to her boyfriend in Germany. I haven’t seen her since. You never know what will inspire.

  27. Good for them! My wife was twenty-one years younger than me. I’m single again now. Oh well!

    Click to read my story!

  28. Hah, when I was 26 I went out with a 53-year-old, but he was very fit, although once when he was out showing off his pectorals swimming in the sea, a young guy came up to me on the beach and said (as a chat-up line), your Dad’s a really good swimmer! Whoops D:
    I enjoyed that bit of romantic literature there, Ken. Personally I love jazz but am hopeless at dancing.

  29. wmqcolby says:

    Hahahahahaha! “Your dad’s a really good swimmer.” Holy COW! 😀 😀 😀
    I’m sure in twenty years, had it worked out, you would have been changing diapers … HIS.
    Usually some guys that age just need the arm-candy, a little companionship, maybe. Nothing more. A lot of guys are like that, or rather, they GET that way. 😀

    As for the jazz dancing, it’s just a foxtrot. Nothing complicated. A great excuse to hold someone! 😉

  30. I just love it when they say,”Men my age are nothing but boys”. But “… and good enough for me” is a bit of a downer. Ah well, I was 17 once upon a time.

  31. wmqcolby says:

    I hear ya, Patrick. I saw her as kind of an “old soul” type who probably had a lot of growing up done already due to circumstances beyond her control, one whose childhood was denied for whatever reason. He, being the age he is, never got married because he didn’t feel “grown up” enough until then. It does invite a lot of questions as to character. In fact, that’s what I was going for, but you can’t say enough in 100 words, at least as far as their pasts are concerned. I didn’t want a third date to be a rundown of their histories nor a counseling session. Or maybe it should be …

  32. Ahhhh … Who doesn’t want to dance to Frank?! I loved this super romantic story.
    Age is erased on the dance floor when in the arms of the one you love. 😍 Un cuento tan bueno.
    I could have read more. Perhaps, a longer version is in the future. 😊
    We have a restaurant that has super food, jazz everyday and a dance floor. It’s called JD’s. I’m not sure why. Gas Light Grill sounds so much better. 5 Star on this one.
    Have a great weekend ….
    Isadora 😎

  33. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Iz.
    You know, I was on the phone with Rochelle this morning and I told her I might want to do a longer work of this. It kind of works on the inside going out. Makes me wonder just who these people really are. Your suggestion actually confirmed a suspicion I had, so, yeah. Why not? It will also be a test of my writing skills to see how carefully constructed the story can be.

    Tengas una buena semana.

  34. Very romantic! Hope it lasts. It sounds like she is genuine so good luck to them.

  35. wmqcolby says:

    Glad you liked it, Clare. I am beginning to think this version is much better than the original.

  36. wmqcolby says:

    “Shoo-Bee-Doo-bee-dooooo ….” 😉

  37. Lovely story, Kent. It all depends on the couple. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne

  38. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Suzanne. Always a pleasure. 🙂

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