Those of us who reach a certain point in life always like to toss around the old saying that “age is but a number.”
But if so, why do we make such a fuss over folks who continue to do well even as they are supposedly well past their prime?
Cases in point include Canadian born hockey star Gordie Howe, who played the game at a high, professional level until he was in his fifties; Canadian born actor Christopher Plummer became the oldest person in Academy Award history to win an Oscar in 2010 for his role in “Beginnings.” He was 82 at the time.
And then of course there is Queen Elizabeth the Second (of that name) who, even now at her ripe old royal age, continues to out work most any of us.
Which brings us to Canadian band leader Dal Richards, of Vancouver, B.C., who is still waving his band leader baton, blowing his saxophone and tooting on his clarinet at the age of 95.
Richards got his start with the famous Kitsilano Boys Band of Vancouver in the 1920s and 30s, and by 1940 he was leading the band at the Panorama Roof high atop the venerable Hotel Vancouver.
He kept that job until 1965.
His career as a music maestro has included nation-wide radio broadcasts, records, a long stint as the B.C. Lions music man during half-time intermissions, and more one-night gigs than many musicians play in three life times.
His awards have included the Order of Canada in 1995, the Order of British Columbia in 2003 and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2002.
Now, the question is: Is Dal Richards retired?
No! Not by a long shot. Even as you read this, Dal Richards and his band is playing up to three times daily at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, B.C. He’s done so for the past 75 years.
Can he keep playing for another 75 years? We wouldn’t bet against it.