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Thirty years old and going strong, despite clear Pepsi

May 20, 2012
By JOSHUA S. FLESHER , Tribune Chronicle |

I wrote a few weeks ago about how I was turning the dreaded age of 30 and after a few weeks of living as a non-20 year old, I realize that it isn't that bad.

I look back at my life, being that I am now worldly, wise and fully entrenched in adulthood, and I am amazed at all the changes that have occurred during my time.

In my life I've seen Coca-Cola become Coke and then go back to Coca-Cola. I lived through the experiment of making both Coca-Cola and Pepsi clear.

The question of why you'd want a soda that looked like Sprite and tasted like Pepsi was answered with a simple, ''because we could.''

I've also been a part of the technology explosion. I learned how to play Oregon Trail on a Mac II in middle school and only a couple years later was on the Internet, researching high school term papers on why Pepsi and Coca-Cola experimented with clear sodas.

There is also the roller coaster ride of being a Cleveland sports fan. The Browns were very good, then OK, then gone, then back, then terrible, then OK and back to terrible. Or the Indians who were terrible, then bad, then OK, then great, then bad, then good, then bad and back to good.

I lived through hair metal, grunge rock, swing music, Creed, pop-punk and whatever is popular now. I say that, because like most, I decided to get off the music train where I liked it the most and have no regrets about not moving on. For example, I have no idea what a Nicki Minaj is and have no plan on ever finding out.

I've seen a few presidents, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and as a fan of patterns, maybe another Bush.

Pluto was a planet 30 years ago and now it isn't. Pluto was also Mickey Mouse's dog 30 years ago, and thankfully, some things haven't changed.

The fashions have changed so much since I was born and for good reason. Sorry, but the '80s were a rough time for everyone.

Steve Perry was the lead singer of Journey back then, but it's hard to tell if anyone in Journey now was in it back then.

I lived to see the dismantling of the U.S.S.R. and the fall of the Berlin Wall, two Iraq wars and several military missions that received highly publicized attention.

I've seen my heroes die and learned that true heroes aren't the ones making music or acting in films, they are the men and women who fight for this country, and the people who did all they could to raise us the right way.

My parents went from the most clueless people in the world to perhaps the smartest I know.

I've grown from a child to a teen to an adult and have taken the lessons I've learned in making sure I raise my sons the right way.

There are many moments in my life when I used to sit on the pier by the home I grew up in, and I would look out over the water and in those moments I would understand the small place I hold in this world.

Time continues to pass on by and things will continue to change, as will I. There will be many more things to come along that I don't now understand but will come to accept as part of everyday life, and that is part of what makes life so exciting.

The only things we know for sure are those that have already happened and I look forward to see what will come in the next 30 years.



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