Shorter's birthday was mentioned on Morning Edition on NPR today. And funny, early today I saw DoubleRBar's birthday headline (but from Oct 29): "Clean Speech, Clean Sport, Clean Scholarship, Clean Life" and thought, oh good, he's already got Shorter's birthday riddle posted.
Somehow Shorter turning 65 strikes me (in the gut, a bit) more than most other birthdays our favorite athletes have. Something to do with the passage of time. Maybe it's because I was a very young 10 (and he a young 24) during Munich, but old enough to follow the Games and appreciate that what he did was pretty cool. Those OG--largely Shorter and Pre--had several of us in the neighorhood going out and timing each other in one-lap runs around the block (approx 1400m). The running boom, of which I was very much a part of starting with 7th grade track in 1975, was launched in large part by Shorter. He was a peer and friend of Pre's, he of that bygone era. Shorter a bit of bridge from those times to later ones. He's really synonymous with American distance running of the '70s, moreso, I think, than Pre, or Bill Rodgers, Marty Liquori, Jim Ryun, Steve Scott, etc. He can't be 65! It was just yesterday....or the day before....that we saw him winning in Munich and almost in Montreal.