Growing Older Extra: Reader Essay by Stanton Olson

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

I have just reached the Big 8-0. I say it is big because, let’s face it, most people run out of gas in their 80s and few reach 90.

I unfortunately carried the burden of alcohol addiction until age 40. By the grace of God I walked into my first 12-Step meeting at that age and never picked up another drink.

This experience led me to recovery, my passion in life. I even went back to school to get the magic initials behind my name to turn recovery into my livelihood.

I have learned many valuable lessons:

1. It does not matter what you have. It does matter what you are.

2. As we age, relationships and experiences are of much greater value than a Rolls Royce.

3. We do not raise children. We raise carrots. All we do with children is set an example.

4. I really don’t understand God, but He or She does understand me.

5. My heroes and mentors are Mother Teresa, Viktor Frankl, Jess Lair, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Chuck Chamberlain, Father Martin, and Bishop Sheen.

6. I often call God “Sam,” which stands for “Sure Ain’t Me.”

It is an honor to have grown up in Minnesota and be a Golden Gopher.

- Stanton Olson (B.A. ’59), Las Vegas

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