I’m 93. Why am I Still Alive?
Not many authors come into their own in their nineties, but Alan Mayer, a young 93 years old, has found his voice and continues to blend his wry humor with tidbits of wisdom in his third book,I’m 93. Why Am I Still Alive? The new book is filled with autobiographical tales interspersed with personal observations from someone who has seen a great deal during his long and chapter-filled lifetime.
I’m 93. Why Am I Still Alive? continues Mayer’s contemplations on having reached elderly status. The book focuses on tales of his brushes with death throughout his lifetime. The chapters are funny and poignant, but he lets the reader in on the uncertainty he sometimes feels as he begins his final chapters. Mayer was never a flowery guy; he tells it like it is, which is very refreshing, as he put into straightforward words the thoughts that many elderly people have as they try to find purpose in their lives once their spouses and dearest friends have passed on.
He recalls a near-miss car accident; being hit on the head with a rake, prongs down; his sister’s curse of death; a number of serious illnesses; life-threatening disgruntled employees, and many other incidents that left him wondering how and why he managed to survive them. He speaks to the fragility of life, the role of sheer luck, the importance of connection with family and the need to keep on going, no matter what obstacles one may encounter.
There are serious points of wisdom throughout his book, and he forthrightly introduces them right at the beginning-in the inside front cover, to be exact. He says, “you might ask yourself someday, why am I here? You have a limited time to accomplish anything. But good or bad, you could have a remarkable impact on the world that has embraced you. You’ve got a gift-you are here-do something.”
Then as the stories begin, he shows readers that life’s challenges are not meant to slow one down. Rather, they are stepping stones to conquer as one’s life unfolds. But perhaps a bit of luck may play a part, too-who knows?
Mayer is one of the most fortunate of men-at age 93 he is still active and productive, a modern-day Renaissance man. He also has become a bit of a celebrity in his community of Highland Park in Chicago’s North Shore. It may suspend disbelief, but he still goes to the gym every morning at dawn to work out-he was a semi-pro boxer as a young man and staying fit is central to his routine. He also still drives his car to and from the suburbs to downtown Chicago and, a widower, he doesn’t lack for opportunity to enjoy a dinner or theater date, either.
Mayer, ever the entrepreneur, has owned a multitude of businesses throughout his long career, and has attained some notoriety as a sculptor. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
His endearing, personal style makes his book easily likable and relatable. He recounts his tales in a concise, conversational tone, carefully choosing his words and never droning on. He makes sure he gets to the point, but he also leaves in enough detail and emotion to make his stories come alive.
It is gratifying to see this gentleman, at age 93, with such a youthful spirit still pursuing his dreams. Mayer has lived a full life yet never stops pushing the envelope on what he can accomplish. With this third book, he continues to make his life experiences come to life for the whole world to enjoy. There are likely many more tales to share and one hopes that Mayer keeps them coming.
I’m 93. Why Am I Still Alive? is self-published. Paperback copies can be purchased online for $14.95 at www.wethepeoplepublishing.com .
About the Author
A resident of Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, Alan Mayer was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1923. When he was a young boy the family moved to Babylon, Long Island, at a time when it was still quite rural. His family owned a butcher shop and although they never wanted for food, he took on many jobs to help out. He worked on the fishing docks and became a semi-pro boxer by the time he was 13.
After graduating high school, Mayer served in the US Air Force during World War II. Upon his return from the war, he married his high school sweetheart and was fortunate enough, with only a high school education, to turn jobs into business opportunities. During the first 30 years of his career, he owned 15 companies. For the next 30 years, he was a banker in Chicago. Finding artistic expression has also been important to Mayer. He has been a highly- regarded sculptor for the past twenty years and his works have been on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. At age 91, Mayer published his first book, The Fix, a boxing story that is part fact, part fiction. Sitting Duck was his second book.
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