Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

April 28, 2013

Ed Hungness: The bionic man is back

Those readers who remember 1974 might recall a fictional television show titled, “The Six-Million Dollar Man.”

Its main character was ace test-pilot Steve Austin, who had the misfortune of nearly killing himself in a crash landing. The government realized that they had the technology to “rebuild” this man, augmenting his broken body with cybernetic parts. The result of the surgery was a new Steve Austin with superhuman strength and speed.

Austin was put back on the government payroll as a secret operative and fought injustices wherever found. He became the updated Superman, a hero to both young and old. Weekly, fans were glued to their television sets watching Steve catch the bad guys.

In 1974, I was 29 years old and felt more like Steve Austin than I do today. It is hard to imagine that 40 years have slipped by since then and I no longer look or perform anything like the Six-Million Dollar Man.

Through the decades, time has taken its toll on my aging parts.

The first to go was my 20-20 eyesight. It didn’t happen overnight. I began to notice difficulties when reading the classified ads or looking up numbers in a phone book. It took awhile but I eventually came to the realization that the Reader’s Digest was available in a large-print-version for a reason.

My first pair of glasses were only necessary for “small print.” After awhile, I realized that they were also required when locating the slot on a woodscrew for the screwdriver blade or when driving a nail with a hammer.

Today I wear tri-focal lenses that allow me to see far, near and in between. That’s OK; I always thought that glasses made people look more intelligent.

On my 40th birthday, I had a full head of wavy brown hair. By the time I turned 50, there were hints of gray “highlights” present. I’m not sure what happened, perhaps it was something in the water or my concerns over college bills owed for the kids’ tuition. Looking back on it, the gray wasn’t so bad. At least it was hair.

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